PokerStars opened for play money beta testing in September of 2001 and offered real money games in December of the same year. It has since grown exponentially into the world’s largest poker site until it was faced with the loss of its customers in the United States after the US Department of Justice’s clampdown on online poker in April 2011. However, the site dealt its 65 billionth hand on July 24, 2011 and is still the overwhelming leader in terms of player numbers, currently averaging around 27,000 real money players online at any one time.
PokerStars is the leading poker site in terms of total number of users. PokerStars tournaments – from cheaper to very high buy-ins – have runners of over thousands on a consistent basis. At peak hours, the number of real money players in real money games can reach the 50,000 mark!
Quality of Players
With a steady entry of new players, competition at this site is more varied. As expected, higher limit ring games tend to be more difficult and there are more strong players in high-stakes sit-and-gos and scheduled tournaments. Meanwhile, the lower limit ring games or SNGs are a bit more balanced with tough and soft players.
The PokerStars software is one of the best in the business. Aesthetically simple yet very stable, it is highly customisable and caters well to multi-tablers. The software is constantly updated to meet the demands of the ever-growing number of players. Hand data and notes on other players among others are available during play and can also be requested for analysis.
Bonuses and Promotions
PokerStars rewards players as they advance through different levels of membership in their VIP Club promo. Players can become a bronze, silver, gold or platinum star member before reaching the Supernova and Supernova elite levels.
As players earn Frequent Player Points (FPP), they can become eligible for greater VIP rewards as FPPs can be used to buy in directly to satellite tournaments. Freerolls and other giveaways for VIP members are also available.