So in my continous mission to find "the perfect poker site
for me", I've now moved from Paradise Poker to Absolute Poker. A few parting words on Paradise:
My cash-out issue got resolved after about three days. They wanted me to send pictures of my driver's license and a utility bill, but after a few days of emails asking what they're up to, it turns out my attachments never arrived. So I re-sent the mail, but again, it didn't arrive. The second time, I even CC:d one of my other email accounts, to see if it was a problem with GMail, or if it was Paradise's mailserver acting up. Must've been their server, because I got the mail, but they claim they didn't.
A little later, I find out that they can't receive attachments larger than 300kB, which is kinda stupid if you ask me, but I scaled down the photos and sent them individually, and a little later, I got my money, so all is well again.
Now, as for Absolute:
* Their 150% bonus makes me suspicious that I'm missing a catch somewhere, because I'm clearing it fairly easily. Perhaps it's difficult to clear if you're playing $.25/$.50 or lower, but at a $.50/$1 6-person table, I'm clearing it at about $10 per two hours. Works for me.
* Finding a table is a little bit more difficult than it is at Paradise, but I've yet to wait more than 3 minutes for a seat.
* Their SNGs are a bit of a disappointment, although I like that they have $2+$.25 buy-ins. For some weird reason, though, the $6 SNGs have a fee of $1, so to get a decent prizepool-to-fee ratio, it's playing either $10 and up, or staying at $2.
* Clearing the bonus playing SNGs would take forever, which I find odd, but since I play a lot of limit cash games, it's not a big issue for me.
* The levels go up pretty fast (I believe it might be once per 10 hands, I haven't really checked closely) in SNGs, which I dislike. It deteriorates a little bit too fast into a coin-toss for my taste.
* The SNG tables fill up pretty slowly.
* I've found no multiple table SNGs, which is also a bit of a disappointment.
* The interface is pretty standard. There are some minor bugs (sound doesn't always turn off the way it should when you're playing multiple tables), but nothing I couldn't live with.
* I LOVE the instant hand history. This is what I've missed the most since taking my detour from Poker Stars, and Absolute should be applauded for it.
* The brief contact I've had with their customer service has been very good. I had some doubts about whether or not my current stay in Malaysia would cause a problem like it had at Paradise, and I found that all the emails actually arrived at the same representative, which is a huge relief, as I don't have to explain the same thing to several people that way. In fact, once I got re-routed to their security department, the email address given was directly to one of their staffers. Again, kudos to Absolute.
So far, when it comes to cash games, I feel it's more or less a tie between Paradise and Absolute for me. Poker Stars still reigns supreme when it comes to tournaments, though.
I'm not a big fan of saying whether or not certain sites are "easier" than others when it comes to competition, since there are fish everywhere, but in case anyone wants to compare (since I've now decided to start taking notes on this), my current balance is 600 hands played, and $43 earned at the $.50/$1 limit hold'em tables. I've played half on 6-handed and half on 9-handed.
Stay tuned, more to come!