Sun Poker Review

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Sun Poker:

While casinos are great fun and offer the chance of real big winnings, poker to me is also a great way to have a gamble. Whereas luck definitely plays a part in this great game, a skilful player can definitely come out on top. As such, with a desire to gamble but also have a think, I decided it was time to review Sun Poker.

Sun Poker is powered by software from Cryptologic, and as such by connecting to Sun Poker, players get the opportunity to play against all players connected to the Crypotlogic network. This is always good, as it means that there are always a decent number of players connected at any one time. When I played, over 8300 players were logged in.

To get playing at the poker tables, a player must first visit the Sun Poker website. The website itself is a pretty standard offering, but it does have sections dedicated to the important issues when playing online - support, games preview etc. Of course, it also has the all-important download section where a player can obtain the required software. Incidentally, the software is obtained via a 297k installer. The installer at least should only take a few seconds to download, even on the slowest of connections.

Once the software is installed and running, a player simply has to enter a few details on a form to create an account. I opted to use the display name 'OnlineCas' and so, with my account created I logged in and headed to the cashier to make a deposit.

The cashier at Sun Poker is powered by E-Cash Direct. This cash processor is very well known, and as such concerns over security are not warranted at this Poker Room. Similarly, Sun Poker has tried to make depositing as easy as possible for players by offering a variety of deposit options. I opted to deposit $100 via NETeller, but credit cards, Firepay, Citadel, Cheque and Wire Transfers are all viable alternatives.

Incidentally, first-time players at Sun Poker can receive a $50 bonus for signing up. Even better, every month players can get a $40 bonus simply for playing poker. Of course, a required number of hands must be played to receive these bonuses, but I always think it is good when poker rooms offer free money when players do something they were going to do anyway - play poker! On top of this, progressive bad beats and royal flush bonuses are also available for those that like the chance of winning jackpots!

At Sun Poker a number of different games are available, including 7-card Stud and Omaha poker. However, by far the most popular is Texas Hold 'Em. Similarly, within each game type, tables are available with fixed limit, pot limit and no limit structures. All the different tables available are presented in a lobby format, making it easy to navigate to a suitable table. A nice touch is that the lobby also shows key details about each table, such as the number of players and average pot size. This makes choosing a table very easy.

However, although the array of cash games was tempting, I actually decided to begin my play at a tournament table. A vast number of Sit 'n' Go tournaments are available round the clock, and on top of these, regular multi-table tournaments are also available. Tournaments are a great way to get a decent amount of play for a fixed price. Of course, the payoffs can be handsome if you end up as the player with all the chips! I chose to play in a No-limit $10+1 10-seat tournament. It is at this point that I should mention the currency in which games are played. Although the cashier works in $, games are actually available in $, Euros and UK £. A player's money is converted before joining a table. This is great, and means that players can play in a familiar currency if they so wish.

My tournament play went pretty well, and I was particularly luck when I was dealt a pair of pocket 8's. While this is not a great hand, another 8 came on the flop and as such I slow played to make a nice profit. In fact, I went on to finish second in the tournament, and it was only a few bad beats at the end that stopped me from finishing first. I have to say that I really enjoyed this tournament, thanks in now small part to the game presentation.

Sun Poker have clearly thought hard about how the game should look, and this has paid off - great graphics and an easy-to-use interface makes playing poker really easy. Similarly, the game speed is really great - no hanging about at this poker room. The only slight issue I had was at the start of the tournament. At most poker rooms a player sits at a table to sign-up for a tournament. However, here a player signs up but then has to go to the table when it starts. As a tournament won't begin until all players are seated it means there can be a delay while everyone gets to the table. To be honest though, this really is a minor drawback!

With my bank balance slightly boosted by my tournament win, I next decided to sit at a fixed limit Texas Hold 'Em table with blinds of $0.25/$0.50. A nice fact about Sun Poker is that the range of table limits is great - for fixed limit the minimum is $0.25/$0.50 and the highest is a huge $150/$300. Similarly, no-limit games range from $0.15/$0.25 to $25/$50. I would think this would satisfy most players.

At this table I did reasonably well, although to be honest I don't think there is much skill playing fixed limit at this level. As such, I decided to quit here and check out the 7-Card Stud table. Unfortunately there were not too many players playing this game, but I was able to find a pretty full fixed-limit table. Sadly, I don't really know the best way to play this game and so when I got lucky with 3 Queens, I decided to take my money and run!

As such, I next moved on to a no-limit £1/£2 game. This was pretty high limit for my bank roll, and as such I took all my money to the table. Thankfully, I got lucky on this table when really I didn't deserve to. I was dealt 5 and a King of hearts and although I should have folded, I kept on playing to the river when a dealt third heart (Ace) meant I was holding the nut flush. I went all in and got a caller meaning I got a lovely £87.05 pay off.

Unfortunately, I should have stopped at this point as I had pretty much doubled my deposit. However, I now decided to see if I could play enough hands to receive my bonus and sadly crashed out. I guess my luck had run out! However, I do know that E-cash Direct are very reputable and as such if I had made a withdrawal, my money would have been returned within a few days. The only drawback with cashing in at Sun Poker is that a PIN must be entered with every withdrawal. This is sent via post to players after first making a deposit, and as such it could take up to two weeks before a player can make their first withdrawal. This makes it tempting to carry on gambling until the PIN arrives!

Although I didn't really have any reason to contact support this time round, I knew I had to test them somehow so decided to see how many raked hands I had played (even though this information is available from the cashier). Bizarrely, within the lobby it says that live help is disabled, but I was able to access it through the casino web page. Similarly, email and telephone support is also available, and telephone support is provided via a worldwide toll-free number. This is great and I have to say that the lady I spoke to on chat was very friendly.

To conclude, I have to say I was impressed with Sun Poker, even though I didn't cash in! A good number of games are available for both cash and tournament players. However, the majority of connected people seemed to be playing Texas Hold 'Em games. Depositing is easy, and similarly cashing in is straight forward, although I don't like the fact that a PIN is required. Customer support is responsive, and the software itself is good looking and easy to use. As such, for those seeking a new poker room with a decent bonus program, I think Sun Poker is definitely one to consider.

Click Pictures to Enlarge

The Sun Poker lobby - Hold 'Em 7-Card Stud and Omaha games are all available here

Both single table Sit 'n' Go as well as multi-table tournaments are available

I slow-play my pair of 8's and hit trips on the flop. This sets me up to take down a nice pot in my tournament game

I win second place in the tournament and win a prize of £30

Although 8 and 2 are poor cards, with both of them paired on the board I am confident of winning this pot

I was reasonably happy with my pair of 9's to begin with, but the chance of someone having a flush begins to scare me during this cash game

A fixed limit 7-Card Stud game in play

A healthy $36.25 win when I slow play my set of Queens at the 7-Card Stud table

I hold on to the end and am rewarded with a nut flush for a huge £87.05 pay off

The Sun Poker cashier makes it easy to deposit and withdraw funds

Sun Poker Strong Points:
  • Good range of tables available, although most people seem to play at the Texas Hold 'Em tables
  • Great range of tournaments and cash games available in 3 different currencies
  • Friendly and responsive customer support
  • Nice graphics and sound
Things Sun Poker Could Improve:
  • PIN required for withdrawing funds
  • Stud Poker and Omaha games are not very popular
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