PurePlay is a purely legal online poker room for US players. Their slogan - "Win Big Without The Risk" - references two things; the first is the fact that players never risk their own money at the tables, and the second is that by operating in such a manner, there is no risk of penalty by US law.
In regards to 100% legal US online poker, I give PurePlay two thumbs-up. The software itself runs pretty smooth and is easy enough to navigate. However, there is much lacking that a normal online poker room - one that requires depositing money to bet with - would provide.
Most importantly, these include player stats and live customer support. Members of PurePlay can acquire these features, and more, by paying a monthly membership fee of $19.99. Hence, the site is free, but if you want a better experience, you'll have to pay for it.
A paid VIP membership grants the user player stats, performance ratings, skill based tournaments (based on rating) live customer support and best of all, access to much more lucrative tournaments. Paid members won't have to view advertisement banners from PurePlay's sponsors either.
Let's compare the payouts and tournaments in regards to Free Membership VS. VIP Membership.
Cash Paid Out Over Time: $250,000
Cash Paid Out Monthly: $25,000
Biggest Cash Tournaments: $500
# Of Monthly Tournaments: 3,000
Cash Paid Out Over Time: $2,600,000
Cash Paid Out Monthly: $125,000
Biggest Cash Tournaments: $5,000
# Of Monthly Tournaments: 7,500
It's obviously much more lucrative to pay $19.99/month for the VIP Membership, but is it worth it? Yes, it is well worth it, because if you consider the alternatives, there is no telling how much one would deposit into a pay-to-play online poker room in hopes of winning at the tables. At PurePlay, you know what you're spending every month with the same hopes of a profitable ending. This term of use is what defines PurePlay as legal - players are not gambling (risking something in hopes of a better return) online, therefore breaking no laws.
US players who are wary of playing online poker should certainly give PurePlay a try, at least in the Free Membership zone. PurePlay currently offers a two-week free trial of VIP Membership, as well.
PurePlay may not be nearly as sophisticated as other online poker rooms, but that may change in the near future as the San Francisco based company has just received a substantial financial investment from several backers. This makes three investments since the company was founded in 2004 (launched in late 2005), totaling $15 million invested into the US-legal online poker room, PurePlay.