PokerRoom Review

Important Update: PokerRoom has once again closed it’s doors after a short and not so sweet comeback. Their second foray into the online poker arena was a failed one, with a stagnating and oversaturated market much to blame. Now they’ve shut up shop again, it’s unlikely we’ll see them offering real money poker again any time soon. So for now, it’s goodbye, adios, adieu, auf viedersehn and of course RIP.

Old Information – Please Read Above First

PokerRoom was one of the first online poker sites in the world, coming into existence in 1999. The site slowly built up a loyal customer base, established a solid reputation as a top-notch poker room, and was a wonderful place to play online poker for a number of years with excellent bonus and cashback rewards for its devoted players. Everything changed in 2006 when U.S. lawmakers passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prompted PokerRoom to pull out of the huge U.S. market.

With the loss of American players from its site, PokerRoom was adversely affected and closed its doors in April of 2009. Now almost three years later, PokerRoom is back online once again at the Ongame Network. PokerRoom is owned by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PLC and is operated by Electraworks Limited out of Gibraltar.

Bwin.Party was formed in March 2011 through the merging of PartyGaming PLC and Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG. It is now the world’s largest publicly traded online gaming company with a listing on the London Stock Exchange and is perhaps best known for operating PartyPoker and the sports betting brand Bwin, which also operates a poker skin at Ongame. Bwin currently sponsors the Real Madrid football club.

Deposit Bonuses

PokerRoom has three deposit bonus options available that all pay at the rate of 8 Player Points per dollar. The lowest among the three is a 100% bonus up to $100. Valid for a full 90 days, the bonus will be added to your account in $5 increments every 40 Player Points earned.

The mid-level bonus is set at 100% up to $500. The expiration time is 20 days less than the lowest bonus, fixed at 70 days. Your bankroll will gradually increase under this bonus plan in blocks of $40 whenever you collect 320 Player Points. The largest bonus, like the other two, matches your deposit by 100%, but offers a huge maximum bonus amount of $1,000. The clearance time allowed is shortened to 55 days and is set at two payouts of $500 upon accumulationg 4,000 Player Points.

To clear the medium bonus of $500 in 70 days, collecting 57.15 Player Points per day would do the trick. At the rate of 3.6 Player Points awarded per $1 contributed to each raked pot in cash games and the same amount of points received for every $1 in tournament entry fees, 556 tournaments at the stake level of $20 + $2 would add $500 to your bankroll. Remember, the bonus is paid to your account in increments of $40, so you don’t have to worry about playing all 556 tourneys to obtain at least a portion of the bonus cash. Every 45 tourneys, either Sit’N’Gos or MTTs at the $20 + $2 level, would put $40 into your account. Of course, you can also earn the bonus by playing at cash tables or a combination of cash and tournament play.

PokerRoom Loyalty Tiers

As with the deposit bonus choices, PokerRoom keeps things simple with only three levels in its loyalty program. The GreenRoom, SilverRoom and GoldRoom are the tiers available and only 1 Player Point earned places you at the GreenRoom level. The SilverRoom is entered at 1,500 Player Points tallied monthly and 6,000 Player Points in 30 days affords you GoldRoom status.

If you achieve GoldRoom membership and happen to not garner the required 6,000 monthly points to maintain your elite ranking in a particular month, PokerRoom will not bump you back to the Green or Silver rooms right away. You will be given an extra 30 days to collect the Player Points needed to remain a GoldRoom member.

The loyalty plan at PokerRoom includes the option to use accumulated points to obtain cash bonuses and tournament tickets. The higher you climb in the loyalty program, the greater your rewards will be.

Pokah and Social Lounge

PokerRoom wants its players to get to know each other and to have fun experiences while playing poker. In that regard, it has set up communities where players can contact one another outside of chatting at the tables. By posting your photo and information about yourself, PokerRoom is sort of like a mini-Facebook. You can add friends, post messages and make social contacts through PokerRoom. The Pokah community is reserved for GreenRoom members, while the Social Lounge is the place designed for higher-ranked players.

Lack of Cashback Percentage Info

On a personal note, it’s great to see the return of PokerRoom! I was a loyal player there from 2002 until the U.S law in 2006 that saw the traffic at PokerRoom decline considerably. Those early days of online poker were certainly the glory days and I get a warm, nostalgic feeling when remembering the good times at PokerRoom.

Unfortunately, since recently coming back online, those glory days have yet to return as PokerRoom is still developing its bonus offerings to its players. Despite repeated attempts to learn the cashback percentages available in each of the three levels of its loyalty program, PokerRoom representatives would not divulge that information. There is something not quite right about a skin that will not make that useful information public knowledge. Representatives did say that PokerRoom is implementing a new functionality that will allow players to know all offers and cashback rewards available in their loyalty program sometime in the future.

However, until that time, it is difficult to make a recommendation to become a loyal player on PokerRoom. With other skins such as Red Kings offering up to 40% cashback rewards to their most loyal players and making no secret of that fact, it is advisable to perhaps play regularly at another Ongame skin.

But if you’re in to meeting and getting to know other online players by posting pics and a bio about yourself or you want to clear a deposit bonus at a rather favorable rate of 8 Player Points per $1, a deposit at PokerRoom will accomplish that.