POKERSTARS

REVIEW

PokerStars is the world’s largest poker site. It has had its main focus on tournaments since day 1 in 2001, and the site’s dominant position can probably, to a large extent, be explained by the enormous success that many of their online satellite qualifiers have had in the World Series of Poker, like Chris Moneymaker and Greg “Fossilman” Raymer. PokerStars was originally a Costa Rican company, Rational Enterprises, where the majority was owned by the Scheinberg family of Israel. The company was subsequently moved to the Isle of Man.

PokerStars has the biggest tournaments, including but not limited to the well-known Sunday Million, they have the most tournaments, and they have the biggest tournament variety both when it comes to tournament structure (turbo tournaments, deepstack tournaments, shootout tournaments, freezout tournaments, rebuy tournaments, etc.) and tournament types (HORSE tournaments, 7 Card Stud tournaments, Omaha tournaments, Omaha Hi/Lo tournaments, Five Card Draw tournaments, 2-7 Triple Draw tournaments, 2-7 Single Draw tournaments, Razz tournaments, 8-Game Mix tournaments and Badugi tournaments). PokerStars also offers an extremely large variety of satellite tournaments, so there is no coincidence that online PokerStars satellite tournament qualifiers almost without exceptions are well represented at all large live event tournament final tables around the globe. In addition to all the scheduled multi-table tournaments, PokerStars also offers Sit&Go;’s with as many as 180 and 360 players. Tournaments with different blind structures have been introduced, e.g. Action Hour rebuy tournaments where the blinds are reset after one hour and big antes tournaments where antes are put into play already at level 1. The xRxA tournaments are also unique to PokerStars, where the number of allowed rebuys and addons is mixed up.

The PokerStars software includes most desirable features: Extensive tournament stats, many options to choose from, whether it is layout, seating, sounds or lobby view, and late registration is available, along with an easy accessible hand history function. There is a tournament time bank available for when you have to make those important decisions, and it’s easy to multi-table. The payout structure is not steep, making it easier to get “in the money”, but the payout ladder progresses slower than what you might be used to. PokerStars was among the first to introduce synchronized breaks.

You will receive many promotional newsletters and pop-ups when playing at PokerStars, and you can get a 100% first deposit bonus up to $600. There are also frequent possibilities for reload bonuses, which are often offered in relation with big events like the WCOOP – the biggest online poker tournament event. American players are accepted and makes up the majority of players on the site, but PokerStars has seen tremendous growth in Europe, Australia and Asia, meaning there is a tournament for all preferences starting 24 hours a day.

PokerStars does not offer phone nor live support, but their email support is fast and reliable. The rake is lower than at most sites, but rakeback is not offered. Loyalty is rewarded with Frequent Player Points (FPP) based on your VIP status. Points can be used in many tournaments and the PokerStars VIP shop is larger than most

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