UltimateBet Poker
Oct 22, 2005  
by Jason Kirk  

Ultimate Bet Poker - To paraphrase the 1990s alternative rock outfit Pavement, online poker seems crazy - new rooms start up each and every day. While many of them come and go within a year or two - if not within months - there is a hard core of online poker rooms that have been around since a time when the WSOP Main Event's participants only numbered in the hundreds. Among those sites is UltimateBet. Chances are you've heard of them, either through seeing their ads on websites or through their sponsorship of the World Poker Tour's Aruba Poker Classic. Hearing about them isn't the same as playing with them, though - here's a look at one of the internet's longest-running poker rooms for those who haven't witnessed it in action.

UltimateBet's software is laid out in a very efficient manner, using screen space well without any waste. Down the left side of the lobby are all the maintenance options you'll ever need when playing - access to your account, a Frequently Asked Questions tab, technical support, an option to refer a friend, and of course access to all the cash games and tournaments running on the site. Selecting "play poker" from the sidebar opens the full list of available games in the main window of the software. The software is also designed nicely from a visual perspective - the muted yellow theme is much easier on the eyes than that of, say, Party Poker.

A wide variety of real money cash games is available at UltimateBet. Hold'em, Omaha high, Omaha hi-lo, seven card stud, seven card stud hi-lo, deuce-to-seven triple draw, and Pineapple can all be played at the site. (For those who have never played Pineapple, it is essentially the same game as hold'em only you are dealt three hole cards; after the first round of betting, you discard one of those three cards.) Limits for some of the cash games go as high as $150-300, so if you're in the mood to be a high roller for an evening UltimateBet is one of the few rooms online that can accommodate your wishes. With a player base that is consistently among the top 5 on the internet, chances are that you'll be able to find a profitable game at a limit you can afford. The site's "Ultimate Points" can also be used as currency in separate ring games, allowing you to accumulate a stash with which to purchase merchandise from the store.

Tournaments are a mainstay of UltimateBet's game selection. Sit-and-go tournaments run around the clock, with buy-ins as low as $1+.10 and ranging as high as $500+30. These tourneys feature most of the games that you can play in the cash game area of the site. Sit-and-go tourneys that award Tournament Entry Chips (TECs) good for any tournament and those that award direct entry into big buy-in tourneys are also available around the clock. On the multi-table tournament front, UltimateBet runs a large number of these every day and many of them have guaranteed prize pools. Entry fees start as low as $1+0 and range as high as $200+15 for the weekly $150,000 Guaranteed tournament. Also available are multi-table super satellites to WPT events like Aruba and Foxwoods, and also super satellites to the World Series of Poker. UltimateBet also offers freerolls with prizes awarded either in bonus dollars or in TECs. These freerolls aren't that great for players looking to build a real cash bankroll off of free tournaments, but the prizes can be a nice bonus for players who regularly play cash games.

UltimateBet offers an attractive signup bonus and also offers reload bonuses on a fairly consistent basis. Players must accumulate "Ultimate Points" by playing cash games or tournaments. The number of these points awarded varies according to the limit played and how many players are at the table when the player first arrives. While the bonuses are UltimateBet are often very generous, they are also extremely slow to clear. The one upside to this is that they never expire, so you'll have plenty of time to accumulate points in your account.

There's a reason UltimateBet is still around even with all the competition in the poker market - the room gives its players what they want. Whether it's big online tournaments, chances to play in TV events, or a wide variety of limits and ring games that you want, you can find it at UltimateBet.

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