Pokerstars is essentially the online poker gaming mecca.  It’s currently the largest poker room on the planet which sports huge, constant action in all stakes and across a wide variety of tournament and cash game poker.  It’s software is some of the sexiest in the industry, and forms the backbone of a poker site sponsoring some of the worlds best players, including Greg Raymer, and two of my personal favourites…Daniel Negreanu and Joe Hachem.  Is everything good at Pokerstars?  Let’s take a look at a detailed breakdown.

POKERSTARS REVIEW

OVERALL RATING – 9/10

FISH FACTOR – 5/10

CASH GAMES – 9/10

TOURNAMENTS – 9/10

SOFTWARE – 9/10

SUPPORT – 8/10

BONUS – 7/10

MAIN FEATURES:Worlds largest tournament siteAccepts U.S. players

$1.5 Million guaranteed Sunday tournament

Massive range of SnG and daily tournament options.

New eChecks option for instant deposits and withdrawals

Mac-compatible

$360k in freerolls leanding up to WSOP main event

Regular satelites to major tournaments

Cash Games
With the sheer volume of members at Pokerstars you’ll simply never have to wait to find a table at your chosen limit.  This holds true up until you approach $50/100 stakes and even then there is almost always a table or three going strong no matter what the time of day.  The place is simply rife with action popping middle to lower stakes games in both limit and no-limit holdem, and there is an admirable selection of poker variants to keep the old guard happy.  It’s not a question of can you play, it’s a question of what do you want to play.  The games offered are Limit and No-Limit Texas Hold’em as well as both Hi and Hi-Lo versions of Omaha and Seven-Card Stud. You’ll also find No-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo games, H.O.R.S.E., H.O.S.E., 2-7 Triple Draw, Five-Card Draw and Razz.

Tournaments
As with the cash games, tournaments in all but the highest stakes kick off with appreciable regularity.  There are daily tournaments, guarantees, a personal favourite – rebuy events, and a swag of sit n go action that will have your eyes popping.  Ever wanted to play 30 SnG’s at once? Well…me either…but you could, at Pokerstars.  The Sunday millions has jumped to a 1.5M guaranteed pool and is a huge draw if you’re looking for some sturdy weekend action.

Software
Simply no complaints here, it’s top notch software with great functionality and layout.  Scheduled maintenance is about the only time you’ll experience problems.  I’ve had only one glitch appear during play and was refunded my investment in the single hand which it effected before the issue was resolved.  It looks good, it plays well, and you can adjust your theme to suit your personal preferences.  The only real con is the fact you can only change your avatar picture once, so choose wisely. 

Support
Probably the site’s biggest letdown is that support comes exclusively in the form of email.  I had one issue which actually took a few days to sort out, which was frustrating, but on the whole the response once it arrived was driven by common sense and a desire to achieve customer satisfaction.  If they ultimately decide to add some live support, it really will add to their reputation as one of the premier online poker venues. 

Bonus
Pokerstars offers a nice sign up bonus, but where they really come into their own is the loyalty program. You can use frequent player points for a huge selection of merchandise, or to register in special events.  The more you play, the better it gets, and the bronze, silver, gold status are achievable even for social players. 
Players
Ok, given the massive number of players, there is an equally varied range of playing styles and capabilities.  On the whole though, I would rate Pokerstars as one of the tighter, more aggressive sites online.  That can be a double edged sword.  On the one hand, three betting air four hands out of five is probably going to see you felted, but on the other, you’ll breath a happy sigh of relief when you realize that the donkey plays so prevalent at other sites aren’t always reflected at Stars.  Yep…sometimes it feels good to play micro to medium stakes and get a little respect for pulling an advanced play because the guy you’re pulling it on actually understands enough about poker to wonder what’s going on.  Oh…the downside is you get crushed…repeatedly…but it’s all a learning curve right?  Frankly this is one of the best places online to learn poker, because you just don’t get the leeway from the others sitting at the felt to play like a gimp…although some will try.

Overall, PokerStars is very professionally run and caters superbly to the player.  When considering the massive volume and diversity on offer, and software for both PC and Mac users, it’s a no brainer.  Make a deposit today and take advantage of our player bonus by clicking on the icon above. 

OVERALL RATING 9/10

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