PKR Review

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PKR Review:

Online poker rooms have been around for a good number of years now. However, no matter who runs it or the software used to power the poker room, generally players are treated to reasonable graphics, the odd sound effect hear and there and the ability to interact with players if they wish using a built-in chat function. However, all that changed in mid-2006 with the launch of This new poker room has brought online play bang up to date and with the temptation to play too strong to resist I decided to combine a bit of play with another review.

For those that don't know much about, the site made headlines by introducing a poker room populated by 3D avatars, slick animation and the provision of a control panel that allows players to taunt others, celebrate wins and throw cards away in disgust and all at the touch of a button. As such, the PKR poker room can only be accessed via download software - however this is as I would expect for such feature-packed software. However, these features also mean that the software download is huge. Whilst the installer file is just 800k in size, it then took 20 minutes for the software to fully download and install which means the software must be huge given that I am on a broadband connection. Thankfully a CD is available for those on slower connections!

Once the software has been downloaded and installed the user is then presented with the poker room lobby. However, despite me having a pretty decent computer, the lobby took a while to load. The same turned out to be true when playing at the poker tables - even though my laptop is only a couple of years old and has a decent processing chip inside, I did find that the PKR software is very resource intensive and as such I'd suggest only those on newer computers attempt to play here. There's nothing worse than trying to play out a good hand whilst suffering from jitters and software freezes. Indeed, the PKR site itself recommends at a least a 2.0Ghz processor and decent graphics card be present for optimum processing. Having said that, the PKR site does suggest that computers up to 5 years old should be able to handle the software without too many issues.

As is to be expected from 'cutting edge' software, the poker room lobby has a clean, contemporary look to it and similarly the new account form that has to be populated by all new members is easy to complete. A nice touch at PKR is that both 'real' and 'guest' tables are available meaning players can hone their skills before diving in with real cash at risk! The lobby also provides access to some of the cool PKR features including the 'me' section. Here a person can have loads of funning getting their avatar just right. Fancy being a cool American with a Texas cowboy hat and some crazy specs to match? - no problem! A wealth of options are available meaning a player can really make PKR their own.

The poker room lobby also provides access to the cashier which is where I headed next to make a $100 NeTeller deposit. As with many poker rooms, PKR offer a decent number of deposit options including credit cards and other e-wallet solutions such as Click2Pay and Moneybookers. Similarly, PKR don't hold back on offering free money to new players - a number of different bonuses are available for new joiners offering up to a maximum of $600 free cash! The nice thing with poker bonuses too is that the cash is deposited once a set number of games is played so there are no worries about withdrawing to early - players can bet as they wish and will simply have extra money added to their account when they've played enough raked hands!

When it comes to the available games at PKR, the lobby makes it clear to see that two types of games are available - Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha. Whilst these two varieties of poker are by far the most popular, I did think it was a shame that some other varieties such as Stud or Omaha Hi/Lo are not playable. Nevertheless, with around 5000 players connected at any one time there should certainly be a good game to be had at the tables that do exist. As with many poker rooms both cash ring games and tournament games are available at PKR.

To begin my play I decided to sit at a No Limit Hold 'Em table. The blinds at this table were just $0.05 / $0.10 - PKR has a number of low limit tables that will definitely appeal to the low-level poker player. However, a number of higher limit tables are also available - at the Hold 'Em tables $5 / $10 No Limit tables are available as well as $10 / $20 Limit tables. Whilst I have seen higher limits available at other poker rooms, I would think that the range of tables available at PKR should certainly satisfy most players.

Play itself is great fun at PKR with most of the excitement actually being generated outside of the poker game itself. Every movement a player makes is visualised in glorious 3D and with a number of different 'camera' angles available a player can view the game almost as if they were watching a live poker game on TV! A player also has available a variety of menus to perform 'actions' during play. Want to recheck your cards and then play with your chips to try and hide the smile on your face from flopping the nuts? Go ahead and do it! Think you've got a calling station at the table? Embarrass them by laughing in their face! The options really are endless and with the great graphics and sound effects employed by PKR, even folding your hole cards can be an enjoyable experience. Of course, a word of caution must be made though that this is still real poker and with cold, hard cash at stake players shouldn't let the bells and whistles distract them from their play!

Unfortunately, despite the fun I was having at this low limits table, I didn't seem to be getting much luck so I decided to move over to the Omaha table. There was a noticeable lack of players on the Omaha tables but there were still a few reasonably full tables. Again, the fun factor can definitely be found at PKR's Omaha tables and I soon noticed that pretty much every table was set against a different backdrop. As such, you could be playing poker in a massive casino one minute and playing in a dingy, illegal back-room card den in another!

Of course, cash games might not be for everyone and as such PKR have put together a decent tournament schedule. Tournaments are a great way to play poker for a fixed amount of money, and there is still the chance to win big thanks to the multi-seat games available. Some tournaments even offer players the chance to win seats at real world events including the WSOP and as such the tournament offering is certainly nothing to sniff at.

Sadly, despite trying my luck at a variety of different tables I really couldn't hit anything and soon ended up giving my money away to other PKR players. Having said that I certainly enjoyed my time at this poker room and know that any withdrawals would have been swiftly processed - 3 business days is the time quoted on the website for approval and return of any funds. This is certainly acceptable and on a par with a good number of other reputable poker rooms.

When it comes to customer support at PKR, users can email the support team via a web form and can also chat live 24 hours a day. A nice touch is that the web form used by PKR allows players to attach screenshots - I assume this is so technical faults can be dealt with more quickly. Although I didn't try out the email support, I did try the live chat facility. I was kept waiting for about 3 minutes before a representative became available, but when I came to the front of the queue I was serviced well and certainly didn't see any major with the PKR support offering.

In conclusion, I have to say I am not really sure what I think of PKR. I certainly think the concept is fantastic and certainly the graphics and sound effects are like nothing I've experienced before. Great 3D graphics and the like certainly enhance the fun factor at PKR even if the software is pretty resource intensive. My only wonder is whether this is really what poker playing is about or whether this actually detracts from play? At least a good number of games are available at PKR and certainly a good few tables should be in use at any one time. The banking function at PKR works well as does customer support. I guess for those looking for something different PKR certainly fits the bill, and with a good game of poker to be had regardless of the extras it's definitely worth checking out the exciting PKR offering.

Click Here To Visit PKR

Click Pictures to Enlarge

With PKR a play has the option of performing a number of actions to interact with other players PKR Actions

The 'Me' section of the poker room allows a player to design their avatar down to the smallest detail Customizing Your Avatar

The 'dynamic' camera view focuses in on the appropriate player or dealer as each hand progresses Dynamic Camera

With 'first person' view the 'camera' shows in minute detail every move a player makes First Person Camera

The feature-laden lobby acts as a portal to the available Hold 'Em and Omaha tables PKR Lobby

I sit at a 10-player cash game Hold 'Em table 10 Player Cash Game

A player can hop between different tables using the left-hand navigation system Switching Between Tables

I go all-in with my remaining $3.59! All In With Whats Left

Players can sit at various different tables set in locations as grand as 5* hotels and as dingy as illegal poker backrooms! I Choose To Play In A Back Room Environment

I take a look at my cards whilst playing the Omaha variety of the game Peeking At My Cards

It's a win for me whilst playing Omaha, although only for a couple of dollars! A Small Omaha Win

PKR Strong Points:
  • Excellent 'live' 3D graphics make playing poker a really entertaining experience
  • A good selection of Hold 'Em and Omaha games are available
  • Banking works well at PKR with withdrawals processed quickly
  • Good customer support contact options available
Things PKR Could Improve:
  • The software is huge and very resource intensive
  • The bells and whistles may actually detract from the job of playing poker

Click Here To Visit PKR

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