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Poker News: May 10, 2007

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Copyright © 2007 Poker King

HEADLINE: The Five Steps That Full Tilt Poker Can Take to Catch PokerStars

Ever since Party Poker exited the US market and Ultimate Bet faded into oblivion, there has been no doubt as to who the big two are in the online poker market: Full Tilt Poker and Pokerstars, with Pokerstars having a decided advantage over Full Tilt Poker in terms of player numbers.

Full Tilt Poker has made a number of positive steps in the last year or so, and in my opinion, is certainly closing the gap between the two sites. The addition of rebuy tournaments was a big step for the company in terms of attracting player interest.

In my opinion though, there are five steps that Full Tilt Poker must take if they ever hope to catch and even eclipse Pokerstars. They are:

1. Better customer service. Ask any poker player. Pokerstars customer service can not be topped. Normally if you send Poker stars an inquiry, you receive a response within a half hour tops. Full Tilt Poker can still take a day to get back to you over a simple customer service matter, and in my opinion, that is just too long.

2. Chops. This kind of ties in with number one. Full Tilt Poker staff needs to be on-hand to chop any tournament if a customer requests it. This stems from having enough staff. If Full Tilt Poker doesn't have the staff to handle this, then they need to hire more staff.

3. $T/$W system. If you win a satellite on Full Tilt Poker for a seat to a big Sunday tournament, you should have the option of easily converting this to tournament dollars, as Pokerstars does. This would generate much more interest in satellites, and implementing this would be a boon for Full Tilt Poker's popularity.

4. Pros playing at lower levels. Having pros playing on Full Tilt Poker is great. I love watching Phil Ivey, David Benyamine and others duking it out in the high limit games. Can't these pros play 15-20 hours per month at lower levels? I know that some pros will play lower, but I would love to see Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey and others playing $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em for a few hours each month. That would really leverage the line-up of pros that Full Tilt Poker has on their team.

5. Better selection of tournaments. Full Tilt is getting better in this department, but they still lag behind the 800 pound gorilla in this department, Pokerstars. Full Tilt Poker has a number of great tournaments, including the $1k Monday tournament, but they need to expand their offering even more.

Competition is good, and to have Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars neck and neck with each other would be for the benefit of all poker players.

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