PokerStars Review - www.PokerStars.com
PokerStars was created in 2002 and has since become the number one choice of online poker for most players. Catering to over 100,000 players daily, the poker room has a packed tournament schedule which includes a weekly $750K guaranteed and a $1.5 million dollar guaranteed. PokerStars supports both Mac and Windows compatible software in addition to offering over a dozen different languages with a full in house support team to assist each one. They are home to three World Series of Poker champions and endorse more than 20 of the top names including Daniel Negreanu, Berry Greenstein and Isabelle Mercier. A few of the main features include a monthly $500,000 freeroll, a special VIP player rewards program and two separate tournament leaderboard. PokerStars does accept US players.
Earlier this year, PokerStars revamped their entire bonus system starting with the welcome offer. When signing up for Pokerstars you will need to use the Pokerstars Marketing Code “BRB500” to receive the 100% match bonus up to $600. As of to date this is the largest first deposit bonus the poker room is offering. In addition to the signup bonus you will also receive entry into the new player freerolls and enrolment into their exclusive VIP rewards program. The bonus will be held in your account until you have cleared the play through requirements. Once this has been done, Pokerstars will begin to release your bonus in $10 increments. To receive the first $10 you will need to earn at least 100 frequent player points. The points are distributed in all real money games with ring games providing up to 3 points and tournaments awarding up to 5 points for every $1 paid in fees. A player a $50 bonus will need to earn a total of 500 FPP’s to receive the full amount..
PokerStars provides a wide selection of ring games available for real money or free play within the same room. Currently you will have the choice between Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi Lo, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi Lo, 5 Card Draw, 2 – 7 Triple Lowball, Razz, HORSE, and HOSE. Each of the games is available in their respective limits with Pot Limit, No Limit and Fixed Limit available and you will find stakes starting at the ultra micro levels of $0.01/$0.02 up to $200/$400 NL. Finding a game will never be an issue with the poker room attracting well over 100,000 players during peak hours. Players should note the viewed flop percentage across most games, even the low limit tables is significantly less than what you would expect. On average the low limit games have an overall average of 46% seeing the flop where as the higher limits can drop down to the mid 30’s. Table selection is key in this room. PokerStars does take a 5% rake which is capped at $5 per hand.
The tournament schedule is rated first class with various freerolls and guarantees scheduled throughout the day. At any hour you will be able to login and find a tournament ready to start and each of the above variations is supported in tournament format. The buyins can range from $1 up to a few thousand depending on the event and the poker room consistently provides promotions for their players. By far the most anticipated event held at PokerStars is their WCOOP series, with the 2008 World Championship of Online Poker guaranteeing $30,000,000 throughout the series. In addition to their own signature events players will have the opportunity to play alongside some of the pros at Team Pokerstars through qualifiers and satellites to events like the WSOP, EPT and APPT. Tournament players will also be given two tournament leader boards to choose from, with a regular MTT leaderboard offering weekly, monthly and yearly prizes in addition to the new Battle of the Planets which features a high and low limit competition. Last but not least the Sit and Go lobby provides games in each of the variations supported by Pokerstars with buyins ranging from $1 up to a few thousand. The SNG support single table, multi-table, shootouts, heads-up and even Step tournaments to win your seat to a major event.
The software used by Pokerstars is proprietary and was created exclusively for them. Once downloaded, you will notice the lobby to provide a very easy and sleek look. All of your games are categorized into a simple to use tab menu which also features a custom games filter. This will allow you to quickly select which games you are interested in and filter out those that do not meet your criteria. The lobby includes all your vital stats in addition to your main options in the top menu. This includes language options, find a friend, player transfers, advanced sit and go options and preferred seating among others. The tables can be customized using personalized avatars and backgrounds, which can be uploaded from your pc. You will have access to note taking, pre-flop and post flop stats as well as hand histories. Pokerstars is compatible with PokerTracker and other software and provides a separate software package for Mac players.
The support team is one of the best in the industry and as of right now the only method for contacting Pokerstars is through email. There are two departments set up – one for general enquires and the other for players having difficulty with the payment options. Should you need assistance with the payment processors in the cashier, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your phone number and one of the support reps will call you to assist you in setting up a method or making a payment.
PokerStars supports multiple payment options which will vary from country to country. US payments are accepted and the most convenient options for a US player are the eChecks. Withdrawals will always be credited back to the original method used and the normal processing time is within 24 – 48 hours from your initial request. Current payment options include; Neteller, Diners Club, Solo, VISA / VISA Delta / VISA Electron / Gift and Prepaid VISA / MasterCard, Webmoney, eChecks, ELV, Online bank transfer, money orders, Western Union, ClickandBuy, eWalletXpress, Eco Card, QuickTender, and Moneybookers.