But first, let's discuss some important licensing and regulation issues, which any poker player should look into when choosing an internet poker room to open a real money account with. Poker Stars uses proprietary software that has been certified by the independent testing houses Cigital and BMM International - both of whom have been approved by the UK Gambling Commission. Given full access to the software source code, both testing houses have certified that the software RNG (Random Number Generator) deals cards in an entirely fair and unpredictable manner.
As for licensing and ongoing regulation, this is done through the UK whitelisted jurisdiction of the Isle of Man, in the British Isles. Furthermore, Poker Stars is a member of the Interactive Gaming Council. Operating a highly transparent poker room and website, Poker Stars is forthcoming with just about every piece of information a discerning poker player could want to know. Through the "About Us" link on the Poker Stars website (located at the bottom of the homepage), everything from regulation provisions contained in the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Council's Online Gambling Regulation Act of 2001 to the requirements of being a member of IGC, are published in detail.
With all the credentials in place for being a trustworthy place to wager bets online, many players frequent Poker Stars for the action and money that comes through here. Every kind of poker game and style of play is available at Poker Stars, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha and Stud with fixed limit, no limit and pot limit ring and tournament games.
As mentioned, Poker Stars has more tables and runs the most tournaments of any poker room on the Web. Put it this way: Poker Stars sends more players to the World Series of Poker than any other room. They continue to host the Poker Stars Sunday Million ($1 million prize pool guaranteed), which has become the longest running and largest weekly online poker tournament on the Web, as well as the Sunday Warm-up tournament every Sunday, which guarantees $500,000 in prize pool money. And as mentioned, Poker Stars is home to the largest online poker tournament in the world - the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).
Started in 2002, the WCOOP now offers over 33 different events, including Hold'em, Omaha, Stud, Razz, and HORSE to name a few - many of which have guaranteed prize pools over $2 million. In fact, if you're reading this before September 21, 2008, there is a good chance you can enter a satellite tournament and win a seat for the main event, which is worth a whopping $10 million guaranteed. Or you can buy yourself a seat if you have the money to put up. The unique thing about Poker Stars tournaments is that when a player happens to qualify to any event through an online satellite, he/she has the option of un-registering, for which they will receive tournament points that can be used to buy seats to other tournaments.
All players have to do to register for a WCOOP event is download the software (or open the Instant Flash version for all you Mac user's), click on the "Events" link in the lobby, followed by clicking the "WCOOP" link. This is the same process for entering other tournament satellites, which include the European Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, Latin American Poker Tour, World Cup of Poker, Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure and the aforementioned World Series of Poker.
If you are just looking for some everyday action, you will find that too. Accommodating to every bankroll imaginable, money limits range from $0.01/0.02 up to $200/$400. Poker Stars offers both real money and practice money action, and is always ready to facilitate withdrawals and deposits. Financial transactions are processed through Rational Entertainment Enterprises Ltd, which is headquartered in Isle of Man at Douglas Bay Complex, King Edward Road, IM3 IDZ Onchan. Another great thing about Poker Stars is the service through their cashier. If, for any unlikely reason your deposit is not accepted, Poker Stars advises to send an email to their support team advising them with a good time to contact you. They will then call you at the corresponding time and manually facilitate your deposit.
So what about the perks and free stuff? You would think a poker room as large and populated as Poker Stars gives their players extra incentives for sticking around. Well, you would think right. The promotions here begin with a 100% welcome bonus up to $50 Free. Use the bonus code "First 2008" when making your first deposit (through December 2008) and earn 10 times the bonus amount in Frequent Player Points (FPP's) within six months of claiming the bonus to cash out your bonus money.
Remember, in order to earn FPP's you must sit through an entire hand - so, don't leave the table before the hand is finished. Players earn 1 point for every $0.40 in rake paid for fixed limit, no limit and pot limit games with stakes/blinds of $1/$2 and lower, 1-on-1 poker games and $1 in rake paid for all other games. Five FPP's are also earned for every $1 paid in tournament fees. If this sounds confusing, be sure to read the promotion terms and conditions. Otherwise, just know that the more real money hands you play, the sooner you can cash out your bonus money.
As for promotions for returning players, there are simply too many ongoing and updated freebies and competitions to list here now, so please visit the Promotions Page at Poker Stars to view the entire lineup. Also remember that as a new player, you are not prohibited from claiming the welcome bonus in conjunction with a new ongoing offer. If you have any questions, contact customer service, which has been highly rated and is available via email with quick turnaround responses 24/7. You will also want to stay abreast with tournament results and poker news via the Poker Stars blog and media outlet, PokerStars.tv.
Take the Virtual Tour at Poker Stars today and learn how to use the free software in just a few minutes.
Online Poker Casino Review Content Updated: January, 2013
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