Carbon Poker Review
The Merge Gaming Network was formed in early 2007 with Carbon Poker as its first member. Carbon Poker has a fairly interesting history. The management of Carbon Poker originally ran the Poker.com poker room. What happened was that the management of Poker.com ran into some marketing issues at live events. The problem was that the “.com” suffix was required to be obscured at many live events due to online gambling advertising restrictions. This presents a problem when the name of your poker room is “Poker.com;” cover the “.com” suffix and all you are left with is the word “Poker.” Putting the word “Poker” alone on posters and advertising material is fairly useless and no one would know what it was you wanted from them. In creating Carbon Poker, even if the “.com” suffix is missing in an advertisement, anyone running into the logo and name will know that it is an advertisement for a poker room and not some kind of artsy fartsy avant-garde statement.
The software at Carbon Poker is quite excellent. The graphics are great and the software provides for quick action. The lobby is well organized with logical filters that help you find exactly what you are looking for with great ease. For a poker room that accepts U.S. players, the level of play is actually quite marginal at Carbon Poker.
The truly exceptional thing about Carbon Poker, and the whole Merge Poker Network for that matter, is the poker bonuses and promotions. In addition, you will find a selection of mixed games which can be relatively hard to find online.
Carbon Poker offers very good game selection and the general skill level of its members is lower than expected; however, with just over 4,000 players online at peak hours, it can be somewhat difficult to find action outside of the Texas Hold’em tables on off hours.
Regarding Texas Hold’em, Carbon Poker offers Limit tables from micro limits of $0.01/$0.02 all the way up to $50/$100. The stakes at their No Limit and Pot Limit tables range from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50. The vast majority of the action at the Texas Hold’em tables, and for the entire poker room for that matter, revolves around the No Limit Tables.
The Omaha tables at Carbon Poker range from $0.01/$0.02 up to $30/$60. That having been said, it can be somewhat difficult, in particular at off hours, to find action at the higher limits at the Omaha tables. Carbon Poker offers 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Hi/Lo, Razz and 5 Cards Stud with tables of 5 and 8 seats and stakes ranging from $0.01/$0.02 up to $25/$50.
Carbon Poker offers an exceptional variety of different games:
• Texas Hold’em
• Omaha Hi/Lo
• 7 Card Stud
• 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo
• 5 Card Stud
• 5 Card Draw
• Ace to 5 Lowball
• Ace To 7 Lowball
• H.O.R.S.E (Texas Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo)
No one will argue that this is an impressive list of different games. The issue is that with just over 4,000 players online at peak hours; it can be difficult to find action in the more obscure games.
If you find yourself waiting for a tournament to begin or a table to fill, Carbon Poker offers a number of side games; including, Blackjack, Roulette, Video Poker, Backgammon, Euchre and Caribbean Stud. It is important to note that any money wagered in these games will not help in releasing any bonuses.
Carbon Poker is very strong as regards tournaments, offering them in great variety. Players will find Sit & Go, multi table, freezeout and guaranteed tournaments available on Carbon Poker. Carbon Poker hosts Omaha and H.O.R.S.E Sit & Go tournaments which only get underway once enough people have taken seats at the table.
The following games are offered with scheduled times:
• Pot Limit and No Limit Texas Hold’em
• Limit and Pot Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
• Pot Limit Omaha
• Limit and Pot Limit Badugi
• Limit 7 Card Stud
• Limit Razz
• Limit H.O.R.S.E.
Tournament buy-ins at Carbon Poker range from $1 up to $500. The majority of the tournament action revolves around the higher stake tournaments and freerolls.
Carbon Poker also has plenty of satellites and qualifiers to all of the major live events; including, the Aussie Millions, the World Series Of Poker and the European Poker Tour.
For The Beginner
It’s slim pick’ens for the beginner at Carbon Poker as regards instructional materials. Carbon Poker provides basic “how to” articles for each one of the many games that they offer in their poker rooms as well as fairly rudimentary strategy article accompanying each one of the “how to” articles. Beyond that, they have an active “poker community” which includes an online forum. That’s about it.
That having been said, Carbon Poker has play money games and freerolls running all of the time. In addition, there is no shortage of micro limit games to get the novice player started.
Software Graphics and Features
Carbon Poker offers their players outstanding software. The graphics are very nice and very easy on the eyes. The Carbon Poker lobby has an interesting interactive tab system that helps users find the proper table. One of the many nice features that you will find at Carbon Poker is the “Rabbit Hole” option allowing players to show either one or both of their hole cards when the cards are folded to them.
One of the downsides to the software is that it uses a tremendous amount of RAM. Multi tabling will use up in the neighborhood of 120 MB. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied in the Carbon Poker lobby under the Settings tab. In the event that your computer is really straining under the weight, players can disable the animations, also from the Carbon Poker lobby under the Setting tab.
• Clean and beautiful graphics
• Large easy to read cards
• Log-in history
• Rabbit feature
• Flexibility in color coding players
• Player’s avatars show what tournaments they have won
• Player notes
• Last Hand feature
• Easily accessed cashier
• Excellent lobby features
Make your initial deposit with Carbon Poker and they will meet it with a 100% sign-up bonus up to $600. Carbon Poker will release the bonus as you accrue VIP points with $5 being released every time you accumulate 375 VIP points.
In addition to the sign-up bonus, your first deposit will also allow you entry into Carbon Poker’s Daily $500 New Depositor Freeroll for a period of two weeks.
In appreciation of their players’ patronage, Carbon Poker offers an excellent loyalty program. Players are awarded VIP points when playing in both real money ring games and real money tournaments. The calculation is quite simple; players earn 10 VIP points for every $1 taken in rake and tournament fees. In addition to VIP points, Carbon Poker also has a great 5 tier VIP program that rewards players with cash, prizes, tournament entries and additional VIP points. Carbon Poker VIP points can be:
• Exchanged for cash.
• Used for entry in tournaments.
• Used for entry in exclusive VIP level tournaments.
• Used to purchase items from the new Carbon Poker VIP Store.
Carbon Poker also hosts a whole host of other promotions including:
• Sit & Go Leaderboard- Place in the top 25 of the Sit & Go leaderboard and claim your share of $10,000. In addition, there is a separate $2,000 prize pool for those players with the best winning streak.
• Multi Table Tournament Leaderboard- The top 100 multi table tournament player each month gain entry into the monthly Leaderboard Grand Final that offers a major live tournament seat package for first place.
• Live Seat Satellites and Finals- For as little as $2, play for your chance for an all expense paid trip to any one of the many big name live tournaments such as the World Series of Poker Main Event, the Aussie Millions, EPT London and others.
• Royal Flush Bonus- Utilize both hole cards in hitting a royal flush in any of the real-money Texas Hold’em ring games and receive a bonus equal to 100X the big blind to a maximum of $1,000.
• Refer-A-Friend- Refer a friend to Carbon Poker and earn yourself $25 plus free entry into a $50 heads-up Sit & Go match against your friend.
Carbon Poker does not offer telephone support but they do offer 24/7 live chat and email support as well as a fairly impressive system of FAQ’s. The Carbon Poker customer support staff is technically savvy and provides customers answers in a friendly and personalized manner.