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Room closed on February 15th 2009 !

I always believed that the future of online poker lay with software like the one PKR has developed, and I still do. What Pokerwize does though, is to show that technological improvement can be harnessed in ways one wouldn’t have thought possible at first glance. The biggest improvement that the PKR 3D engine brought to the game of online poker was that it pulled it much closer to actual live play, through the gestures involved (having to take a peek at hole cards to see them again), and making it possible for some live poker tells to make their way through to the online tables.

Pokerwize kind of throws all that out the window, which is a shame. While they do feature certain gestures, these are mostly stripped of real significance, becoming a simple toy for a bored player to possibly annoy others at his/her table. This is the negative aspect of the Pokerwize engine. The positive aspect is, that despite its uselessness, it’s funny as hell. Everything comes across as over the top, kind of like those old Bud Spencer movies when the Bulldozer punched everyone silly in a very entertaining manner that nobody even expected to be serious. Well, this poker room achieves the same with online poker. You might think that swallowing a sword or playing with a remote control toy car on the table have no place in a serious poker room. Well, apparently they do, and they are absolutely hilarious. I must admit I laughed myself to tears when in the middle of a tense hand one character started cordially sipping tea, while another one pulled out a newspaper from under the table, and got to reading it.

It kind of makes one wonder what else they keep under those regular-looking poker tables. 
Seriously though, the game is obviously trying hard not to become a mere PKR clone robbed of personality, and it does a good job at it. After all, online poker doesn’t always have to be an uptight show of supposed prowess on the part of the players, it can be fun just as well. Make sure though that all those activities don’t take their toll on the attention you pay to the action, and implicitly on your bankroll.

Being as new as it is, Pokerwize doesn’t really have good traffic yet, but they are on the Microgaming network (Prima Poker) and that means they can draw on the network resources, if you know what I mean… They are licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which is supposed to guarantee security and fairness in theory, but after the Absolute Poker scandal I no longer know what to make of the guarantees offered by these independent gambling authorities.

Anyway, an honest poker operator’s goal should never be to cheat on its players, and there is a serious name behind Pokerwize: Playwize PLC, which is a company well known for video gamers world-over.

This also means that I shouldn’t even attempt to rank Pokerwize’s graphics, since it’s way out of its league currently, in just about every respect. The poker room offers a few very interesting features, like the offline practice mode, which can be a great way to keep warm for the real action when the net fails, or just to have fun on your notebook in an internet-less area. Setting up your character and refining your avatar’s looks can take up some time, so if you don’t really care who represents you at the table, just skip this stage and move on to the real action. Also, given the intricate nature of the software, a tutorial is generously offered by the creators, for those who might not be all that familiar with video games and computers. With all the potential for good old fashioned reckless fun built into it, the software can also look dead serious, as a matter of fact most of the time it does, and abuse on the offered features is sparse (these people are hell bent on making money, they’re in no mood for childish jokes).

Some of PokerWize’s tables are broadcast on SkyTV, which is a truly unique feature. (having second thoughts about picking the bald, fat, pot-belly, fairground superhero in the leopard skin leotard as you avatar, huh?).

Being an excellent player is a piece of cake at Pokerwize. How come? Simple, they feature so many statistics that a person who can truly put all that information to good use, will gain an insurmountable edge over the competition. Whilst there are folks who delve hungrily into the sea of data, fortunately there are goofballs too, who are much more preoccupied with knitting at the table than with anything even slightly constructive.

Using the built-in odds calculator is also a good idea to whip your game into shape, and to show those statistics-nerds that you are indeed capable of keeping up with them.

The game selection is also excellent at Pokerwize: they have the standard Texas Holdem Tables, but they also feature Omaha, and Stud (both 7-card and 5-Card versions).

They feature the usual <yawn> deposit and withdrawal methods which you’ll be able to check out well and truly when you download their software.

At the end of the day, Pokerwize proves to be a site which – even if it’s not for the average poker player – manages to bring enough originality into the fold to be worth a download and a test-run. 
So do download it, and test it and don’t forget to do one of them nifty little breakdance thingies on the table when you take down that huge pot.


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