I recently completed the Carbon promotion with Pokersource. This was my 5th successfully completed Pokersource promo. I will review the room based on ease of deposit, software, softness of games, and bonuses. I will use a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 = bad/hard and 10 = good/easy.
Ease of deposit (6)
The only deposit choices for my country of origin (Philippines) are bank transfer and Western Union. I opted for Western Union. It was inconvenient to have to go make deposits and I actually had to do it twice, as I was underrolled on my initial deposit and had to reload. However, once the deposits were made, they hit my account in less than an hour. Also, Carbon reimbursed me for the Western Union fees, which is nice. I have not withdrawn yet, but it doesn’t look to be an easy process, as I have to do it through my bank account.
I love the Carbon software. It looks good and works well. The chat bubbles appear next to the player who is chatting – rather than in the chat box – and they have those funny avatars. This is good for two reasons: 1) you can easily see who is chatting and 2) fish love to chat, so it’s easy to figure out who’s on tilt, who doesn’t know the game, who thinks poker is all luck, etc.
My only complaint is there does not appear to be a way to tag players. In the old days, you could tag them, but now I don’t think you can.
Softness of games (8)
Since it is on one of the few remaining US-facing networks, I thought Carbon would be tough, but in reality it was fish central. I play 6max 10nl and 25nl, and during prime time there were usually at least 2 to 3 fish per table, and sometimes I would get lucky and sit at a table with 4 or even 5. It was not unusual to see an average table vpip/pfr in the 40/10 range.
There are some decent regs, though, but if you’ve got a HUD they’re pretty easy to spot. Sadly, I ran bad versus the fish and ended up on the losing end of some reg wars, but thanks to the Pokersource bonus my losses were reduced.
The Merge network has got to have one of the worst bonus plans known to man. For every $75 you rake, you get $5 in bonus. I raked $150, so I got $10. That’s less than 7% - and no rakeback. They might have freerolls or other stuff like that, but I’m a cash player who plays sessions less than an hour long, so I’m not interested.
I don’t know how regs can beat the rake, unless they have rakeback deals. If it weren’t for the Pokersource promo, there’s no way I’d ever play on this site. I guess Merge is taking advantage of the captive American market; if that market ever opens up to legalization, they’re going to have to seriously restructure their bonus program.
Between some run-bad and play-bad, I ended up being stuck a fair amount, but thanks to the $120 in Pokersource money those losses were tempered. I would like to thank Pokersource for once again giving me the opportunity to get some free money. Amazon.com, here I come!