Party Poker Review
Once the biggest site on the web, PartyPoker suffered a bad beat when new legislature expelled its US market in 2006. However, the Party Gaming franchise, which includes a casino, sportsbook and bingo, has fought back with its well-tiered loyalty program and purchase of the World Poker Tour. Formally listed in the London Stock Exchange and championed by Poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, Party Poker has great integrity. Despite its somewhat clunky software, PartyPoker’s soft competition at lower stakes and added, value tournaments make it perfect for aspiring bankroll builders.
Bonus and Promotions
PartyPoker’s 100% up to $500 initial deposit bonus may not be as expansive as rivals Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, but its generous monthly reload bonuses and instant cash offers make up for it. After years of chopping and changing, PartyPoker has settled on a simple points structure, where two PartyPoints are awarded for each $1 paid in cash game rake. Depending on how many points you accumulate, you can surge up the levels, and be eligible for bigger cash bonuses and cash back. The zenith is Palladium Elite, where earning 100,000 points in a month warrants a $15,000 reward and 40% cash back. Points can also be spent in the online store, with luxury items such as a BMW M3 up for grabs. PartyPoker boasts a catalogue of promotions for pros and beginners alike. A staggering $30k is available for rookies in ‘poker bankroll building‘ tournaments, and first depositors will go straight into a $1.5k freeroll. PartyPoker is mirroring rival PokerStars by giving you a free shot at owning a supercar – the Aston Martin DB9. PartyPoker’s innovative steps structure can see you enter the Monthly Million for as little as $1, and the network’s close connection with the WPT sees a free $8k Legends of Poker package available.
Despite the lack of US custom, PartyPoker retains a hefty playerbase, with 9,500 ring game and 60,000 tournament players operating during peak times. The downside is that because of its euro-centric core, action can be sparse during off-peak hours. Hold’em is well represented, with stakes from $0.01/$0.02 to $250/$500 (Fixed Limit). Sadly, there are fewer options across other variants. There are no heads up PLO tables, which is mystifying given the game’s popularity amongst the likes of Tom Dwan and Patrik Antonius. PartyPoker’s greatest facets are its tournament diversity (buy-ins range from $1 to $640 WPT London satellites) and its soft competition at lower stakes. Even at $2/4, where players across other networks are tighter you’ll find your fair share of maniacs.
The PartyPoker software has come along way in recent years. The dingy graphics and uninspiring player models are gone, but there are still some problems with animations and brief stalling after hands. Personalised avatars have been introduced, as well as an instant hand re-player and ‘hot hand’ feature. Multi-tabling options have improved, with up to 12 tables available in cascading or stacking view. The lobby retains its vibrant green and white theme, and the multiple tabs on the left hand side make for good accessibility.
Like many of the bigger networks, PartyPoker offers no live chat feature. However it does provide 24/7 email support and toll free telephone support. In order to secure smooth, quick transactions, you will need to provide photo identification.