Category Archives: poker site reviews

PokerStars – The Biggest Online Poker Site, and mayhap the Best…

PokerStars has become a catalyst for the entire online poker industry, having risen among the ranks to the world’s largest poker room. The company set the bar for other poker sites to strive to match.

Just a few years back Party Poker was in their place, at the top of the poker worlds food chain. Party Poker is a publicly traded company though, so much to the benefit of companies like PokerStars, they stopped accepted gambling transactions from US Poker players, dropping in the ranks, and catapulting Party Poker to the frontline.

PokerStars has one of the most functional, feature-rich software platforms online with a massive variety of poker variants to choose from. That in itself is really the kicker. Whatever you want to play, at whatever stakes, PokerStars has it. It truly is the top poker site .

Because of the vast game selection available at PokerStars, they are the largest poker room in regards to traffic – averaging near 180,000 at peak hours – all of those games see constant action as well.

The tournament schedule is simply outstanding, paying out more than $13 million in guarantees every month, as well as sending players to just about every major live poker event around the globe.

Have you checked out the steps tournaments at PokerStars lately? You can start at step one for about 8 bucks, and end up at any major tournament around the world… who knows’ you may leave their a millionaire.

PokerStars has developed their own private software platform; complete with every statistic a player could ask for in the lobby and on the virtual felt. The graphics are very clean and crisp, but lack the resource-hogging avatars that slow down many other poker sites.

Most players appreciate the speed and ease-on-the-eyes this delivers at PokerStars. All of the standard features are available, like note taking, and 4 color decks, plus a lot of extras. A graphic replay of hands at the table are great for instant analysis, and the hand history functions are the best in the business; exportable and compatible with most poker tracking software programs like Poker Tracker.

Game-wise, you’d be hard pressed to find a better selection of poker variants. PokerStars of course supplies the standard variety, such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi-Lo, but they’ve gone many steps further to include Razz, 5 Card Draw, 2-7 Single Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, H.O.R.S.E. And a unique 8-Game Mix. Stakes range from micro-limits (PokerStars was the originator of micro-limits in the online poker world) to ultra-high stakes.

There are even rumors that Baduci might be on offer at PokerStars very soon.

Satelite Tournaments, Overlays, Guarentees, and Million Dollar Tournaments – PokerStars has Them!
In terms of value and frequency, PokerStars has the ultimate online poker tournament schedule. If you’re looking for loose, juicy competition, however, you’ll have to stick to the cheaper buy-ins and freerolls.

PokerStars has a lot of veteran and pro poker players who love to haunt the bigger events. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re wondering if you’re playing with a pro, google their user name.

PokerStars biggest guarantees are held every Sunday, including the infamous PokerStars Sunday Million, which boosted it’s GTD prize pool up to $1.5 million last year due to the extreme level of participation. The Sunday Warm-Up is worth $750k GTD, plus another $200k and $300k GTD every Sunday evening. The standard entry fee is generally 10% of the buy-in, but no matter how high the guaranteed prize pool, PokerStars will never charge more than $200 buy-in for any tournament entry.

Another staple in the PokerStars tournament roster is a plethora of satellites, either to PokerStars’ biggest online events, or one of the many live poker events around the world. Players can win a seat in the WSOP, EPT, LAPT, APPT, PokerStars Caribbean Adventures, Aussie Millions, you name it, they’ve probably got it.

One of the most unique features is PokerStars SNG Steps Satellites. Instead of besting an enormous field of thousands, you only need to win 6 9-seater SNGs in a row. Step 1 cost only a few dollars, and if you can manage to come in 2nd place, you’ll at least win a ticket back into a Step 1 satellite. The further you get into the steps, the lower you can finish and still win a seat back into an earlier Steps Satellite to try again without paying the usual entry fee.

PokerStars Professional Poker Players

Being the largest, most popular online poker room in the world, you can expect to see a lot of famous names around the lobby. Many of these are PokerStars Pros who endorse the online poker room and play exclusively at PokerStars.

The lit of Team PokerStars Pros includes a number of past WSOP Champions. Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, Joe Hachem, Barry Greenstein, Daniel Negreanu, Isabelle Mercier, John Duthie, Steve-Paul Ambrose, Vanessa Rousso, Victor Ramdin, Katja Thater, Bertrand Grospellier, Gavin Griffin, Alexandre Gomes, Ylon Schwartz, Dennis Phillips, Ivan Demidov, the 2008 WSOP Champion Peter Eastgate and many others make up the impressive roster of Team PokerStars Pros. If you ever imagined yourself competing on the felt against a real professional poker player, look no further than PokerStars.

PokerStars Welcome Bonus

PokerStars offers all new players a welcome bonus of 100% up to $50. It may not seem like much compared to some other online poker rooms, but the overall quality of PokerStars, and the incredibly easy bonus clearing requirements, more than make up for it. You’ll need only 10 Base FPP for each $1 of the bonus, so even the max $50 bonus would require only 500 points. The bonus is releases in full once cleared, but there’s no expiration to clearing it.

PokerStars Payments / US Players

One of the key points that drove PokerStars to the number one position is it’s dedication to US player acceptance. As such, the online poker room supplies a good number of fast, safe and secure payment options for all regions of the world.

Deposit Methods: Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Solo, Maestro, ClickandBuy, Click2Pay, NETeller, Moneybookers, PaySafeCard, WebMoney, EC-ELV, Online bank Transfer, Local Bank Transfer, Money Order, Instant eCheck and Cashier’s Check.

Withdrawal Methods: Visa, Solo, Maestro, ClickandBuy, Click2Pay, NETeller, Moneybookers, WebMoney, Direct Bank Transfer, Instant eCheck and Check.

Full Tilt Poker – The Online Poker Juggernaut

Full Tilt Poker is a juggernaut in the online poker industry, holding the long-time status of the world’s second largest poker room. The traffic is incredibly large and consistent at all hours, not just peak times. Full Tilt Poker has one of the widest assortment of poker variants, available in ring games and tournaments alike. As the second largest poker website, it’s little surprise that Full Tilt has the second largest guaranteed tournament schedule as well. Full Tilt Poker is famous as a promotional powerhouse, with the cherry topper being the seasonal FTOPS Series, worth a minimum of $15 million in guaranteed events. Prospective players should also know that the Full Tilt Poker referral code is also excellent.

Full Tilt Poker Software & Games
Full Tilt Poker is powered by its own proprietary software brand developed by sister company, TiltWare. From speed and stability to graphics and extra features, there’s little to complain about in the Full Tilt Poker client. They even offer a Mac compatible download version to accommodate any user, any time, from anywhere.

The game selection goes far beyond that of the average online poker room. The standard games are all there, like Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo, plus a host of other variants like Razz, 5 Card Stud, and a multitude of mixed games like H.O.R.S.E., H.O.S.E. And H.A. Stakes range from micro limits to the highest, nose-bleed stakes of $2,000/$4,000.

Full Tilt Poker Tournaments
Full Tilt Poker offers a colossal tournament schedule that is as well structured as it is lucrative. The largest guarantees are a part of ‘Big Money Sundays’, including a weekly $750k GTD, the $350k Sunday Brawl, the $200k Sunday Mulligan and a monthly $1,000,000 GTD.

Everybody loves free tournaments, and Full Tilt is full of them. Freerolls run throughout the day with decent sizes prize pools and relatively loose competition. Full Tilt Poker mixes these up between most poker variants, which is a great way for players to learn new poker games without risking their own bankroll. The largest freerolls require points to enter.

Full Tilt is famous for running live event satellites, propelling its members into the limelight of major events like the WSOP, WPT, EPT, Aussie Millions and others via lucrative prize package deals. The online poker room also hosts a seasonal Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) that, in its last several installments, has paid a minimum of $15 million guaranteed over 25 events.

Full Tilt Poker Pros
Perhaps one of the biggest attractions for serious poker enthusiasts is the intense line-up of Full Tilt Pros. If you ever wanted to compete against a past WSOP Champion, WPT Title Holder or any other major event winner, there’s no better place to be than Full Tilt Poker. The massive list of poker pros endorsing Full Tilt include the likes of Phil Ivey, Howard Lederer, Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, John Juanda, Jennifer Harman, Mike “the Mouth” Matusow, Eirk Seidel, Erick Lindgren, Gus Hansen, Patrik Antonius and more. The impeccable poker players aren’t just name plates on the web site; they are actually found on a regular basis at higher stakes tables, and will even chat you up with advice, tips and – should you be losing hand after hand – pointers on how to improve your game.

The same Full Tilt Pros are responsible for much of the Full Tilt Poker Academy, documenting their experiences in video tutorials, pod casts and other instructional publications. Earn yourself enough poker points and you can take full advantage of the FTP Academy by purchasing a free subscription in the Full Tilt Store.

Full Tilt Poker Welcome Bonus
Full Tilt Poker didn’t achieve its stellar status in the industry without giving players some very enticing reasons to sign up. One of these is the lucrative welcome bonus, matching a players first deposit 100% up to $600.

Clearing the bonus is fairly easy compared to many other online poker rooms. Every point collected is worth $0.06 of the bonus, released in $10 increments, so you’ll only need 167 points for each $10 release. When you’re dealt cards in a raked ring game, you get 1 point for every $1 raked (partial points also awarded). Every $1 in Tournament fees is another 7 points. As you can see, it doesn’t take long to rack up enough points to clear the bonus.

Full Tilt Poker Payments / US Players
One of the finer points of Full Tilt Poker is it’s unwavering commitment to US player acceptance. The online poker room makes a point to present enough payment methods to suit players from all regions of the world. Though they may seem limited, e golden rules is quality over quantity.

Deposit Methods: Visa, MasterCard American Express (AmEx), Click2Pay, Instant E-Checks and Cash Transfer.

Withdrawal Methods: Click2Pay and Check by Mail.