Home Poker Stars Review

PokerStars Review

URL: www.pokerstars.com
Founded: 2001
Based: Isle of Man
Registered owner: Rational Entertainment Enterprises, Ltd
Licensed: Isle of Man
Network: Not part of any network
Software verified by: Cigial & BMM International
Accepts US players: Yes
Supported languages: 17
Official forums: No
Customer support: Email (1 hour)


Total Score: 8.6/10

Player activity: 10/10
Promotions: 6/10
Game selection: 10/10
Software: 9/10
Cash games: 8/10
Tournaments: 10/10
Support: 8/10

The good Smile
World's biggest poker room
Awesome tournament program
Excellent VIP program
Great poker game selection
Fast and flexible poker client

The bad Cry
No rakeback
Messy navigation in lobby

First Deposit Bonus
100% Up To $600

Marketing Code: Get your Poker Stars marketing code.
Bonus Code:


Promotions

First Deposit Bonus: 100% up to $600
Bonus ratio: $0.29 bonus per $1 fee/rake
Bonus release: $10
Time limit: 183 days

General promotions
Reload Bonus: Not at the moment of writing
Rakeback: No
Freerolls: Over $100,000 worth of freerolls every month
GTD tournaments: Over $10 million in guaranteeds every month + main events
Satellites to live events: Yes

Races/Leaderboards
Nearly $300,000 worth of single and multi-table tournament leaderboards every month running on both weekly and monthly basis

VIP Program

Point system: VPP & FPP (5 VPP per $1 fee/rake)
Bronze VIP (0-1199 VPP monthly): FPP= 1 x VPP
Silver VIP (1200-2999 VPP monthly): FPP=1.5 x VPP
Gold VIP (3000-7499 VPP monthly): FPP=2 x VPP
Platinum VIP (7500+ VPP monthly): FPP=2.5 x VPP
Supernova VIP (100,000 VPP yearly): FPP=3.5 x VPP
Elite Supernova VIP (1 million VPP yearly): FPP=5 x VPP 
VIP store (spend FPP): Tournament entries, apparel, electronics etc



Poker Games

Standard
Texas Holdem
Omaha
Omaha Hi/Low
7 Card Stud
7 Card Stud Hi/Low
Five Card Draw
2-7 Triple Draw
2-7 Single Draw
Razz
Badugi

Mixed
HORSE
HOSE
Mixed Holdem
Mixed Omaha Hi/Low
8-game Mix
PLH/PLO


Software

General
Developer: Internally developed by owner Rational Entertainment Enterprises, Ltd
Network: Not part of any network
Compatibility: Windows / Mac OS
Client size: 44.5 MB
Flash client for browser play: No
Encryption: SSLv3/TLSv1
Random number generator: TRNG
Verified by: Cigial & BMM International

Lobby
Signup process integrated: Yes
Cashier screen integrated: Yes
Live chat support: No
Change language: Yes

Search
Search for player: Yes
Buddy list: No
Hide from player search: Yes
Bookmark feature for tables/tournaments: No

Table

Seat preference: Yes
Max concurrent tables: 20
Increased time bank when multi-tabling: Yes
Option to show/hide lobby when opening tables: Yes
Option to keep current table in focus until you have acted: Yes
Custom table size: Yes
Save custom table layout: Yes
Remember table positioning: Yes
Predefined table sizes: Only 1 + full screen
Fullscreen mode: Yes
Set all tables to predefined size: Yes (tile)
Cascade tables: Yes
Tile tables: Yes

Analysis
Hand history: Yes
Tournament history: Yes
Hand replay (recording): Yes
Take notes on players: Yes
Chat with players: Yes

Aesthetics
3D graphics: No
Four color deck option: Yes
Change table theme: Yes
Create table theme: Yes
Change card design: Yes
Change avatar: Yes
Custom avatar (global): Yes
Remove avatars: Yes
Switch off animations/sounds: Yes


Cash Games / Ring Games

General features
1on1 (heads-up): Yes
Standard seats: 2, 6, 9 or 10
No-flop, no-drop? (no rake if hand ends pre-flop): Yes
Rake: 5%
Rake cap: $5
Disconnect protection: Yes, unless table says "No All-in".

Time banks
Fixed limit: 25 seconds
No limit/pot limit: 35 seconds
Add-on per 50 continuous hands: +10 seconds
Disconnect time bank: 0-240 seconds depending on pot involvement and size

No Limit Holdem stakes
Fullring (9 seats): $0.01/$0.02 - $200/$400
6-max (6 seats): $0.01/$0.02 - $200/$400
Heads-up (2 seats): $0.25/$0.50 - $25/$50

Fixed Limit Holdem stakes
Fullring (10 seats): $0.02/$0.04 - $1000/$2000
6-max (6 seats): $0.02/$0.04 - $200/$400
Heads-up (2 seats): $0.50/$1 - $10/$20

Lobby info
Players per flop: Yes
Average pot: Yes
Hands per hour: Yes

Tournaments

Special features
Plenty of shootout tournaments
Weekly Sunday Million $1.5 million guaranteed
Weekly Sunday Warmup $750,000 guaranteed
Weekly Sunday Second Chance $250,000 guaranteed
Yearly WCOOP with 45 events and $40 million guaranteed prize pool

Leaderboards
Battle of the Planets SitnGo leaderboard with $52,000 weekly prize pool and an additional $50,000 monthly prize pool for high ranking players
Weekly MTT leader board where winner plays pro in $1000 heads-up game
Monthly MTT leader board with $30,000 in cash prizes and $5000 for winner
Yearly MTT leader board based on top 100 results where winner gets buy-in and accommodation for five PokerStars sponsored live tournaments + spending money, 2nd place gets three such packages and 3rd place gets two.

Hosted main events
PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) - $40 million guaranteed
PokerStars World Cup of Poker (WCP) - $290,000 prize pool
Spring Championship of Online Poker - All Stakes (SCOOP) - $30 million guaranteed
WPT PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) - over $12 million prize pool

Title sponsored tours
PokerStars Asia-Pacific Poker Tour (APPT)
PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT)
PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT)
PokerStars Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT)
PokerStars Russian Poker Tour (RPT)

Hosted exclusive televised live events
Million dollar challenge
Late Night Stars of Poker (Ireland only)
Bounty Stars of Poker (UK only)

Satellites to external events
World Series of Poker

General tournament features
Disconnect protection: Yes
Disconnect time bank: 0-240 seconds depending on tournament type and stage in tournament
Final table deals allowed: Yes
Standard time bank: 25 seconds
Refreshment time bank: 60 seconds
1on1 (Heads-up): Yes
Private tournaments: Can be arranged via email

Tournament info
Payout displayed before tournament: No
Number of participants displayed: Yes
Blind time remaining: Yes
View own position: Yes
All players position: Exiting / top 30 only
Exiting players displayed: Yes

Freerolls
Nationality exclusive freerolls
Monthly $100,000 VIP freerolls with FPP buy-in
Earn seat to weekly $1000 freeroll through freeroll qualifiers

Multi Table Tournaments (MTT)
Standard starting stack: 1500
Standard blind increments: 15 minutes
Entry fee: 10% at average
Standard seats: 9

Satellites
Standard starting stack: 1500
Standard blind increments: 15 minutes
Entry fee: 0-10%
Standard seats: 9

Sit and Go (single table)
Fullring buy-in (9 seats): $1+$0.20 - $2100+$90 
6-max buy-in (6 seats): $1+$0.20 - $1060+$50
Heads-up buy-in (2 seats): $2+$0.20 - $5500+$100
Entry fee: 1.8-20%
Standard starting stack: 1500
Standard blind increments: 10 minutes
Standard seats: 2, 6, 9 or 10