Empire Poker is on the same network as Party Poker, so this review is virtually identical to the Party Poker review. The two poker rooms are now owned by the same company and share the same ring games, single-table tournaments, and most multi-table tournaments. Currently, the only difference between these two poker rooms is that Empire Poker does not have as many bonuses and promotions available as Party Poker.
Empire Poker just has a 20% up to $100 bonus, whereas Party Poker has a 20% up to $100 bonus available and also a $25 flat bonus available (better for smaller first deposits). Empire Poker also does not currently have an elaborate Party Poker points system (it's not clear if they are carrying forward their old VIP program). Finally, Empire does not have a few multi-table tournament promotions that Party Poker has, such as Party's WSOP freeroll events.
To get a flat $25 bonus at Empire Poker, use bonus code TIPSEMP25. To get a 30% up to $150 bonus, use bonus code TIPSEMP150.
A daily $2,500 freeroll is offered for any player who logged 75 raked hands in the previous day's action.
This is a pretty good site for tournament players. Since Empire Poker is on the same network as Party Poker, users have access to some of the best tournament offerings online. The reason their tournament score is slightly lower than Party Poker's is that many tournament freeroll promotions held by Party Poker are not available on the Empire interface. Each Sunday this site holds one of the most popular tournaments on the internet, a $200+$15 buy-in $300,000 guaranteed event.
While Empire Poker's software is nothing earth-shattering, it is quite fast. It is also fairly easy to use, though players may experience some delays with loading the lobby screens. The color scheme used at this site is quite unsightly.
They only display the average pot size in the ring games, which is very frustrating. All in all, they provide you with little information about the games. I recommend watching the game for a minute or two before joining to see how loose everyone is playing.
The competition is somewhat soft at Empire Poker. There are tens of thousands of players at this site. Many are beginners or casual players, but some are seasoned professionals. The games here are easier than at most sites. However, the games are harder than they once were.
They have both email and phone support. Email support can sometimes take a frustratingly long time, and they don't always answer your question. The fact that they have phone support is nice, but some of the agents are not as helpful as you'd hope.
Ring Games Offered
Texas Hold'em, Omaha hi-lo, Omaha, 7-stud, 7-stud hi-lo
Fixed Limits: $.15-$.30 to $100-$200
NL & PL Blinds: $.02-$.04 to $25-$50
Single- and Multi-table Fixed-limit Holdem, NL/PL Holdem, Fixed Omaha hi-lo, PL Omaha hi-lo, Fixed 7-stud (single-table only). They also have sit-n-go multi-table tournaments.
Single-Table: $5 to $500
Multi-Table: $1 to $1,000