The Quick Summary
PokerStars sets the standard for poker rooms across the internet: right now in the world of Online Gaming there is PokerStars and then there is everybody else. PokerStars alone represents between 20-40% of the total business in the entire online gaming industry.
It boasts a top notch security team, very strong player friendly software and is more than twice as popular as the most popular network online. Remember that PokerStars is more than twice as popular as the most popular network (iPoker) and PokerStars is not even part of a network itself! PokerStars is the best place to play poker online.
Popularity: 10 of 10 – Ridiculous
As of July 1, 2008 at 2 pm EST there were 22,831 cash game players alone on PokerStars. That was more than Full Tilt, all skins on the iPoker Network and Party Poker combined. Taking into account the many play money players – PokerStars had more than 120,000 active players at 2 pm EST on July 1 – a jaw-dropping number, unparalleled in the poker world.
Security: 9 of 10 – Excellent
PokerStars is also at the top of the heap in terms of security. A huge security team is monitoring every cash withdrawal, any suspicious play (of which there is very little) and most importantly – PokerStars is one of the few sites that puts every customer through an official age verification process which cuts way down on fraudulent accounts and stolen credit cards. The only reason that PokerStars does not receive a 10 is the “the V0id” controversy in the 2007 World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP.) Briefly, the winner of the 2007 WCOOP Main Event (and more than $1 million USD) was found to cheating and disqualified. With that notable exception aside – the security is flawless.
Player Competition: 10 of 10 – As Good As it Gets
Again, PokerStars is so enormously popular that you can find any game at any stakes with any level of player at any hour of any day that you’d like. PokerStars also offers more game variations than just about every other site with: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha-8, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud Hi/lo, Razz, H.O.R.S.E., Five Card Draw and Deuce to Seven Triple Draw. Its stable of resident pros is extremely impressive and its annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is the top annual online poker tournament in the world.
Site Software: 9 of 10 – Excellent
PokerStars is built for players. It was amongst the first sites to offer fully resizable tables for grinders to take full advantage of multi-tabling. Its lobby is functional, informative and appealing. There are rarely any glitches in the software and if one should arise, its outstanding customer support team will be quick to resolve any issue. The only reason that PokerStars does not receive a 10 is its actual table graphics. The table is pleasant enough to look at but there are no player avatars, and while not having avatars has no bearing on the actual gameplay, it would be nice to see something in your opponent’s places.
Customer Support: 9 of 10 – Excellent
Customer Support at PokerStars is strong but limited. There are a number of email addresses listed on the homepage which operate 24/7 and send back an informative response within 4 hours. And while there is no 24/7 phone service, customers are able to email and request a telephone correspondence (either in Spanish or English.)
Company Ethics: 9 of 10 – Excellent
PokerStars got to the top of the online poker world by creating a great environment for the player. From its resizable tables to its 14 languages to its continued acceptance of US customers – PokerStars wants the customer to be happy. PokerStars is a high-class organization.
Site Promotions: 6 of 10 – Good
Well, everyone has their Achilles heel – bonuses are PokerStars. While they do have a few solid sign-up bonuses and are able to run oodles of freerolls and satellites, PokerStars is not tops in terms of free money. It’s FPP (frequent player program) is average at best and its reload bonuses aren’t great either. All that said, there are bonuses out there for PokerStars and some of them are pretty good, but the bonuses fall short compared to the very high standard PokerStars sets for itself.
Overall Review: 8.85 of 10 – The Best
Final Result: We give PokerStars a final overall score of 8.85 out of 10.