If you want an example of how to destroy a great brand in a few months, look no further than Full Tilt Poker. Indeed they took a bad beat, but there was no bad beat jackpot to save them.
Indeed five months ago Full Tilt was considered like a top brand in online poker. Ranked number two by traffic behind pokerstars, these two mammoths of igaming had been dominating online poker for a few years. For example these two rooms probably employed 90% of all top pros sponsored by an online poker room. Each room has dozens of them if not over one hundred. Except these two, Party Poker, Titan Poker and a few other rooms had a bunch of them, but the vast majority was playing either at stars or at FT.
In fact it could be argued that regarding high stakes poker, Full Tilt was the number one. Pokerstars surpassed Full Tilt by most measures, except maybe the traffic of its high stakes nose bleed ring games. At Full Tilt hundreds of rail birds were accustomed to observe these matches day in, day out, and this had created a unique buzz. Players such as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan or Patrik Antonius were the stars of these matches that could get started at any moment, on an impromptu basis. In fact this is how Tom Dwan rose to the top of online poker, thanks to his prowess at these games.
They were other famous rising stars at these high stakes games. Isildulr1 for instance was a player coming out of nowhere who got involved in some of the largest pots in online poker history, at times surpassing one million dollars. Pokerstars snapped him before Black Friday, and this was a great move for him not to be tied up with Full Tilt Poker anymore, unless numerous of his clolleagues who are still waiting to get their bankroll back.
Now it seems Full Tilt will have a hard time to ever come back online after the Feds accused them to run a Ponzi scheme. This is certainly an exaggerated accusation designed to put the pressure on the company. Full Tilt did not need to get involved intentionally in financial embezzlement, it is just the result of greed, mismanagement and bad timing. Nevertheless it is sad to see such a unique product disappear from the igaming landscape all of a sudden.