The Gaming Club is a decent, medium-sized poker room. They offer a fairly simple bonus of $50 if your first deposit is $50 or more. Overall, it is a good site, especially for lower-stakes no-limit games.
The one negative thing about Gaming Club Poker is that it is part of the Prima Poker network. Prima has unfairly banned a fair number of high-stakes players from playing at their site, including myself. Prima Poker has very tight security measures designed to prevent fraud, and innocent players can sometimes get hassled due to their overly tight security. While mainly higher-stakes player have been banned, some lower-stakes players have had their accounts locked too.
The Gaming Club has a bonus of $50, provided you deposit $50 or more. You must play 350 raked hands with a rake of $.25 or more. Only games of $2-$4 or higher (fixed-limit) or $0.50-$1 or higher (NL/PL) count towards this bonus.
In addition to the signup bonus, also has many promotions. First, they have a $5,000 rookie freeroll for new players. The Gaming Club also hosts satellites to large buy-in, land-based poker tournaments.
The competition is about average. The games used to be very soft here, but they have gotten considerably harder recently. No-limit is a lot more popular at this site than limit is.
The Gaming Club has fairly fast cashouts. Most Neteller cashouts are processed within 48 hours. Please note: The Gaming Club occasionally asks players to send in proof of address or similar forms of identification. I spoke with a representative and they told me that this is mainly for players who make cashouts of $1,000 or more or players who send them conflicting information.
has fairly good customer support, and they provide both email and phone support. So why is the score fairly low? First, the security measures in place are so tight that it burdens an unfair number of players. They will generally ask for identification if you make a large cashout (around $1,000 or more) or if you provide "conflicting information." Conflicting information would mean if your country of registration/IP address don't match, personal details are incorrect or do not match your credit, etc. While sending in identification may be annoying, they will only ask you for this information once.
The Gaming Club customer support is generally friendly and understanding. However, the Prima Poker network has horrible customer support. Basically, The Gaming Club handles the majority of player problems (such as cashout and bonus issues), but the Prima network still has final control over a player's account. Because of my previous history with Prima, I knocked their score down quite a bit.
Editor's Unique History with Prima Poker
While I have a lot of respect for Gaming Club Poker, I am very upset with their software provider, Prima Poker. In November 2003, Prima Poker unfairly banned me from playing on their network. I have been in touch with Gaming Club and some other casinos that are part of the Prima Poker network in order to get my account unbanned. However, as of this article's last update, my account remains banned. Because of this incident, I have a mixed view towards the Prima Poker network. On the one hand, I think it is a great place to play because of the software and easy games. If my account ever became unbanned, I would immedietly start playing on the Prima network again. Nevertheless, I obviously am upset at Prima Poker about being banned from playing on Prima sites. If you are considering playing here, I will leave the decision up to you, but here is the story:
In September-October 2003, I won a lot more than I had in previous months. The reason is that there were high stakes no-limit games going on much more often ($5-$10 blinds and higher). I also had a good run of cards. At the beginning of the next month, I found out that my account was locked forever. Please note: after they locked my account, Prima Poker sent me all of the remaining money in my account to me within the next three days.
I was very angered by this incident. Prima Poker never explained why they banned my account or let me appeal the decision. With hindsite, my story seems to reflect a potential problem with playing high stakes at Prima Poker. At the time, I was playing very high stakes games, with common swings of a couple thousand or more dollars a day. Naturally, major poker rooms tend to keep an eye on these players more than most players. Since the incident, very few people have registered similar complaints about the network at the lower stakes games, so I am to assume that most players have pleasant experiences with the network. All of the complaints I have heard about involve players who play the high stakes games (generally games where the buy-in is $2,000 or more). Almost all players who have been unfairly banned were either high stakes players or they somehow got into problems because of "conflicting personal information."
Since there have been a significant amount of high-stakes players that have been banned from Prima Poker, I have to caution higher stakes players from playing at this site. The funny thing about Prima Poker is that it has some of the softest higher stakes games, so it attracts high-stakes players. Nevertheless, there have been several incidences of high-stakes players having their accounts frozen (like me), so I must caution these players from playing at this site.
Again, I would again like to note that I got my money within three days, and the only drawback is that I cannot play at this site for real money anymore. In order to keep this review updated, I monitor this site weekly by observing the various games played at Gaming Club Poker. If you are curious how my experience affected The Gaming Club's score, I reduced their customer service rating substantially and also decreased their overall score a fair amount.
Ring Games offered
Texas Holdem, Omaha, 7 Stud, 5 Stud
Ring Games stakes
Fixed-Limit: $0.25-$0.50 up to $30-$60
No-Limit/Pot-Limit: $0.05-$0.10 up to $15-$30
Hold'em (both limit and no-limit)
Single: $.75 up to $100
Multi: $1 up to $100
Minimum Deposit: $20