Paddy Power Poker Review Continued...
Games and Tournaments
With the site running on the hugely popular iPoker network, there are always thousands of players to pit your wits against on games ranging from Hold ‘em with stakes of €0.01/€0.02 to €20/€40 to Sit & Gos with buy-ins of anything up to €5000. In addition there’s Stud, varieties of Omaha and even Twister, giving plenty of choice to beginners and seasoned players alike.
There is a Tournaments section of the website detailing the many offerings at Paddy Power that includes a handy widget showing you which ones are opening up next.
The main site has some really fun and effective graphics - the comic reworking of the classic dogs-playing-poker picture on the homepage is particularly striking. Other than that it is the usual, instantly-recognisable green livery that tells you this is a Paddy Power site.
The download poker client is the standard iPoker fare, and as such is neat and tidy, if a little safe. It is fine to look at and easy to use, but the old instant Flash site was visually majestic and much more on-brand for this notoriously cheeky company. It’s a real shame because it means there is now little point of difference between Paddy Power and the other iPoker sites.
Functionality and Features
Everything is slick enough when you get onto the tables, although the lobby takes a little time to fully load. There is a hugely comprehensive poker school on the website, which will be particularly helpful to new players, as it features an in-depth glossary of poker terms and detailed explanation of the varieties of the game. This is alongside a humorous agony uncle column for poker-related problems.
You’ll also find a guide to chat speak for those using the facility both at the table and in the lobby. Fun and community are prioritised at Paddy Power, with incentives for players who connect with the site on Facebook.
As well as bonuses for following Paddy Power Poker on Twitter and liking the Facebook page, there is a layered welcome bonus. After making your first deposit, you’ll get a second £/€5 to use as a Twister Token, a £/€5 entry to one of Paddy Power's no-lose tournaments and a £/€5 Mobile Only Heads Up Tournament Token.
These are all decent offers but to receive the full 100% deposit bonus of up to £/€200, you will have to work hard. Loyalty points, known as Power Points, are earned as you play and the bonus is then released in increments of £/€5 per 350 Power Points, meaning that you will have to earn 13,700 Power Points to land the full bonus amount.
There’s also a VIP scheme with six different levels of rewards and kickbacks, making it much more tempting to play regularly. Every €1 paid in rake earns you 20 Power Points and these can be redeemed at a more favourable rate if you play more regularly. For example, a player in the Power One level will need 300 points to redeem €1, while those in the highest tier - Max Power, need just 90 points.
Regular weekly and monthly freerolls and tournaments are interspersed with seasonal promotions offering trips to Vegas, big cash prizes and more. In the winter and early spring, players can vie for seats at the Irish Open via a series of satellite games.
Paddy Power Poker is a fun site with lots of ideas and prestige in the industry. It is always busy and runs smoothly. The bonus structure means that lower stakes players still receive something (the $5 poker bonus and $5 casino bonus), whilst high rollers can work through enough Power Points to top up a neat $500.
There is plenty here to encourage less experienced punters and a lot to keep the old hands happy too. A few lengthy loading issues are a little annoying, but won’t bother you too much in the long run, and before you know it you’ll be calling and raising at the tables. The disappearance of the Flash site is a shame, but Paddy Power Poker is still well worth a try.