Poker Stars is the world’s largest online poker room, and for good reason. It offers great software, a huge variety of cash games, and is the undisputed leader for online poker tournaments.
The site has been popular for many years but it’s huge growth in recent years was helped enormously by the publicity they generated after seeing Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer, and then Joseph Hachem win the WSOP main event in 2003, 2004, and 2005 – they all qualified via PokerStars and have since become its official ambassadors. Poker Stars continues to send huge numbers of players to the WSOP main event each year, more than all the other online poker sites put together.
Poker Stars have not always been the biggest online poker room. The breakthrough occurred when they decided to allow U.S. players to continue playing at the site after the U.S. legislation (UIGEA). It was this decision that enabled them to become the largest online poker room, taking over from Party Poker – who pulled out of the U.S. market, along with many other online poker rooms.
Please note: As of 15th April 2011, PokerStars no longer accepts players from the United States.
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PRO’S & CON’S
World’s largest online room
Huge choice of games
Best Sit & Go selection
Very reliable software
Most trusted poker site
Only offers email support
POKER STARS REVIEW:
Software & Features
The PokerStars software is generally nice and quick, and it runs very smoothly. The lobby area at PokerStars is nice and clean, and very easy to navigate. With the help of the tab system in the lobby area and the additional filters which remove any unwanted games from view, finding a suitable game of poker is really easy and straightforward at PokerStars.
As for the table software, one of the great features of PokerStars is the ability to upload your very own avatar image. You can upload an image of yourself or your pet dog (there are other options too!). It doesn’t affect the actual poker, but it does make it a little bit more interesting than the usual generic avatar images used on most of the other online poker rooms. It’s a nice touch which separates PokerStars from the rest. Of course, if you don’t like the avatars you can simply turn them off.
PokerStars were one of the first online poker rooms to allow you to resize the table windows. You can also change the default theme of the poker tables, which is a bit ugly. There are a few different themes to choose from, and the “Hyper-Simple” and “Black” themes are very nice. The table themes are quick to install (from the lobby select view > table themes) and are good if you’re a little bored with the default look and feel.
One feature not to be overlooked is the hand replayer tool, which is instantly available directly from the playing table. This very handy tool replays previous hands so you can re-live that awful bad beat over and over again, or take pride in how well you played those pocket rockets. Oh and if you get to a showdown situation with a player and they then muck their cards, you can use the hand replay tool to see what their cards were. Obviously it’ll only show you an opponent’s cards at showdown situations where they called or you called them, and they then mucked. In the past you’d have to look in the hand history logs, but now it’s just a mouse click away.
Player Traffic / Ease of Competition
It’s often said that there are too many good poker players at PokerStars and not enough fish. Of course the standards vary substantially depending upon the buy in level, but that’s the same anywhere. While there are probably a greater share of better and more aggressive players at PokerStars than on other sites, this status is somewhat exaggerated. There are plenty or really bad poker players to be found at PokerStars.
Find them today: Play at PokerStars
Cash Game Action
PokerStars is known for its great tournament selections, but it should also be pointed out that they also have the highest number of cash game players. There is a huge choice of games to suit all budgets and unl6ike other online poker rooms you rarely have to wait for a decent game. You can just scan the games offered and usually jump straight in.
As expected, there are many hold’em ring games running at all levels. But what separates PokerStars from the rest is the sheer variety of games on offer. There are plenty of Omaha and stud games running at all times, including Hi/Lo and razz variations. There are also draw games on offer such as 5 card draw which is fairly popular, although the 2-7 single/triple draw variations don’t attract many players. If this isn’t enough, there are also mixed games on offer, including: HORSE, HOSE, and 8-game. There’s also a healthy selection of Badugi games.
If you get bored of hold’em and you like playing these poker variations then PokerStars is definitely the place to be. No other site comes close to offering such a variety of cash games to suit all bankrolls. However, if you’re predominantly a hold’em cash game player, then you’ll probably notice that the games at PokerStars are a little tougher to beat than most. The players at PokerStars are more aggressive than at other sites, even in the low to medium stakes. Of course, if you’re a good cash game player and can find a suitable table then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do well here – but it should be said that there are easier pickings elsewhere!
Choose your game: Sign up to PokerStars
Multi-Table Tourneys (MTTs)
PokerStars is the undisputed king of poker tournaments. There are multi table tournaments (MTT) for all budgets and tastes, drawing huge numbers of players and massive prize pools. Each Sunday they host the daddy of all online poker tournaments – the “Sunday Million”, a (you guessed it) $1,000,000 guaranteed tourney. You can buy in direct for $215 or try your luck in the numerous satellites for this event. There’s also a “Sunday Warm Up”, with a $750k guaranteed prize pool, in addition to a huge number of daily scheduled MTTs with big guarantees and large fields. There is quite literally something for everyone!
As mentioned earlier, PokerStars sends more players to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) than all the other online poker sites put together. So it’s no surprise to find a large amount of WSOP satellites on offer. But it’s not just the WSOP, as you’ll also find satellites for a whole host of other live poker events such as the European Poker Tour (EPT), and the Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT).
If big live poker events aren’t you’re thing then PokerStars also play host to the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), which first started in 2002 and has gone from strength to strength. So as you can see, Poker Stars is the undisputed king of poker tournaments.
Take your seat for glory: Start playing at Poker Stars
Sit & Go (SNG) Selection
If you don’t fancy the long slog of MTTs then there is a huge choice of Sit &Go tournaments to be found at Poker Stars. If you’re a SNG specialist then you’ll absolutely love PokerStars. They have SNGs for all budgets and cover many different formats. You can be waiting around for a game to start at other online poker rooms – but not with PokerStars. There are always a huge number of games starting and sometimes you have to be very quick with the click or you momentarily miss out. But don’t worry; another game soon starts up – usually within seconds. This kind of action is unrivalled anywhere!
Get in on the action: Join Poker Stars
Bonuses / Promotion
PokerStars now offer a first time deposit bonus of 100% up to $600. To get this bonus sign up to PokerStars and use the marketing code POKEROLOGY. When you are asked for a bonus code then enter STARS600. The other good news is that you can claim the bonus by making up to three deposits in total, and you have 6 months in which to earn the full bonus amount. Although you must use the bonus code STARS600 within 60 days of the first deposit. The bonus is released in $10 increments and has a clearance rate of 17 VPP per $1 of bonus.
PokerStars doesn’t offer rakeback. Instead they have a very competitive VIP program which offers excellent rewards to its loyal customers. You can earn FPP credits in cash games and for entering tournaments. Earning FPP credits is fairly easy at PokerStars if you play regularly. You can use your FPP credits to enter tournaments, buy merchandise from their store, or convert them to cash payouts. If you play often enough at PokerStars the VIP rewards can easily rival rakeback deals found at other sites. So don’t dismiss it just because it’s not labelled as rakeback. It rewards the loyal customers and is completely transparent – something other online poker rooms could learn from.
Claim your 100% sign up bonus: Visit Poker Stars (enter marketing code: POKEROLOGY)
This is another area which I think PokerStars excels at. The customer support at PokerStars has always been of a very high standard. The only downside is they only offer support via email. It would be better if they also had a live support system like other online poker rooms. However, when the email support at PokerStars is without doubt the fastest in the industry. They usually reply within minutes, which is excellent service. The PokerStars support team also know their poker and are very well trained, which just gives you a greater sense of security and satisfaction.
PokerStars Sign Up Instructions
Follow these 3 simple steps to sign-up to PokerStars and claim your 100% first time deposit bonus of up to $600.
STEP #1 – DOWNLOAD THE SOFTWARE
To download and sign up for our offer on PokerStars, click on the link below or use this link. It will take you to the PokerStars website. There you just have to follow the instructions to download and install the software.
When you are finished with the installation of the software, start PokerStars.
Click on the button “Join Now” in the menu to the right to register your new account.
A new window will be opened. Fill in all the information there to complete the registration for your PokerStars account.
STEP #2 – CREATE AN ACCOUNT
Once you have installed the PokerStars software the lobby area will launch. Select:
Account > Create Acccount..
Follow the instructions, choose a username and enter your details. When asked “How did you find out about PokerStars?” select ‘Website’ and enter Pokerology.com in the first text box. When asked to enter a marketing code enter ‘POKEROLOGY’. As shown here:
STEP #3 – LET US KNOW YOU SIGNED UP
The following form is optional, but we encourage you to let us know that you signed up to PokerStars via Pokerology.com.