Paradise Poker Review
In this Paradise Poker review, we take a look at the site to see if it really is still paradise, or if the absence of US players has turned it into a kind of purgatory.
Rakes and limitsWe love when a site is up front about the rake it takes, and Paradise Poker makes it easy to find out how they make their profit. Even better, the rakes are reasonable and tend to suit the tables; the no-limit micro tables have smaller rakes around the 5% mark, mid tables are around the same (The max rake here is $3). High stakes tables are a fair deal. In any event, look for max rakes between $2 - $5 dollars on these tables.
SoftwareParadise Poker has long stood on its own software, but as we said, prior to this Paradise Poker review the site had to re-cast its strategy due to a big drop in players from America. The result was a team up with Sporting Bet, and the two are now a part of a larger poker network which shares software.
In fact, this software was updated just prior to our Paradise Poker review, and we are happy to say that the results are just as good, if not better, than the old program. Help can be accessed from anywhere, and there is the usual functional lobby screen found in most Internet poker rooms.
The graphics are what really set this site apart from the competition; it is a marketing ploy to use so many images that invoke paradise, but it really does work even on a cynical reviewer. The pictures are so vivid inside and outside the rooms that you can practically hear the birds and the surf.
ServiceWe love the service available at Paradise Poker. If you are familiar with some of the reviews on our site, you will know that we count published information as a big part of the service that a site offers to its customers; after all, if there is adequate information covered on the pages, there is usually very limited need to contact the other options as well.
When it comes to page information, Paradise Poker is right up there with the top sites we have reviewed in this area. Our Paradise Poker review is delighted to say that the information is vast, and is incredibly easy to find; information is broken down into typical areas of inquiry, and thatís not just limited to FAQs either. And thereís always the atmosphere of the site; it might seem kind of commercial but the many pictures of tropical vegetation, blue seas, and exotic wildlife really give the site an edge.
Other customer support options include toll free phone lines for European players, the ubiquitous email and live chat. Of the three, we found that the phone lines and the email were likely to be answered in the least amount of time; live chat takes a little longer and it can be frustrating, as you are sitting there expecting someone to show up.
Quality of Players at Real Money TablesIf we have said it once weíve said it a dozen times; a site which offers a wide range of stakes will attract all sorts of players to their real money games. Our Paradise Poker review found this site to be no exception; micro limit tables are alive with donkeys who donít understand poker, bankrolls, or anything else, but that doesnít mean they wonít break you in their huge fish school. Think piranhas.
To find quality games you will have to go to the higher stakes tables, and thatís where you can take your turn with the sharks. There are plenty of serious players on Paradise Poker, and that means you have the chance to earn and learn, whatever you choose.
TrafficDespite the way we malign the hit the site took in terms of player numbers in this Paradise Poker review, the site is still competitive with its rivals in terms of traffic. Playing during peak business hours (business for a poker site that is, which means non-business hours for the rest of the world) will mean you can find over 3500 potential opponents on average, and tournaments can draw over 12,000. Pretty respectable numbers.
BonusesWhen it comes to sign up bonuses, Paradise Poker destroys the competition. They offer a 100 pound bonus (the site converted to pounds at the beginning of October 2007) with a minimum deposit of just 5 pounds. There are the usual terms and conditions covering the use of the bonus, but nothing out of the ordinary. There is also a nice loyalty program to encourage players to keep using the site.
Deposit methodsFor the purposes of this Paradise Poker review we found the deposit options fairly limited, with just VISA, MasterCard, NETeller, FirePay, wire transfer, or bank drafts available. Still, that should be enough to allow most players to get money into their accounts!
On the whole, Paradise Poker is living up to its long standing reputation. The Gaming Laws of the United States may have hurt the number of players on the site, but itís pretty clear that they have decided to turn that into an opportunity to attract a larger European crowd, not a bad move. You will find games suited to whatever skill level you want to play at, and the tropical atmosphere the site emulates means a really relaxing place to play poker online.
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