poker stars review
- Overall Score: 4.4/5
- Software Score: 5/5
- Traffic Score: 5/5
- Tournaments Score: 5/5
- Soft Competition: 2.5/5
- Sign Up Bonus Score: 4/5
- Support Score: 4/5
- Deposit/Cash out Methods: 5/5
Summary: Overall Score: 4.4/5
Poker Stars is an excellent poker network and the biggest of its kind. What makes this particular online poker room less than perfect is the fact that it lacks in having a good system for rewarding players who are loyal, and the sign up bonuses are very small at best. What this particular poker room does offer is excellent tournaments, top notch software and a wide variety of different games for you to play. If we had to use a single word to describe the Poker Stars experience, it would definitely be "tournament". The really only miss here is that the competition is much tighter than in many other poker rooms, so there isn't much "softness" of the competition to speak of. All in all, however, this poker room offers an excellent gaming experience as long as you aren't desperately seeking large sign up bonuses.
Software: Overall Score: 5/5
The software associated with Poker Stars is one of the best poker clients out there. The lobby is absolutely superb and offers extremely friendly user navigation. Some players have complained about the graphics, but we feel like it has a good feeling to it so we aren't complaining. Stability and speed have both always been high priorities with this particular poker software. The table software theme is something of a mix of poker, Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones, if you can picture that! This software is not only fast, but also smooth and very clear cut. Some of the features found here include player notes, hand histories, avatars and excellent play stats. The only thing we would like to see more of is settings.
Traffic: Overall Score: 5/5
If traffic is what you're looking for, you have certainly found it. You are looking at the most trafficked poker network in the entire world, with as many as 30,000 simultaneous logins during special occasions. Approximately 80 percent of all real money players are using this online poker room for tournaments, but ring games are also gaining serious popularity. When it comes to tournaments, Poker Stars is certainly the world leader.
Tournaments: Overall Score: 5/5
Poker Stars hosts some of the richest tournaments in the world, with extremely popular Sit & Go tournaments ranging from $1 to $5000, along with single table tournaments, multi table tournaments, heads up table tournaments and Satellite tournaments as well. There are a large number of scheduled tournaments as well, including qualifiers for the WPT-PCA, European Poker Tour, Aussie Millions and the World Series of Poker as well. Poker Stars sent 1,2000 tournament winners to the World Series of Poker in 2005. The only real downside here is the softness of the competition, which can be pretty tough to handle sometimes.
Game Variety: Overall Score: 4/5
If you are looking for variety in the games that you play, Poker Stars certainly delivers. On one hand, Poker Stars is lacking in games like Pineapple. On the other hand, there's a lot more to poker than just the little mini games. Here you will find an excellent avenue for playing Texas Hold'em in limit, no limit and pot limit, including a turbo mode. You will also find Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo with a variety of active tables in both. You will even find some decent competition both in 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, which is hard to find in some online poker rooms.
Soft Competition: Overall Score: 2.5/5
Poker Stars is a top notch poker room when it comes to traffic and tournaments, but this has little effect on the competition itself. Most of the opponents you will come across here will be extremely competitive, giving you a real run for your money. Ring games tend to be the toughest to handle here. Even some of the lower stakes games offer unusually high classed games. Approximately 25% to 35% of the players will see the flop in most ring games. Luckily the tournament tables still offer a decent number of fish, because this is where most of the beginners to the game usually reside.
Sign Up Bonus: Overall Score: 4/5
Poker Stars offers a 100% sign up bonus up to the first $50. In order for you to get this bonus you have to enter the Poker Stars marketing code "every50" when you sign up, and then the marketing code "First2007" as the bonus code when you make your first deposit.
Loyalty Rewards: Overall Score: 4/5
The recently introduced FPP or Frequent Player Points has become a popular way for Poker Stars merchandise to be acquired. These points are accumulated in real money poker games, multi table poker tournaments and Sit & Go tournaments whenever a tournament fee is required. This isn't a bad way to generate rewards for merchandise, once you get a handle on the system.
Promotions: Overall Score: 4/5
Poker Stars was never really built to satisfy through promotions. There are a number of excellent tournaments, and Poker Stars is better at satisfying through regular visits from poker celebrities. There are occasional freeroll qualifiers for larger main freerolls that offer guaranteed cash prizes, however. The refill bonus offered by Poker Stars is also usually around 25-percent, which is nice.
Support: Overall Score: 5/5
Poker Stars offers extremely fast e-mail customer support. Reply times do vary, but are often as quick as within a half an hour. E-mail support is the only support available, and customer service cannot be reached through live chat or telephone.
Deposit and Cashout: Overall Score: 5/5
Deposit methods include eCheck, ePassporte, Moneybookers, UseMyBank, Neteller, Visa, Visa Delta and Visa Electron, MasterCard, Diner's Club International, Maestro, Solo, Money Order, Cashier's Check, Bank Draft, ELV, Wire Transfer, PaySafe and Citadel.
Cashout methods include Visa, Neteller, CentralCoin, FirePay and check.