Carbon Poker Room Review

All US Players Are Welcome @ Carbon Poker / Poker.com
Carbon Poker Room:

When I started making this poker room review I was reviewing a card room branded Poker.com - however Poker.com has now re-branded to Carbon Poker, powered by the Merge Gaming Network. This 'new' poker room is simply a repackaging of the product formerly offered by Poker.com. As far as I know the top domain name Poker.com was rented by the poker room and for reasons unknown to me Poker.com is now a online poker portal advertising competitors poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker and Pacific Poker. My best guess is that the reasons for this domain move must be that renting a domain name valued at around $30 million is very expensive. Why not move the player base to another brand and save the rent money?

A poker room needs to have more than simply a good name to keep players coming back. As such, I decided to give Carbon Poker the once-over to see if there was enough there to keep me happy.

For those that are used to playing online, the concept of downloading the poker software should not be strange, and indeed a player must do exactly this to join the Carbon Poker playing community. Thankfully, downloading and installing the required software is made very easy. The download itself actually comes in two parts - a 900k installer which then downloads a further 8.0mb from the Internet. Whilst this is a reasonably large program, particularly for dial-up users, unlike casinos there are no further download requirements to play at any of the available tables.

Of course, new players to Carbon Poker must register with the poker room before they are able to play. However, this is straight forward thanks to a simple user-form that Carbon Poker utilize to collect a new player's details. There are actually two types of accounts that a player can create. Firstly there is a 'basic account' which allows players to participate at play tables and to watch real table action. However, to participate at real tables it is the 'full account' that is required. It was the latter of these two type accounts that I created, and within a few minutes I had submitted my details and created my new account.

While playing at play tables is a reasonably good way to learn the game, the thrill of real poker play can only be had when a deposit has been made. As such, I headed straight to the cashier to purchase $100 worth of chips using my NETeller account. Carbon Poker also allow purchases to be made with credit cards, Click 2 Pay, Money Bookers and Citadel. This should definitely allow most players to purchase, although I have seen other payment methods (e.g. Fire Pay) accepted at other poker rooms.

Carbon Poker definitely likes to entice new players in to depositing, and as such offer a couple of tempting sign-up bonuses for those that are interested. First, there is a cool 100% match bonus available of up to $200. This is a massive bonus and should definitely be of value to those who are decent enough players to meet the rake requirements. A nice touch is that the bonus is released in amounts of $10 and as such a player doesn't have to wait an eternity to see the rewards of their play. New players are also eligible to play in new-depositor freerolls. Effectively these are free tournaments but with the opportunity to win real cash prizes!

When it comes to the games available at Carbon Poker, naturally Texas Hold'Em poker is available. This is the game that at the moment seems to be plastered all over the TV and is definitely the biggest poker variation playable. However, Carbon Poker also offers players the opportunity to play Omaha and Stud variations. Having said that, the vast number of players at Carbon Poker are to be found at the Hold'Em tables, particularly when it comes to higher stake games.

Of course, other players are something that is important when reviewing a poker room, and during my playing sessions the number of connected users varied between 2000 all the way up to 5000. However, I did find that a good number of players would connect for the various tournaments available, although having said that a good number of cash players were available when I was connected.

To begin my play at Carbon Poker I sat down at a $1/$2 No-Limit table. As with pretty much every poker room available online, Carbon Poker offers play at Limit, No-Limit and Pot Limit tables. Similarly, a great range of table limits can be found - micro games start at $0.02/$0.04 for the No-Limit tables and $0.10/$0.20 at the Limit tables. At the other end of the scale, $25/$50 No-Limit games can be found for those who have the bankroll to support the play! However, I did note that the maximum limits people were actually playing at was $3/$6. As such, real high-rollers may not be satisfied with the Carbon Poker offering.

I started off pretty well at my first table and within just a few minutes had turned my $100 in to almost $140. I was actually playing in quite a forceful manner, often bluffing for a win. However, my opponents didn't seem to realize - which was fine by me! At one point I literally held no hand at all but a powerful raise saw me take down a very healthy pot! Of course, poker players need skill as well as a 'luck' component, but when it comes to fairness Carbon Poker is definitely all above board. A random number generator ensures that cards play just like in a real poker room, although knowing this doesn't make the online bad-beats any easier to take!

The vast majority of tables at Carbon Poker seat either 10 or 6 players which is good for players that like a choice. Similarly, the games themselves play very well. Nice graphics are used that on top of being eye-catching are also very clear to see. This is important for a poker room, where misreading a flush or a straight can lead to a severe loss of money! The poker room also utilizes simple sound effects - although to be honest these don't really add too much to the overall playability of the site.

As well as playing at the cash tables, including some of the Omaha and Stud tables, I also checked out some of the Carbon Poker tournaments. Tournaments are a great way of playing poker without risking a random amount of money. Basically the 'buy-in' is a set amount that all participants pay. The money paid is then combined in to a prize pot which is paid to a set number of people at the end of the tournament (e.g. the overall winner and 10 runners-up).

At Carbon Poker the tournaments range from heads-up play where it's just you and an opponent to huge multi-table tournaments that offers players the chance to win some serious cash. As stated earlier, there are also a number of free-roll tournaments that allow a player to enjoy a free game of poker, yet still win a real cash prize if they are good enough to beat the competition. I took part in a 10-player Sit and Go tournament, but since I went out in 9th place there really isn't too much to say about my playing experience!

While I didn't participate in any of the Multi Table Tournaments available, these too are a great way to win a nice prize for a small investment. Entry fees start at as little as $0.06 at Carbon Poker and go up to big money tournaments with huge prize pots. There's even opportunity to win seats at massive land-based tournaments - at the time of playing a World Poker Tour seat was up to grabs for the skilful poker player!

Despite not doing so well at the tournament games I took part in, I actually ended my playing session with around $200 sitting in my account. I have to say, this wasn't really down to great skill; but more a lucky session - nevertheless, a profit is a profit and as such I headed to the cashier to make a withdrawal.

Requesting a withdrawal was simple, and a quick visit to the cashier is all that is required to initial a withdrawal request. In fact, I was impressed to discover that Carbon Poker operate an 'instant withdrawal' policy. Initially around $100 can be withdrawn instantly, but as a member players more the withdrawal limit keeps on climbing - this is cool and very much appreciated in a world where some casinos / poker rooms hold on to 'winnings' for an eternity. True to their word, Carbon Poker did instantly process $100 of my winnings, but even more impressively the 'manual' processing required for the other $100 still took place in less than an hour! As such, my total withdrawal was back in my NETeller account within less than 60 minutes! Superb!

One thing I haven't mentioned yet but probably should, is the Carbon Poker loyalty system. Basically, every game that a player participates in is monitored by the system and as a result of the rake / buy-ins etc., a person is awarded comp points. These comp points can then be used to participate in freeroll tournaments but can also be used to purchase real items. While only things like t-shirts, caps and cards can be ordered, it's still cool that a player can ultimately get something more than just a card game when they play at Carbon Poker.

Carbon Poker support is available 24/7, although rather disappointingly it is only offered in the form of email support. While I did find that my query was responded to in just under 30 minutes, I still think that instant support such as telephone or live-chat should be implemented. In my opinion, it is a let-down for a online poker site that seems to do everything else so well.

In conclusion, I was actually pretty impressed with Carbon Poker. A good number of games are available, particularly for Hold'Em player. The micro and medium-level tables all seemed very popular when I played, although some high-rollers may find there are not too many people playing these levels at Carbon Poker. Graphics, sound effects and overall game play is very good. The cashier works very well and the instant withdrawal facility is a major draw. The only disappointment is with the support offering. However, the email support does work well and for players who are not too bothered by this, all in all I would say Carbon Poker definitely meets the required standards to feature on our gambling portal Online-Casinos.com.

Click Here To Visit Carbon Poker Room

Click Pictures to Enlarge

I am the bluff king and take down a huge pot with nothing!

Poker Bluff

Again, I decide to scare of the opposition with a big bet, although I do hold cards for a potential straight-flush

A Semi Bluff with a potential Straight Flush

When a player goes all-in the game displays the odds of winning - a lovely feature

All In - odds of winning

Not all Carbon Poker play is for big money - here I sit at a micro-limit table

Micro Poker Limits

Omaha games offer something a bit different to the usual Hold'Em play

Omaha Poker is Not as Popular as Texas Hold'em

Although I hold top pair, in Omaha the winning hands are usually a lot better than this

Winning @ Omaha Poker

Numerous tournaments are available for players that want to play poker but for a fixed amount of money

Online Poker Tournaments

As a player logs in they are informed of the numerous promotions that run throughout the year at Carbon Poker

Cabon Poker Promotions and Bonus Codes

Back to the poker, and another win for me - OnlineJan!

I win @ Carbon Poker

My luck continues when I am dealt a pair of Kings

All new depositing players are given entries to a $50 freeroll tournament

Freerolls for new players

A wealth of games, both Texas Hold'Em and Omaha, are available in the Carbon Poker lobby

Poker Games @ Cabon Poker Room

Carbon Poker Room Strong Points:
  • Good selection of games, although most people were sitting at lower-limit Hold'Em tables
  • Excellent cash processing and the instant withdrawal system is a huge draw
  • Nice sign-up bonus along with other enticements to play such as regular freerolls and the comp point system
Things Carbon Poker Room Could Improve:
  • Customer support only offered via email, although reasonably quick responses can be expected.

Click Here To Visit Carbon Poker Room

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