My visit to Pacific Poker for this review was not my first visit to the site, but it had been a long time since my last deposit at this site. What I noticed immediately was how much faster the site was today than it used to be. I remember the site being very slow with few players. Boy, have things changed.
The screen is very simple, which I found to be a welcome relief after spending a good deal of time at PokerRoom recently. It was funny how much I missed the basic feel of the poker table. There were not 50 options, customizable chat, chips everywhere, 3-D avatars, and all the other stuff you see at the so called “modern” sites. There were simply the buttons I needed and the numbers I was looking for in clear, easy-to-read detail. That is not to say there is not a place for the more complex sites, but I enjoy taking in an entire table at a glance without hunting for hard to find information.
The right buttons are all available such as Check/Fold, Call, Raise Any, etc. The Call button has the amount you are calling on it and is not situated precisely on top of the call button. This makes it less likely that you will make a mistake and hit the wrong button.
Play progresses quickly for a medium sized site. Some other competing sites, such as InterPoker and Paradise Poker, run much slower. I was disappointed that I was unable to play more than one table at a time. Instead I simply pulled up a second site and played at both so the single table was not a problem. I would like to see an option to make a mini-table (I like those so I can write while I play).
The lobby is way too basic. It is hard to learn any useful information. There are no links to their web site or answers to simple questions.
Signing Up and Depositing Money
Signup is a little more time consuming than at some sites, but only because there is a little bit of additional information they ask for. As far as I am concerned, anything more than my name and NetTeller account is more than they need. They ask for information they do not really need such as phone number. Depositing is easy and quick with NetTeller. The first time I played here I used a credit card without a problem. They sent me a check with my winnings the first time and it only took a few days.
Withdrawing money turned out to be a real hassle. First of all, I requested the withdrawal with Neteller and did not hear anything from the site for five days. Then I called their support department and was told withdrawals take five days. I asked, “so I can expect the money today?” The operator said, “no, you just made the request two days ago.” The withdrawal, which UltimateBet would have had it done in seconds, ended up taking over a week.
Game Play And The Players
This site is for beginners. The players make a lot of bad calls and chase a lot of cards. It is easy to go on long runs of what seems like bad luck because so many people stay in every hand. It can be frustrating, but it can also be profitable.
The Deposit Bonus And Promotions
The “First-Time” deposit bonus was 25%, which is average, but the nice thing about it was they credited it to my account immediately. There was no waiting until I played to get enough points before I received it. I could have played with the bonus money immediately had I chosen to. You can’t cash it out until you have earned it through play, but you can use it while playing.
They offer a lot of cheesy promos. Currently they are touting a tournament where they are “Giving Away” $150,000. Sure they are, but you have to play in satellites and then pay to get in the tourney, just like every other tournament. The biggest event was a tournament to win a seat in their sponsored event, the $1,000,000 Pacific Poker U.K. Open. I will admit, I would love to play in that.
The Games Offered
Only the basic games are offered. 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 an Omaha Hi/Lo game, which I like to play because it is easy to win even though it is slow. One strange thing I noticed; No-Limit and Pot-Limit games are not to be found here. The way the cards have been falling for me lately that is probably a good thing.
The tournaments have a relatively small number of players. Most had around 150 to 200 players. I like smaller tourneys. They take away a lot of the crazy people who win with horrific hands. They also keep you from playing for three hours only to finish 100 places out of the money. I don’t have the time to play a tourney that long.
They had some 50 cent tournaments with no house rake, which is very unusual. I have only seen the no-rake tourneys on the Prima Poker network before finding them here. These tournaments are a great way to improve your poker skills. 50 cents will buy you a few hours of poker with a possible small payout in the end. You can’t beat that deal.
I enjoyed my time at Pacific Poker. There was not much to dislike about the site. I have seen sites that are better at some things, but worse at others. If you are looking for a nice, clean, easy to use site you should give Pacific Poker a try.
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