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Paddy Power Poker is often misconceived as a relatively small poker website that gets noticed a lot because of its outrageous marketing. In fact, Paddy Power gets noticed a lot because it is one of the biggest online operators in the world (in 2013 the company´s net income was almost twice that of Ladbrokes) and because it offers genuinely interesting and achievable promotions. The company, like many of its online gambling competitors, provides online poker to its clients through the iPoker network; however, not all skins on the network offer the same experience, and the reasons why I like Paddy Power so much will become clear through my review of Paddy Power Poker.
(Almost) €15.00 for Free, 100% Bonus and Free Poker for a Month
One of the reasons for Paddy Power Poker being one of the largest “skins” on the iPoker network is that the site is pretty generous with its first deposit offers. All you have to do is set-up an account (I provide details on how to do that below) and fund it with €10.00 or more and Paddy Power will credit you with a €5 Twister token (Twister is Paddy Power Poker´s three-handed hyper-turbo Sit & Go game), $5 in cash to play on the site´s casino side games and a $5 entry into an exclusive “no lose” tournament.
All first deposits qualify for a 100% match bonus up to €200.00 which is released as you earn “Power Points” for contributing to the rake deducted from cash game pots or pay a fee to enter a Paddy Power Poker tournament or Sit & Go game. The bonus is released in increments of €5.00 each time you have collected 350 Power Points, except for the first two increments – which are released when you have collected 150 and 250 Power Points respectively.
Unfortunately, the “free poker for a month” offer is not as good as it sounds, but it is a decent opportunity for new players to enhance their skills and add to their bankrolls nonetheless. The “free poker” offer consists of thirty entries into special “Beginner Tournaments”. These are fairly modest in value, but have a deep payout structure and can still add some valuable funds to your account if you manage to cash in several of them. Certainly they are a good introduction to playing in big field tournaments at Paddy Power Poker.
Summary: I got my pocket calculator and worked out that the Paddy Power Poker bonus – although not the biggest among its iPoker competitors – has easier clearing requirements than any other; and you get 90 days to clear it rather than the 60 days offered by some other sites. Rating 9/10
Cash Games on Paddy Power Poker
One of the things you are going to notice when you first play at Paddy Power Poker is that there is a good variety of games – but none of them are played in dollars! Having funded your account in dollars and being offered a Paddy Power Poker bonus in dollars, you would expect that the cash games are available in dollars, but no – everything (except exclusive Paddy Power Poker tournaments) is in either Euros or Sterling.
Once you are over that, there is a fairly good selection of cash games at Paddy Power Poker. Games of Texas Hold´em, Omaha, 7 Card Stud, Razz and 5 Card Stud are provided in wide range of stakes, with comprehensive instructions for you to learn the skills to play each variant of poker in Paddy Power´s Poker School. “Speed Poker” – Paddy Power´s fast-fold variant – is also available as an option, and a fast way of earning the Power Points you need to clear the Paddy Power Poker bonus.
Summary: There is enough choice of games to satisfy most players. “New Player” tables protect you from the more experienced players when you first play on the site, and most of the non-Texas Hold´em games see a good volume of traffic so you can get a game at most times of the day or night. Rating 8/10
Paddy Power Poker is Excellent for Low Buy-in Poker Tournaments
If you prefer poker tournaments to the grind of the cash game tables, you will be particularly happy with the choice available on Paddy Power Poker. The site not only provides the full range of network tournaments (ones in which you could find yourself seated next to one player from Ladbrokes Poker and another from William Hill Poker) but also site exclusive qualifiers to its sponsored live events, such as the Paddy Power Irish Poker Open – the longest established Texas Hold´em tournament in Europe.
Besides from scheduled multitable tournaments, Paddy Power Poker offers a comprehensive range of low to medium buy-in Sit n Go games (Double-Ups Heads-Up, Knockouts, Steps, and Twister Sit n Gos) and has an ongoing Jackpot Sit n Go Series in which, if you consistently perform well at the Sit n Go tables, you could be rewarded with Jackpot prizes of up to €35,000.
Summary: There is often significant value to be had in Paddy Power´s fun-themed exclusive tournaments and they are well worth checking out. Rating 9/10
Paddy Power Poker´s Rewards Scheme Helps You Bump Up Your Bankroll
I really like Paddy Power´s “Power Rewards” program as it differs from many other sites by allowing you to exchange the Power Points you have earned to clear your initial Paddy Power Poker bonus into more poker bonuses which have a higher value than the cash exchange option. For example; if you reached “Power 3” level and accumulated 20,000 Power Points, you can either exchange them for $130.00 in cash or choose the option of a $250.00 Paddy Power Poker bonus. The bonus still has to be cleared like the one you received for your first deposit, but this system definitely rewards players who remain loyal to the site.
One other element of the “Power Rewards” program I like is that its higher levels are achieved on quarterly performance rather than annual. This means that you can cash your Power Points in for the luxury items and poker packages that appear in Paddy Power´s VIP Store sooner if that is how you want to spend them, and top Power Point earners can qualify for a Paddy Power Poker bonus of $25,000 (one million points required) just by playing poker.
Summary: Paddy Power has one of the most generous rewards schemes around and plenty of options for exchanging points for bonuses. Please also refer back to my earlier comments where I said that the Paddy Power Poker bonus was one of the easiest to clear. Rating 10/10
Paddy Power Poker Promotions Never Stop
Paddy Power´s marketing might have a reputation for being outrageous, scandalous or offensive, but they do get the point across that there are some excellent – often lucrative – promotions. In the recent 2014 FIFA World Cup for example, the company caused a stir by tweeting a picture of “C´mon England PP” carved into the Amazon rain forest.
The picture was obviously a fake, but it drew my attention to $20,000 of freerolls, a $2,000 free-to-enter “Goal Predictor” competition and a free bet freeroll that gave away €500.00 in free bet prizes every week. I didn´t win anything through the Paddy Power World Cup promotions on this occasion, but I have cashed before in some of their topical events, and it is well worth keeping an eye out for what is coming up next.
Summary: Paddy Power puts a great deal of effort into bringing fun into poker, and you do not always have to be involved in the promotions right from the very beginning to win a decent prize. Rating 9/10
Beware of the Sharks on Paddy Power Poker
The standard of play on Paddy Power Poker is very mixed and when I first started playing on the site I was given the genuinely good advice to watch a table for a circuit of the button before committing a chunk of your bankroll to a table where you may be eaten alive. There are two types of players which use this site – top online poker players and casual/inexperienced players who have been attracted by the clever marketing and potentially lucrative promotions. Depending on your level of play, getting involved with the wrong crowd could be an expensive option.
From my point of view, new players who do not want to play on the limited stakes of the “New Player” tables should spend some time studying bankroll management, so that if you do have the misfortune to be pounced upon by sharks, your bankroll won´t be swallowed up in one session. Paddy Power Poker used to provide “Anonymous” tables to develop your online poker skills without an opponent being able to use previous data to exploit any betting weaknesses you may have, and hopefully they will bring these back in the near future.
Summary: Definitely safety first on Paddy Power Poker, where you could equally be seated between two players from Dusk till Dawn Poker or Genting Poker as you might from any of the sportsbook and bingo websites that provide its customers with online poker via the iPoker network. Rating 7/10
Steady Traffic at Paddy Power Poker
There is a good stream of traffic at all times of the day and night at Paddy Power Poker despite many of the site´s exclusive offers and feature tournaments being scheduled in favour of the UK and Ireland. This is because of the site´s affiliation with the iPoker network, which has other skins attached to it which are more internationally recognised.
The affiliation with the network eliminates some of the peaks and troughs in traffic that you might find on other poker websites, and it means that there are always cash tables available, Sit n Go games fill up quickly, and multitable tournaments are about to start. If you live in the UK or Ireland (or Portugal), you are actually at an advantage of players in later time zones across Europe when it comes to running deep in a big tournament and being awake enough to finish it!
Summary: Even though peaks and troughs still exist in the traffic on Paddy Power, they are not as extreme as some sites that are not affiliated to a network. The volume of traffic should enable you to clear your Paddy Power Poker bonus even when you are limited to playing at off-peak times. Rating: 8/10
The Paddy Power Poker Download
Not many Paddy Power Poker reviews cover the technical side of getting started with the poker website, so I am going to run quickly through the process, although there is plenty of assistance available either on the web site or through Paddy Power´s Customer Service Department.
Paddy Power Poker Compatibility
Like all the sites that share player databases on the iPoker network there is no Paddy Power Poker download for Mac. There is a very limited “Flash” version of the software available on the Paddy Power Poker website, but it offers significantly less than is available on the full Paddy Power Poker download for Windows.
Downloading Paddy Power Poker for Windows is a very straightforward operation, and it starts by clicking on the blue “Download Now” button which appears on the Paddy Power Poker website. The “SetupPoker.exe_32240b.exe” file will automatically save to your computer´s download folder and you should double-click on the file´s icon to start the installation process.
When a new dialogue box opens up on your screen, select “Run” and your language of choice, read and accept the Terms and Conditions (provided you agree with them) and then select what icons you want where. Click “Next” and the software will start installing onto your computer.
Once the installation is completed, click on “Done”, and the poker client will automatically launch on your computer – asking you to “Create an Account”.
Summary: The process for the Paddy Power Poker download is quick and easy, but only available for Windows. The lack of a mobile poker app is pretty bad considering how good the sportsbook app is (and how bad the Flash poker software is). Rating 6/10
Registering a Poker Account with Paddy Power Poker
You can set up a Paddy Power Poker account directly through the poker website or the poker client. Both routes will find you in a new secure window, where you will be asked for information such as your name, address, email address and date of birth (as Paddy Power says “Your real one, not the one you would like it to be”).
Your name and address should be entered in the same format as any documentation you will be using later to verify your ID and you then have to pick a username and password (please make sure this is a different password than you use for anything else). On the same page, pick and answer a security question – this will be used if ever you forget your password.
Check whichever means of communication you would like to contacted by for Paddy Power´s promotions (fortunately they do not bombard you with junk mail) and read a new set of Terms and Conditions before clicking “Done”. Once the registration process is finished, Paddy Power will send you an email welcoming you to their poker website and explaining about the free $5.00 poker money.
Summary: It is recommended that you go through the ID verification process when you set up your account to save time later; and there is “live chat” on hand to guide you through the process if you are unsure about what documents you need to send. Rating 10/10
How to Make Your First Deposit on Paddy Power Poker
If you want to make a deposit straightaway rather than playing around with the free poker money, click on the cashier´s button to be taken to a new secure window, where you will be given the options which are available to you for making your first deposit. These vary from country to country, so I am not going to bore you with the complete list, but include Visa and MasterCard credit cards and eWallets such as PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
If your method of payment is via an eWallet or prepaid Internet payment card (such as UKash or PaySafe) you will be automatically taken to your payment processor´s cashier to complete the transaction, after which you will normally received another email confirming that your transaction has been processed. The field for the Paddy Power Poker bonus code can be left empty if you followed the links from this site to Paddy Power´s website, because Paddy will know that “Loui sent you” (due to the wizardry of analytics).
Summary: All transactions on Paddy Power Poker are free of charge and 100% secure. If you experience any difficulties funding your account, Paddy Power´s Customer Services team are on-call 24/7 by phone or live chat. Rating 10/10
Paddy Power is Big on Fairness and Security
Predominantly Paddy Power Poker wants to attract recreational players to their site to have a fun experience and, if possible, win a little money. In order to keep attracting recreational players, the site has to be fair and be seen to be fair, and the Paddy Power Poker website goes to quite some lengths to demonstrate how fair it is.
All transactions over the website or through the poker client are encrypted, and the Paddy Power security team is constantly guarding against fraud and collusion. The penalties for breaking the Terms and Conditions of playing on the site are pretty severe (which is why I always suggest you read them before agreeing to them) and will usually result in your account being permanently suspended, with all the money you have in your account being confiscated.
Summary: To be fair, you will hardly notice any of the security going on in the background, but it is reassuring to know that it is there. The site publishes the results from RNG tests on the website if you really want to see how much trouble Paddy Power goes to in order to ensure you have a fair gaming experience. Rating 10/10
Paddy Power´s Customer Support is Mostly Good
On paper, the customer service provided by Paddy Power Poker is very good, and to put the gripe I am just about to come up with into perspective, their Customer Service Department receives thousands of communications every day which can concern anything from the intricacies of Sumo Wrestling to how to switch a mobile phone on.
I have had reason to contact Paddy Power Customer Services just twice in the nine years I have had an account with the company, and once I had a very good experience, but the second time (via Live Chat) I felt that the person at the other end of my Internet connection did not have a good command of English and simply referred me back to the company website rather than answer my specific question.
Summary: I might have been unlucky the second time around, and the query eventually got resolved, but these ratings are based on my experiences. Rating 7/10
What Else Does Paddy Power Do?
If you can bet on it, Paddy Power will lay it. The site has an exceptionally comprehensive sportsbook – including virtual racing if there is nothing happening in the real world that you fancy betting on – two casinos (one live) and a games page packed with casino games, a lotteries site on which you can bet on lottery results from around the world and a bingo product.
Paddy Power also runs a challenge called “BetDash” in which you bet on yourself to turn $100,000 of virtual money in $1 million of virtual money (or more). Depending on how well you do, you could win 1,000 times your original stake, and this game has attracted a mighty social media following – something which Paddy Power are particularly good at manipulating to their own benefit.
The site also offer downloadable mobile apps for sports bettors, bingo players and casino high rollers, but sadly only a substandard Flash version of the Paddy Power Poker software if you want to play poker on your mobile.
This is the End of My Paddy Power Poker Review
I have come to the end of my Paddy Power Poker review feeling pretty positive about the site and intending to spend more time on it in future. Although I won´t qualify for the initial Paddy Power Poker bonus again, I am very enthusiastic about the ongoing bonuses through their rewards program and the innovative promotions that are offered. I think that you either have to be a small-ball recreational player or a well-funded and dedicated semi-pro to get the most out of the site, and I aim to go from the former to the latter on Paddy Power Poker. Overall Rating 8.6/10
I hope to see you at the Paddy Power Poker tables more often!