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Software: Party Gaming
Number of games: 3
Supported languages: 13
You may be wondering how we here at AceHoyle.com can bust the world’s most popular online poker room, Party Poker, down to the No. 3 spot on our list of top poker sites. Yes, we of course realize that Party’s got billboards plastered all over London. And, no, we aren’t faulting this gargantuan room for any of the usual complaints. Party, after all, has the nuts when it comes to first-rate exclusive features like its “Average Pot” option – which allows players to find out the regular chip counts of tables before sitting down – and its premium play options like “Auto-Post Blind,” “Fold Any Bet” and "Show-Muck.” Nor do its big-money promotions like its $5000 Party Poker Freeroll, World Poker Tour connections and HUGE Million Dollar House Event leave much to be desired.
So why is AceHoyle.com handing Party Poker this pint-sized snub? Well, for one thing, we’re into “keepin’ it real,” and you’ve got to admit busting Party down on our "Top Poker Sites" list is kind of a gutsy move on our part.
PartyPoker.com's Sign-Up Bonus and Promotions
But, really, our beef with PartyPoker.com is, ironically enough, because 70 percent of all online-poker players play at Party Poker's tables. With such high numbers (some 9500 ring-game players and some 60000 tournament players during peak hours), it seems the Party Poker bonus and promotions department has begun sleeping on the job. The point system they’ve concocted makes winning McDonald’s yearly Monopoly game seem more feasible because before you see a dime of your sign-up bonus you have to earn eight times your initial deposit in player points.
Basically, then, if you’re aiming to land the full sign-up bonus – a 100 percent match, up to $500 - you’ll need to play approximately $3390 in raked hands. And, assuming you’re no Tom Dwan, you’re probably going to end up on the wrong end of a reasonably large number of these.
Other lackluster Party Poker promotions and bonuses include its ongoing “Bankroll Builder” freeroll program. Unlike the freeroll program Pacific Poker offers its new poker players, this one requires you work your way through a series of qualifying rounds before competing in the big, $10000 finale tournament.
Worse still, you only get free entry into the daily $100 qualifiers for 60 days after signing up. If that's not reason enough to bust Party down a few notches on our "Top Poker Sites" countdown we don't know what is.
One way Party tries to offset this is by giving its newest players – those who’ve only been playing for real money for one week or less – automatic entry into one $2500, intermediate-level weekly event without requiring they win a $100 freeroll first.
PartyPoker.com's Freeroll for New Poker Players
Of course, getting a shot to score $2500 right off the bat is nothing to sneeze at, but it doesn’t stack up very favorably against, say, getting a shot at $3500 broken into seven smaller tournaments or 90 days worth of $50 tourneys.
Furthermore, Pacific and Titan Poker boast far fewer active members, meaning that winning their freerolls remains a somewhat realistic goal. In contrast, playing in a Party Poker freeroll can feel more like a rat race than a tournament.
Party Poker promotions and sign-up bonuses aside, there truly is a lot to appreciate about this poker room, and we’d be bat-poo crazy to put it any lower than No. 3 on our list: It’s got plenty of fish for the sharks to nibble on, plenty of sharks for the fish to learn from and a solid multi-game option that let’s players sit at up to four tables at once.
Party Poker Software
What’s more, its proprietary Party Gaming software boasts a table selection like no other and a smorgasbord of poker types, including Texas Hold 'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud Hi-Lo.
All these features got an extra boost in September 2008 when Party Gaming upgraded its Party Poker software suite, cleaning up its graphics and adding quick-seat, live-action and customizable-avatar features. And this, in turn, has only augmented the many things it’s done well all along, such as offering downloadable versions for all three major operating systems so Mac, PC and Linux can all play Party Poker's games.
In a word, then, Party Poker’s software has everything we, you or anyone else could ask for – except, of course, a bag of chips to go with your “all that,” though we hear Party’s programmers are working on that one as you read this.
As we said, although the Party Poker bonus structure could use a little work, its software is so smokin’ the fact should barely bother you. Plus, its Party Poker Freerolls engineered specifically for welcoming new players somewhat offset its relatively weak sign-up bonus.
Party Poker’s AceHoyle.com Rank
All in all, then, our little slight to Party Poker isn’t so huge that you shouldn’t give it a shot. It is where the "party’s at," after all, and it couldn't done a heck of a lot worse than our No. 3 slot.
Updated :Sat, 23/01/2010 - 20:20