Carbon Poker Sit n Go Review

CP_Generic_125x125Carbon Poker is one of the few (trustworthy) sites that still accept players from the USA. In the past, they were a 2nd or 3rd tier room in my opinion, because they never had enough traffic, nor did they have a large variety of sit n go’s.

That’s changed considerably over the last few years since they’ve chosen to pick up the slack in the US market post-Black Friday. Their traffic has increased, and they’ve added new sit n go games too. Not just any sit n go’s, but games similar to what you can find at the larger poker sites. It’s great that a site is willing to add games just to make their players happy.

Carbon Poker isn’t all roses though. And that’s the point of this review — to show you the pros and cons to Carbon Poker, and to ultimately decide whether or not they’re worth a sit n go player’s time.

However, if you’re looking to claim a bonus of up to $5,000 you can sign up through this link and play on the best poker software out there next to PokerStars and Full Tilt. Enjoy the review!

Sit n Go Game Variety at CarbonPoker.ag

The first thing I looked at is the game variety at Carbon Poker. Game variety is one of the most important things to me, only being challenged by traffic levels.

The stakes at Carbon Poker will range from $1 to $650. You’ll notice that the multi-table tournaments cap out at a smaller amount ($55) than the single table tournaments ($650). You can also buy in for points, which I think is neat. When I see that I instantly think of saving up my points for the off chance that I bust my bankroll. It gives you a ray of hope.

In regards to games, there is a little bit of everything. You can take your pick from heads-up, 4, 6, 9 and 10-handed single table sit n go’s, as well as 12, 18, 27, 90, 100 and 180-man multi-table sit n go’s. Holdem is the most popular game, but omaha and stud games run periodically, too. I noticed that razz and a handful of draw games listed, but couldn’t find one available for registering, nor was there any games running.

My favorite thing about Carbon’s sit n go’s is that many of them are carbon copies of sit n go’s that sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt run. There might be some small differences, such as buy-in or turbo instead of normal blind structure, but other than that they’re the same. So if you’ve played these games (18s, 45s, 90s, 180s) at other sites, you’ll feel right at home.

There are no shortage of variations either. Everything is available including shootouts, bounties, turbos, super turbos, deep stacks, double or nothings and satellites.

The filter works very well too. Next to PokerStars, it’s easily one of the best I’ve used. You can filter down games to a microscopic level, or use the search bar.

**UPDATE** Carbon Poker has become the second site – along with Bovada.lv – to make their sit and go games completely anonymous, making it much more appealing to the average poker player.

Carbon Poker’s Sit n Go Traffic

When I wrote this review, there were 6,700 players at Carbon Poker. This isn’t a lot when compared to the larger sites, but since it was only 3pm PST (6pm EST), I expect the traffic levels to be much higher once everyone in the US is home from work.

Of the 6,700 players, more than 30% to 35% of that was playing sit n go’s. This is definitely enough traffic for players to get their volume in. In fact, it’s enough traffic to take advantage of the SnG Leaderboards.

It’s enough traffic to keep you interested, but I don’t think it’s enough traffic to play high volume. In other words, the traffic is ok for playing for fun or side income, but it’s not nearly enough to play full time (on a professional level).

Carbon Poker’s $5000 Deposit Bonus

Carbon Poker offers a $5000 deposit bonus for all new players depositing at Carbon for the first time. This is a match bonus of 200%. Don’t let the high numbers on each figure fool you though; this bonus is virtually unattainable for even the biggest grinder.

The bonus doesn’t come free though — you have to earn it by playing real money games and generating rake. For every $0.10 paid in Sit & Go and Multi-Table Tournaments fees, you will receive 1 VIP Points.  There is absolutely no limit to how many points you can earn on SnG fees:VIP points ratio at least.

I think the bonus is ok for sit n go players, although that will really depend on the stakes and volume of games you play. The fact that Carbon Poker runs monthly SnG races worth hundreds to thousands and generous monthly reload bonuses, it makes up for the lower level VIP Program they currently offer.

Carbon Poker’s Software

Carbon Poker Software

Carbon Poker’s software (provided by Merge) is well-known for being easy on the eyes, their run-it-twice and show one card features and emoticons. Nice, but at the bottom of the priority list, at least for me. More important to me is the ability to resize tables, label and take note of opponents and being able to use 3rd party programs.

Resizing tables is simple. You can stack, tile or manually adjust your tables. What I didn’t care is that when you manually resize the tables, it loses it’s focus for a second. It’s a minor inconvenience though, and probably only an issue if you have several tables going at once.

I also found it difficult to distinguish one player from the next — at first. After playing with the options I noticed that you can color your opponent’s entire avatar / screen name box. This is a great way to label your opponent, in addition to the icons. Taking notes is very simple to do.

3rd party programs such as Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker 3 are accepted, which is a huge plus for me. After talking to support I found out that the only issue that you might run into is if PT3 or HM hasn’t updated their software to be compatible with the most recent software changes at Carbon. Other than that you’re good to go.

The VIP Program

Carbon Poker used to have a pretty sweet VIP program. Unfortunately, they’ve scrapped this along rakeback in general in 2014. We’ll unfortunately be crossing out the below content and it is now outdated and unusable for players looking for information on their now-defunct VIP program.

At the lowest level, you can exchange points for cash and participate in new member freerolls. The overall cash back value of this tier is 10%. On the highest tier, you can participate in the same freerolls, gain access to a Drag The Bar membership, personal coaching and get bonus cash. The total cash back value of this tier is 35%. That essentially means that for every $1 in rake that you pay, you can get up to $.35 of it paid back to you.

To get into the bottom tier all you need to earn is 500 points per month. For the highest tier you’ll need to get special invitations from Carbon Poker’s review team. Points are earned at the rate of 10 points for every $1 paid into rake. With tournaments and sit n go’s there is no limit to how many points you can earn per game.

Now, if the VIP program was like any other site, it wouldn’t be worth it for sit n go players. Unfortunately they only limit even the highest-tiered members of the VIP program can cash out a maximum of $750 to $850.  You can still bank your points and have them roll over every month, but it still is a huge downer only being able to withdraw such a small amount in ‘rakeback’ back to your account balance.

Banking Methods

The banking options available to you will depend on where you live. For me, the only options were Click2Pay, Cash Transfer or QuickPay for deposits. My only option for a withdrawal is a check.

Overall though, Carbon has tons of banking options — 25 in all. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Skrill
  • Visa
  • Ukash
  • NETeller
  • MasterCard
  • ClickandBuy
  • IDeal
  • Maestro
  • EcoCard
  • PaySafeCard

To find the options available to you, just signup to Carbon Poker and look in the cashier. You can also look at their website.

How to Contact Support

I contacted support to ask them about the number of tables you can play, as well as the ability to use 3rd party HUDs such as Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker. I received a response no longer than 2 hours later. The email was a little impersonal (they didn’t address me by my name), but it polite and helpful. Support is available 24/7 by email or using the form on their site.

Conclusion: Should Sit n Go Players Signup to Carbon Poker?

Carbon Poker is one of the best sites – especially for USA players – to sign up at to grind Sit and Go’s. The large deposit bonus is super deceptive, but if you’re a breakeven player that puts in a decent amount of hours then you will make that up in VIP Program bonuses, SnG Leaderboard bonuses and additional monthly promos that Carbon adds.

The fact they offer anonymous SnG’s now makes it appealing for recreational players who haven’t gotten their feet wet too much as of yet and aren’t exactly ready to swim with the sharks. It’s a very controversial thing to implement but so far SnG traffic has been on the up and up since its inception.