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PokerStars Review

PokerStars is the world's leader in tournament play, which has its advantages and disadvantages. There are many opportunities for tournament play, but competition is stiff (some of the best online players in the world play here) and ring tables suffer from lack of attention. They sponsor the World Poker Tour Caribbean Adventure, host the World Championship of Online Poker, and are partnered with European Poker Tour.

From our PokerStars Review, you can see that this site has top-notch software that features the ability to upload player images to the poker tables (actual player photo or any other image) to replace generic avatars. They have a superior email support staff, but no telephone or live support. They are also severely lacking in bonuses. They've recently benefited from increased popularity due to having discovered the past two years' World Series of Poker main event winners Chris Moneymaker (2003, $2.5 million) and Greg Raymer (2004, $5 million), both of whom won their seats in the WSOP from a $40 PokerStars satellite tournament.

 
PokerStars OVERALL GRADE
 
Featuring:
Best tournament play online
2nd in ring game traffic
Player stats

Support for note-taking on other players
Frequent Player Points promotion
Player image upload capability
Random seat assignments to prevent player collusion
 
BONUS Information
  Deposit Bonus:
0%
  Sign-up Bonus:
$0
  Referral Bonus:
N/A
 
Ranking Summary
  CATEGORY
Bonuses
Promotions
Software & Graphics
Game Variety/Limits
Traffic
RATING
2/10
8/10
10/10
9/10
9/10
CATEGORY
Competition
Rake
Customer Service
Deposits/Cashouts
Ease of Use

RATING
2/10
8/10
7/10
7/10
10/10
Overall Grade 72%
 
   
 


Bonuses
No sign-up/welcome bonus
No referral bonus
No paid-to-play bonus
Quarterly redeposit bonuses ranging from 10%-25%
No expiration on clearing redeposit bonuses


 
 


Promotions
Frequent Player Points
Frequent freeroll tournaments but no cash prizes, just entry into weekly finals
Players winning satellite tournaments can unregister from target tournament and instead earn "Tournament Dollars" to use in future tournaments or "W Dollars" to use in special events.


 
 


Software & Graphics
Leader in tournament software, fast, reliable
Players can upload their own images to be displayed at the tables
Ensures even balance of players in tourneys
Time Banks allow extra time for tough decisions while preventing tactical slowing down of game
Game stats, player notes, hand histories, flop percentages
Starts tournament players out with $1500 in chips (instead of $800-$1000 industry standard)
"Info" tab allows players to track their position in a tournament
Slower blind increases
Crash recovery

PokerStars Lobby Poker StarsReview Table

 
 


Game Variation & Limits
Hold'em, Omaha (hi & hi/lo), 7 Card Stud (hi & hi/lo)
Internet's best heads-up action
Pot limit and No Limit games available at Play Money tables


 
 


Traffic
Highest at tournament level, 11,000-14,000 at peak times
Ring tables, 3500-4200 at peak times
Limit games catch action from tournament players quick to go out


 
 


Competition
Extremely tough, among the toughest out there, hard to win
Many pros play here
Low flop percentages


 
 


Rake
Lower than industry average
Rake-free micro-limit games ($.02/$.04 & $.05/$.10)
Low limit games, $.25 for every $5 in pot up to $1 max.
High limit games, $.50 at $20 & again at $40 capped at $1 for 2-3 players. $1 at $20 & again at $40 capped at $2 for 4-5 players, additional $1 at $70 capped at $3 for 6+ players
Pot Limit and No-Limit $.05 for every $1,capped at $3


 
 


Customer Service
Excellent email support
Support staff extremely poker savvy and quick to respond
No telephone or live chat support
Ethical management


 
 


Deposits & Cashouts
Deposits - Neteller, Central Coin, FirePay, Visa, Mastercard
Cashout - Neteller, Central Coin, FirePay, Check (NO credit card cashout)
Quick cashouts


 
 


Ease of Use
Great, user-friendly lobby with lots of stats
Qualifying satellite winners automatically registered for target tournaments