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Betfair Poker - Review
Betfair Poker was launched in May 2004 and released its own Poker Software in October 2006, where it operated as an independent room mainly targeting the rakeback market. In July 2010 it joined the well-respected Ongame Network which is one of the top ranking networks in terms of traffic within the industry. Ongame is a rakeback free network so Betfair now offers its customers a VIP program offering its' players up to 40% valueback! At the Player$ Club players need to know 3 simple steps > 1. Play real money > 2. Earn points > 3. Redeem them in the reward shop. Another bonus is the fact that Betfair run their own 'Betfair Poker Live! Series' hosting Events across Europe.
Betfair Poker originally started out on the Cryptologic network. Now they are a fully independent network, which has allowed Betfair great flexibility in providing players with what they want.
Since an update in early 2007 there have been some great features added. The tables now look really slick, uncluttered and well designed. The gameplay is smooth and fast flowing. It takes a bit of time getting used to the betting buttons on the right hand side of the screen, but they have a nice sliding scale betting function along with bet pot buttons to make things easy for you. The cards are slightly on the small side, but they are easily distinguishable.
Multitabling at Betfair Poker is a dream. You can resize each table to fit according to your screen, allowing you a maximum of opening 15 screens at once.
There are also a good working "player notes" function along with the usual hand statistics, but in addition Betfair Poker have released the "Poker Buddy" feature. The Poker Buddy tracks your results and gives you hands histories against specific opponents amongst other things.
The lobby looks slightly dated. The names of the tournaments are also a bit cluttered in the tournaments section. The cash games section is well designed, easily navigable and features clear flop % and hands per hour stats.
Overall Betfair Poker have more hits than misses when it comes to software and playability.
Betfair Poker made the choice to become independent of any network, in light of this the traffic isn't huge, though it's not small either, but is growing all the time. At peak times there are around 1,500 real money players at the cash games, and 4,000 at the tournament tables.
The only games available at Betfair Poker are Texas Hold'em and Omaha. Unlike most other online poker rooms featured, at Betfair Poker there's a good range of stakes available at non peak hours. There are NL-hold'em games full ring and 6 max games up to $10/20 and Heads up cash games for up to $250/$500 running! Obviously the 6 max and full ring games gets busier in the evening, but this shows that there's a wide array of cash level games available at all times. Betfair Poker really seems to be to be the place to play high stakes Heads Up poker, due to their low rake policy on these games.
Overall the traffic at Betfair Poker is surprising for such a small player base. There's a good selection of games at all levels, which is a welcome change from other sites which may have thousands of players, but who only populate the micro-stakes games.