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Party Poker Review

Originally the biggest poker room on the planet, Party Poker suffered a dip in popularity when it withdrew from the US market in 2006. However, Party Poker retains a player volume peak of 70,000, with around 10,000 ring game players.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange under the Party Gaming franchise, Party Poker is probably the most secure place to play on the web. With its quirky advertisements and sports sponsorship of the PGA EuroPro Tour, Mosconi Cup and boxing Prizefighter series, the Party brand has successfully re-invented itself.

The acquisitions of poker Hall of Famer Mike Sexton, Tony G and the glamorous Kara Scott to its professional roster have also enhanced its reputation. The establishment of Party Bets, Party Bingo and Party Casino make for a well-rounded gaming experience. Because of its extensive marketing campaigns and affiliate programs which attract beginners, Party Poker is credited with having some of the softest play at low and mid stakes.

Party Poker offers a 100% up to $500 first deposit bonus. Although not as expansive as some of its European rivals, Party Poker gives you a generous 120 days to clear it, and offers players monthly reload bonuses.

Another nice incentive, unique to Party Poker, is the awarding of up to $20 free cash a month to broke players so they can kick start their poker careers. Party Poker adopts a simple rewards system, where players are awarded two Party Points for each $1 paid in rake. It boasts a five-tiered reward program, with the pinnacle being 'Palladium Elite' where players with 300,000 points can receive up to 50% cash back.

Points can be exchanged in the Party Shop for cash rebates as well as luxury items including a BMW M3. Other Party Poker promotions include 'The Big Draw' where players can redeem tickets for gadgets, cars and VIP holidays, a 'VIP Race to Nurburgring' to see the most prestigious motor sport event of the calendar, and the chance to a win a $14k WSOP package.

Party Poker games

Party Poker ring games are superb for Hold'em players, with NL, Pot Limit and Fixed Limit tables well populated. 6-max and full ring players are guaranteed action, although the lack of low stakes heads-up tables are disappointing.

Party Poker offers PLO and Stud games, and stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 to $250/$500 (FL). It is tournament variety where Party Poker really excels.

It offers over $100k in monthly freeroll tournaments, and provides shoot-out, heads-up and bounty formats to mix things up. The Sunday $250k guaranteed is Party Poker's flagship tournament, second only to the Sunday Million at PokerStars in terms of the prize purse.

As official sponsor, Party Poker offers satellites to the World Poker Tour, as well as the WSOP and Aussie Millions. It also hosts its own live cash game at the Party Poker Den, the '24-hour Poker Cash Game', which attracts pros from all corners of the globe.

Having previously been accused of being dull, bland and clunky, Party Poker has tinkered regularly with its software to great effect. The interface is a lot more vibrant, with the inclusion of a virtual hand re-player and customisable avatars. The software is fully compatible with tracking software, and playable on Mac and Linux systems. Players can play up to 12-tables, and the negotiate 'deal' feature is particularly useful for tournament aficionados.

Party Poker offers a range of deposit options, including country specific options such as 'ELV' for German users. The minimum deposit is $25, and minimum withdrawal $50. Sadly, there is no live chat feature, but Party Poker provides quick e-mail support and a toll free number for the round the clock queries.

Party Poker may not be the colossus it was in the industry, but it is still a leading operator in the European market. Despite its modest VIP program and lack of low stakes heads-up tables, the standard of play is remarkably weak, even as high as $2/$4. Listed on the London Stock Exchange and endorsed by the likes of Mike Sexton, it boasts a sturdy reputation.

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