Pacific Poker Review

Sorry, No US Players Accepted @ Pacific Poker
Pacific Poker:

CasinoOnNet (888.com) is by far the biggest online casino site around; and since Pacific Poker is the poker-arm of this well-known casino, I was very interested to see what was on offer when the opportunity arose to write this review.

Pacific Poker is powered by proprietary software written by the Pacific Poker coding team and as such is different to many poker rooms which merely provide a 'skin' to software provided by a third party. Nevertheless, despite not using 'mainstream' software, this has not stopped Pacific Poker growing in popularity over the couple of years the site has been operating.

To begin playing, players must first visit the Pacific Poker website. The site is easy to navigate and offers a tour of what is available, as well as having sections on banking, bonuses, etc. There is even a poker tutorial with 'Toucan Tony' to teach new players all about the games and how to survive against the poker sharks that may just be logged in! I thought this was a nice touch, and even for a long-time player like myself there were a few good tips which I made note of.

Although I chose to download the poker software, players can also opt to have the software sent to them on CD. This is good for players who do not want to spend time downloading the software. And for those that don't even want to order a CD, there is a no-download version, although this version has fewer features than the 'full blown' option.

I opted to download the software, and after clicking on the relevant link found myself downloading a 150k file to my computer. However, this proved to be an installer that subsequently downloaded a further 3mb worth of files before the poker software was actually installed.

Although Pacific Poker is operated by the same people as CasinoOnNet (Cassava Enterprises), the poker site and casino site are operated independently; meaning that players new to Pacific Poker have to sign up for a new account. This is extremely easy though, with just a quick bit of form-filling required to set up a new account.

Once logged in, a player must then visit the cashier. As with CasinoOnNet, absolutely every deposit method is catered for - from bank wires to credit cards to NETeller. There are also country-specific deposit methods available, such as the Switch Maestro card for UK debit card holders. Being an electronic funding fan, I made a $50 deposit from my NETeller account. As I was a new player to Pacific, I was instantly rewarded with a 25% bonus on my first deposit (maximum bonus is $100). This meant that I started with a bankroll of $62.50. Of course, this 'free money' does come with strings attached, and in the case of Pacific, a player must play raked hand games equal to eight times the bonus amount to cash out.

The Pacific Poker games are presented in a standard lobby format, divided into separate sections - e.g. tournament play and cash game play. Pacific Poker then breaks down the tables by game. A number of poker variations are available, including Texas Hold 'Em (by far the most popular), Omaha and 7-card Stud. So, with my bankroll looking healthy I sat down at a $1/$2 limit table. As well as limit, Pacific also offer No Limit (bet anything) and Pot Limit (bet a maximum of the current pot size) games.

The first thing that struck me about Pacific Poker was that the graphics were not overly impressive. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with them, it's just that they are not quite as impressive as those available at other sites. Nevertheless, it is still easy to see what cards are in play, and this shouldn't detract from the Pacific Poker offering.

Game play is also accompanied by sound effects, although these again are nothing too impressive - a few gentle 'tings' and 'clicks'. Nevertheless, it is nice to have some audio indicator of progressing play, even if it is not as nice as some of the voiceovers provided by other poker room providers.

It should be noted though, that while this sounds like I am being negative, ultimately people want to play poker and are not bothered about fancy graphics and sounds. On a positive note, the gameplay at Pacific is excellent; and even on a dial-up connection I had no 'jittering' like I have experienced elsewhere.

People are also naturally interested in the quality of the opposition! While I actually found that the players I was up against were of reasonable quality, I know that Pacific Poker is well known for having bad players. This is because of the massive amount of advertising undertaken by Pacific that attracts first time poker players who are often not great at the game!

In terms of my play, I actually did OK to start with. I was particularly happy when I was dealt pocket Queens that held up to win me a $25 pot. However, although I stole a few more pots after this, I then started getting dealt absolutely terrible cards.

As such, I decided to move to a 7-card stud table. Again, I started well - and I even got dealt 3-of-a-kind in Kings at one point, but again this luck did not last long - and unfortunately I soon went 'on tilt' as it is known in the poker community.

Deciding that ring games were not good for me, I decided to have a look at the poker tournaments available at Pacific. Pacific offers both Multi Table Tournaments (many players makes for big pots) as well as Sit 'N' Go competitions (limited players, but offering more chances to win). Pacific even offers players the chance to win a share of a $100,000 special pot, or to win a seat at the World Series of Poker!

I decided to sit at a $10+$1 five-player. The nice thing with tournaments is that once you have bought in with your real money, the rest of the competition takes place with 'play' chips. As such, even players on a small budget can take part in a decent amount of play. Unfortunately, although I did knock one person out, I ended up going all-in on a hand that was beaten. So I finished 4th, and out of the money.

This brought to an end my poker play at Pacific, but I was happy at the amount of play I had managed to get out of my deposit. If I had wanted to cash in (before I lost all my money!) - Pacific Poker offers a number of withdrawal methods. However, most of these do take a week to process. While this is slightly slow, it is still a reasonable time frame. Of course, Pacific Poker is 100% secure, so players can leave money in their account if they want to.

Finally, I will comment on support, which is always an important factor when choosing somewhere to play. Pacific offers both email support and telephone support. I tested email support, and received a response within 48 hours. I thought this was a little slow so decided to test telephone support. Whilst the person I spoke to was useful and promised to email me some requested information, this actually took a good few hours to come. Again, this delay was annoying, but I guess it could have been just a busy period when I contacted Pacific.

To conclude, Pacific Poker is a reasonable poker destination. There are thousands of players online at any one time, which is a big plus. However, the graphics and sounds are only of average quality. On a more positive note, the deposit and withdrawal options are good, and it is nice to have comprehensive support in place. Of course, the biggest plus for Pacific is that it is backed up by the quality name of CasinoOnNet. As such, this trust aspect itself is worth a lot to the online player. Overall, I think Pacific Poker is a pretty good poker destination. Now, time to find those fish!

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Click Pictures to Enlarge

The Pacific Poker online poker room lobby

Pacific Poker

I decide how to play this reasonably strong hand

Pacific Poker

I boost my bankroll by $25 with a Queen-Queen in the hole

Pacific Poker

I pretend to have a flush to take down this reasonable pot

Pacific Poker

A pair of 10's are dealt to me when in the big blind

Pacific Poker

I attempt to maximize my three-of-a-kind hand

Pacific Poker

I force everyone to fold giving me the pot

Pacific Poker

The Pacific Poker tournament lobby

Pacific Poker

I sign up for a $10+$1 Sit and Go 10-player NL tournament

Pacific Poker

I get short-stacked in the tournament after a bad beat

Pacific Poker

I go all-in with my remaining $3.95 on a strong hand only to get beaten by a straight

Pacific Poker

Pacific Poker Strong Points:
  • Good variety of games
  • Many players logged on at any one time
  • Excellent number of deposit options
  • Nice initial bonus with reasonable wagering requirements
  • Completely trustworthy - owned by CasinoOnNet
  • Small download and CD available
  • Quality of player not great - easy money sometimes available!
Things Pacific Poker Could Improve:
  • Graphics only average quality
  • Sound effects are not too impressive
  • Somewhat slow cash-in processing
  • Somewhat slow customer support response

Click Here To Visit Pacific Poker

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