Full Tilt Poker is running a monthly Iron Man Challenge promotion, where you compete against yourself by trying to reach a certain amount of Full Tilt Points on at least 15 days of the month.
Endure and manage that poker marathon and you will be awarded with prize and glory, but what is the added value of Iron Man to a rakeback player?
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Once you attain the Iron Man status, you get a choice of either playing in that month's Iron Man freeroll with $10,000 to $30,000 added money, or taking 25-100 Iron Man medals instead that you can spend in a special Iron Man store to buy bonuses, tournament tokens, more Full Tilt Points, promotional stuff like shirts, and even your own table with a seat always reserved to you.
The size of Iron Man freeroll or amount of Iron Man medals earned depends on what status you reach within that month: Bronze, Silver, Gold, or... Iron!
One Iron Man medal is worth 11¢ to 18¢ to a player who has a Full Tilt rakeback deal, depending on how the medals are spent. The best value from Iron Man promotion is however gained by playing the monthly Iron Man freerolls instead of taking medals.
The question on every +EV concious rakeback poker player's mind is how to get the most value out of the Iron Man promotion. And more specifically, how Ironman affects rakeback?
The benefits of Iron Man are handled just like any other promotion, meaning that bonuses and freeroll added money are deducted against your Gross Rake in Full Tilt rakeback calculations. But we can calculate the best combined Full Tilt Iron Man rakeback value.
If you use Iron Man medals to buy a bonus, this works the same way as regular deposit bonus and counts as a deduction to your Gross Rake before rakeback is calculated. Also the Iron Man mid year bonus works like any other bonus.
Its costs 600 medals to buy the $100 Iron Man bonus. So based on the above example, after the Iron Man bonus rakeback deduction you ended up with $27 less rakeback but cleared the $100 bonus. Your net profit from spending 600 medals in that bonus was therefore $100 - $27 = $73, which amounts to $0.121667 value per Iron Man medal.
There are three different Iron Man bonuses to buy, and you get more bonus by spending more medals. Following this same reasoning, the value of medals when spending them to buy Iron Man bonuses and when you have a Full Tilt rakeback deal are presented in the following table.
|Iron Man Bonus||Cost in medals||Added value of one medal|
You are given an option in the Iron Man Store to buy a $26 or $75 tournament token. There are no deductions on using tokens, but if you happen to use the token to buy in a tournament which has added money by Full Tilt, that does result in the normal Player Added deduction.
The value of Iron Man medals is simple to calculate when spending them on tournament tokens, if we assume that the T$ value of a token is the same as buying real money to your account.
|Tournament token||Cost in medals||Added value of one medal|
If we want to get technical, the value of tournament dollars can be assumed to be 95% of real money, since you can convert T$ to real money in the cashier with a commission fee of 5% charged by Full Tilt. So if we take this into account, the real money value of a medal when buying a $75 Iron Man token is $71.25 / 400 = $0.178125.
You can use Iron Man medals to buy more Full Tilt Points in the Iron Man store. If you then proceed to spend those poins in the Full Tilt store or poker room, it will incur the regular FTP deduction of $0.005 per used point against your Gross Rake in the FullTilt rakeback calculations.
So whatever the value of a Full Tilt Point is when buying them with Iron Man medals, it is $0.005 per point in rake less for rakeback players.
Since the Full Tilt store does not have anything of direct monetary value within the poker room to buy like bonuses or tournament tokens in the Iron Man store, the value of Iron Man medals when buying Full Tilt Points is harder to estimate. But for the sake of argument lets try, and take the retail value of Apple iPod Touch 32Gb as an example that you can buy for 87,000 FTPs and which costs $399 in Apple's online store.
If you buy 100,000 FTPs for 2,500 medals in Iron Man store, and then use 87,000 FTPs to buy the iPod in Full Tilt store, you end up with a product worth $399 and $117.45 less rakeback. Net value of the purchase to you is therefore $281.55, which amounts to $0.12945 per medal.
|Full Tilt Points bought||Cost in medals||Added value of one medal|
Over the course of the month you can reach one of four Full Tilt Iron Man status levels, and can opt in to either receive medals or play in a freeroll. The freerolls have added money, and therefore incur the regular Player Added deduction in Full Tilt rakeback calculations.
Player Added deduction: Any money added to a tournament by Full Tilt that is not covered by tournament entry fees is evenly divided by the number of participants in the tournament, and that amount is deducted from your Gross Rake before 27% rakeback is calculated.
The Iron Man freeroll tournaments have $10k to $30k added money, so the value per player can end up being good, even when counting in the Player Added rakeback deduction.
May 2009, 1094 players, $9.14 added money per player.
Player Added deduction to rake makes your rakeback $2.47 less, so total value of ticket was $9.14 - $2.47 = $6.67.
In place of the freeroll ticket you could opt in to take 25 medals for reaching the Bronze status in your first consecutive month. The per medal value of playing the freeroll instead would therefore be $6.67 / 25 = $0.2668.
May 2009, 834 players, $17.99 added money per player.
Player Added deduction to rake makes your rakeback $4.86 less, so total value of ticket was $17.99 - $4.86 = $13.13.
In place of the freeroll ticket you could opt in to take 40 medals for reaching the Silver status in your first consecutive month. The per medal value of playing the freeroll instead would therefore be $13.13 / 40 = $0.32825.
May 2009, 515 players, $38.83 added money per player.
Player Added deduction to rake makes your rakeback $10.49 less, so total value of ticket was $38.83 - $10.49 = $28.34.
In place of the freeroll ticket you could opt in to take 70 medals for reaching the Gold status in your first consecutive month. The per medal value of playing the freeroll instead would therefore be $28.34 / 70 = $0.40486.
May 2009, 448 players, $66.96 added money per player.
Player Added deduction to rake makes your rakeback $18.08 less, so total value of ticket was $66.96 - $18.08 = $48.88.
In place of the freeroll ticket you could opt in to take 100 medals for reaching the Iron Man status in your first consecutive month. The per medal value of playing the freeroll instead would therefore be $48.88 / 100 = $0.4888.
|Iron Man freeroll||Status value in medals||Comparative value per medal|
Regular Iron Man players start receiving more medals from consecutive Iron Man months. This will lower the comparative value of Iron Man freerolls for these players, but freerolls retain the best value until a player has qualified for Iron Man status for over one year. After one year the amount of medals gained begins to be so big that instead of freerolls you should be taking medals and using them to buy tournament tokens or Iron Man bonuses.
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