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I am playing at Pokerstars only. Basically there are a lot of tournaments/cash games at PS according to any taste and bankroll. I am thinking of creating an account in some other poker rooms.

So what are pluses/minuses of each particular room?

Which room/rooms should I choose in addition to PokerStars?

Let's do a comparison and share the experience.

The most popular rooms are:

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Hey, If you think my answer is useful, I don't mind setting it as accepted :D –  Bogdan May 3 '13 at 19:40
    
Answer is great! But I expect to see more ;) –  IharS May 6 '13 at 8:28

5 Answers 5

PokerStars ignores American players because we can't pay. The Europeans, South Americans, Middle Easter blocks and Asia all get better hands more consistently IMHO. Sometimes (often) it feels like it's rigged to favor them. I had AAAKK full house and got beat by someone from Brazil who got a Royal Flush. His stack was already over 40 Gs, and he took my measly 8 Gs and left me chipless. I didn't get another good hand for weeks.

I've also seen PokerStars payout wrong numerous times. I had the exact same hand as another player. I got paid and he didn't. I tried to report it, and they said I was mistaken. I was not mistaken. We both had A-3 for a hand of A-2-3-4-7, which was the low in Omaha Hi/Lo for that hand, but he didn't get anything. I've been paid wrong or missed out on payouts numerous times, once for an ace high flush with the next best hand three of a kind. I've had higher straights ignored, even a straight flush once that I didn't get payout on. And it seems the computer always give it to a non-American. Since they bought out Full Tilt Poker, I'm seeing the same thing happen there.

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Do you have evidence of the hands where you claim there were incorrect payouts? Seems as if there would be an easy resolution to that! As for believing the games are rigged, it's useful to know that ALL the sites hands are independently audited for fairness; No problem has ever been found! This answer seems less of a comparative study of the pros/cons of sites, and more of a rant. Could you perhaps give a critique on the positives and negatives of the various sites you've played on. Thanks –  Toby Booth Sep 29 '13 at 20:12

I played Pokerstars for a long time and only recently moved to 888.

My reason? Pokerstars rewards were non-existent. I've had more bonuses, gifts and rakeback from 888 in a month than I got in years at Pokerstars. Yes, the Pokerstars rake is very low but they take nothing and give nothing IMHO.

888

Pros

  • Catch a table at the right time and players will literally give money away. Not kidding - sometimes you'll almost feel bad about it!
  • Better rakeback

Cons

  • Higher rake
  • The software lacks polish in both look and performance
  • Fewer players
  • Non-existent support
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I play on PokerStars myself so I feel you here. It's the best there is. Now, I never played mid- or high-stakes so I don't know what's there, but I can give you some insight based on my experiences.

I don't think PokerStars needs any more introduction. They have the largest player pool, the biggest variety of games and you can find games non-stop.


Full Tilt Poker Are owned now by PokerStars so the possibility of another Black Friday to return on this site is slim to none.

Pros

  1. You can transfer money from FT to PS and vice-versa quickly and easily. Very useful if you find a nice promotion on the other site;
  2. The games are somewhat softer than those before Black Friday and definitely softer than PokerStars;
  3. Nice, decent traffic outside peak hours;
  4. Best software in graphics section, if you ask me

Cons

  1. Low traffic at Rush (for those who dig Rush);
  2. Even if the graphics is awesome, sometimes it can be too much for grinding. In this respect, PokerStars rocks!
  3. Low traffic at higher stakes in non-peak hours.

888 poker can be a very good choice if you want a quick buck and very fishy plays. So fishy that, coming from PokerStars background, you'll either won't believe it and/or start laughing. I surely did.

Pros

  1. One of the fishiest site I played at. At stakes up to NL20 there are easy money. Just play ABC and watch for things at the other players that you can exploit. And you will not wait too much;
  2. Tournaments are fishy too, especially at low buy-ins. If you pay attention, you'll end up ITM more often than you should.

Cons

  1. Traffic. You'll find decent traffic all day long only at NL2 and NL10. At the other stakes you will be forced to play in the evening or night, because at other times there won't be any tables open. Even so, expect 8-9 tables opened, in the best case, even at peak hours;
  2. VIP Scheme. The 888 VIP scheme has six tiers. The lower 3 tiers can be easily achieved but they offer ridiculously low rakeback (2% or so). The higher 3 tiers offer better (but hot great) rakeback, but it's very hard to reach them because of the low traffic described at 1. I can say that the money earned at the tables makes up for the low rakeback, but money earned and rakeback are two different things;
  3. The shop. It's rich in offers, but the points are, again, hard to gather.

About Titan Poker I have mixed feelings. I played a few years go and the games were so nitty...

Pros

  1. Nitty games. Can be beaten straightforwardly

Cons

  1. Graphics. It's a personal preference, but I don't like it at all. Plus there are some annoying sounds, which can turn into a nag house if multitabling;
  2. Promotions. Just a few...;
  3. Point conversion. You can have only cashback (there is no store).

I didn't play on the other sites you mention.

Hope it helps.

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I've always been a pokerstars player, once I installed full tilt for a promotion and paired with my pokerstars account. Just couldn't get past the terrible, extremely polluted, interface. Transfered my promo cash back, uninstalled it, and never looked back. –  petervaz May 3 '13 at 13:37
    
You uninstalled Full Tilt? –  Bogdan May 3 '13 at 19:38
    
IMO, if I were to compare the playing styles of Pokerstars vs 888, it would be tight-passive vs loose-aggressive. YMMV... –  Robbie Dee Aug 28 '13 at 13:48

Full Tilt

Full Tilt is pretty good, and since its now linked to Pokerstars you can send money between the two freely which could be handy if you bust your roll on one, instead of depositing again you could just send yourself money from the other one.

I have always found the Full Tilt software quite nice and I always feel that i get rivered a lot less there although thats probably just my imagination.

PKR

PKR is good fun and you can view peoples results if they have chosen not to hide them, so if you cannot see on sharkscope for example, they may still be viewable on their PKR profile.

The downside to PKR is that the fields and payouts are much smaller than on Pokerstars/Full Tilt. Although this can be a good thing as it means the tournaments are shorter.

Party Poker

Partypoker has some big tournaments like Stars and Tilt, but i have never really liked it there. I dont know why. It just never feels like a nice experience when i play there.

I have played others but these are the main ones i can give my opinions on.

The best thing to do is to see where you cna get the best deposit bonuses or rakeback and go through one of the sites that can provide you with these options. Sites such as 2+2 and Pocket5's.

Hope this is of some use to you.

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Thanks. I agree about PartyPoker: not userfriendly UI. What about TitanPoker and 888 ? –  IharS Jan 23 '13 at 13:20
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Never used them. I keep thinking about trying 888 but its probably similar to PKR. –  Gaz Winter Jan 23 '13 at 13:24

Carbon Poker

As a US player, the only one of these that I can talk much about is Carbon Poker. They are the largest site still operating on the Merge network. The software is good by the standards of most sites that support US players, but lacking in comparison to what I remember of Pokerstars and Full Tilt. The worst thing about Carbon is undoubtedly the connection to the Merge network. They have demonstrated a history of making policies that aren't all that great for the players. Some examples include: halting new player account creations for three months following Black Friday (because they weren't prepared for the level of growth they saw), banning player-to-player transfers for all players, removing rakeback for new players AND for players who signed up with it in the past, and much more.

Partially as a result of these types of policy changes, Lock Poker and Black Chip Poker both left the Merge network during 2012. At the time, they were each the largest site on the network. Those sites leaving has had a bit of an impact on the availability of games - you won't find nearly as many options as you see on Stars/Tilt.

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You mention that the worst thing about Carbon is its connection to the Merge network and that Lock Poker and Black Chip Poker have left the Merge network. Do you think Lock and Black chip are better for leaving? Would you recommend them over Carbon? –  JFo Mar 28 '13 at 18:24
    
It's kind of a toss-up. In my opinion, policies at Black Chip and Lock are more player-friendly, but the software at Carbon is a bit better. For me, better software doesn't overcome the policies, but for some people it might. –  Jeffrey Blake Mar 29 '13 at 3:30

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