|Introduction to Bonus Whoring | Absolute Poker | Party Poker | Ultimate Bet | Paradise Poker | Poker Stars|
|Poker Stars do not run a bonus scheme as standard. So you you have to look out for the opportunities to get a bonus. As you will see, there have been quite a lot of bonus alerts and discussion about Stars on this forum, so keep your eyes peeled if you are interested. |
I was keen to try out Poker Stars because I had heard many times both how good it was, and how tough the players are! This was my experience:
Bonus – 20% up to $150. (Poker Stars now offers a 100% matching deposit bonus for new players up to $50 Free)
Cash Out – The bonus is released in a single lump when you have accumulated enough Frequent Player Points (FPPs) FPPs are given based on raked hands and/or tournament entries. Because the games are tight and the minimum pot before rake is high, you have to play a lot of hands to get your FPP's. It isn't like Party where over 50% of hands are raked. This was the hardest bonus to earn, even harder than Ultimate Bet, and that view has been shared by others on this forum.
Cashier/Support - Cashier via Neteller was faultless. Cash out only took a few hours to hit my Neteller account. Didn't have to talk to Support - see below.
Software – The best I've come across so far. Meaningful stats. Very stable platform with no obvious bugs and I never experienced any lag the whole time I was there. The interface is clean and easy to use.
Tournaments - Plenty of them but do not really provide for the lower bankroll.
Experience – For me, Stars was like Ultimate Bet. Great software, plenty of games and players. The games are tighter than elsewhere, but the thing that really killed me again was the fact that I still seemed to get just as many bad beats. For the first 3 days of play I got absolutely hammered. Any table, any level, always the river.
Overall – Great site but for me it is not the easiest place to make some money. The games certainly seemed tougher at Stars than anywhere else I've played and bonus requirements were tedious in the extreme. I wouldn't recommend anyone going there for the bonus - you can earn the $'s quicker at Party or Absolute, and if you can't then Stars will rob you blind. But if you want to see how your game is coming along, its a good test. Or you can just log on to watch some pros play.
Deposit - $750
Playing loss - -$350
Bonus - $150
Net Loss of $200.
This is the first time I have made a loss over and above the bonus, although I must say I went on tilt after my dreadful start and I moved up the levels. Aggghhhhhhhh! Not that I'm bitter... :-)
Ashbash the Bonus Whore.