Amidst the turmoil of the post-Black Friday landscape a new site launched this week: RISE Poker.
Rise Poker is a joint venture between some heavy hitters and promises the U.S. player a 100% legal experience. Why? Well, Rise is a little different. You can play for free and work your way toward various prizes. You can pay a monthly subscription fee and get more features and more events. You can win real money. The site is ad-supported, so unless you subscribe you're getting ads.
The folks at Rise were kind enough to invite me and several hundred others to play a launch freeroll, with the top 10 players splitting $1,000 in prize money. I had a decent run but finished cashless in 23rd after QQ < AQo with the dreaded ace on the river.
I'm not going to do a full review - seriously, it doesn't cost you anything so if you're jonesing and want to see if it's worth your time go check it out - but I do have a couple comments. First of all, the concept is pretty good. Frankly this is what ESPN Poker or Facebook poker should have looked like all along. Sell some ads, draw in the recreational player, pay out some prizes.
On the flip side, if you're a serious internet player the software will give you hives. It's horrible. Slow and annoying in almost every way possible. Hated it. Also not a big fan of how the ads are integrated into the windows, but I did get used to that after a while. Unfortunately some of the earliest advertisers are dreck like lowermybills and penny auction sites. And have I mentioned that the software sucks?
I don't think it's likely that I'll become a devoted RISE Poker player. I prefer cash games to tournaments. I'm spoiled by what Stars and FTP have provided software wise. I'd rather play rush poker. Still -- you never know.