Not open to US players
Striking features at PokerStars?
- Unbeatable selection of tournaments and games
- Fast-paced Zoom Poker available for action junkies
- New up to £400 bonus for UK players. Use bonus code STARS400.
- Monthly $1k freerolls exclusively for PokerListings players
PokerStars offers massive volume in cash games and tournaments 24 hours a day, and it is the largest poker site in the world. With an unmatched selection and sit-and-gos at all stakes starting up virtually every second, it sets the standard in the industry for tournaments.
The software offers fast play, high reliability, great multi-table options and lots of customization – it pretty much sets the bar for rest of the industry. In addition PokerStars has several features in its software that you won’t find anywhere else including private HomeGames and Time Tourneys.
If you’re looking for a downside, though, it’s probably the extremely competitive environment out there. This is as a result of the huge player base. You are certain to find some fierce competition if you enter into a wrong game.
PokerStars is for you in case you like more obscure poker variations – Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven-Card Stud in all versions, H.O.R.S.E., H.O.S.E., 2-7 Triple Draw, Five-Card Draw, Razz, 2-7 Single Draw Lowball, Badugi, 8-Game, Mixed Hold’em and Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo.
PokerStars also has a superior loyalty program and becoming a Supernova player is a status that is coveted throughout the online poker community.
The bottom line is – PokerStars is one of the best poker sites in the world and if the competition wasn’t so tough at the higher stakes, it would be tough not to rank PokerStars higher.
The doors are open to anyone outside of the U.S as PokerStars was forced out of the U.S in 2011. It remains one of the biggest online poker sites in the world.
It shows 22500 ring-game players at peak hours and 155000 tournament players at peak hours under the real-money player statistics as of March 2015.
PokerStars offers loyal players a great loyalty program with two types of points earned for real-money play:
1) VIP player points (VPPs)
2) Frequent Player Points (FPPs)
VPPs determine your VIP level and can’t be exchanged for cash or prizes. FPPs can be used to buy merch, electronics, etc. in the store, can be turned into cash or used to play in special points tournaments though. The higher your VIP level, the faster your FPP accumulation, the better perks you get, etc.
At just 750 points players achieve Silverstar status and it’s possible to progress all the way to Supernova Elite – one of the most highly sought after achievements in online poker world. The PokerStars VIP program is one of the best in the industry and progressing through the various status levels awards players cash back, exclusive freerolls and frequent player points multipliers.
1-3 FPPs are awarded per raked real-money hand depending on total rake; 5 FPPs are awarded for each $1 in tournament fees.
Tournaments & Freerolls
PokerStars is the place to go for tournaments as it the biggest online poker site in the world and there is no doubt about this fact. Anyone looking for a tournament will find one that suits both his wallet and his game preference as it is ensured because of the high traffic volume.
The smaller buy-in tournaments tend to be quite loose and juicy, and most events have low to medium buy-ins and regularly run. There are plenty of $500 or more buy-in tournaments for the high-stakes players, with prize pools often passing the $1 million mark. The bigger buy-in events are not very easy to win or cash in, as those tend to have some very stiff competition and require lots of character as well as experience on the part of the players playing therein.
Thankfully, the opposite is true for the smaller buy-in tournaments offered. You can see thousands of beginners battling it out, making some of the small guaranteed events very profitable for skilled players. For example PokerStars runs 45-player and 180-player multi-table sit-and-gos that get running whenever they have enough players – generally, they start up every few minutes, so you never have to wait long. These are some of the softest tournaments on the Web.
PokerStars also hosts the biggest guaranteed tournaments in the world that includes the renowned PokerStars Sunday Million. The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) organized by PokerStars are for those looking for the ultimate in online poker tournament series. Each one has offered a staggering $30 million guarantee in the past with the main events awarding over $1 million to first place.
In addition to guaranteed tournaments, PokerStars runs the most satellite tournaments to major live and online poker events, like the World Series of Poker, the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, Latin America Poker Tour and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, to name just a few.
Based on player feedback, PokerStars is always expanding its tournament offerings. The “Time Tourneys” are some of its latest additions, in which the tournament goes for a set amount of time (min: 15 minutes, max: 180 minutes) and then players are paid based on their finishing stack size. In many ways the Time Tourneys have more in common with cash games.
With a steady inflow of thousands of new players daily – there’s never a problem finding suitable competition for all skill levels, though the tournament player quality varies more than the ring games and tends to be much softer. However, ring games at the higher limits tend to be pretty tough at PokerStars.
Overall, the competition is of average toughness in the ring games and softer in most of the tournaments. PokerStars does however recommend players think twice before trying to take on the highest stakes, since they are ruled by some very talented and aggressive players.
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