One of the so called ‘Big Three’ of British bookmakers, Ladbrokes puts as much energy into its poker room as you would expect of such a major company. However, the most prescient thing to highlight at this early stage is the current standing of Ladbrokes Poker in our Advanced Bonus Comparison Chart, where its name can be found firmly ensconced in 1st position for ‘Speed,’ 1st position for ‘Mean’ (a calculation based on the ‘Speed’ and the size of the bonus), and 2nd position for ‘Value’ (the first two factors combined with the percentage amount of the bonus award). These are simply sensational figures and warrant an automatic recommendation – quite simply, any European poker player looking to play online poker should give serious consideration to Ladbrokes Poker. Unfortunately, Ladbrokes Poker does not currently accept players based anywhere outside of Europe; whether this situation will change in the near future is open to debate but somewhat doubtful.

Returning to the Ladbrokes Poker client itself, the player is immediately struck by the air of warmth and inclusion about the presentation page; it seems almost immediately to captivate a player’s interest, daring them not to check out all the benefits and goodies to found within. For example, the first thing to catch the eye is an intriguing rollcall of celebrity poker aliases, which includes the legendary snooker professional Steve Davis, soccer legends Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush, and the invincible darts player Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. The eye is then drawn to the side-menu, which contains options for such tempters as ‘Poker Cruise,’ ‘Poker Horse,’ ‘World Series of Poker,’ ‘LEOCOP,’ ‘Leaderboards,’ and ‘PokerMillion.’ The ‘Download’ button glows like a beacon on a dark night…

Expectations are justifiably high. Feet come back into contact with the earth, alas, when, upon downloading the game-client, a PrimaPoker style lobby emerges. We at pokerppl have absolutely nothing against PrimaPoker, it’s just that Ladbrokes Poker seemed to promise such a lot more. Of course, the initial disappointment soon passes – poker is poker is poker, after all; and Ladbrokes Poker is not a member of PrimaPoker: it just uses the Microgaming software. Again, attention is captivated by peripheral goings-on; this time the tempter is a very large pile of cash in the bottom right hand of the lobby: Ladbrokes Poker is promoting their ‘$100,000 Weekly Raked Hands Freeroll’ (500 raked hands), their ‘$20,000 Weekly Leaderboard Freeroll,’ their ‘$500 Daily Freeroll’ and their ‘$500,000 Cash Bonanza.’ Interest returns. This is a poker room.

Features

Ladbrokes Poker has all the usual features of a PrimaPoker card room without being a PrimaPoker member. These include the facility for taking player notes, game stats, find a player, change screen size and four table view. Players can also create their own private tournaments.

Stakes

The stake-range at Ladbrokes Poker accomodates players of all budgets apart from micro, with tourneys ranging from $2.00 + $0.30 to (at the time of writing) to $5000 + $150 and ring games from $0.10 / $0.20 (PL) and 0.15/0.30 (Lim) to $300 / $600 (all).

Freerolls

There is one daily ‘no-play-requirement’ Texas Hold ’em freeroll at Ladbrokes Poker worth $500 in prize money. There is also a $100,000 weekly freeroll for which players must have played 500 raked hands during the week to qualify, and a weekly $20,000 freeroll for the week’s top 250 mtt players.

Ladbrokes Poker Bonus

Ladbrokes Poker offers a bonus of 25% up to $100.

Player Numbers and Growth

Ladbrokes Poker appears to have a very healthy number of players, certainly more than the iPoker network and probably more than Cryptologic too. Obvious scope for growth given the flow of punters from the sportsbook to poker.

Promotions

In addition to the freerolls mentioned previously, Ladbrokes Poker has 100 x $15,000 WSOP packages on offer (tourneys commence 8 Feb 2006). Satellites also commence in early February for the Ladbrokes Poker Talinn Challenge, which has a prize pool of $300,000 and takes place between 19-21 May.

FAQ:

1. How easy is the Ladbrokes Poker bonus to clear?
2. What are the negative points, if any?

ANS 1:

The Ladbrokes Poker bonus is the easiest to clear on the web, based on the formula used in our Advanced Bonus Comparison Chart. All you have to do is stake the amount of your deposit within 14 days and then make your claim. Most players would clear a $400 stake (for a $100 bonus) within less than a day.

ANS 2:

There are no obvious negative points, apart from the fact that US players are not allowed to play here (not a negative for those who are permitted to play).

Rake

Industry standard 0 – 5% to a max $3 no flop no drop.

Deposit options

NETeller, Western Union, VISA, Mastercard, Delta, Electron, Switch, Solo, Maestro, bank transfer.

Security

128 bit SSL encryption

Customer Services

Ladbrokes Poker provides 24/7 live help via all avenues.

Conclusion: How Does Ladbrokes Poker Shape Up?

Ladbrokes Poker has everything. No negatives to speak of, the easiest bonus on the web, good player volume and game selection, great promotions and 24/7 help via all avenues. An essential download for every European online poker player.