Here we are going to place two of the fastest growing Online Poker rooms in the US market head to head. It's not really to see who wins, but more to look at the differences between the two. They are both on different networks and so offer many different features, promotions and tournaments. Maybe this may make the decision easier for you when choosing a new place to play or you may see something that you like about one of the rooms. Choosing where to play can often come down to the smallest thing, we are all different and we want different things. Security and honesty in a room should be a given but many other things are not.
The Welcome Package
Every single online poker room will offer a welcome bonus to all new players, with many giving you tourneys seats too. These can range in percentage amount, maximum deposit amount and play through requirements. So let's take a look at what both Americas Cardroom and Juicy Stakes have on the table. ACR offer good bonus of 100% up to a maximum of $1,000 with a minimum deposit of $50. The bonus is paid in $1 increments every time you make 55 Rank points and as is normal practice it's a one time only bonus. There is however more to the welcome package than just the bonus and you'll also receive entry to a freeroll tourney that guarantees 4 seats to a huge $200K event. Juicy Stakes up the bonus somewhat with a whopping 200% bonus up to a max of $2,000. This bonus is released in larger $10 amounts and you'll need to earn Frequent Player Points to release the bonus. The FPP's are accumulated by playing cash games or tourneys and you will see under a tab in the cashier exactly how many you have and how many you need to release the next part of your bonus. So, there you can see the differences in the welcomes. ACR is probably better if you want your bonus released quickly and you also get a freeroll thrown in, however Juicy Stakes has a larger bonus and would probably suit the grinders out there a little more.
The Tournament Schedules and Cash Games
Let's take a look at the big tournament offerings first. Both big guaranteed tournaments take place on a Sunday with ACR at 7 pm and Juicy slightly earlier at 4 pm suggesting a larger field. Juicy Stakes as part of the Revolution Network along with Lock Poker guarantees $100,000 for a $100 + $9 buy in, whilst Americas Cardroom offers a lower $50,000 GTD and a buy in of $200 + $15. On paper then, the Juicy tournament looks more appealing, however you must take the field size and player types into consideration. Revolution will more likely have a much larger field incorporating all skins on the network and Americas Cardroom being on The Winning Poker Network will more likely throw a smaller number of players in your way when trying to beat the bubble. This one really is your call, if you think you can battle through and do well at Lock then go for it, but ACR may offer up the slightly better chance of hitting a money seat. Whichever one you choose you will still be up against some pretty good players and the Sunday guaranteed tourneys at most room are the showcase event with most big players regularly buying in. You can of course satellite your way in to both. As far as the tournament schedules go then they are both very good and offer round the clock events, with more than enough guarantees thrown in. One advantage that ACR may have is that it also has a Beast tournament which throws out another $75,000 GTD. Cash games are good on both and there are some differences in the promotional side of these games. ACR has jackpot tables that contribute to its ongoing promotion called The Beast. When you take a seat at these tables you automatically become part of it as a fraction of your generated rake goes to the Beast jackpot. All players are in the race to top the Beast leader board and it pays out some remarkable amounts every month. You'll have to play hard however as this promo attracts some serious grinders. Lock Poker offers the Grind for Glory which is similar in set up, with a leader board based on rake etc, however the prizes involved in Grind for Glory are seats to the WSOP main event.
Banking and Summary
Banking at both rooms is safe and secure, as they should be. For US players then the best and most popular method of deposit is Visa as this funds your account instantly. Payouts in both are via cashiers check and should you require a different method then you may always speak to support. In summary it has to be said that they both offer the player a very good online poker experience. They are both growing quickly and for different reasons. Many players will prefer the larger welcome bonus at Juicy Stakes but if you are a smaller player and just want to release the bonus funds as quickly as possible then maybe ACR is for you. ACR as the flagship site on the Winning Poker Network is building a nice reputation for small to mid size stakes players with plenty of innovative promotions that the players seem to love, The Beast has been successfully running since June last year and grows each month. Lock's branding and set up suggests that it's after the slightly bigger players and has recently launched technology that separates the smaller players from the more experienced meaning that the smaller player doesn't get constantly beat by the bigger players, but it does limit the game offering should the smaller player wish to test the waters at a higher level of the game. Both good rooms, both with different player bases and promotions, which suits you?