Opening it's doors in September 2001, PokerStars has grown steadily to become the world's largest online poker room.
Home to the World Series of Poker* main event winners from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008 & 2009 - PokerStars takes great pride in the fact that they have so many recent champions. An amazing 20% of players at the 2006 WSOP main event won their seat online through PokerStars satellite tournaments.
As they are such a big site PokerStars is able to offer very generous promotions.
They are without doubt the best site to play at if you wish to qualify for liver poker tournaments. PokerStars runs the European, Asia Pacific, Latin American and Russian Poker Tours and are constantly holding satellites where players can win a trip to their events.
The biggest online tournaments, the World Series of Online Poker and the World Cup of Poker are all held at PokerStars too. And every Sunday there is over $US 1 million guaranteed prizemoney in the the Sunday Million tournament.
When you make your first-ever real money deposit at PokerStars, using the bonus code STARS600 will give you a 100% bonus up to $600. If asked for a 'Marketing Code' - use PSA3320 to make sure you are eligible for the bonus.
To earn this bonus, you will simply need to play on PokerStars and collect the number of Frequent player points equal to 10 times the bonus amount. You have six months after your first deposit to earn all the FPPs you need to cash out your bonus.
The first deposit bonus is pretty small and they rarely offer reload bonuses, but to be honest they don't need to offer big bonuses to attract players - so they don't.
PokerStars offers Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, Razz, 5 Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Badugi, H.O.R.S.E. & H.O.S.E. They have a great range of games and plenty of players to play against.
PokerStars is a standalone poker room, meaning that they are the only brand to use their poker software. Their software is known as being the most stable and scalable online poker platform.
The software is very user friendly and offers many useful features, such as table themes, player avatars, player notes, instant hand histories, table layout schemes, resizable tables, window focus options and a variety of different tournament and game structures.
As it is currently the largest poker site online, you will never have trouble finding a game at PokerStars. The players range in ability from World Champion pros right down to amateurs playing for play money.
Team PokerStars is a group of players that endorse the site and play in live poker tournaments on behalf of the site. The most famous members of Team PokerStars are the 2003, 2004 & 2005 World Series of Poker* Champions - Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer & Joe Hachem. Moneymaker and Raymer actually won their main event entries by playing online satellites at PokerStars as 'Money800' and 'Fossilman' respectively. Look out for them online as they still play at the site often.
The highlight of the tournament schedule at PokerStars is the weekly $1,000,000 guaranteed tournament on Sunday afternoons. It's $215 to buyin or you can win your entry through smaller buyin tournaments that run every day from as little as $2.
They also run satellites to the WSOP, EPT, WPT, Aussie Millions, World Cup of Poker, and World Championship of Online poker.
PokerStars simply has the best tournament offerings on the internet, hence their full 5/5 stars rating in this category. At any time of the day you can play a tournament or sit & go on PokerStars in any of the games they spread.
PokerStars runs a VIP club that rewards players as they progress through the various tiers of membership. You can become a bronze, silver, gold or platinum star before reaching the Supernova and Supernova elite levels.
As you earn Frequent Player Points, you become eligible for greater VIP rewards. There are freerolls and many other giveaways for VIP members and FPP can be used to buy in directly to satellite tournaments.
If you win a live poker tournament seat at PokerStars, they will also pay for your accomodation if you choose to wear their logo apparel in the event, which is a nice change to some sites that simply insist that you wear their gear.
The PokerStars cashier is easy to use, and they offer NETeller, ePassporte, Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Western Union, Bank Transfer, PaySafeCard, Online Bank Transfer, Solo, Delta, Visa Electron, Instant eChecks and Money Order/Cashier's Check.
I don't know if it's just me, but cashouts used to be quicker. It's currently taking about 48 hours to process a withdrawal to eWallets, which is a little slow, but you can be guaranteed you will always receive your cashout.
24/7 support is offered via email ([email protected]). The support team is always very friendly and know more about poker than most players. PokerStars has support offices in many locations around the world and replies are quick and helpful.
There's no phone support or live chat, but I'm still giving them 4.5 stars as their email support is very good.
PokerStars is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada, one of the world's leading gaming regulatory authorities. They go into great detail about the shuffling algorithm and security policies on the PokerStars website.
We've met many PokerStars staff and pro players and they seem to have a very loyal culture, and are all very happy to be a part of the PokerStars family. Based on the people we have met and the company's reputation in the industry, we award PokerStars the maximum 4.5 management & integrity stars for a privately held company.
PokerStars has done a great job of improving their software recently, adding an Apple Mac version and giving their graphics an updated, more modern feel.
Apart from having such a small first deposit bonus, there's really not much they need to improve!
PokerStars is the best room for serious players, but is also a good place to learn. Everyone who likes to play online poker should have a PokerStars account.
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|Management & Integrity|