Full Tilt has removed heads-up tables from their online poker offering in a bid to remove a potential stumbling block when it came to retaining casual players.
Full Tilt has removed Heads-Up ring games from the site.
The news came virtue of a blog post written by Full Tilt Managing Director Dominic Mansour. The decision forms part of a strategy designed to retain the custom of casual players – a strategy designed, and often ridiculed, by Jonas Odman when introduced to the Bodog product many moons ago.
The feedback that Mansour’s team has pushed underneath his nose shows that heads-up tables provide two major drawbacks in terms of the retention of casual players:
1. Experienced pros were picking on the weaker players. The weaker players were losing. That isn’t much fun. They left to do a spot of knitting.
2. Casual players found the HU arena intimidating and confusing as regs refused to play against other regs.
Mansour and his team has also made changes to the lobby and the way players select games. The whole process is simplified, takes seconds to be seated and removes table selection from the grinders grip. Nosebleed stakes, Stud, Draw and Mixed Game ring games have also been removed to simplify the games on offer for the casual players.
I spoke with Full Tilt Player’s Ambassador Marc ‘PlayinWitDreams’ Kennedy to get his view on the changes and this is what he had to say?
“The recent changes at Full Tilt fall into two main categories: 1) reducing the ability of players to select specific tables/target specific individuals 2) removing HU cash games. With regard to number 1, modern third party software allows players to specifically target certain players they feel are weak. This creates a very predatory environment that I personally feel goes too far. These changes help to mitigate that problem. The second main part of the changes removes an entire sub-section of the poker economy that has become so predatory that regular vs. regular games are the rarity and not the norm now.
“New players to the site who play HU are much less likely to return, this can really only be explained by their experience being unenjoyable. Full Tilt could have introduced measures to mitigate this issue somewhat but they decided to take a bold step and remove that game entirely. Obviously some players will not like that change but I respect them for taking a bold decision.
“The response from players in general has been positive, despite some vocal naysayers. I think overall people believe these changes will create a better experience for recreational players and I for one agree.
“It’s also important to note that there are more changes coming to the site over the coming months, and these steps were a necessary part of creating a healthier ecosystem before what I personally think are some really innovative features get introduced.”
What do you think of the changes?
Let us know.