Iron Man Challenge Analysis - Full Tilt Poker

Loyalty Program Reviews | estimated reading time
2010. January 26. |
The Iron Man Challenge is an ongoing loyalty reward program offered to all Full Tilt Poker players. The system is designed to reward players who have stamina and continual play.
The core structure of the program is based on a point system, were players receive points simply for playing poker. The Full Tilt Points (FTPs) that a player accumulates over a day-by-day basis, calculate to their monthly totals. Over the course of any month, there are four levels open to reach: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Iron Man. If a player racks up 100 points per day for the first 15 days, they become Bronze; 200 points, they become Silver. If a player collects 200 points every day for the first 20 days of the month, they become Gold, but that’s not all. If you can earn 200+ points every day for 25 days, you will earn the title of Full Tilt Iron Man.

Iron Man Status table

Iron Man medals

Iron Man medals are rewards that are received monthly, corresponding to the status obtained that month. During the first month, you can collect the following number of Iron Man medals, according to level you reach.

Bonus Medals

The table below is a break-down listing of what the status levels are worth in medals in the future. All medals that have been collected are exchangeable for tourney tokens, cash bonuses, or other items available at the Iron Man Challenge Store anytime.

Iron Man medals
Click on the image above to view how consistency
in maintaining a status is rewarding over time

Iron Man freeolls


Participants of the Iron Man Challenge receive monthly freeroll tokens (according to their Iron Man status). There are four freerolls available: $10K Bronze freeroll, $15K Silver freeroll, $20K Gold freeroll and $30K Iron Man freeroll.

Winners of the four freerolls compete against each other in a 4-player shootout for an extra $5,000 bonus on top of the original winnings. The winner of the shootout will then compete against three Full Tilt Poker pros in consecutive heads-up matches for the grand prize of up to $100,000.

Flow Chart Iron Man

Exchange your monthly freeroll entries for medals
: Players, who do not want to enter the monthly freerolls, have the option to exchange their tournament entry for Iron Man Medals.

iron man

What effect does this promotion have on rakeback?

One of the most asked questions about this promotion is, what effect does it have on rakeback? 

In order to answer this question we must first look at how Full Tilt Poker calculates the players' Monthly Net Rake. Net rake is the amount after all the deductions have been made from the Monthly Gross Rake (MGR).  These deductions include cash bonuses, allocated costs of freerolls you take part in, Full Tilt Poker Store purchases, Ironman Store purchases (for example if you buy an Iron Man cash bonus) etc. Also the myth of using Iron Man medals to buy cash bonuses does not affect your rakeback amount is not true. All medals used to buy bonuses or other items (except for the purchase of $26 and $75 tokens) within the Iron Man Store count towards the deduction of your gross rake. A good example of this is listed below.

•    Let’s say Your Gross Rake is $1000
•    And then you clear a $100 bonus bought with Iron Man medals
•    Then your net rake is $1000 - $100 = $900
•    Your rakeback amount is calculated from your net rake -> $900 * 0.27 (27%) = $243
Using Iron Man medals to purchase Full Tilt Points will not affect your rakeback amount immediately; only after you decide to redeem those Full Tilt Points. The exact conversion rate is 0.005c per point for store purchases (200 Full Tilt Points incur a $1 deduction from your MGR).    

Iron Man extras and their value to you as a player – The Iron Man Challenge Store

The Iron Man challenge Store is the place where medals can be used to buy cash bonuses, create your own table, get tournament tokens, Full Tilt Points or other goodies. So, how much do these really cost?

Cash bonuses

There are three bonuses available, broken down into three values; a $100 bonus, a $300 bonus and a $600 bonus.

The value per medal in dollars

If we look at the $600 bonus, for example, it will cost 3000 medals.
So, using the calculation method shown above, following the bonus rakeback deduction (27%) you will receive $162 less rakeback but you will have cleared the $600 bonus.
Your true profit after spending 3000 medals will be $600 - $162 = $438.
If you now take the $438 and divide it by the 3000 medals, you get the true added dollar value of each medal, equaling, in this case, $438/3000 = $0.146

The table below shows the exact dollar value for all three Iron Man bonuses.

Iron Man Bonus

Full Tilt Points (FTPs) and their cost in medals

There are three FTPs packages available within the Iron Man Challenge Store: a 5000, 25,000 and a 100,000 package.
FTPs can be used in the Full Tilt Poker Sore. Here you can redeem them for tournament entries and all types of purchases (including clothes and electronics, just to name a few).

How much does it cost in medals, and what is their exact value?
As you can see in the table below, 5000 FTPs will cost you 150 medals and so on. 

FTP Table

Spending the FTPs involves the regular FTP deduction of $0.005 per used point on your Monthly Gross Rake (MGR).

The calculation method is as follows:
Let’s say your gross rake is $1000.
You spend 650 medals to buy 25,000 FTPs, which means a $125 deduction from your rake.
Your rakeback will then be $236.25

Steps of calculation

1.    Rake Deduction Method:
$1000 – ($0.005 * 25,000) = $875

2.    Monthly Net Rake * Rakeback Percentage = Monthly Rakeback
$875 * 0,27 (27%) = $236.25

Conversion of FTPs to purchase goods (rough estimates)

Within the Full Tilt Poker Store or Iron Man Challenge Store, items do not have direct dollar value displayed.
Because we are unable to work on the exact dollar value Full Tilt Poker is using on its goods, this is a rough estimate of converting the FTP price listed into items value.

If we take, for example, a purchase of a Sony Handycam DCR SX40 (worth 60,000 points in the Full Tilt Poker Store), it has a price of $270 on the official Sony website. Working with these numbers, we can use the calculations below to work out how much the Sony Handycam really costs.

Calculation method

•    Sony Handycam RRP: $270
•    FTP price: 60,000 FTPs
•    Rake deduction: $0.005 * 60,000 = $300 deducted from Gross Rake, which equals $81 less rakeback with 27% rakeback.
     So the net value of the camera is $270 - $81 = $189
     If we decided to buy 100,000 FTP points using 2500 medals, the calculations would work out as follows:

•    The camera costs 60,000 FTPs, which is 60% of the total amount purchased
•    We will calculate the value of medals directly used for purchasing the camera, leaving the remaining 40% to spend at another time
•    2500 medals * 60% (0.6) = 1500 medals used for purchase
•    $189 / 1500 medals = $0.126 per medal

Tournament Tokens and their cost in medals

The Iron Man Challenge Store offers two tokens available for purchase: a $26 or a $75 Token. 
The $26 token will cost 140 medals, while the $75 token will cost 400 medals.
To work out the true value of your medals to buy a token, we use the calculations below.

$26 token / 140 medals = $0.1857 added value

It is important to mention that the tournament dollar values 95% of a real dollar, because Full Tilt Poker charges a 5% fee when converting tournament dollars into real money. Taking this into account, the real money value of a medal when buying a $26 tournament token is: $26 * 95% (taking off the 5% commission) = $24.7 / 140 medals = $0.1764 

$75 Token $26 Token

Our strategy guide for the best results and maximum return

For the beginner:

For the players that are just starting out in the Iron Man Challenge, the One-A-Day Freeroll is the best place to begin. For the players who do manage to earn a point a day for a month, they will be entitled to go to this $2000 special freeroll. If you'd prefer not to play, do not register for the freeroll and you’ll receive 15 bonus Iron Man medals for use in our Iron Man Store after the tournament is complete.

For the casual intermediate player:

Try to look at winning the monthly freeroll tokens, not only can you earn some good cash getting there but you also have the opportunity to enter the monthly Iron Man freerolls discussed above. If you are good at wining tournaments this is your best bet to pick up some extra cash.
You can also buy tournament tokens in the Iron Man Store; they will give you the best return for medals.
But if tournaments are not for you and you happen to win a token, then look at exchanging it for additional medals.

For the expert player - Iron Man Plus status:

Take the above tips on board and look to reach for Iron Man Plus status. To qualify for Iron Man Plus you must earn more than 500 FullTilt points per day.

After hitting the 'Plus' status you will receive medals in accordance to the Full Tilt Points earned as listed in the table below.    
Iron Man Plus

The general opinion out there on Full Tilt Poker Iron Man Challenge seems to be positive and that it is rewarding in the long run. Most players find it easy to qualify for medals with minimal play and usually find themselves picking up multiple prizes for their dedication. Overall, the Iron Man Challenge it a great promotion, but it does require a lot of perseverance in order to achieve the best results. It is not for everyone but definitely gets the Thumbs-Up offering some excellent bonuses, Full Tilt Poker Iron Man Challenge has got our vote.     

Important to note: Full Tilt Poker offers a 27% rakeback which can run in conjunction with the Iron Man Challenge. Players who haven’t signed up to Full Tilt Poker yet and sign up for this promotion without securing a rakeback deal could lose their option to have one.

Sign up for rakeback at Full Tilt Poker here

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