US Friendly Poker Site, Nice Selection Of Cash Games + One Of The Best Ongoing Reward Systems Anywhere!
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Review Of Cake Poker – 2013
Important Note For US Players: Cake Poker are no longer allowing US Players - though are still available as an international brand. My recommendation is for Lock Poker (who have bought the old Cake Network and renamed this as the Revolution Gaming Network). This awesome site have cool software and the biggest welcome bonus of any leading poker site! Read my Lock Poker 2013 Review here.
Planet Mark’s Summary: You can still enjoy online poker in the US, Cake Poker are a small and very cool site who welcome players worldwide!
With the introduction of the new 'Revolution Gaming Network' (replacing the old Cake Network) Cake Poker have recently seen a welcome boost in player numbers. This site now offer an improved range of benefits including a nice (and still growing!) selection of cash games, and one of the best loyalty schemes anywhere in the form of their 'Gold Chips' and 'Gold Cards' systems.
While you are enjoying the mainly recreational (profitable!) tables you will be well looked after by Cake Poker. This starts with a cool 200% match on your first deposit (Cake Poker Bonus Code = SNGPLANET) , and includes many more bonuses and promotional offers to keep you topped up. Whether you are looking for some extra tables to add to your schedule, or just a smaller / friendly site to enjoy online poker games, Cake fit the bill nicely.
I recommended Cake as a great alternative to the big sites pre Black-Friday – with a smaller choice for US players thos site are now one of my top recommendations - check out the cool Cake Poker for yourself now!
Below is my detailed review of Cake Poker - fully updated and refreshed for late 2013 after the move to the 'Revolution Gaming Network' and associated rise in player numbers and tournament guarantees. I'll start with the different game types, then cover the software and playability, next bonuses and promos - and finish up with my summary and my 'Planet Mark Verdict' at the end.
Cake Poker have been online since 2006 and enjoyed a loyal player base as an 'alternate' to the bigger sites for many years. They have benefited from the pullout from the US of Pokerstars and Full Tilt - and now have peaks of around 7,000 simultaneous players. You will find mainly recreational players at the tables (there are too few games to really support the 'pro-grinders'), which keeps the games friendly and soft. While cash games are the main attraction, Cake Poker do have a nice selection of SNGs and a growing tournament schedule too - especially at the lower to mid-levels. This site is ideal for US players who want to play a little online poker on an established and solid site, I recommend you check them out - and see how soft those games play for yourself!
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This is where you will find all the action at Cake Poker, and as I mentioned - this is not full of multi-tabling pro-grinders like the old days at Pokerstars. With a largely recreational player base you will find a decent selection of No-Limit Holdem, PLO and a decent number of PLO8 (Omaha Hi-Lo) tables too.
Bets start at just 2c / 4c with a choice of games up to $1 / $2, there are higher stakes tables - though only a few at $5/ $10 blinds and above outside of the evening peaks. You can choose from 2, 6 or 9 player games and optional shallow stacked tables (crazy action at some of these!). Both Pot Limit Omaha and Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo games are mostly smaller stakes - you will find some wild action in both structures.
Cake Poker Review 2013 - Spotlight On Tournaments
Smaller stakes tournament fans will find a nice selection and managable field sizes. The guarantees have gone up nicely recently, with a $110k Sunday event and many more guaranteed prizes between $5k and $35k. There are a lot to choose from in the listing, including bounty games, rebuys, turbo tournaments and the 'Gold Chip' tournaments which reward regular players with some very nice prize pools. I see the smaller fields as a plus for this site - after all, not everyone likes to battle through 3,000 opponents into the early hours!
Satellites to major events are another strong point at Cake Poker. For example in the run up to last year's World Series they gave away seats in many of the preliminary events as well as the Main Event itself. In addition to the big name events, there are qualifiers for several poker events and tours which you will not find elsewhere - including the new 'Battle Of Malta' and English Poker Open. These will of course change with the seasons.
These games are soft, and for small stakes US players (up to $11 entry) this makes a solid choice - I'll also suggest that US players at rival Carbon Poker could benefit from the additional tournaments scheduled here, a great way to multi-table over 2 sites!
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Cake Poker Review 2013 - Spotlight On Sit N Goes
As with all of my reviews - SNG tournaments have been broken out into a unique SNG site reviews section. To summarize here, you will find a surprisingly good list which includes standard, turbo, bounty and double-or-nothing games in Holdem and Omaha format. Keeping with the recreational theme they are pretty soft too! Read my Cake Poker SNGs Review here.
Cake Poker Review 2013 - Software and Playability
Cake Poker had a headstart with software, when they started in 2006 their client was considered pretty good. Other sites quickly overtook them, and then a few glitches spoiled their reputation in this area. Fast forward to 2012 and we have 'Cake Poker 2.0' which is a functional, fast and - well - plain and simple client which does a great job of offering poker games... though no gimmicks or extras.
You'll like the combination of a side menu for the main choices, big filter button above to find your game and then buttons to narrow the search. The speedy tables are also nice to play on. My gripe (I have at least one for each site!) is the small pop-ups which remind you about tournaments which appear on my windows task bar... though there is probably a place to turn this off if I only looked!
Cake Poker Review 2013 - Bonuses, Promotions And Incentives
Down to the important section! This is where Cake Poker stand out, especially in terms of their loyalty scheme. I'll cover the welcome bonus, the ongoing incentives and then the 1-off promos.
New players can claim a massive 200% match on their first deposit up to $2000, simply use bonus code SNGPLANET when prompted during the registration process to receive this.
Once you start playing you will receive both Gold Cards and Gold Chips. Cards are randomly awarded (more at higher levels) and you can either keep collecting them until you make 'bonus hands' or go for all 52 in which case you can exchange them for a $52,000 bonus! Cards come in 'Series' and you can even swap or buy / sell them at a unique exchange. This is a great way of earning some surprisingly big bonuses!
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Gold Chips are more like the 'points' given by other sites. You will accumulate these the more you play. Gold chips can be used for tournament entries, either special 'Gold Chip' tournaments (some nice prizes) or some of the regularly scheduled ones - for example you can enter the $25k Sunday event with just 440 Gold Chips.
Ongoing promotions vary, and are often themed around 'races' or leader boards for high volume play (look out for the 'Gold Stacks' promo which is very good). Satellites to live events and 1-off ideas are also common, for example 'Turbo Tuesdays' and qualifiers to the upcoming Dublin Super-Poker event. Keep an eye on the Cake Poker website to ensure you are not missing out!
Cake Poker Review 2013 - Summary And Planet Mark's Verdict
Recreational games and an innovative + generous loyalty scheme make Cake Poker stand out as an option for US players. While the volume of games and buy-in levels are both smaller than pre black-Friday, the numbers are now growing thanks to the new Revolution Gaming Poker Network.
I have no hesitation is recommending Cake Poker, my tip for tournament fans is that you should consider Cake and Carbon Poker together - giving you enough volume at the lower to mid levels to set up a decent tournament schedule.
You can claim your 200% matched welcome bonus with bonus code SNGPLANET - check out those profitable Cake Poker games for yourself now!
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- Head-To-Head: Carbon Poker vs Lock Poker (the two biggest US friendly sites)