PKR Review Continued...
Launched as an independent site in 2006 amid a tidal wave of publicity, PKR set out to be the poker room of the future by making the playing experience as realistic, immersive and visually appealing as possible for its users. PKR’s ambition was based on its unique 3D characters providing a real point-of-difference in the market. The site’s move to the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) in March 2016 allowed it to offer more games against more competitors, whilst keeping its recognisable design – a move that offers the best of both worlds.
Games and Tournaments
All the usual poker classics are present and correct, including Hold’em, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo, and you can play multi-table tournaments, Sit and Go tournaments, Blaze Poker or daily freerolls. There are also satellites which give players the chance to qualify for prestigious events, as well as big-money tournaments such as the monthly $50,000 GTD PKR Masters.
As with the other MPN sites, you can join anonymous tables where the playing field is levelled and tracking software is unable to give opponents an advantage over you. For newer players who are worried about being targeted by sharks, this is a very welcome option.
PKR’s games may be varied and its tournaments certainly offer good prizes, but the site’s main selling point is undoubtedly its visuals. The 3D characters on the software download had become a little tired in recent years, but they have been updated are now smoother than ever. If they are not to your taste, you can view the tables in 2D on the Flash site, or simply adjust the settings on the download.
Players can build their own avatar in the lobby on registration and the variety available is a definite bonus for those who want to play on PKR as it was intended. You can have lots of fun creating the wackiest character possible, or design someone to look similar to you, by adjusting their hairstyle, build, facial features, age or clothing. When clicking through to play on a table, PKR’s target is for the experience to be as enjoyable as possible, so you can customise the view as you play against an array of other well-drawn personas. Whether you would like a comfy home game or you want to glam it up in Vegas as your view circles around the table, you can make it happen in a few clicks.
Functionality and Features
Players can enjoy a range of exciting features whilst they are at the tables. PKR’s ground-breaking ‘Emote Control’ technology allows you to express yourself in ways that you couldn’t normally do online, whether you want to try and bluff opponents by taking on an aggressive stance or just make a few animated gestures for the fun of it.
There is a good chat function to allow you to engage in banter with your rivals, along with the ability to check out stats or details of the last hand. Beginners are helped out with a simple but handy guide to poker basics and will also be grateful of the opportunity to escape the attention of the predatory sharks by playing some hands at the anonymous tables.
Although the 3D software takes a while to download to your mobile device, it fortunately doesn’t affect the general gameplay and the tables launch quickly on desktop and through the mobile apps.
There is a live chat function, which was unavailable at the time of the review, and a support email address for any issues you may have. This replaces ‘Anna’, a virtual character who tried, generally unsuccessfully, to guess the answer to your query before the site moved over to MPN.
PKR Bonuses and Promotions
First depositors receive a 200 percent deposit bonus of up to €1,000, which is released in chunks ranging from 0.5 percent to five percent as you collect VIP points. The exchange rate works out at 50 VIP points earned in real money cash games or from tournaments for every $1 of bonus money.
You also receive four weeks’ worth of entries into the €1,000 First Depositor Freerolls, 100 VIP points and five free spins on the Hot as Hades slot from Microgaming. It’s a fairly decent package and ranks favourably against the competition.
There are also numerous special tournaments and events to take part in with various methods of gaining entry, some requiring simply that you deposit into your account.
The PKR platform might not be for everyone, but there’s no doubt it has a much-improved poker offering thanks to its move to the Microgaming Poker Network. The additional games and increased traffic should secure PKR’s future and the neat touches like the ability to play Blaze Poker and at the anonymous tables just add to the experience.
PKR is certainly great to look at and worth checking out at least once, even if it is just so you can design a personalised avatar and pretend you’re playing The Sims for real money.