The Rational Group, Full Tilt Poker’s new owner, has announced that it will not reimburse affiliate earnings. When Full Tilt Poker is re-launched on Nov 6, accounts of players will not be associated to their affiliates. This means that affiliates will completely lose track of players they had referred even if they choose to continue playing at Full Tilt Poker. In case of Full Tilt Poker’s old players who also worked as affiliates, they will get back their poker money, but not their affiliate earnings, if any.
In an email it recently sent to all Full Tilt Poker affiliates, The Rational Group stated that it “did not assume any liabilities” of Full Tilt Poker other than refunding its non-US players. The email further states, “Therefore, previous contractual agreements that Full Tilt Poker may have had with affiliates were excluded. As such, The Rational Group is not liable and will not pay for any affiliate earnings.”
The re-launched Full Tilt Poker will not have its old affiliate system. Its new owner will devise a temporary affiliate system for it, which will then be integrated with the PokerStars’ affiliate system. Affiliates can then choose to continue promoting Full Tilt Poker if they wish.
When Full Tilt Poker lost its licenses and shut down its services, it owed a lot of money not only to its players, but also to its affiliates. Full Tilt Poker’s largest promoter PokerStrategy.com sued the online poker site for as much as $1.2 million, which it claimed in affiliate payments. PokerStrategy.com stated that it used to refer as many as 30,000 new players per month to Full Tilt Poker.
In case of “accounts where player funds are commingled with funds derived from affiliate earnings,” player affiliates will be given back only their poker gaming related funds, not affiliate earnings. This means that affiliates can bid good bye to their affiliate earnings and prepare to completely lose touch with the players they had referred to the online poker company. The Rational Group has made it quite clear that the question of refunding affiliates was not part of its settlement deal with the DoJ.
Recently, PokerStars had announced that it will completely modify Full Tilt Poker’s VIP system, transforming it from an affiliate-based rakeback system to an in-house system employed at the PokerStars website in a bid to operate Full Tilt Poker along the same lines as PokerStars is being operated.