I review a lot of poker sites and it is not often that I find one that surprises me. I would not say Carbon Poker is a diamond in the rough, but of the medium sized sites I have played this one has the best chance to make it big.
The appearance of the screen may be the biggest problem with the site. It was just plain unattractive. It looked like someone went and bought the cheapest kitchen linoleum they could find to put under the table. It is just a little too busy (see the picture below). It is a large screen, but you can see it is almost full of stuff like padded chairs and drink tables. I would much rather have had a smaller interface so I could easily fit more than one table at a time on my monitor.
The buttons were all there, though again they were larger than they needed to be. The only button missing was the “check/fold to any” button which I use all the time. This button just saves you the time of having to go back to a table every time it is your turn when you know you are going to check or fold anyway.
Play progresses fairly quickly, though this is mainly due to the decent players you find. Many places you go the players are not paying attention, but not here. The site gives players a lot of time to make decisions and reconnect, but it is not as bad as some others.
The lobby is excellent. I am to the point where I really appreciate having all of the information in the lobby. Average pot size is so handy when looking for a loose game.
Signing Up and Depositing Money
Signup is very basic. I like a site that does not ask for all your information before you are ready to make a deposit. All you need to do to check out the free money games is give sign-in information such as ID and password. Depositing is easy and quick with NetTeller, though I am not sure they always take it. The site seemed to be on a trial basis with NetTeller, but it did not say why.
Game Play And The Players
This site seems to be full of beginning players. There were a lot of calling stations and was able to do some things here that good players do not let me get away with. There is a good opportunity here for better players to take advantage of the available money. New players can also take advantage of the less aggressive game play to work on their skills.
The Deposit Bonus And Promotions
The “First-Time” deposit bonus was 100%, which is slightly above average. The nice thing about this bonus was how quickly I earned the money. They pay in increments of $10 and I was able to earn my first $10 playing at low limit tables on the first night. I also like that they show you exactly how much you have left to earn before your next bonus is applied.
They also offer a reward points program which looks to be pretty promising; especially for a medium sized site. Their player points program currently lets you play in tournaments that pay cash, and soon promises to let you buy merchandise from a store, much like UltimateBet. The points add up fairly quickly.
The Games Offered
No special games here. Hold’Em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, Stud and Stud Hi/Lo are your options. There were enough players at the site that I had no problem finding a game besides Hold’em, which can be a problem at smaller sites. The limits were low enough for beginners, but a $30/$60 limit game was full a couple nights each week. There were about 3,500 players when I was there, which is pretty good for a site I had never heard of before I tried it. This kept tables available at every Hold’em limit and a small number of games going in the Omaha and Stud rooms.
The tournaments are very popular. Hundreds of players sign up for Hold’em tournaments during prime time. The rakes were higher than at most sites for tournaments ($1 rake for $5 buy-in), but the competition was good. Most sites either have too few players or way too many. Carbon Poker offers a good compromise between these two extremes.
As you can tell, there was a lot to like about the site. The bonus was good and easy to earn. Games at every level were available and the players were not very good. I am going to spend some more time at this site in the future. The only thing that needs some work is the appearance of the screen, but I can live with that if they do everything else well.
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