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Publisher: Full Tilt Poker    Genre: Board & Card
Min OS X: 10.3    CPU: G4 @ 800 MHz    RAM: 512 MB    Graphics: 800x600

Full Tilt Poker
August 2, 2006 | Roger Shriver

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Playing poker online has become increasingly popular and become big business in the past few years. What's more, online poker companies are now creating fully Mac compatible versions of their games, not just Java-based clients. One of these is Full Tilt Poker.

The company behind Full Tilt finally spent the time and money to create a Mac native poker room program, not just a Java-based alternative. Not that Java is bad, mind you, but there's nothing like running native software on your Mac. If I’m not mistaken, only two other poker rooms have download versions and the players are a little scarce on those.

I was ecstatic when rumors began going around that Full Tilt was coming out with a Mac version. Although it took them a while to build it from the time rumors started, the wait was worth it. At the time, Full Tilt never really told anyone if their software was going to be native software or Java. For you folks who have been playing the Java-based poker rooms, you’ll notice a big difference when you play Full Tilt's native software. First off, you don’t play in the browser like the Java versions, so they can jam pack all the little goodies into the poker software. My favorite feature that Full Tilt has which the other Mac poker rooms do not are note taking abilities. When I play poker I like to tag a note to every fish out there so I can search for those players next time I play for some easy money.

Other nice features that I noticed at Full Tilt were individual avatars, table searching, hand histories, and an auto center function. The avatars you get to choose from were decent. Full Tilt doesn’t let you upload your own avatar which I was bummed about but they do have a good selection to choose from in their stock. The facial expressions of the avatars can be changed when you’re playing to express if you are mad, happy, or sad. Using the table search option made things easier and trimmed down the time to find a table. Table searching was a feature that was lacking at PokerRoom which is where used to played a lot. Hand histories were probably the least exciting new accessory which I haven’t used yet. Some players love by the ability to record previous hands and use it to monitor progress.

Probably the most notable experience at Full Tilt was playing with the pros. I ended up playing at the same table as Mike Matusou. When you get into the lobby of the software you can search the tables with their “Table Search” feature. If you see a table highlighted in red that means a pro is playing there. The full list is pretty extensive as to who plays there so I had to go the Full Tilt to get all the names. The pros are Howard Lederrer, Phil Ivey, Chris Ferguson, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, Phil Gordon, Erick Lindgren, Erik Seidel, Clonie Gowen, Andy Bloch, and Mike Matusou. About half of them are actually there every night. Ivey, Matusou, and John Juanda seem to be there all the time. The pros have custom avatars to look like them and it’s scary how accurate they appear.

During play there were a few things I wasn’t too fond of. The software may run flawless but it’s not enough to keep me there during Sit and Go tournaments. Personally I’ve always liked Sit and Go tournaments to have 10, 20, or 30 people staying at a consist multiple of 10’s. Instead the Sit and Go tournaments start off with 9 players and not the full field of 10 which you’ll find at most poker sites. Poker Stars is another site that does this but players still seem to be content with one man short. I stick to other Mac compatible poker rooms like the ones at when playing Sit and Gos. In either case the Sit and Go buy-ins ranged from play money up to $1,000+30.

As you might expect the tables that you play at are shared with the Windows compatible software. Games that can be played are Holdem, Omaha H/L, Omaha, Stud H/L, Stud, Razz, and a variety of single and multiple table tournaments.

The bonus was similar to any poker room. It seemed to be released at a moderate rate. When you play poker you generate “raked hands” and thus earn player points. When you generate enough player points Full Tilt slowly releases your bonus money. The full bonus is $600 when you use their stock sign up bonus code “MACINTOSH”. After about 2 months I released the full bonus. Some poker rooms will release the bonus in one lump sum but it’s nice because Full Tilt will add money into your account as you earn it.

Overall the experience at Full Tilt was more than I expected. After being surprised with the downloadable software and then finding out that you could play with pros, it was more than I could have expected or wanted. The only real dampening feature on the software was the 9 player Sit and Gos. Right now, I’d have to rate Full Tilt as the best online poker room that supports Macs solely on all the features and download options.

• Native software
• Avatars
• Hand histories
• Note taking
• Play with pros

• 9 Player Sit and Gos

Full Tilt Poker
Publisher: Full Tilt Poker

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