Party Poker Review

Party Poker Has Always Been The Best All Around Choice For Online Poker

Party Poker has been around since the dawn of internet poker where it quickly become the world’s favorite place to play online.  For those who remember those days, it’s almost hard to describe how dominant Party Poker was when they were permitted to accept players from every country around the world.

When Party Gaming, the parent company of Party Poker, went public in 2005 by offering its shares on the London Stock Exchange, the company was valued at a whopping $8.46 billion.  They ended up expanding the operation with the addition of Party Casino, Party Gammon, and Party Bingo, providing their players with the ability to take advantage of several other forms of online gambling with the convenience of a single account.  Party would later progress to adding other forms of gambling, such as sports betting and even financial market betting, to further diversify the choices they provided to their customers.

In 2006, the U.S. congress passed the UIGEA, which made it unlawful for financial institutions to process financial transactions for its residents that involved unlawful internet gambling.  In spite of the fact that Party Poker was not subject in any way to U.S. law, and even if they were, there were no jurisdictions in the United States at the time where internet gambling was illegal in the first place, thus having this law being a phantom one, Party Poker decided to no longer offer gaming to U.S. residents.  With several other popular poker sites continuing to offer poker to this huge market, Party Poker slipped from being the dominant force in online poker to being relegated to third place.

What really stood out for me though is how many American players longed for the good old days when they could still play at Party Poker, and there was no question that just about everyone preferred the superior experience and beatability of Party over the much tougher action at Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker.  In fact I can tell you that there really wasn’t any comparison with Party which remained far and away the overall best place to play online poker, a fact that continues to this day, and it has to do with the sheer amount of fish at Party versus any other poker site.  Party has always been famous as the poker site with the most fish, and with their exit out of the U.S. market, things have only gotten better for those of us who live elsewhere.

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Party Poker Is The Most Ethical And Secure Online Poker Operation In The World

I’ve always been very impressed with the integrity of Party Poker and this was really demonstrated by their willingness to pay huge fines to the U.S. government for their alleged involvement in online poker prior to the UIGEA.  The law that they were actually charged with wasn’t even the new UIGEA, it was the Wire Act which the American courts had already decided didn’t’ apply to online poker at all. However, Party Poker is always out to make everyone happy, even the U.S. government, although it certainly was a surprise that they went ahead and paid the fine to the tune of a whopping $300 million.

That’s how far Party Poker goes to ensure they are completely beyond reproach.  They don’t want anyone to be unhappy with them, even if the accusations are completely bogus and it costs them this much money to make things go away.  This is definitely one of the things I like the most about them, and this is reflected in every single aspect of the way they do business.  They have to answer to the London Stock Exchange regulators, which is a much higher standard than some people in a remote location in some back room who make all the rules and generally make them all to suit their own interests.

This significant benefit really stands out when you look at what happened lately in the poker industry.  When the heat was put on, some poker sites honored their obligations to their players and some did not.  So the end result was that countless players were unable to collect their money, and with some the chances of their ever getting paid is slim to none.  That’s not a place I ever want to have my money at, and in fact, I have stayed away from these poker sites in favor of one I can trust, which is Party Poker.

Even if you only have a few hundred dollars, that money is important to you, and having to sit on the sidelines and being made to wait months to get it, or not even getting it at all and having it stolen from you, or frozen by the U.S. government when you don’t even live there, isn’t an experience you ever want to be unfortunate enough to be involved in.  However, it’s said that we make our own luck, and this is certainly true when it comes to the places we choose to play online poker at.  So this is definitely one of the reasons I like Party Poker so much, and it should be one of your main areas of concern as well.

Party Poker’s Famous Ocean Of Fish

Among all the great reasons to play online at Party Poker is the sheer amount of weak players that play there.  This has always been the case at Party Poker, and once again, since the Americans have left, things have gotten even better.  As a rule, American players tend to be more skilled on average, since the poker playing culture tends to be much more weighted toward the English language, in terms of the better forums, books, and in particular, instructional videos which are all pretty much all in English. As well, there are also a lot of grinders who play for a living that are from there.

These players all can be beat if you’re good enough, but why play against good players when you can play against fish instead?  Now I am not looking to say that there aren’t good players from other countries as well and there certainly are, but I want to stay away from those as well.  So for whatever reason, these better players have all gravitated to sites like Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, although at the time of this writing Full Tilt has been taken down and who knows if and when they will be back in business.

However, Party Poker ended up going from always being the biggest online poker site around to being in third place when they stopped taking Americans, and it wasn’t just the Americans that left.  A lot of the big grinders from other countries who need a ton of tables at their stakes left as well, once these other sites got bloated from all the extra American traffic they got from Party and other poker sites who stopped taking it after the UIGEA.  So good riddance to them and in fact this was the perfect situation for good players who could play at Party and definitely prefer fishier sites.  So what ended up happening is that the proportion of fish to good players become even better, which is a very nice situation indeed, and this continues to this day.

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Softness Of Competition Isn’t Everything, It’s The Only Thing

You may have heard the famous quote from Vince Lombardi, considered by many to be the best football coach of all time.  He said that winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.  Now that may or may not be true with football, but it’s certainly true with poker.  We may play to have fun but in the end how we do in terms of winning or losing is the only thing that matters, or at least should be the only thing.

So how we do, in terms of whether we win or not, and how much we win, is directly related to our skill level versus the average skill level of the players that we play against.  So we all know how important it is to look to become better poker players and the effect of this on our success at the table.  However, there is a second part of this, and that’s choosing to play against weaker players and getting the advantage that way.  Of the two, playing against weaker competition is by far the easier of the two to pull off, and it’s actually just a matter of playing at the right poker site.

Now there are plenty of smaller sites that offer softer competition as well, but the problem is that they don’t have a lot of traffic and while the games are soft there aren’t enough of them generally.  Even with this said though, I still recommend that people have accounts at the better of these smaller sites, since a good game can open up here and there which is especially juicy and you may want to get in on that.

However, not all of us can have several poker accounts, and unless you have a really big bankroll like I do, it’s generally a bad idea.  The problem you run into if your bankroll isn’t large enough is that if you spread yourself out thinly, causing you to have to play smaller than you would if you had your whole bankroll in one spot.  So you need to be able to have enough to play whatever stakes you want at your main poker site before you can afford to branch out.

There aren’t a lot of players who are set up this well and I’m guessing you probably aren’t either, which is fine for now, and if you keep at it and keep improving, and keep playing at the proper poker site then you will get to this point eventually.  However when you do, you are still going to want to have a main site.  Party Poker is in fact the perfect poker site for those who need to play at just one site, and it is also perfect as a player’s main site once they can branch out and start having accounts at one of the smaller ones that offer soft enough action to be considered.

However, unless you like pain, what you definitely do not want to do is to make the mistake that the majority of online poker players make, which is to just look to where the most traffic is and play there, without much regard to the wisdom of the decision.  There are several reasons why this happens.  First, these big poker sites spend a ton of money on marketing, millions of dollars per week in fact, as they try to suck players in to playing at their poker sites.  Once again, I’m talking about Poker Stars and Full Tilt here.  So if it’s catchy ads that turn you on, then you may be in trouble here.

More Is Definitely Not Necessarily Better

Next, some people just think that they need 100 or 200 tables running at the same time at the games they like to play.  Now there’s nothing wrong with this in itself, but what happens at these sites is that there are only a few fish at these many tables, and just to play against just one you often have to get on a long waiting list, and by the time you get a seat the fish are long gone and you are playing against other sharks who smelled the same blood as you did, only now you’re in a situation where the table is even tougher than average.  That’s no way to set yourself up for success, that’s for sure.

The other reason is that some players feel a need to play a ton of tables at the same time, like 12 or 16 or whatever, and for whatever reason think that they have to play them all at the same poker site.  I’m not sure if the reason is their being dumb, or lazy, or both, but if you play the higher stakes this will only be possible at the mega traffic sites.  I don’t recommend that players play this many and it’s usually caused by people being afraid to move up stakes, and thus would prefer a ton of tables at one stake rather than less at a higher one.  At the tougher sites this fear is at least justified, as these players may indeed be out of their league at higher stakes due to the increased skill level a them.  The site is too tough anyway, so things get even tougher as you move up.

So what I recommend first of all is that you probably don’t want to play this many tables in the first place.  I can tell you that as an expert high stakes player who does very well, that my biggest advantage by far is my only playing one table at a time versus the several tables that my opponents tend to play.  At the higher levels it’s all about getting into the heads of your opponents and I can do that much better at one table, and in a way that it’s not possible for them to compete with if they are even only playing two.  So multi-tabling is very overrated in my mind and if don’t really think that much at the poker table anyway, well maybe it is true that you can make more money per hour playing several tables, but you should look to get away from that mindless poker anyway if you ever plan on moving up to the more serious stakes.

However if you do need to multi-table, I will tell you that there’s plenty of opportunity to do so at Party Poker.  You do need to pay attention to always wanting to be in soft tables when you play several, and it’s all about quality here, not quantity, and the quality of the tables at Party Poker is second to none.  You should always be looking to move up though and when you do, you don’t want to play a bunch of tables at the new level, at least not at first until you have proven that you can do well at one.  Then you can add more later if you see fit.

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Party Poker Has A Delicious Combination Of High Traffic And Fishiness

Since the demise of Full Tilt Poker, Party Poker has now become the second highest traffic poker site on the internet, second only to Poker Stars.  As popular as Poker Stars is, I will tell you that the players there are quite a bit tougher than those at Party Poker, and this is not a good choice at all for you.  As far as the sites with less traffic, almost all of them have quite a bit less, and it can be difficult at times to play what you want whenever you want, which is very important.  Party Poker runs tons of tables and tournaments at any time of the day or night so you will be able to play when you want to.

Party Poker actually tends to attract the less skilled players out there which is exactly what we want.  These players are either new to the game or have been playing for a long time and haven’t figured out how to win yet.  The level of competition at a poker site has a lot to do with how others play there.  For instance in the old days of no fold’em hold’em, if you played sensibly you could really stand out, as most players played way too many hands and played them way too far.  So what happened eventually is that at some poker sites people used to see tighter players make more money, and then wanted to be like them, so they looked to imitate this style.  Eventually if you didn’t play tight, then you really stood out.  So in that sense good players breed more good players.

Fortunately though, this didn’t really happen as much at Party Poker, as the good players tended to leave for Poker Stars and Full Tilt once they really grew in size.  So this left the fish, who aren’t good enough to learn from others generally anyway, and since bad play has always been the norm there, it doesn’t stand out at all.  There’s no reason in fact to think that this will ever change either.  The players have improved a bit over the years, but they are still easy to beat, and that’s the way we want it.

Party Poker Also Offers Several Other Forms Of Online Gambling

There are two main benefits to Party’s wide selection of types of gambling that they offer.  First of all, for players who enjoy other forms of gambling, including casino gambling, sports betting, backgammon, bingo, horse racing, and even betting on financials, Party Poker’s selection is definitely second to none.  All of this other betting is first class all the way and they have many years of experience with it, and all is of the highest quality that people have come to expect from Party.  In fact, Party originally started out as an online casino several years before online poker first emerged, and they took their experience with this and applied it to poker as well and immediately became the world’s top poker room.

So if you’re looking to dabble in these other forms of betting, then there’s no need to look elsewhere to do it, and Party will take care of all of your needs here.  It’s also great to be able to do it all from the same bankroll, and if you remember my discussion earlier on the importance of not spreading yourself out too thin, this also applies to playing different games as well.  If some of your bankroll is elsewhere and dedicated to something else like sports betting for instance, you end up playing too small with both poker and the sports betting, and this puts you at a significant disadvantage and is something that you really should look to avoid.  At Party though, there’s no need to spread yourself out, as you can do it all at one place.

The second benefit of all of this, and the biggest of the two in fact, is that by offering these other forms of betting, players come over from these other forms to gamble it up at the poker tables.  These are players who only play poker casually, and therefore tend to be very bad players, and even bigger fish than the normal everyday fish that play at Party.  They are looking for action, which means they aren’t looking to grind it out or do a lot of folding.  As well, unlike poker players who start out at the lower stakes and tend to move up as they improve, these gamblers choose stakes that match up with how much they have to lose, rather than their poker skills.  So if you play the mid to high stakes these fish are really nice to have.  They also tend to be accustomed to losing, especially casino players, and don’t mind losing stack after stack to you.  It doesn’t get any better than this to be honest.

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Party Poker Also Pays You Just To Try Them Out

If it weren’t enough to be hooked up with what is easily the world’s best place to play poker, Party Poker also pays you to try them out.  They will double your initial deposit in fact, up to 500 of the currency of your choice.  If you have read my review on their welcome bonus structure, you will see that I worked out all the math here and determined that depositing in British Pounds was the best way to go, regardless of how little or how much you have to deposit.  Now you don’t have to be from the U.K to deposit in British Pounds, as you can choose whatever currency you like, regardless of what country you live in, and they will automatically convert it for you.  You can also deposit in U.S. or Canadian Dollars, or Euros, as you prefer, although the bonus will work out to be less if you use one of these other currencies.

Depending on the size of your initial deposit, they then set aside an equal amount in bonus money for you, which you cash in as you try them out and play real money cash games.  For every dollar in rake that the table pays, you collect points.  Now there are two ways that this can be calculated, and the first way is to only count the amount of rake that you pay personally.  This isn’t the best way to do it though even though a lot of poker sites calculate things this way.  What Party does though is to take the total rake and calculate the points, and then divide that by the amount of players who got dealt cards, regardless of whether you put any money in the pot or not.  So if you’re not a fish, you can get the fish to jack up the rake as they normally do and have them earn points for you.  This is a perfect situation in fact and will have you collecting your bonus money a lot faster.

Party Poker also sets up the way they release your bonus in ideal fashion as well.  Instead of making you wait until you have earned enough points to cash in the whole thing as some sites do, or doing it in quarters as a lot of other poker sites do, Party pays you every time you have earned enough points for one tenth of it.  So if your total bonus is 500, they will pay you every time you’ve earned enough points to get 50, and if the total is 100, they will pay you every 10.  This is great of course since the sooner you can get your hands on your bonus money the better.

Party Poker Promotions

Your welcome bonus is just the start at Party Poker, and while doubling your starting bankroll with them is nice indeed, they have plenty of exciting things in store for you once you’ve cashed that all in.  There’s too much to even mention here, but I’ll touch on a few things going on right now that are designed to not only further reward you for playing at Party Poker, but to make your experience there more enjoyable as well.

For starters, they offer all new players, meaning those who have made their first deposit with them in the last 60 days, free tickets to their weekly $1,500 freeroll tournaments.  Since you can play for up to 2 months, and they run them weekly, that means you don’t just get to play in one of these like most other poker sites, you can enter up to nine of them.  Since they are limited to new players, there won’t be a ton of other people playing in them like you see at other freerolls, so your chances of cashing in on some nice extra money is much higher than you normally see.

The way to calculate the value of freerolls is to take the total prize money and then divide this by the number of entrants.  So if there is $100 to be given away and 10,000 players, then it works out to one cent per player.  So this means that if they were charging a fee to enter, it would be one cent, and you are therefore playing a penny tournament, which is a waste of time in fact.  That’s about average though for freerolls at other poker sites.

With the case of these premium new player freerolls at Party though, they only average a couple of hundred players or less, and the prize money is $1,500, so the value of each entry is now $7.50 or more.  So since you can play nine of them, that’s a total of about $65 or more in free tournament entries that you are getting in total, and you are entitled to that regardless of how small your deposit is.  So this is a real nice bonus in itself, although it’s on top of your double your money welcome bonus that you get.

In addition to this, they also offer over $100,000 of freerolls every month, and they run all day long.  Many of them require that you live in a specific country or specific region of the world, which may not seem to be ideal, but it actually is since it’s to your benefit to have the number of players who enter these kept down somewhat, which increases their value to you significantly.  Every part of the world is taken care of though, and they are even scheduled at convenient times for you depending on your time zone.  You can both win money and entries to much bigger tournaments with these, and of course entering them is completely free of charge.

A lot of poker sites offer bad beat jackpots, but they tend to set the hands that you need to have beaten quite high, like for instance needing a straight flush and losing to a higher one.  At Party Poker, they set this to the lowest around, at four eights or better.  So your chances of cashing in on it are increased this way, and due to the sheer amount of players at Party Poker, the jackpots you win are pretty big indeed.

The best thing about the bad beat jackpot at Party though is that they have separate tables which qualify to win it, and this attracts the biggest fish who play even looser and crazier looking to draw to it.  So for me I don’t even care about the bad beat jackpot, as I’m more interested in players blowing off tons of money looking to win it.  This means a lot more profit per hour for us, and unlike what they are shooting for, this prize is a sure thing.

There is always lots of great promotions running at Party Poker at any given time and no one does promotions or poker for that matter better.  Their years of success in offering the best online poker the world has to offer really comes through with shining colors, and they are very dedicated to making the experience of all their players the best they can make it.

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Party Poker Rewards Program

In spite of offering for many years what has been one of the most generous rewards programs out there, Party Poker wasn’t satisfied, and has recently ramped things up for its players by offering an even more generous program that’s also designed to be as simple as possible.  After you’ve collected enough Party Points to cash in on your initial deposit bonus, the fun with these points doesn’t end there, and in fact it is only beginning.

Your points are continually updated and you always know exactly where you are at.  You can then cash them in for a huge variety of merchandise at their store.  Unlike a lot of poker sites, it isn’t just limited to a few items such as caps or t-shirts, and there truly is a great selection here.  You can also trade them in for cash which makes sure everyone will be completely happy.

They have five different VIP levels where the more you play, the more points you get, and the faster you collect them per given hand.  So everyone starts out at the Bronze level, and then you move up to the Silver, Gold, Palladium, and Palladium Elite.  With each level, you can not only receive a cash payout, but also become eligible for additional bonus money as well.  For example, with the Gold level, when you get 3000 points you not only collect $120 in cash, you also receive a $300 bonus on top of that, which you cash in once you’ve played some more.

At the top end of things, the Palladium Elite, for the very frequent players, for every 300,000 points, they pay you $50,000 cash plus give you a $75,000 bonus as well.  While it’s true that this is a lot of points, on the other hand they are giving you $125,000, and there are plenty of players there who eventually work themselves up to this, and this could be you someday as well.

One thing is for sure, the rewards program at Party Poker is by far the best out there, and rewards are both pretty nice to get and pretty important as well, especially if a poker site rolls them out like Party does.  They make sure that everyone gets in on the goodies, not just the bigger players.  They even allow you to re-use the points you use to clear one bonus towards getting paid out again, which is yet another thing that they do and other poker sites don’t.

So in other words you collect the cash for hitting a level, then play some more and get the bonus, and then the points you collected to cash in on that bonus are then used toward the next set of cash and bonuses.  This is all simply awesome and they go all out to make sure that you are rewarded far more than at other places.

Party Poker Refer A Friend Bonus

After you’ve had a chance to see how great it is to play at Party Poker, you’ll want to do your poker playing friends a favor and look to get them in on the fun as well.  So Party Poker has put together a very nice deal where you can cash in here.  All you need to do is pass on the name and email address of your friends and Party Poker will do the rest.

Every 60 Party Points your friends collect earns both you and your friend an extra $10, up to a maximum of $100 per friend.  This isn’t bonus money by the way, it’s real cash right in your account and your friends’ accounts as well.  If you think that you can make a lot of extra poker cash this way, you are absolutely right.

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Party Poker Tournament Action

Party Poker has always been the best place around to play poker tournaments, but they have taken things one giant leap forward with their elimination of tournament fees.  I can’t tell you how crazy good this is.  You might be thinking, well it’s only a buck to enter a $10 tournament, that isn’t that much, but when you add up all the savings from all the tournaments you’ll be playing there, it quickly will add up to a big amount of money.  This alone is a lot better than any bonus, and in fact makes Party Poker stand out far above any other poker site in terms of value versus any other poker site.  It’s only one of many great reasons to play at Party, but this one is truly a big one.

Party Poker offers a very wide selection of every kind of tournament imaginable, and even more importantly, the tournaments at Party, like the cash games, are very fishy.  Once again, the combination of the big traffic and the soft competition at Party is unbeatable and there’s no other poker site that has both in these ideal amounts.

Party runs everything from the largest tournaments, such as their $200,000 guaranteed Sunday tournament, right down to the smallest buy-ins, to make sure that there’s always lots going on to suit every players’ tastes and bankroll.  All of the larger tournaments have a wide variety of smaller qualifying tournaments as well, to make sure that everyone has a chance to get in on those as well.

Whether you prefer single table tournaments or the larger ones, this is the place to play them.  If you have ever imagined yourself playing at a World Poker Tour event, well Party Poker owns the World Poker Tour, so if you want to give that a shot, this is the place to do it at.  Once again, they make all of this accessible to everyone, even if you only have a couple of dollars to spend to take a shot.  They also have their own Party Poker Summer Million, which you can look to win a seat at for as little as $1.

In the end, Party Poker doesn’t just beat the competition when it comes to poker tournaments, they completely blow them away.

Party Poker School

Party Poker also has a section of their site dedicated toward poker education, geared for new and experienced players alike.  There are three sections, designed for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players, and the articles deal with all the popular forms of poker, including hold’em, seven card stud, and Omaha.  If you’ve ever wanted to try a new form of poker, this is a great spot to learn the basics.

Their team of pros include such famous names as Mike Sexton, Tony G, and Kara Scott.  Their library of instructional material is growing all the time, and this section also includes free access top their exclusive software, including their poker trainer and hand analyzer.  Once again, Party Poker gets an A+.

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Party Poker Software

I can’t tell you how sick I was of that old software with those same tired old avatars that ran at Party Poker for years.  However, all the money I made from all the fish at Party more than made up for this, but I always wondered why they didn’t update their software.  So when they finally did, it was a real breath of fresh air, and what an update it was!  They went from being well behind the times to being well ahead of it.

Not only is the look of their software much improved, but the filtering options are excellent, and are actually the very best out there as well.  You just tell their software exactly what games you want displayed and it instantly does it for you.  The playability of the tables are also improved and game play is both fast and convenient.  They finally got this right and got it right big time in fact.

Party Poker Deposit And Withdrawal Options

Some poker sites only offer a few deposit and withdrawal options, but Party Poker does nothing half way, and when it comes to the ease and convenience of getting money in and out of their poker site, once again they are second to none.  There are way too many options to bother listing for you here, and this depends somewhat on where you live, as some options are only available in select countries.  However, all you need to do is pick your country from the drop down menu and it will instantly display the many options that they have for you.

The one I prefer myself is instantly having money go in and out of your bank account, which they provide free of charge.  Regardless of what your preferences though, you are assured of having a wide selection of convenient options made available to you.

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Party Poker Security and Integrity

I’ve already mentioned that Party Poker is in a class of its own as far as their ethical standards go and their trustworthiness, and as many players have found out, this can be a real big deal indeed.  The entire operation at Party Poker is completely in the open in fact, and is a matter of public filing and they are accountable to a board of directors and shareholders in addition to being required to follow the stringent rules of the London Stock Exchange.

So this is a real business and a first class one at that, rather than being owned by unknown persons in sketchy locations where the companies may even have bribed the authorities in these countries, and the tail may even be wagging the dog.  I’m pretty fussy with who is holding my money and I want to be sure it’s completely safe and that’s definitely the case at Party Poker.

Party also goes the extra mile when it comes to the security and integrity of their poker site, and they employ all the latest and best technologies to ensure that the games are completely fair and the shuffle is truly random.  While this isn’t as big of a problem at other poker sites as a lot of people imagine, not all poker sites are quite up to snuff here, particularly smaller operations who may not have enough money to spend on this.  Party Poker does though and they realize its importance, and ensure that the experience of their players is always the very best.

Conclusion

It should be obvious to you that I absolutely love Party Poker and it’s always been my favorite place to play poker online.  I’ve also recommended it to many players over the years and have heard nothing but good things from people as far as their experiences there.  Things have only gotten better lately and Party Poker hasn’t been satisfied with just being the best, as they always want to get better.  I honestly don’t think they can get their poker site any better than they have it now though.

You’ve read all of my comments, so now it’s time to find out for yourself just how good this poker site is.  If you do not currently have an account at Party Poker, then it’s definitely high time you had one.  They are even going to be paying you to try them out.  See for yourself that it really doesn’t get any better than this, and if you’ve played at other poker sites before, you’re in for a real treat here as no one does it better than Party.  If you’re brand new to online poker, well you may as well start out with the best.  Just click on our link to them and let the party begin.

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