Playboy Poker Review

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Playboy Poker:

Playing poker is a fun activity. There's definitely no getting away from the excitement that the game generates and of course the winning of money certainly helps to raise a player's heartbeat. Generally though there is little to set one poker room apart from another. However, Playboy Poker is certainly a little different from the rest and with the possibility of even more excitement occurring thanks to the infamous Playboy bunnies I decided to see what wonders this online poker room has in store for the average poker player.

Playboy Poker is owned and operated by the company behind the hugely well-known Playboy brand. The company certainly plays on their famous image with more than one bunny cropping up on the website of the company and the poker room itself is powered by software from leading online entertainment company Cryptologic. This poker room is download-only but a player should still find themselves up and running within literally a few minutes.

Players can choose between the UK Pound version of the software and also the US Dollar version. However, apart from the currency the download and installation process as well as the look and feel of the software is identical for both versions of the software. I went for the US $ version and within a matter of seconds had obtained the 300k installation program. However, players should note that that the installer does request more files from the internet and as such total installation can take a few minutes.

Once installed though the rest of the setup and account creation process is a breeze. A standard form is used to quickly capture a new player's details and within a minute or two a player can be in the lobby ready for action. Players should note that although the poker software is available in a US $ version, players from the United States are actually forbidden from playing here. As such, the competition at Playboy Poker comes from predominantly Asian and European players. I had no problems though in creating my 'olcas32' account.

Playboy Poker does offer some 'free play' tables where players can hone their skills. However, I find these tables annoying to play at since the removal of real money encourages people to make plays they simply wouldn't if their cold, hard cash was at risk! As such, I proceeded to head to the Playboy Poker cashier to make a deposit in to my newly created account.

As with pretty much every poker room powered by Wagerlogic software, Playboy have outsourced their cash handling function to Ecash Direct. This financial handling organisation processes thousands of transactions on a daily basis and as such a player can be confident that all their financial transactions will be processed without problem safe in the knowledge that a major organisation is running things smoothly. Similarly, the availability of a variety of deposit options should make account funding very straight forward and I was able to purchase $100 from my credit card without problem. E-wallets can also be used (e.g. NeTeller, Click2Pay) and as such the majority of people should be able to fund without issue. The only slight criticism I have is that Wagerlogic employs a PIN system whereby a secret number has to be entered as authorisation when performing certain deposit / withdrawal transactions. Since this number is sent to a player's home address it can mean they sometimes have to wait before they can perform a transaction. However, I suppose that any player-protection security measure is ultimately a good thing.

Speaking of money, players will also be pleased to know that Playboy Poker operates a great bonus scheme to reward loyal players with free money. Firstly players are able to claim a 100% first-deposit match bonus worth up to $100. Players are then also rewarded by on-going loyalty with a match bonus also available each and every month. This scheme rewards players with over $1000 a year and is a great draw for those that play a lot of poker anyway. The Playboy Poker system automatically tracks play and as such bonuses are released automatically when enough poker points have been accumulated. Playboy Poker also runs a rake-back scheme as well as a 'rewards' programme where loyal players are invited to exclusive events and activities. As such, Playboy Poker's rewards scheme is definitely one of the most complete on the net and is certainly an attractive feature.

When it comes to the poker itself, Playboy Poker offers players the chance to participate in Hold 'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi / Lo and 7-Card Stud games. This is a good selection of games and although a couple of games found elsewhere are not present (e.g. 5-Card Stud) the vast majority of players should be happy with the Playboy offering. Similarly, the usual selection of pot limit, no limit and fixed limit games are available at this poker room. Also, I noted that although players can download the software to operate in a base currency of dollars or UK pounds, Playboy Poker actually offers tables operating in Euros, Dollars and Pounds - as such a player's balance is converted to the appropriate currency when they sit at a table if needed.

To begin my play I sat down at a 6-seater $3/$6 fixed limit hold 'em game. This was certainly risky move as a $100 starting bankroll doesn't go far at this level. However, I was up for a challenge and with 4 other players thinking the same I reckoned there was the chance to build up a decent stack pretty quickly.

As it happened, things worked out very nicely when I won a $43 pot with a pair of 8s after an opponent ended up with a busted flush draw. A few hands later I again found myself getting lucky and again with the 8s. This time though I was gifted a third 8 on the river to give me trips for another winning hand. This was certainly not good play but if lady luck is smiling down on you then you definitely have to take advantage!

Of course, poker is as much about entertainment as winning money and as such it's important that a poker room's software delivers a fun playing experience regardless of game outcomes. Thankfully Playboy Poker certainly performs well in this area and I was impressed with the graphics and general playability of the game. The user interface is intuitive and game play is very smooth. Sound effects are also used to enhance the experience. Really there is little to fault when it comes to the game presentation and with a number of options being user-configurable, a player can have a game set-up exactly to their tastes. Extra features such as real-time hand history simply go further in terms of offering the player that extra something.

After a little more play at a number of Hold 'em tables I decided to see what the games were like for non-Hold 'em players. Again I discovered a fun game could be had and again the quality of the game presentation was excellent. However, it did become apparent that the vast majority of players connected to Playboy Poker were there for Hold 'em action. As such, it might be more difficult for Omaha or Stud players to find a game that suits their tastes, particularly at the higher blind levels. Incidentally a great selection of games are available for both high and low rollers. Limit Hold 'em games, for example, can be played at a $0.05 / $0.10 level all the way up to a $150 / $300 level. There's even a massive £600 / £1200 (around $1200 / $2400) table for the real big players. No limit and pot limit games offer players a similar range of options.

Of course, whilst cash games can be fun they can also be risky. As such Playboy Poker offers a number of tournament games where users can participate in games for a set amount of money. Both sit 'n' go games as well as mutli-table tournaments are available and with some games offering huge prizes (including seats at major real-world poker events), there really is the opportunity to win big. I enjoyed a couple of tournament games and although I didn't cash still had fun.

At the end of my playing session I actually ended up with around $30 above my starting bank roll. As such I revisited the cashier to make a withdrawal. Thankfully I wasn't prompted for my PIN and was able to instantly withdraw the original $100 deposit back to my credit card. The remainder could not be sent back to my card but I was able to request a cheque that arrived within a few days of withdrawal. Ecash Direct do not impose a pending period and as such players will usually find withdrawals are processed within 24 to 48 hours of requesting which is certainly acceptable in my eyes.

When it comes to customer support at Playboy Poker this is available via email and telephone. Although email support is available 24 hours a day, I found that they can be quite unresponsive and as such would suggest telephone support is a good option for problem resolution. Toll free numbers are provided for a good number of countries and as such problems should be fixed pretty quickly. Live chat could be added to further enhance the support offering but generally there is little to complain about with the current Playboy Poker support offering.

In conclusion I was impressed with Playboy Poker. Sometimes heavily themed poker rooms can be all hype but with this poker room the standard of the delivery matches the expectations created by the brand. A good selection of games are available, although there is a leaning towards Texas Hold 'em games. Generally though a player should be able to find a game to meet their tastes and with good quality graphics and sound effects a player's experience should be a good one. Financial processing is handled quickly and efficiently and customer support is available 24/7 to help with any issues a player may have. With a great bonus / loyalty scheme in place I really cannot see any massive downsides of playing at Playboy Poker - indeed I think it's one of the most rounded poker offerings on the net. And of course, the Playboy Bunnies make the experience all that more exciting!

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Click Pictures to Enlarge

Playboy Poker utilised the E-Cash Direct cashier meaning players can be assured of safe banking transactions Keno

The real-time hand history function allows players to review any of the hands they participated in Hand History

The Playboy Poker lobby displays all the available games and of course contains a Playboy Bunny or two! The Lobby

I decide to start my play with some high-rolling $3/$6 Fixed Limit Texas Hold 'Em play $3/$6 Holdem

Although I don't really think my hand is that powerful it's still enough to take down a nice $43 pot I Win The Pot

I get very lucky on the river to give me a set of 8s and subsequently the pot A Lucky River

New players at Poker will enjoy playing at the low-level playing tables - here I take part in a $0.03/$0.06 No-Limit game A Very Low Limit Table

I like the look of the two Aces in my Omaha starting hand Playing Omaha

Despite going on to get another Ace on the board, my opponent turned out to be holding the 4th and final 6 card and so won the pot! Omaha Poker

Fans of heads-up play will like the two seat tables that are available at Playboy Poker Heads Up Tables

For players that don't like risking too much cash, the fixed entry fee tournaments will definitely be of interest Poker Tournaments

Playboy Poker Strong Points:
  • Good number of cash and tournament games, although the majority of people seem to play Hold 'em games
  • Great sign-up and on-going bonus / loyalty programme
  • Robust cash handling with withdrawals being processed within 24-48 hours
  • Good customer support with a number of toll free telephone numbers available
Things Playboy Poker Could Improve:
  • Email support team can be slow to respond on occasion
  • A PIN is required for some withdrawal / deposit transactions but it should be remembered this is actually a tool to protect the player

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