PokerStars Review 2013
PokerStars is the world´s largest poker site – a position it has held since American players were “banned” from playing online in 2006, and a position it still maintains today after withdrawing from the US market in April 2011. PokerStars offers its players the opportunity to win the biggest prizes in online poker, the widest choice of games, a superb reward program and satellites into some of the most prestigious live poker events in the UK.
Please note that PokerStars is no longer accepting players from the US. If you are from the US, check our list of poker sites accepting US players.
PokerStars Welcome Bonus
There is so much going on at PokerStars that one might neglect to overlook the Welcome Bonus offered for new players. PokerStars offer a 100% match bonus up to $600.00 (£390.00 if you open an account in sterling) for your first three deposits within a 90 day period and frequently offer reload bonuses as part of its promotions program. Players have a full six months to redeem the PokerStars Welcome Bonus – which is probably how long it will take you to absorb all the offers that are available!
Clearing Your PokerStars Welcome Bonus
The PokerStars Welcome Bonuses (and all future reload bonuses) are paid into your account in increments of $10.00 every time you collect 170 “Frequent Player Points” (FPPs). FPPs are awarded at a rate of 5.5 per dollar deducted from the rake in a cash ring game or paid in tournament fees. Please note however that PokerStars does not distribute FFPs according to the contribution you make to the pot, but divides the total number of FPPs awarded in a hand equally between each player dealt into the hand – whether they fold pre-flop or not.
Advice for Clearing Your PokerStars Welcome Bonus
A rake is only deducted from a pot when the flop is seen. So, if a player raises a pot pre-flop – and all the other players fold – no rake is deducted from the pot and no FPPs are awarded. This system favours tight-aggressive players who would not normally earn as many poker points as other players, so it is recommended that if you are prioritising your PokerStars bonus, you play on Flop Limit Hold´em tables (where everybody tries to see the flop as cheaply as possible) and Omaha Hi/Lo games which offer two pots and a higher percentage of players involved in each hand.
PokerStars Variety of Games
One of the main attractions of PokerStars is that it enables poker players of every standard to try their hand at different games. As well as the different varieties of Texas Hold´em poker, players can choose from Omaha, Stud, Razz, Badugi, 5 Card Draw, 2-7 Lowball and mixed poker games (such as H.O.R.S.E. and 8-Game) where players´ knowledge of different poker disciplines is put to the test. It may be that you are attracted to the site to play one specific type of game, and discover that your strengths lie elsewhere!
PokerStars has the most comprehensive and rewarding freeroll program of any online poker site. Massive multi table freeroll games kick off every forty minutes, with players finishing within the top eight tables of each qualifying for a $2,000 freeroll final each weekend. Further freeroll opportunities exist with the Pokerschool Skill League, in which players can win a share of $44,000 each month by performing well in the Skill League freerolls.
As well as their generous freeroll program, PokerStars offer the opportunity to qualify for live events by using the FPPs you saved up to redeem your Welcome Bonus to enter qualifiers for major live poker events. The one everybody wants to get into is the World Series of Poker, but if you have left it too late to get involved this year, why not aim for a package to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, or one of a number of European Poker Tour events that are sponsored by PokerStars. There is also a steps program with valuable rewards (just 8 FPPs to enter) and guaranteed cash tournaments with a buy-in of just 10 FPPs (less than $2.00 rake!).
PokerStars online tournaments offer life-changing sums of money. Their Sunday Series alone is worth more than $2.5 million each week, and their Spring Cup of Online Poker and World Championship of Online Poker tournaments series make millionaires of their winners. Multi table tournaments with huge guaranteed prizes are available every day, and many are now timed in order to make them more convenient to European poker players.
If you want the opportunity to make some serious money playing poker, PokerStars should be your first choice. They offer the best choice of games, the most generous freeroll programs, the most valuable multi table poker tournaments and a superb reward scheme which enables loyal players to exchange Frequent Player Points for tournament entries, gifts and cash.
Whereas some poker sites displayed an outrageous lack of consideration for their players after “Black Friday”, PokerStars emerged with integrity and honour and continue to offer a secure service to poker players with a choice of banking options and a fast withdrawal service. The volume of players enjoying their award-winning software is testament to the success enjoyed by the site – success that you can share in too!