Personal Experience With PokerStars
Some of you may remember my thread a couple weeks back regarding me joining PokerStars
for the first time. I started on Full Tilt and never really played on any other site. So here's a new thread about my experiences with PokerStars and some of my likes and dislikes.
The lobby view was nice. It wasn't anything to fancy but it wasn't plain either. I like the sleek design of black and red. When I first sat down at a table, I knew switching the background was a must. I immediately switched the background to PokerStars' Slick Light Theme. It's a darkish design and easy on the eyes. I guess the reason I choose this is that it's similar to Full Tilt's Marble background with Racetrack view enabled. I don't understand why so many players like the default background. It feels blurry to me and just plain ugly. Oh well, we all have our personal preferences.
The lobby interface in my opinion could be improved. I'm primary a SNG player and filtering all the games was a hassle. I feel everything is so clustered and it's difficult searching for what you want. There's also the buy in tab. I have no idea why it's even there. Instead of putting the buy-in amount neatly lined under the tab, they camouflage it in the name. I just don't get why they would have that little tab. I guess it's only use is clicking on it to set the buy in from highest to low. I just think it makes more sense putting the buy in amount under the tab. There's just something that makes Full Tilt's lobby interface better.
Then there's the game lobby. That has got to be the most frustrating thing. Why can't they show the current prize pool distribution!? You only get to see it after registration closes. I don't want to use a calculator to do the math manually to see what first place makes! Then there's the player's standings. Why do they only rank the top players? They should SHOW each and every player's ranks in the game lobby. It's very frustrating to have to scroll all the way down and play "Where's Waldo" with my username to see where I stand in a tourney! Even in a 9max SNG they don't rank the players. I would like to open the lobby up to see how I'm doing. But seriously, the current prize pool distribution amount and player's ranks should set in.
You can find games very quickly and players are around the same level, but I feel at the micro stakes 1 cent 2 cent, the players are a lot worst compared to Full Tilt's players. Like Full Tilt I'll usually have 1 regular at the $3-5 9Max SNGs.
The table's interface is ok. The sound effects aren't too bad. I'm just not too fond of the time waiting sound. It's kind of frustrating to have it go off in short intervals if you're a muti-tablier. Anyway the sound can be custom edited so I can't complain. Then there's the chat box. Someone times when I'm chatting with someone and another table requires my attention, the chat box thing "fades" out. Meaning that I have to re click the cursor into the chat typing area to continue typing. It's very frustrating to have to make the motion between your keyboard and your mouse.
PokerStars' support is great. They reply back in less than a day usually a couple hours at most. I felt Full Tilt's support was very automatic. Sometimes it feels like they don't even read it, and just reply back using general info copy and pasted from their website. At PokerStars it feels like I'm interacting with an actual person that took the time to write out a legit sentence.
I really like PokerStar's VIP program. It's not as good as rakeback unless you're Gold+ level which requires dedicated playing. Right now I'm a SilverStar and it's been Ok. I already got 100% of my $50 initial deposit back and an extra $10 from achieving SilverStar. For more casual once in a while players, going with a site that support rakeback is better, but for more frequent players, PokerStars is the way to go. I like this because PokerStars reward the more regular and active players.
Cashing out was no problem. I made my first withdraw and I got my check in less than 2 weeks. You can also do a direct transfer to your bank account, but I haven't tried that yet so I can't comment.
KEY CHANGES I WOULD LIKE TO SEE:
Updating prize pool distribution
Current player's standings
Better SNG organization
I typed this really quick so I might have left out a couple of stuff. If anyone here is thinking about joining PokerStars, reply back with a question and I'll give you an idea from a "new member's" point of view.