PokerStars MI Review

Top line: PokerStars Michigan has the best tournaments and cash games in Michigan to go along with its globally renowned software. The Welcome Bonus and promotions are decent but could be better.

$50 Bonus

After playing just one cash hand, plus your first deposit matched:

100% up to $600

Claim Bonus »

Just click the button above to claim the bonus!

Welcome Bonus
4.6
Promotions
4.5
Rewards
4.7
Tournaments
4.9
Cash Games
4.8
Software
4.8
Our Rating
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Star
  • Half-star
4.7
Key Takeaways
  • Best in class tournaments
  • Widest variety of cash games
  • Limited number of promotions

PokerStars Michigan, became the first online poker operator to launch in the Wolverine State on January 29, 2021. The biggest name in online poker brings to Michigan its best-in-class online poker software, an elite team of brand ambassadors, and extensive expertise in running both online poker and live events.

PokerStars MI is licensed and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, meaning that the site is 100% legal and safe for players in Michigan. The online poker room is also affiliated with the Odawa Casino Resort as its land-based casino partner in Michigan.

PokerStars MI is expected to be a part of PokerStars US network once it is allowed to combine its player pool with the PokerStars rooms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. At present, though, the three poker rooms do not form a network as they can not share player pools across state lines.

As more states launch online poker rooms, the question of sharing player pools across state lines is being raised by players all over the country. Though PokerStars does not currently have shared liquidity, recent judicial proceedings related to the Wire Act legislation are expected to lead to shared liquidity later in 2021.

The poker room is just one element of the company’s Michigan iGaming operation. You can also play casino games through Stars Casino MI or place wagers on your favorite sports team at the FOX Bet Sportsbook.

MI Gaming Review seeks to help you decide if this room is the right choice for you by providing in-depth reviews of the Welcome Bonus, promotions, software, rewards program and more.

Welcome Bonus

Bonus
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4.6
Choice of Free Money or Deposit Match

PokerStars MI offers new players the choice of two different Welcome Bonuses, although you will need to choose one instead of getting them both as a package. Overall, it would be great to allow players to stack both offers, and if that eventually becomes the policy, we will upgrade PokerStars Michigan to our highest rating.

Get $50 in Free Poker Funds

New players on PokerStars MI can get $50 in free play funds, which are intended to be used for tournament entries. You trigger the bonus by playing just one hand in a cash game on the site. This will trigger the offer and you will receive a total of $50 worth of tournament tickets spread over the first few days of play on the site.

100% Match up to $600

Your other welcome bonus option is a 100% deposit match up to $600 for your initial deposit. As part of the reward, poker players also get a ticket to the Depositor Freeroll tournament, which takes place on the last Sunday of the month.

How to Claim the Bonus

You can use the information below to help you decide which bonus you prefer and then follow the steps to claim it:

  • When choosing the $50 free play bonus, you do not need a bonus code. However, you will need to opt-in. After you register, you will find the button on the challenges page.
  • To claim the deposit offer, you need to sign up for an account and make a deposit. When you add the funds to your account, you should enter the bonus code STARS600.
  • There are no specified deposit amounts for the free play bonus. However, you do need sufficient funds in your account to join a cash game and to play one hand. Once the hand finishes, it triggers the release of the reward. You must play the game within five days of registering.
  • To receive the 100% deposit match, you need to deposit a minimum of $10. The maximum amount is $600.
  • The free play bonus is given as chests, which are usually seen as part of the rewards system at PokerStars. The chests are delivered in three installments over five days after you play the cash game.
  • On day one, you get two $5 Spin and Go tickets. On day three, you receive two $5 Spin and Go tickets and a $10 tournament ticket. On day five, the final chest is released, containing two $10 MTT tickets.
  • Claiming the 100% match bonus can be spread out over several deposits. If you do not initially deposit $600, you can make another two qualifying deposits in 60 days. That means your first could be $200, and you will receive a 100% match. Your second deposit of $150 would receive a match bonus too. For your third deposit, you could add $250 and receive another 100% match. You are awarded the amounts as restricted funds released as you play cash games and tournaments, generating rake.

Releasing the Bonus

Once you have decided which PokerStars Michigan bonus you want and you have triggered it, it is time to get to work. The next step is to know how to meet the wagering requirements. That way, any winnings can be added to your cash balance to be withdrawn.

  • The free play bonus is awarded as tournament tickets. You can use them to enter events. Any winnings will go straight to your normal cash balance, so you do not need to worry about restrictions for withdrawing or meeting requirements.
  • The restricted funds of the deposit bonus are released in increments. Each increment is $10, and you need to play cash games and tournaments to have it paid into your cash balance.
  • By playing cash games and tournaments, you will earn redemption points. To release each $10 increment, you need 140 redemption points.
  • You will earn five redemption points for every $1 that you spend as a tournament fee or rake in a cash game.
  • Your account has details of your progress and redemption points. After each qualifying deposit, you have four months to earn redemption points and release the bonus.

Promotions

Promotions
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4.5
Infrequent

While the number of PokerStars Michigan promotions at any given time could be larger, there are enough events each month to add a little extra to your bankroll. The types of promotions you will see from PokerStars MI include leaderboard promotions, mission-based promotions, and freeroll tournaments. Overall, the selection of promotions is pretty good and they are usually easy to achieve/clear, but to get our top rating in this category, we would like to see more promotions each month.

It is worth checking back with MI Gaming Review to see which promotions are currently on offer at PokerStars MI.

Half Price Sundays

One typical promotion that is run by PokerStars MI is half-price tournament entry for Sundays, which gives you the option to play with a much smaller buy-in or play twice as many events.

You do not need to opt-in to the half-price tournaments; they are searchable in the lobby. It is worth looking out for satellites to win entry to bigger events, too. Many regular offers award free Spin and Go tickets as these games are very popular with the players.

MTT Leaderboards

PokerStars MI runs monthly multi-table tournament leaderboards. The prize of 7,500 in tournament dollars is shared between those that finish in the top 60. There is a significant amount for first place, which takes $1500. Your ranking is determined by your 20 best results over the whole month.

When you finish in the top 15% of a regular MTT, you earn tournament leaderboard points (TLBs). The number of points you get depends on your position, the number of entries, and the buy-in.

Rewards

Rewards
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4.7
Extra Value

The PokerStars Rewards program is designed to provide the most rewards to players that are most beneficial to the ecology of the poker room, and that often means recreational players. So, if you are a recreational player, that bodes well for you, and if you are a more serious player, recreational players with more rewards are good for you. Overall, given the number of rewards and their distribution, we see Stars Rewards as a very good loyalty program.

Besides the PokerStars MI promotions, there are other ways to get perks. The personalized rewards scheme operates in the poker room and across its sports betting and casino sites.

PokerStars takes the opportunity to reward its loyal customers. It requires very little effort on your part, making it an excellent way to get something extra through your normal playing activity. The more you play, the more points you accrue, which is an advantage if you use more than just the poker room.

The PokerStars MI program uses progress bars. These take the place of the traditional tiered scheme, where points determine your status level that offers certain player benefits. When you fill up a bar, you earn a chest, which is full of rewards. You can move up through the levels to win chests with better rewards, but benefits like personalized account managers are not connected to your level.

How to Use Stars Rewards

  • The first step is to opt-in to the loyalty program; you can do that from the ‘MyStars’ menu in your account or the main lobby. When you click ‘Start Now’, you start on the first level and can begin collecting points.
  • You can track your progress in the scheme in the ‘MyStars’ section of your account. It includes your rewards points, progress bar, chests, rewards, and StarsCoin.
  • The progress bar indicates how many points are required before you can win your next chest. Chests are randomly allocated with prizes, including personalized rewards. For poker players, it is usually cash, tournament tickets, tournament dollars, or StarsCoin. If you do not win a chest within 28 days, your progress bar resets. When it expires, you get moved to the level below. If you are already at the lowest level, your progress bar resets after three months of inactivity.
  • For every $1 rake in cash games or tournament fees playing poker, you will earn 100 reward points. The scheme is personalized, which means the chest types and your activity will affect the number of reward points needed to unlock a chest.
  • You can work your way up the six levels of chests. Here are the levels, chests, and their worth:
Level Chest Value
1 Blue $0.36 – $6%
2 Bronze $0.72 – $12%
3 Silver $1.80 – $30%
4 Gold $6 – $100%
5 Diamond $15 – $250%
6 Black $42 – $700
  • If you do not open a chest, it will expire after 30 days.
  • Some rewards that come in the chests, which are special offers or bonuses, also expire. You can check this information in your ‘MyStars’ account.
  • You can move to the next level by winning 10 chests in one month.
  • Besides cash, tournament tickets, and special offers, you can also receive StarsCoin, the website’s currency. Read more below to find out how to exchange it.

StarsCoin

When you open a chest, there might be StarsCoin inside with a particular value attached. Once you have claimed your rewards, you can check your account to see your StarsCoin balance.

There are three ways for you to spend your StarsCoin. One way is to use your StarsCoins to buy items from the Rewards Store. It sells PokerStars branded equipment, such as poker accessories, clothing, electronics, and more.

The Rewards Store is the StarsCoin equivalent to the Stars Store, which sells similar merchandise for real money. Another use for your PokerStars currency is as the buy-in for tournaments, including spin and go and sit and go events.

The final and very appealing use of StarsCoin is redeeming it for bonuses or cash. There is a set exchange rate; 2500 StarsCoin for $25, 10,000 for $100, and 100,000 for $1,000.

Tournaments

Tournaments
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  • Half-star
4.9
Best in Class

Tournaments is an are in which PokerStars MI excels. Whether its quick-filling SNGs, MTTs with big guarantees, tournaments in your favorite poker variant or high-profile tournament series, PokerStars has the best tournament offerings in Michigan.

If the thrill of a large poker event appeals to you, pay close attention to this section of the PokerStars Michigan online poker review. Tournaments test your competitive edge and can bring on a surge of adrenaline.

Their main appeal to poker players comes from the opportunity to win big prizes and gain some prestige. There are different styles that will suit certain players. It is critical to know about the structure, frequency, and buy-ins.

The tournament schedule at PokerStars MI is varied, with a rich and universal offering that will appeal to most players. Most importantly, you will find events taking place regularly. Plus, there is a fantastic range of guarantees, buy-ins, and types of tournaments. Many of the events are multi-table tournaments (MTTs), but you will also find sit and go and spin and go (SNG) events.

MTTs

When it comes to the multi-table tournament (MTT) offering at PokerStars MI, you will find excellent value. There is a mixture of smaller events with some much bigger ones, so you are sure to find something to suit you. Games run from early in the day right through to the night and are all listed in the handy schedule. If you are looking for more traffic or more options, the afternoon and evening are more suitable.

The schedule has activity across the seven days of the week with daily events. Additionally, you will find weekly tournaments that happen every week on a specific day and time. A large percentage of the tournaments start with a buy-in of $5, though they go much higher, including a $100 buy-in. It is easy to choose what you want as events are listed with the guarantee, buy-in, and start time.

Regular features include Hot Turbos, which has five-minute blind levels with tables of six or nine players max. Every day at 7 pm, you will find an event called Nightly Stars, which has a guarantee of $10,000. A popular late-night event is Midnight Express, which has blind levels of three minutes, and appeals to those who like to play fast after dark.

When it comes to game variations, most tournaments feature the No Limit Hold’em format. You can find some pot limit Omaha games, too. PokerStars also runs occasional events with five-card draw, seven-card stud, and razz. Anyone looking to play in the big events at PokerStars should search for these exciting events:

Sunday Majors

Sundays are a big deal at PokerStars, as it is the most popular day to play. With that in mind, the operator has created five different major tournaments for players to enjoy. For those who like a great start to the day, there is the Sunday Warm-Up. Alternatively, you might choose the Sunday Storm, which has a low buy-in but a large guarantee.

The Sunday Special is the biggest of the Sunday Majors as it has the highest guarantee. You can aim to win a seat at this event through qualifiers. It means spending less while still having a chance to win a significant amount.

To finish up, there is the Sunday High Roller and the Sunday Supersonic. The Sunday High Roller attracts the best players with bigger budgets, especially if they come out of the Sunday Special early. The Sunday Supersonic is aimed at those who prefer fast-paced hyper-turbo events.

Bounty Builders

If you want something with a slightly different structure, Bounty Builders, which are a part of the daily schedule, will suit you. They have guaranteed prize pools but are progressive knockout tournaments. Each player has a bounty attached to them. When you beat another player, you win a cash prize. Also, when you knock out that player, your bounty increases, making it a brilliant way to make money as you go along.

Daily Bigs

The Daily Bigs occur between 4 pm and 7 pm every day. The starting stack of these freezeout tournaments is 10,000 chips. Choose an event based on the buy-in, with the Big $5, Big $10, Big $20, or Big $30 available.

Tournament Series

Since PokerStars is fairly new to Michigan, a regular tournament series schedule is still being developed. However, the operator has some promising events already, with more to be added in the future.

PokerStars is not a new brand, though, and it brought its successful Summer Stack Festival to all three of the states where it operates. It ran across 17 days, with more than 100 events. In Michigan. There was an overall guarantee of $1 million, with the main event having a $100,000 guarantee.

PokerStars also runs live events. They include the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC), which is an annual event. Plus, there are international events at live card rooms in London and Manila . As well as the PSPC, PokerStars also has a Caribbean Adventure live tournament, which is hosted in The Bahamas.

Shared Liquidity

As things stand, PokerStars MI does not share liquidity with other sites either within the state or elsewhere. It is a relatively new operator in a recently established Michigan online poker scene, which means it is still growing its player pool.

PokerStars MI is part of PokerStar USA, which also operates online poker rooms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. There are possibilities for expansion, as other states have legalized poker, and more could soon follow. They are not currently connected for tournament or cash game player pools, but that could change shortly.

The signing of the interstate bill in Michigan following the reinterpretation of the Wire Act would make cash transactions and player pooling possible. There are still some details to work through, but things are moving in the right direction. It means that PokerStars can form a network with its existing sites in NJ, PA, and MI, leading to shared liquidity, increased traffic, and a more varied playing pool.

SNGs

If you are a fan of shorter and less structured tournaments, this part of the PokerStars Michigan online poker review is for you. You will find sit-and-go tournaments on the site, although spin and go are becoming increasingly popular too. There are regular and turbo events playing No Limit Hold ‘em and Pot Limit Omaha.

Until shared liquidity can be established, traffic is on the lighter side, so you might need to wait for a game. It is unfortunate, as the point of SNG is to be able to start anytime with games that are over in under an hour.

Spin & Go Jackpot Tournaments

Spin and Go tournaments have much better traffic. The jackpot format gives players the chance to win a prize up to 1000 times their buy-in. The buy-ins start at $1 and go up to $25. After you choose your buy-in and the number of games you want to play, you wait for two other players to be seated. Next, a random draw determines the prize pool and the game starts.

Cash Games

Cash Games
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4.85
Great Selection

PokerStars MI has cash games running around the clock, and most of the time you will be able to find the game you want at the stakes you want. Add to that the fact that PokerStars spreads a wide selection of mixed games, and it is easy to understand why we give PokerStars Michigan such high marks in the Cash Game category.

The second core activity of a poker room behind tournaments is cash games. They are an excellent way to find a variety of games at different levels to hone your skills. The traffic does not match that of international operators with bigger player pools, but you should still find the game of your choice, especially at peak times. The variety of stakes and game types make Cash Games alone a reason to join PokerStars MI.

PokerStars MI has one of the widest selections of game variations in the US. Cash table games on offer include:

  • Five-Card Draw
  • Fixed Limit Omaha
  • No Limit Omaha
  • No Limit Hold ‘Em
  • Pot Limit Omaha
  • Razz
  • Seven-Card Stud

Stakes start as low as $0.01/$0.02 and go up to $25/$50; whatever your budget, there is a game for you. Cash games are provided as six-max and full-ring tables, with No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha being the busiest games.

Overall, traffic is steady and quite good, particularly at the weekends and for the popular games. Micro stakes see a regular flow of players even on the weekdays, and low stakes have plenty of action in the evenings. Zoom tables are not available at the site currently.

Software

Software
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4.85
Modern Interface

The PokerStars software is renowned the world over giving the operator the advantage over most other online poker providers in the US. Its modern user interface, graphic animation, next-level sound effects, and customizable lobby make it one of the best in the world.

Accessing the tournaments and cash games is just as important as the activities themselves. If it goes wrong, it can severely impact your playing experience. In this PokerStars MI online poker review we review this aspect of online gaming as well.

PokerStars’ brilliant reputation for its poker software is well-known. Although it is new to Michigan, it has been operating for years in other states and prior to the change in legality of poker in 2011. The current platform is a revamped version of an earlier format, which is why it might seem familiar to some. The updates make it slicker than ever, and players will find it easy to download, install, and use.

Each aspect of the software hits the mark, which is in contrast to other operators who have had to compromise in one area or another. Overall, the functionality, appearance, and reliability are equally impressive, giving you an excellent player experience. You can download the desktop client from the site or choose one of the mobile options.

Reliability

The company has worked hard to ensure the connection remains stable, which explains how they have earned their reputation as its reliability has only improved. The PokerStars platform is incredibly reliable and has no known issues. As a result, you should not experience crashes, bugs, or screen freezes.

Occasional disruptions do occur as they cannot always be avoided. The measure of software is how quickly and professionally the issue is handled. The team aims to restore normal service as quickly as possible. PokerStars has been known to reimburse players when money was lost due to a technical fault.

Functionality

The desktop client is available for download onto Macs and Windows PCs. It is also possible to access it from your smartphone or tablet through the PokerStars Michigan mobile app.

You need to be located in Michigan to play and be connected to the internet. For the mobile and desktop options, you will need to use the accompanying geolocation application. It detects whether you are within state boundaries before allowing you to play. Wherever you choose to play, you will have access to the same great features that make playing a pleasure.

There are several useful functions, including using the rewards system, accessing your hand history, and managing your account. The filters mean you can quickly find the type of game you want. Additionally, you can customize the experience, such as the felt color, your player avatar, and how your screen and tables are arranged.

Appearance

Alongside the superb functionality and reliability comes the flawless appearance of the PokerStars software. The animations and overall look and feel are attractive, making it a stylish way to play poker online.

What stands out most is that the visual aspect of the software remains understated, which means you can focus on the game with minimal distractions. The menus, table, and options are easy to read, and everything is where you expect it to be, which leaves you more room to work on your strategy.

Mobile

PokerStars offers one of the best mobile apps available in the online poker world. The app is offered for Android and iOS devices alike, so players do not have to worry about access whatever their preferred choice of phone or tablet might be.

The app does not just look great, but it offers a variety of useful functions for playing on the go. The room has managed to implement very player-friendly multi-tabling solutions and the app in general is very responsive. You can access the full slate of cash games and MTTs using the mobile interface, make deposits, access your Rewards’ and Challenges’ sections, and much more.

FAQs

Is PokerStars MI really legal and trustworthy?

Yes. The site is licensed and regulated by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, which is an excellent sign that the operator can be trusted. It means all activities are legal and are assessed by an outside body. Transactions are secure, and policies are in place to protect the customer.

Is PokerStars MI rigged?

No. As part of the regulation, the Michigan Gaming Control Board tests the games at the PokerStars site to ensure that cards are random and games are fair. It also reviews promotions, rewards schemes, and other aspects to ensure that fairness and transparency are a priority. Although quite new to Michigan, PokerStars has an excellent reputation that it has built on, creating a good place for customers to play.

Do I have to be in Michigan to play on PokerStars MI?

Yes. The site has a license to operate in Michigan, which means players need to be located there in order to access it legally. The desktop and mobile applications use a geolocation service. This determines whether you are in the state before allowing you to play.

Can I register for PokerStars Michigan without being in the state?

Yes. Registering at the site is possible from somewhere outside of Michigan. However, you will need to select which state you intend to play in for the future. Although you may be able to create an account, to make the most of the bonuses, and play in cash games and tournaments, you need to be in Michigan.

Does PokerStars MI share liquidity with any other PokerStars sites in the US?

No. There are PokerStars sites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but they do not form a network at this time. New sites from PokerStars may appear in the future. Thanks to the changes in legislation, it seems likely that it will be able to take advantage of its multiple locations and share liquidity.

Can I play on PokerStars MI from my phone?

Yes. You can download the PokerStars Michigan app to your smartphone or tablet. When playing from your phone, you get the same top-notch PokerStars experience, but you will need to be in the Wolverine State to enjoy it.