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Molly Rating: 4.9/5.0
Guest Rating: 3.5/5.0 (4 votes)

Review Date: March 20, 2005
Revised: June 18, 2009

Something that stands out when reviewing PokerStars is that it has quite a reputation for the number of good players. Not only no-name amateurs, moms, dads, college students, who take pride in playing a good game, but also a team of recent World Series of Poker champions such as Chris Moneymaker who was the 2003 champion, Greg Raymer who won it in 2004, Joe Hachem in 2005, and Peter Easgate in 2008. Speaking of the World Series of Poker, PokerStars managed to qualify over 300 of its players for the 2004 event and four of them made the final table! Matt Dean (mattpackage), David Williams (RugDoctor), Michael McClain (mockahai), as well as the champ Greg Raymer (FossilMan), all PokerStars players, made it to the final table of 9 players. So, if you’re in the mood for fishing then you should probably avoid PokerStars and head to one of the known fishing holes such as Party Poker or Pacfic Poker. However, if you are looking for good competitive poker then read on. Beginners should not let this scare you. In fact, if you’re a beginner who has some basic skills, playing against others on the low limit tables at PokerStars is an excellent way to hone your skills.

The poker room lobby presents you with a menu of the featured games, Holdem, Omaha, Omaha H/L, Stud, Stud H/L. Also on the menu are the tournament buttons, which include multi-table and sit & go tournaments. The table list shows you the all the key information and metrics such as table name, stakes ($5/$10), limits (limit, no limit, pot limit), number of players, average pot, players per flop, and hands per hour. This display can be sorted by any of the columns. Highlighting one of the tables brings up a window showing you who is playing on the table and their table stakes.

PokerStars Lobby

The table itself is an overhead view featuring several skins. Hold’em table sizes include 9-seat, 6-seat, and 2-seat for 1 on 1 play. A nice feature is the ability to display an uploaded image. You will see pictures of kids, dogs, cats, trains, planes, automobiles, movie characters, team logos, and every once in a while, a picture of the player him/herself. This may seem goofy at first, but it helps to remember players better. You’re probably more likely to remember playing against Yoda, Neo, or Batman than you will against lUv2FSH667.

PokerStars 0.50/1 NLHE Table

The user interface is simple, but good. At the table you get the full list of features available at most sites, including chat, player notes, stats, and next play buttons.  I do have a gripe with the tables at Stars. For me it is harder to follow the action that at some of the other sites with well-designed tables. The seat blinks to highlight the action, but it does not stand out very well. Also the audible cues are limited. Other sites have one sound for a call and a different sound for a raise, but at stars the sound is the same in either case.

With the quality of the other players, excellent user interface, WSOP and WPT satellites up the wazoo, and reputation, PokerStars is one of the best online poker rooms on the Internet. If you’re a good player (beginner to expert) looking for challenging poker then play here. If you’re a fish (beginner to expert) looking to lose your money then play somewhere else,  where the poker is wild and loose so at least you’ll have a good time while you lose it.

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