Party Poker is a true trail-blazer of an online poker room. Having been positioned in the right place at the right time, it was the first massive beneficiary of the 2003-2004 online poker explosion. The 2006 UIGEA, which locked it out of the US market, ended the site’s dominance at the top of the pops. It is currently still a massive operation, but its market-share is nowhere near what it used to be in its heyday.
Party Poker used to be the biggest fish-bowl around and quite frankly, the action is still quite soft at most limits. This of course doesn’t hold true for the highest limits where the most skilled players congregate, including the in-house pros. Talking about the in-house professionals: this bunch is truly a sight for sore eyes. Tony G is there together with Mike Sexton, Kara Scott, Remy Biechel, Ian Frazer and Felipe Ramos. It’s obvious that by assembling this motley crew of characters, Party Poker were aiming to catch up with their higher tier competitors.
The game selection offered by the site is ok, though there isn’t really anything special about it. Texas Holdem is on offer in all shapes and sizes, together with Omaha and 7-Card Stud. If you’re looking for some sort of an exotic poker variant, you won’t find it here. The action is more than decent. You will find opposition at all limits pretty much around the clock, thanks to the geographically diverse player base that the site boasts.
The software that Party Poker currently runs on is a huge improvement over the previous version, granted it’s still a little buggy. The graphics are more than decent in this one and there are all sorts of handy options available like 4-color decks, customizable sounds, deal making, quick seat and a hot hand alert which draws your attention to good starting hands like pocket rockets (which is more than handy when multi tabling). Party Poker’s software is available in a downloadable as well as a browser-based version.
Party Poker stopped allowing players from the USA to play for real money, which happened shortly after the UIGEA bill had passed.