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PokerStars Review

PokerStars

PokerStars is the most popular online poker site in the world. Due to the volume it generates, there are a wide variety of poker games available for cash and tournament players, including Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha High-Low, Stud, Stud High-Low, Razz, Five-Card Draw, 2-7 Lowball, Badugi, and Eight-Game.

Upcoming Tournaments

 

pokerstars

$11 NL Hold'em ... - $10 starts in 30 secs

pokerstars

$10.50 NL Hold'em ... - $10 starts in 30 secs

pokerstars

$27 NL Hold'em ... - $25 starts in 15 mins

pokerstars

$27 NL Hold'em ... - $26 starts in 15 mins

pokerstars

$11 NL Hold'em ... - $10 starts in 15 mins

pokerstars

$77 NLHE [6-Max, ... - $33 starts in 23 mins

pokerstars

$27.50 NL Hold'em ... - $25 starts in 30 mins

pokerstars

$55 NL Hold'em ... - $50 starts in 30 mins

pokerstars

$10.20 NL Hold'em ... - $10 starts in 30 mins

pokerstars

$77 NLHE [6-Max, ... - $33 starts in 33 mins
 
 

Full PokerStars Review

 
  • PokerStars Software


    PokerStars has a variety of themes you can utilize and an extensive filtering system is available to easily find the game or tournament of your choice. Like many sites, players can upload a customized avatar. Sending money to another player is also easily done within the interface. Hand and tournament histories can be e-mailed to you or stored on your hard drive, which is very useful to those who utilize a HUD.

    PokerStars also has a Home Game feature, where you can have your own private poker club online. You can easily invite other members into your club and run cash and play money tournaments, as well as cash games, in any poker format available.

    Player Competition


    While on the lower stakes, player competition can be soft. As you move up to mid- and high-stakes, there are easier cash, SNG, and tournament games to be found on other networks. Most tournament players, though, will want to include PokerStars in the sites they play on due to the large guarantees many of its tournaments generate for low-, mid-, and high-limit players in spite of the competition being among the toughest online.

    Security and Ethics


    PokerStars’ fraud department is known to be very diligent in catching people who collude, cheat, or multi-account. The site also cracks down hard on people using bots or artificial intelligence and rigorously enforces its prohibited software list. To be extra secure with your funds, you can buy an RSA token in PokerStars’ VIP Store that randomly generates a six-digit encrypted number to use when logging onto the site along with your password and four-digit pin number.

    Customer Support


    The only way to contact customer support is via e-mail, unlike other sites that allow you to contact them via telephone and internet chat. Even though e-mail is the only method, PokerStars responds to customers on a timely basis on all support questions.

    Banking


    PokerStars allows most customers to deposit via credit card, e-wallet, bank transfer, check, and Western Union. Withdrawal options include all of the deposit options along with a check sent by mail. Cashouts are always done within a few days of requesting then, provided that the site’s security department has verified your documents.

    Promotions


    For an initial deposit, PokerStars offers a 100% bonus up to $600. The bonus is paid in $10 increments and you have 90 days to complete it. When completed, new customers receive approximately 32% back on their rake paid. Periodically throughout the year, PokerStars offers reload bonuses similar to the initial deposit bonus. While these bonuses are not as frequent as on other sites, they are usually not difficult to earn when offered.

    PokerStars has a tiered system of rewarding its players. Depending on which tier is achieved, there are weekly, monthly, and quarterly freerolls valued at $30,000, $100,000, and $1 million, respectively.

    Players receive Frequent Player Points based on how much rake they contribute during a month and year. FPPs can be used in the VIP Store to purchase a variety of items, including clothing, tournament tickets, and cash bonuses. The value of the points compared to the rake you pay in the VIP Store can be worth anywhere from 8% to 44%. On top of this, PokerStars offers annual cash bonuses for milestones achieved.

    The reward system is not as good as other sites unless you plan to put in significant volume, as it is very difficult to achieve the higher tiers of the VIP program.

    For those players who excel in SNGs, there is a weekly contest called the Battle of the Planets where the top finishers in a variety of buy-in levels receive a cash bonus and a ticket into a monthly tournament. Likewise, for scheduled tournament players, there are monthly and annual leaderboards where the winners play in freeroll tournaments for cash prizes.

    Flagship Tournaments


    There are two special series held every year. The Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) is held in April and May and tournaments are offered in low, medium, and high buy-in levels. The PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) runs in September and includes buy-ins ranging from $109 to $10,300.

    When the SCOOP and WCOOP are not running, PokerStars has a weekly Sunday Million at 2:30pm ET with a $215 buy-in that always exceeds its guarantee. At 11:00am ET on Sundays, PokerStars runs the Warm-Up, a $500,000 guaranteed tournament with a $215 buy-in that also constantly exceeds its guarantee.

    Overall Review


    PokerStars is the industry leader in software, security, customer support, and variety of poker games available. The network’s biggest weaknesses are the difficulty to achieve decent rewards in the VIP program as well as the tough competition in the mid- and high-stakes games.

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Premier Regularly Scheduled Tournaments

Name Frequency Buy-In Notes Time -ET
Sunday Million Weekly $215 Major 4:30 PM
Afternoon 109R Daily $109 Rebuy 2:00 PM
Nightly 109R Daily $109 Rebuy 8:00 PM
Hundred Grand Daily $162 9:00 PM
Ninety Grand Daily $55 3:00 PM
Wed 1/4 million Weekly $320 9:00 PM
Super Tuesday Weekly $1,050 9:00 PM
Sunday Warm-Up Weekly $215 Major 1:00 PM
Saturday 150k Weekly $320 1:00 PM
Sunday 109r Weekly $109 Rebuy 2:00 PM
Sunday 500 Weekly $530 Major 5:30 PM
Sunday 2nd Chance Weekly $215 6:30 PM
Sunday 215R Weekly $215 Rebuy 8:00 PM

Recent Large Cashes By P5ers

Cashes Larger Than: $10,000 View More

Positive

  • Largest prizepools
  • Top notch support
  • Excellent VIP program

Negative

  • Solid players in some games
  • Low effective rakeback for casual players
  • Tourney fields can be too big

PokerStars Info

Name:
PokerStars
Established:
2000
Country:
Isle of Man
Network:
PokerStars
Auditor:
PWC
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29,723.43 163rd 250.03