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Poker News | Online Poker | News

An Evaluation of Online Poker Sites for Newer Players II

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Continued from Part I

Bodog - Another one of the earlier sites I started playing and another that PokerPeaker recommended to me. It's an enjoyable site that I used to play cash tables on exclusively, but have recently migrated to their SNG's as well. Their bonuses are less than optimally attractive, but with a larger deposit, they can be achieved fairly easily.

Advantages:
If one is a pure NLHE player, then this site will quickly become a favorite. They offer a high range of games and their MTT's usually have decent overlays. They offer both a daily 100K and 50K tournament which attracts a good deal of inexperienced players looking to make some quick money. Their SNG's are also very wide in variety, ranging from "beginner" micro-stake ones to mid-stake ones that are profitable when one is starting with $100-200$ or so. The $12 HU and 6-max SNG's are my personal favorite. Lastly, they offer one's session stats right on the screen, so a newer player can track their numbers since they might not be using any other tracking software.

Disadvantages:
Probably the worst players I have played against. This may sound contradictory to what I have said before in my evaluations, but the vast majority of players here will play any two cards and one suffers many bad beats against these players. This is acceptable to the experienced player, because for them, they can just shake it off and say, "I'll take those odds all the time over a period of time." However, for a newer player, this can be very discouraging. So play your game and realize the players that make terrible plays won't win all the time. Everyone takes their share of bad beats on this site.

Party Poker - Regardless of what many players say, I find this site absolutely horrible in just about every aspect. I haven't played there much and there are many reasons for that.

Advantages:
For the inexperienced player, not many. The site is filled with terrible players that will make the newer played discouraged in no time. For the experienced players who know how to exploit the bad players, they make an absolute killing in profits on this site. They offer large prize pool guarantee tournaments and although they too shut down US players to the dismay of a few friends of mine, I'm sure it's a favorite to the regulars who are still permitted to play there. They also give away free money when one's account is low/inactive for a while, but it's not much. Therefore, one is limited to playing large field, low buy-in MTT's to try and build some kind of bankroll there if they didn't deposit much and have all but depleted their funds.

Disadvantages: The software is terrible and impossible to navigate for a newer player. Finding a player or a specific tournament is tedious and time-consuming. The tables are also 10-person as well, which I find to be a disadvantage since it requires even more tight play than people are usually accustomed to when first starting out. Frankly, I'm not upset that they closed off US players because I honestly hated playing on this site.

PokerStars - The first site I started playing religiously for real money and the site where I met the poker bloggers who I know today. It's an extremely enjoyable site to play on and perhaps close to being my favorite.

Advantages: Very small increments in bet amounts using the slide bar. A player can easily bet the exact amount of chips that they want with no delays. The players are better and therefore, the site provides for a good atmosphere in which to improve one's game. It has a huge variety of games to play and offers "Anniversary Hand" bonuses whenever there is a milestone hand being played where the table that gets chosen gets a cash prize and the winner of the hand at that table gets an even bigger prize. They also have a TeamPokerStars so if one wants to see how their favorite professional player is doing, they can stop by the table and say hello to them. The games can be easily navigated through the tabs in the lobby, and their player search feature makes it easy to find a friend if one wants to rail an acquaintance. They offer many large prize pool tournaments, the most popular of which is The Sunday Million. Another one is the series called "The World Championship of Online Poker" (WCOOP). These are a series of different games and, like the Sunday Million, they are larger buy-in tournaments, but if one hasn't made a large deposit, they offer numerous satellite tournaments where you can gain an entry for a discounted price. There are many other great things about this site, but everyone will just have to find out for themselves if they are just starting out.

Disadvantages: Just one minor one. The site can be frustrating because it's just too big for it's own good. For example, the single-table SNG's fill up so fast, it's sometimes difficult to even get registered. Plus, SNG's are ending constantly and the new, open tables in the lobby jump around a good deal, making it difficult to click on the correct one that one is interested in registering for. That's certainly not a disadvantage for the site, just a disadvantage for the player. The filters they offer improve the situation somewhat, but it's still difficult at times.

FullTilt Poker - The second site I started playing on and I'll have to admit, it's my favorite.

Advantages: The variety of games here is exactly what I look for in an online poker site and each game is easily found in the lobby. The player search is equally easy to use and the FullTilt pros can be very entertaining to watch due to the 100K+ pots they are involved in from time to time. All the pros, as well as, the larger buy-in tournaments are color-coded making for quick recognition of what one is looking for. Also, the satellite tournaments to the larger events are color-coded as well and once one clicks on a certain satellite, it's easy to tell what larger tournament that it's a satellite into. The most popular large tournaments they offer are their FullTilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS) ones. These all have very large prize pools that attract thousands of players. For me however, I have to stay with the smaller stakes. The token SNG's are perhaps my favorite since one can easily win a token for a higher buy-in tournament for just a few dollars. Again, there's plenty to say about this site, but sign up and you'll see for yourself.

Disadvantages: There are way too many updates on this site and it results in players not being able to log on, be disconnected, or have the current tournament that they are playing be voided after playing for perhaps a few hours. I'm sure FullTilt will work on this, but it is certainly a nuisance.

There's a lot more to cover depending on if one is a high or low stakes player, even though I wrote this more so for the newer players, including preferences ranging from whether or not one likes opportunities to qualify for a WSOP or WPT event, or just doesn't like the idea that a site only provides preset avatars and that one can't upload their own. But those topics don't apply to me, so I covered what was important to me and I hope it helped out in everyone's choice of what site they want to play on.

Best of luck at the tables.

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