Party Poker is part of the massive Party Gaming organisation, a company which already had a strong foothold in online casino operations prior to launching the Party Poker brand in 2001.In its early days, Party Poker formed an “alliance” with Empire Online, Intertops Poker and MultiPoker, effectively creating one of the first networks, and in 2005 went public with a share capital of $8.5 billion. Prior to the Safe Port Act of 2006, Party Poker was the biggest online poker web site. However, once the site announced that it was suspending all real money accounts held by American citizens the company lost 60% of its value in one day. Now based in Gibraltar (with the games server in Alderney), the site is now only the third most popular online poker room, seeing similar amounts of traffic to the Ongame and iPoker networks – an average of 4.000 cash players, peaking at 9.000.
Despite its initial loss in popularity, Party Poker continues to be one of the most innovative and client conscious sites on the Internet. They have one of the most comprehensive and in-depth poker academies and have established a reputation as one of the best sites on which to learn how to play poker for cash. They were the first site to introduce “Beginners Only” tournaments and offer free hand analyzer and poker trainer software along with a bankroll builder freeroll series, only available to new Party Poker clients.
Party Poker Software
The site software is basic but functional. Party Poker does not include too many graphic heavy embellishments on their site, and this allows you to multi-table 18 games at one time (except in Flash/Instant play mode). The site supports Windows, Mac and Linux and, as all the software is developed in-house, has an excellent technical support team as well as 24/7 customer service.
Games and Tournaments
The site only offers a basic game selection as well, with Texas Hold´em, Stud and Omaha the only choices that players have between games, and focuses mainly on the low stake levels – with little traffic seen above $1/$2 at the ring games (mostly short handed) and tournament games being top heavy in favour of low limit rebuy tournaments with guaranteed prize pools. These guaranteed multi-table tournaments are often undersubscribed and add significant value for poker players on this site. Included in the “value” category are the qualifiers to the recently acquired World Poker Tour series and undersubscribed satellites to the poker rooms´ flagship events – the $300K weekly tournament (direct buy-in $215) and the “Monthly Million” guaranteed event (buy-in $640). It is best to look for the value games and qualifiers outside of the sites peak time which is European evening hours.
As well as providing an excellent training ground for new poker players, Party Poker operates an excellent bonus structure. The initial “Double Your Money” bonus is the easiest to clear amongst the major web sites and reload bonuses are frequently offered. They also allow players to quickly amass “Party Points” through playing at the tables, which in turn can be redeemed for cash (equivalent to 40% rakeback at the highest level) or used for tournaments entries, exclusive freerolls and satellite qualifiers.
Party Poker Network Skins / Sites
The Party Poker network is endorsed by World Poker Tour TV presenter (and notable poker player) Mike Sexton and includes the skins listed below:-