Making the round

F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
So I've played pokerstars for awhile now, and figured I'd do a walkabout around the other sites and see how I like them. Just moved my bankroll over to Party, and started an account on Titan (but no deposit yet).

For some reason - I suspect it may be part habit - Party and Titan both appear messy interface-wise to me. Play-wise, I haven't gotten a chance to form an opinion yet, but I'm sure I'll get there. I have to say I liked the Stars' tournament set-up best out of these three, at least.

Oh, and since I'll be moving around a bit over the next few months, I suppose it's alright for anyone to PM me with a refer-a-friend offer they have at sites. I might just use them (and I hope that's not an etiquette-violation to ask for at these forums).

Regards,
--F
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
All I ask is that you use the forum links to download and try out the new sites. People using these links are what allows us to keep the events going. I personally prefer the Titan interface to Stars but it's a matter of preference. As far as software goes, I think I like FullTilt the best but I really don't play there that much. I do agree that Stars has some great tourneys, I cashed in a 45 player SNG last night. I do find the folks on Stars to be nearly as rude as the FullTilt crowd so I generally have chat shut off...
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I'll be careful to use the links from here, promise :)

Question about Party, for those of you who play there, what is the prize structure like on the SnGs? I see $5+1 and $10+1 (etc) buy-ins, but I can't figure out where I see what the places pay.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
I've now moved on to CrazyPoker. They have a decent deposit bonus for small bankrolls (40% for up to $100 - play 200 raked hands to get the 40 bucks). Interface wise, for me, this didn't do it for me, either. I'm spoiled by the clean look of PokerStars.

The thing that annoys me the most is finding a table. Ignoring for a minute that not many people play here (which of course makes it harder), there's also the trouble of weird sorting in the Sit'N'Go list. There are pages of results, and I'm not completely sure how the program decides which table goes on which page. Navigating to the type of tournament I like isn't completely intuitive. What I did like about their SNGs, however, was that they actually have minimum buy-in SNGs without ridiculous rakes. $2 + $0.2, etc.

I also like playing several tables at once, so I have an issue with how big their table-windows are. It makes overlapping/cascading difficult.

I find the competition at CrazyPoker to be much more difficult to tackle than at Stars or Party. Not because all of them are good, on the contrary - there's plenty of very loose players at the lower limits. But it's the half-and-half mix that's difficult for me to adjust to. Half are loose and will call anything. The other half seem to know what they're doing. With the constant traffic of sitting and leaving, it can take too long to figure out who's who.

All in all, in it's current state, not a pokerroom I'm likely to stay at, and not one I can recommend. I did notice an overabundance of Scandinavian players, however (2/3 are from norway/finland/sweden/Denmark, it seems), so if that's an incentive for anyone, there it is.
 
robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
F Paulsson said:
I did notice an overabundance of Scandinavian players, however (2/3 are from Norway/Finland/Sweden/Denmark, it seems), so if that's an incentive for anyone, there it is.
Funnily enough F, I usually run a mile if I see a table of Scandinavians for some reason! For some reason there seems to be an image in my mind of hoards of hungry young internet pros. I prefer generally to target US players, who I assume are bored housewives and retired folk playing socially! I know from Bet365 that Scandinavians seem to play ultra tight to me, and there isn't really an edge.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
I played in a number of SNGs at Pokershare (skin of UltimateBet) over the weekend and I was impressed with the structure and quality of play. I had never played tourneys there before as I used UB strictly to play rings, usually 7 stud. I really liked the 3 table (30 people, $5 & $10 buy-in) ultra turbo events. The blinds go up every 2 minutes which keeps everything moving. This may be my new home for a while for SNG play...
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
robwhufc said:
Funnily enough F, I usually run a mile if I see a table of Scandinavians for some reason! For some reason there seems to be an image in my mind of hoards of hungry young internet pros. I prefer generally to target US players, who I assume are bored housewives and retired folk playing socially! I know from Bet365 that Scandinavians seem to play ultra tight to me, and there isn't really an edge.
Being from Sweden myself, I might be biased, but I reason the same as you do. Poker isn't big enough up here yet to have reached the main stream players, that might have something to do with it.

Also, and this is highly speculative, but the mindset of the Nordic countries easily lends itself to tight and/or passive play, perhaps more so than elsewhere in the world. There's - at least in Sweden - an attitude of "don't think you're something special". Someone who's born and raised in a culture where an attitude of superiority is looked upon like the plague may not be as prone to reraising. I can't say if this has colored the mindset of Swedish poker players, but perhaps there's an effect somewhere. :)

Bet365 is perhaps my next stop on my little tour. Anything you'd recommend?
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Alright, I've now gone from Crazy Poker to Paradise. Two final words on Crazy Poker:

The withdrawal of cash went fairly smoothly. It took about 24 hours to get the money deposited, which was slower than Stars, but not long enough that it bothered me greatly.

The reason I decided to withdraw all my cash from Crazy and am unlikely to return, though, was because of the psychological effect playing there has on me (see the "Losing Confidence" thread I posted) - the ever so slight uneasiness that crept on to me was enough to make me decide to get out of there. Confidence is my most important trait at the table, and I don't want to play when I can't give myself the best conditions. It's for the same reason that I don't like playing limits that I can't comfortably lose big at. Anyway.

I'm much more comfortable in Paradise Poker, already. I like the interface better (although the graphics seem kinda slow), and I especially like how the table windows snap to the edges of my screen. Very nice little feature. The deposit went smooth, and altogether, I can tell that this is one of the older sites with the kinks worked out.

Finding a table I like seems easy. I can't say much about the quality of the play there yet, but let me get back to you on that.

Oh yeah, one final note: I decided against going to Bet365, as they were a Prima skin (and was essentially the same poker room as Crazy). So if anyone wonders what I think of Bet365, it mirrors my reflections on Crazy.
 
DESSERTLADY

DESSERTLADY

Legend
Hi FPaulsson,


I appreciate you posting about your experiences with the different sites here on the forum. Recommendation, if you don't like Crazy or Bet365 stay away from the Prima sites. I, like you don't like the software and I am a freeroll player and I really hate fighting 10,000 people and ALL different types of play just to play one of these.
Keep us posted on all your rounds to the different sites. I for one am watching and learning alot.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Okay, one more word on Crazy. Their customer support is driving me positively nuts (is that where they got their name from?).

They called me Saturday morning to confirm my details. Fine, I guess that's alright. They asked me the standard stuff (e.g. confirming my address, etc). No problem. They said it was standard procedure for me cashing out, and that they couldn't send me the money until that was done with. This threw me off a bit, since my cash out had already gone through back to my neteller account. Oh, well.

So, I leave for Malaysia (I live in Sweden, but I do a lot of work in Malaysia), and here I find in my mailbox an email from Crazy, telling me that they've called me again to confirm my details. I politely reply that one of their representatives had already done that, so if they could please check their records, I'm sure they'd find that.

Their response, apparently, was to call me again, twice (says my girlfriend). Then they sent me an email, which was an identical copy to the first one. I explain, again, that I thought we'd already been through this procedure, and that I'm not at home at this point, anyway.

... so they call me again. For the third time, I get the standard email ("We could not reach you at home"). This repeated itself, and I kid you not, TWELVE TIMES. I eventually snapped and told them that if they can't be bothered reading what I tell them, then a) what's the point in telling me to write customer support, and b) get a supervisor who DOES know how to read over there.

This prompted an "apology" email. Okay, I felt a bit better. They told me they understood I was abroad, and I could just get in touch with them when I got back. Alright! I thought I had finally found someone sensible, so I replied and asked, once more, if the phone call was actually necessary, since it seemed to me that we had been over this already, Saturday morning. Guess what?

That's right. They started calling me again. So I was back to square one.

I've gotten all my money from them, so I'm fine in that respect. But geez. I thought I had virtually infinite patience, but I found out this week where the line went. What's worse, is that my girlfriend's kinda upset that people keep calling us up and asking her to confirm that I'm not there (which, of course, amounts to the same thing as asking "are you currently alone at home"?). That helped me with the being pissed-off part.

Anyway, I'm not going to deal with Crazy anymore. If I can't trust them to read what I write them, I'd hate to be in a situation where my money actually depended on it.

And Tina, thanks for the encouragement. Nice to know someone reads what I write. :)
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
... and my week with Paradise Poker has come to an end.

I really like Paradise Poker, the interface is nice, everything seems to be very smooth (except that the graphics can be a bit slow at times). PokerStars yet again get higher scores for having faster updates to the lobby, though.

I don't like that the $5 SNGs have a $1 fee, though, but starting at $10, the fee is 10%, so that was alright for me. If you're looking to play $5 SNGs, I'd recommend PokerStars, though, as they have only a $.50 fee for those.

Now, it seems I've run into yet another issue when it comes to withdrawing cash, but this time I've yet to work up a steam about it. What happened was (and still is) that they've temporarily placed my account on hold, because as I cashed out, I guess they noticed how I've been logged in from Malaysia, when I'm registered as living in Sweden. I understand why this would make them suspicious, and hopefully it will take no more than the brief explanation that I'm on a business trip to clear that up, but they haven't gotten back to me yet about that, so I've yet to see.

If anyone is interested in how I'm doing, here are the stats so far:

Withdraw: Sep 23 00:54 poker stars $100.00
Deposit: Sep 23 01:46 party poker $100.00
Withdraw: Sep 23 16:22 Party Poker $153.00
Deposit: Sep 24 02:53 Crazy Poker $100.00
Withdraw: Sep 28 10:22 Crazy Poker $118.34 (loss, but the bonus brought me up)
Deposit: Sep 28 11:16 Paradise Poker $170.00

... and now pending is a $300 withdrawal. :)

Cheers,
FP
 
bigjace

bigjace

Guest
Keep up the good work F,i'm sure you'll find a site that will give you what you require.The post about crazy poker is slightly worrying,glad i don't play there anymore.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
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!
 
Dorkus Malorkus

Dorkus Malorkus

HELLO INTERNET
F Paulsson said:
* 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.
The only catch is the tables are full of rocks who are bonus whoring from what I've heard. 6-max isn't so bad though, I'd imagine. :)
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
A few more notes on Absolute, as well as some on Poker.com since I deposited there too:

Oh how I long for the multitable SNGs of PokerStars. Both of these sites are great in a lot of respects, but here I feel they're both lacking.

Poker.com: That the tables aren't in separate windows is annoying, but I can live with it. The interface otherwise, is awesome. I like the technology they're using, very unique feel to it. It's fast and smooth and easy to navigate. Sometimes I wish for more available seats at the cash tables, but it's fast enough.

Furthermore, I (randomly?) got a coupon for a $500 tournament. I have no idea if I did something special to trigger that, but the messagebox popped up. I had just won a very big pot, but who knows. I'll play in that tournament to see what it's like, once I get back home.

Poker.com also has instant hand history, but I haven't figured out if it stores all hands, or has an upper size limit. It doesn't seem to be supported by PokerTracker, either.

That's all for now!
 
G

Galvan

Rising Star
Thanks for the info Paulsson. I have dowloaded Poker.com. The site has a nice crisp, modern feel to it. I have played some freerolls there and liked it. I am considering making a deposit there.

I also played at RoyalVegas wich I believe is Prima skin. Played with $10 free that they gave me when I opened an account. My first game I sat at a .05/.10 limit HE table. The other nine players at the table were all scandanavians. Pretty straight forward play. I don't care for the software. Was only dealt one decent starting hand in the game, A-K. The action got to the player in front of me. He did not act in time and his hand got folded. The problem is my hand got folded right along with his! When I looked at that the chat box it said both of us had timed out. Impossible! I still have about $8 left and I am going to go ahead and play that out but I'm not going to deposit there. just did'nt have a good experience.

Of course, if I should start winning there I'll be singing a different tune.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Fredrik, we all appreciate your adventures and reports on the sites. Hope you're good fortune holds and you can keep giving us this great info...
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Extra, extra! Withdrawal info on Poker.com!

Okay, so I cleared the $30 bonus that I had with Poker.com today (I like making full use of bonuses, but since the Guys vs. Gals table had a $1 buy-in, I had to make a swift deposit with the $100 that just then were sitting in my NETeller account. Anyway.

In a sense, I'm therefore "done" with Poker.com on my tour of duty around the pokersites. Rest assured that I'll come back to them, though. Cardschat has events there, and I like a LOT about what I see there. Before I let you know about withdrawal, I'd like to point out two problems I have found with their site, however:

1. There is a bug with the client (at least mine, this may vary) that shows the wrong amount for the rake. After the flop, it may show $.38, but this goes down to $.10 on the turn, or so. Not a deal-breaker in any way, but slightly confusing.
2. Their tables are slow. I can't figure out exactly why this is, but I constantly play at least 50% more hands at Absolute than I do at Poker.com in the same time. I suspect it might be because their animations may be a bit slow, and a lot of people don't have them turned off (so when I already see my holecards, they're still waiting to see theirs).

Now, on to the withdrawal process:

They boast about instant cash outs, but there's a knack. Sorta. You can only instantly withdraw the amount that you deposited. When I tried to withdraw the full amount ($225) I was sent an email saying that I had exceeded the instant cash-out limit, and therefore a portion of my withdrawal would be processed instantly, but the rest would be waiting for approval. What actually happened was that my entire withdrawal is now awaiting approval, because I didn't cash it out in two steps (first the $100 I deposited, and then my $125 earnings). I had this confirmed by a customer rep via email.

There's mention of a way to upgrade yourself to always receive instant cashouts. I suspect this includes the famous utility bill copy, etc, but I haven't tried to do that yet.

By the way, their CS got back to me within three minuts. Kudos!

...

As I was writing this, I received a new email from their CS department. I apparently needed to complete a verification, but in this case, there was no utility bill requested. Instead, they sent me a verification code via SMS. I find that pretty cool. Now let's see how long the withdrawal will take.

1000 raked hands left at Absolute. That's going to take me awhile, I'm afraid, so the next update might be a while coming.

For those keeping count on how I've managed my $100 tour so far, I'm now up to $491. I'm taken by surprise by that myself, although a portion of it is because of bonuses. I did expect to do worse at the tables than I have, though, because of having to get used to new interfaces etc. I don't think I would have done this well at the PokerStars $1/$2 tables which is where I spent my time prior to this round.

If anyone wants to keep track of the "fishyness" of the sites, on $.25/$.50 and $.50/$1 tables, these are my findings for Poker.com: 647 hands played, $143 earned (insanely good). For Absolute: 1387 hands played, $45,82 earned.

I personally don't believe in fish being prone to one site over the other, but you be the judge.

Cheers,
FP
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
Alright, my Poker.com money withdrawal went through this morning. Their website says that it takes 48 hours (if you exceed the instant-withdrawal limit), but that's presuming that you cash out on a weekday, not on a Friday night, apparently. Not a big deal, and again their customer service showed just how fast and reliant they are:

Date: Oct 16, 2005 7:32 PM
Poker.com Support <support@pokercs.com> wrote:
Hi Fredrik,

I do apologise, its a 48 hour minimum processing period but your
transaction has fallen on a weekend.

It is currently 3:30am monday morning and the accounts department won't
be in for a few hours.

Sorry for the delay with this and I apologise for not letting you know
about the weekend delay issue.

Kind Regards,
Drew Hay
Poker.com Customer Support
http://www.poker.com
support@pokercs.com

To: support@pokercs.com
Date: Oct 16, 2005 7:29 PM
Fredrik Paulsson wrote:

> Good evening,
>
> What kind of processing time am I to expect? I thought it to be up to
> 48 hours.
>
> Best regards,
> Fredrik
... three minutes! That's the fourth email to their support, and so far no reply has taken more than four minutes, all replies have been polite and to-the-point, and all of them have actually addressed what I asked.

If there was a grade above "A+" I could give them, they'd have it. Top-notch, world-class abso-freaking-lutely amazingly impressive.

Not everyone considers customer service to be the most important aspect of which pokersite to play at, but to me it's very imperative. Depositing money - often large sums of money - to a company in another country means that I want the reassurance that I can have my questions answered quickly, if something goes wrong. Poker.com has my complete trust in this regard.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

A Member
Thanks for this info. It's always a challenge to determine where to hold events and having good customer support makes us mods feel good. We have used the private tables there quite a bit and our first buy-in is tommorrow, hopefully all will go well...
 
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