Which Poker Sites Have Synchronized Tournament Breaks?
Welcome Update: Titan Poker finally have that head-smack moment where they realize their tournament fans have been leaving due to the lack of breaks... They now have them in line with the other poker sites at 5 to the hour. This is great news, since the tournaments at Titan are the easiest to beat anywhere online (check them for yourself, really). Find out more in my Titan Poker review.
For tournament fans, taking breaks used to be a real pain - tournaments having their 5 minute break at different times meant that we needed to juggle the most valuabe games stop times with hands in early position in others... then dash out to the bathroom or kitchen (or maybe out for a smoke) - hoping that you did not miss those aces!
Nowadays many sites have their tournament breaks synchronized. All MTTs stop for the same 5 minutes, at 5 to each hour. This has made a huge difference for players, who get to stretch their legs once an hour during the often long sessions involved in tournament play. With many sites to choose from, those who have synchronized breaks have attracted the tournament fans - while those (like iPoker and OnGame) who do not have seen their tournaments stagnate or even shrink in popularity.
The list below is of the sites currently featuring breaks at 5 minutes to the hour, I next to each I have given a flavor of what to expect from the tournaments offered and site in general. For reps of those sites who do not yet offer synchroized breaks, it is time to wake up... before you any more MTT fans!
Sites who have these breaks covered below are: Pokerstars, Party Poker, Revolution Network (Cake Poker), Merge Network (Carbon Poker) and 888 Poker.
Sites With Synchronized Breaks #1 - Pokerstars.com
Pokerstars are world’s largest poker room and was one of the first rooms to offer synchronised breaks to their players. Stars have the biggest and best selection of tournaments anywhere online – from beginners right through to higher stakes games such as the Sunday Million. There are plenty of amateurs / recreational players at the lower buy-ins, though you will find the 'pro grinder' crowd at the middle to higher buyins. While the selection of games is undoubtedly fantastic, one drawback at this site is that the fields in popular tournaments can be huge... often many thousands of entrants, meaning 10 hours+ to finish games is common!
Pokerstars also offer a unique deposit bonus, this is a 100% match up to $600 which can actually be claimed over up to 3 deposits. Use Marketing code PSP3108 when you register (chose 'Affiliate Marketing Code' from the drop-down list), then bonus code STARS600 when you deposit. Check out the fantastic selection of poker tournaments at Pokerstars.com for yourself now!
Poker Sites With Synchronized Tournament Breaks #2 - Party Poker
Party are still the best known brand among people who are not poker players (even my mum has heard of them!!). This brings a steady stream of first time players to their tables, keeping the games famously easy! There are a lot of smaller buy-in tournaments, with many turbo-speed 'fun' events including rebuys. While there are lot of tournaments to choose from, there are times when there are not enough 'serious' games (say, $22+ buy-ins) going off at once to use Party for an entire session on its own. However, with the breaks in synch with the other sites at 5-to the hour, I do recommend you add a couple of these easy games to your wider schedule.
You can claim a 100% match up to $500 at Party with bonus code SNGPLANET. If you have not seen there then I recommend you take a look for yourself - this is a great opportunity to add some very profitable tournaments to your schedule! Click this link to check out Party Poker now!
Synchronized MTT Breaks #3 - The US Friendly Merge And Revolution Poker Networks
Two in one in this section on the US friendly networks - this is because US players who want to build a tournament schedule really need both sites to get the volume of games (see this article for on US tournaments for more).
Revolution Network was formerly called the Cake Network and was one of the early adopters of synchronized breaks. The recent move of Lock Poker from the Merge network has given a nice boost to player numbers and so increased both the number of tournaments offered and the guaranteed prize pools. I recommend sticking with the network owners and biggest players here, Lock Poker are sure to go places in 2013, see my review for more details on this cool site.
Merge Poker Network are lead by Carbon Poker, whose cool software includes innovative animations which players can trigger using special keywords during play. They have been a steady performer for US players, and recently increased the guarantee for their Sunday major to $125,000. With a nice choice of games at the lower to middle stakes, I recommend Carbon as my first choice for US tournament fans... You can claim an improved 200% (to $5k max) bonus + cool free poker calculator with bonus code CARBONPK - check out the cool Carbon Poker now!
Synchronized MTT Breaks #4 - 888 Poker
Last is definitely not least in this article, as 888 Poker are one of the success stories of 2012 - growing significantly thanks to their cool ideas (team poker, webcams, great promos etc) and very smooth software. The secret to this site's success is the traffic coming to the poker room from the (larger) casino brand. These 'gamblers' loosen up the games, which can be extremely profitable to those with some poker skills! Wit the addition of sychronized breaks there is a great opportunity to add a few of these great games to your regular schedule - the difference in skills between 888 and Pokerstars is instantly noticeable.
Certain countries can claim $8 free to check out this cool site, then a 100% matched bonus up to $400 if you like what you see. Check out 888 Poker for yourself now!