Friday, October 29, 2004

PokerPlex Site Review

Get a Free $50 Bonus Every Dang Month!

PokerPlex should be a regular stop on your poker playing circuit, for a whole slew of reasons. Nice monthly bonus that's simple as pie to clear, loose players that love to gambool, and plenty of tables and players.

Like other Crypto sites, PokerPlex offers all the normal poker variants, limit, no-limit, and pot limit, as well as Stud and Omaha. The lowest limit offered is 1/2, so if you're used to .50/1 or below, keep that fact in mind.

PokerPlex uses Crypto software, which can be a sit slow and memory intensive. It's functional, though, and has no annoying avatars or other distractions. While it's a bit annoying, the pool of players that Crypto sites share more than make up for it. Lots of bad, bad players pour into the poker rooms from Crypto casino sites and you'll find them right there next to you, calling you all the way to the river with bottom pair.

The PokerPlex signup bonus is a very good one, $50 each month for being dealt 300 hands. Pop open a few tables and you'll clear this sucker in an hour or two, pocketing a cool fifty bucks. Better yet, you can claim the bonus each and every month. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that you'll have to wait for a PIN number to be snail-mailed to you before you can cash out of the site. This is the case with almost all the Crypto sites and there's no real way around it. On the bright side, you'll usually get the PIN a week or so after signing up and depositing money, so you shouldn't have to wait too long.

On a scale of 10, Pacific gets a 7. Loose players that love to gambool and a fat monthly bonus more than offset the sometimes clunky Crypto software and the slight annoyance of having to wait to receive your PIN number to cashout.

Click here to get an INSTANT $50 signup bonus from PokerPlex!

Sportingbet Poker Site Review - Online Poker Room

Sportingbet Poker has a lot going for it, and is definitely worth a visit if you're looking for fishy players and a decent signup bonus.

One big plus about Sportingbet Poker is that it's the poker room of Sportingbet, which operates a prominent sportsbook and online casino. This means that you get all sorts of loose, horrible players popping their heads into the poker room, jonesing to throw chips at you as fast as they possibly can. You'll be amazed at how many players ALWAYS see the flop, at all levels, and how many will call all the way to river with nothing but J high.

As far as the site itself, Sportingbet Poker usually has a decent number of players online at most times. It's not a huge site but you'll usually have no problem finding a game, especially at lower limits.

The software is okay, but is lacking in support for playing more than one table at a time. While this isn't a huge sticking point, only being able to play one table at a time does slow down clearing bonuses at Sportingbet Poker. They offer all the normal varieties of poker, at every level imaginable, limit, no-limit, pot-limit, you name it. They also offer single and multi-table tournaments, as well as Stud and Omaha tables.

The Sportingbet Poker signup bonus is a decent one, especially since it requires no maximum deposit. You can receive up to $100 in bonus money, with the first $30 being released to you automatically when you play 70 raked hands, and the remaining $70 being released when you play 500 raked hands. One thing to keep in mind is that the site defines a raked hand as one you see the flop in which is ultimately raked, and not just one in which you're dealt cards in.

One very nice feature of Sportingbet Poker is that the cashouts are really, really fast, often hitting your account in an hour or two.

On a scale of 10, Sportingbet Poker gets a 7. The loose, terrible players are definitely worth the price of admission and the bonus is a decent one, if a bit slow to clear. While playing one table only is a pain, the loose play and bonus more than make up for the hindrance.

Click here to get up a $100 free bonus from Sportingbet Poker

Pacific Poker Site Review

Big Bonuses + Big Fish = Big Payday for YOU

Pacific Poker should be at the top of every serious poker platey's hitlist. The site has everything you look for: thousands of players online at any given moment, a hefty initial signup bonus, and some of the loosest, fishiest players east and west of the Mississppi.

One key fact to keep in mind about Pacific is that it has a sister casino site, Casino-On-Net, which means that there's a steady influx of bad, bad poker players that also love to gamble. That's a nice combination that, more often than not, results in a fatter wallet for YOU.

As far as the site itself, Pacific is a fairly high traffic site, with games constantly running at any limit you like. They offer all the normal poker flavors, limit, no-limit, and pot limit, as well as Stud and Omaha. Unlike some larger sites, they offer micro-limit tables, all the way down to .5/.10, and all the way up to 30/60. As far as tournaments, they offer both single and multi-table tournaments, offering a larger buy-in MTT tournament every weekend.

The software is decent, but leaves a bit to be desired. The cards are a bit small and the action is in general a little clunky, slowing down table speed somewhat. The biggest problem, though, is that the site only supports playing at one table at a time. So if you're a hyperactive poker monkey, always playing 4 tables at a time, reading a book, watching tv, it'll take some getting used to, as far as just playing one table at a time.

The Pacific signup bonus is a very good one, 25% up to $100, and fairly easy to clear. It's a slightly odd format to clear, as they require that you wager a total of $2,000 in bets before you can cashout the bonus, but it goes pretty quickly. Cashouts aren't as fast as at some sites, but usually are processed within 72 hours.

On a scale of 10, Pacific gets a 9. Loose, bad players, a juicy signup bonus, and games at every level more than make up for the annoyance of only being able to play a single table at a time. If you haven't hit this site yet, you owe it to yourself (and your bankroll) to give it a whirl.

Click here to get an INSTANT $100 signup bonus from Pacific Poker!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Thank You, Poker Gods

I finally had a good session at PokerRoom yesterday, wiping out all of the ugly earlier losses and pushing me a wee bit into the black. Nothing spectacular, really, just the other side of variance catching up, hitting good flops, pocket pairs holding up, boring stuff like that.

Lately I've been experimenting with limping with a monster hand shortly after I sit down at a table. Not slowplaying, mind you, but checking or just calling on the river when I have the obvious nuts. But only when it's a smallish pot, with just two or three of us seeing the river (so as not to lose too many potential bets.) Can't always do it, obviously, as the cards don't often oblige and give you the chance early, but I've had some pretty good success with that particular advertising play when new to a table. In the right circumstances, it's a cheap way to make other players at the table immediately brand the newcomer as a timid, weak fish. For some reason it encourages people to think they can shove you off hands (which is backwards, as the logical assumption should be that when you do actually bet or raise, you must be betting something huge).

I guess the lesson is not to let first impressions at the table dominate your thinking, as it's easy to take advantage of the tendency to see a "horrible" play by someone who just sits down and salivate.

I'm about to take my first extended poker hiatus in awhile, basically out of the loop from October 29-November 10, for wedding and honeymoon fun. To be completely honest, I'm sort of looking forward to it. I've been hitting the bonus circuit hard the last month, raising some scratch to pay for the wedding and have managed to slightly burn myself out, methinks. I'm taking my laptop and may get in a little time here and there, depending on wireless access, and I might sneak off to a casino in Arizona somewhere, but for the most part I'll be poker-free. Well, kind of. I'll be working on assorted content for the poker site I'm working on, now that I have the layout and design roughed out. My better half isn't an early riser, and the last few years have doomed me to not be able to sleep past 7, so I'll have a good bit of uninterrupted free time to work on assorted projects.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Poker Affiliate Programs

I've been struggling this morning, trying to think of some worthy Tuesday topic to babble on about. Or, to be more accurate, worthwhile babblings that I have some inkling of knowledge about, that others might not. And I'm coming up empty. Bone dang dry.

Granted, part of that is due to my slightly hungover state at the moment, and the general early-morning lack of caffeination. But I'm also hamstrung at times by the feeling that I am just one simple monkey, amongst the mass of monkeys playing poker, and that I really shouldn't be pontificating on anything poker strategy related. Yeah, I've played a bazillion hands online in the last three or four years, yeah, I've run a $50 deposit into a bit over 10K in the past, (and busted out on a few larger buy-ins as well), yeah, I read all them there cool poker books we all read. But really, in the end, I'm still prone to dumb monkey plays, mistakes, and wrong-headed thinking. It's all a process, still, even at this stage, and it's hard to pontificate when one's mindset and philosophy is always changing.

But I do know something about affiliate marketing, and about poker affiliate programs. And I imagine most of you don't. And it could be costing you money. So I'll babble about that.

Poker Affiliate Programs

You've all seen the ads and banners (just look to the right) and cries of Party Bonus Code= IGGY. But what's really going on behind the scenes? And, more importantly, how could you be taking advantage of it?

Affiliate marketing is a pretty simple concept. Let's say you own an online poker site. You want as many players playing there as possible, as the more players there are, the more rake money you make. Like any business (web-based or otherwise), your ultimate success largely depends on how many potential customers you can get in the door.

So you advertise on television, in print, on the radio, the whole nine yards. And that works. But you want more. And you know that there's a whole posse of poker bloggers out there who could be advertising your site, if only you had a way to convince them. Which, lo and behold, you do. Cold, hard cash.

The basic model is simple. For every new player who creates a account and deposits money into it, you pay the person who referred them (the affiliate, which in this case is the poker blogger) a certain amount of money. This could be a flat payout per each new player referred (usually from $50 to $100 per player) or it could be a monthly percentage of the rake they pay (usually 15% to 30%) for the lifetime of their account. The affiliate is provided with banners and other marketing tools to promote the poker site as well as a means of tracking signup and payout stats.

So how does this impact you? In different ways, both direct and indirect. In no particular order:

1) If you're signing up for a new site you've never played at, for the sake of Jebus do it through an affiliate link of a poker blogger. Online poker sites are willing to pay someone, anyone for every new account, and that someone might as well be a poker blogger who has invested a lot of time and thought into the poker content they offer up to the world, free of charge. If you just go directly to Party's site and and signup, no one gets paid. If you click on a poker blogger link first, the blogger
gets a decent little chunk o' change. If someone has provided content you enjoy, support them by clicking a link on their site.

2) If you've got a blog, you could be making extra money as an affiliate yourself. Setting up an affiliate account is free, quick, and simple. Most poker sites allow you multiple payout options, including checks, direct payouts to Neteller accounts, or payouts directly to your own player account at their site. That said, you won't get rich doing it. None of us bloggers make a ton of money via affiliate programs. But it's definitely worth exploring, especially if you have decent traffic coming to your site. Or if you know of some friends or co-workers that you've convinced to play, who are rarin' to go, and more than happy to sign up through a link you toss up on a web page. Like the first point, online sites are more than happy to pay for new players and someone should get that money.

Online poker sites that currently offer affiliate programs include:

  • Empire Poker

  • PokerRoom

  • Absolute Poker

  • UltimateBet

  • PartyPoker

  • InterPoker

  • Pacific Poker

  • Intertops

  • Paradise Poker
  • (currently not accepting new affiliates)

    3) If you play poker (online or in a B&M setting), you pay a rake. Each and every hand. If you play a lot, you'd be amazed at how much rake you're actually paying every month. Many players use a by-product of affiliate marketing to secure a rakeback deal that returns a decent chunk of their rake money back to them. Let's hypothetically say that you sign up through an affiliate poker blogger who has selected to receive the payout option of 20% of the monthly rake of every new player they refer. Let's also say that you're good friends with this blogger, or that you work with them, or for whatever reason you implicitly trust them. It's very possible to signup through their affiliate link and have them pay you a percentage of your rake back. They get 20% of your monthly rake, and agree to pay you 15% of that. It's win-win situation. You get 15% of your rake back, they keep 5%, everyone is happy.

    Here's the only catch. Most online sites forbid rakeback deals as outlined above. While they allow you to offer incentives (such as poker chips or KEM cards), they frown upon cash arrangements such as outlined above. But the reality is that while they may frown upon it, there isn't anything they can do to stop it. Especially if the affiliate is smart and pays the rake back through means not tied to the site, such as PayPal, old-fashioned checks, Neteller transfers, etc. As long as the affiliate isn't stupid and doesn't transfer money directly from their player account on the site involved to another player account, online sites have no means of tracking rakeback deals. For the record, I'd officially never advocate anything that violates the terms of an affiliate agreement, including rakeback deals (wink, wink, nudge nudge). Just putting the information out there.

    One last thing to keep in mind about rakeback deals is that you'll have to create a new account (to sign up through an affiliate) and you have to take bonuses into account. If you get a $100 bonus when signing up for a new account, the affiliate doesn't make anything until you've paid +$100 in rake. When the online site starts making money from you (i.e. when your total rake exceeds any bonuses paid out), then the affiliate starts making money, and can share a percentage of that with you.

    All of which is likely more than you ever wanted to know about affiliate programs. But, like the GI Joe taught many of us: "Knowing is half the battle". Let's just ignore the other major GI Joe lesson: no matter how many people are shooting at one another with all sorts of weaponry, no one ever, ever gets shot.

    BlogExplosion: Boom or Bust?

    I've been playing around with BlogExplosion for the last few days, and it's an interesting idea. The basic idea is that if you have a blog and want more traffic/exposure, you can sign up for a free BlogExplosion account and get reciprocal traffic for browsing other blogs that have signed up for their network.

    Once you set up an account and register your blog you can start viewing other blogs and accumulating credits. The interface is pretty simple, as they just display the blogs you surf in a framed window, and you click for the next blog at the top of the browser (after a 30 second timer has counted down). For every two blogs that you view, the system sends someone else to your blog.

    It does generate a lot of traffic, although some of it is obviously forced. For every person interested in your blog there are probably five that couldn't care a bit, and are just waiting for the timer to count down to view the next blog. But it's an interesting idea, and you definitely stumble across some unique blogs that you'd never otherwise find.

    If you're bored and/or interested in a free, easy way to increase visitors to your blog, give BlogExplosion a whirl.

    Monday, October 25, 2004

    Monday Morning Quarterback

    Sort of a frustrating weekend, as far as poker/gambling goes. On the bright side, I basically broke even (if you count football bettin'), so I guess it's good that a "frustrating" weekend is a break-even one. But I've gotten spoiled with the poker bankroll rolling inexorably higher of late, and it actually took a slight dip last week.

    More annoying is that I still can't rid myself of the mini-tilt tic I still have when I'm down, trying to recoup it from SnGs. It's not a bad tic to have, in and of itself, but it can be damaging when I stubbornly keep firing up one after another. Especially when I'm not in the best state of mind, after having AA cracked on consecutive hands to go from 1st to 4th, out on the bubble, in the previous SnG. In this case it worked out okay, as I ended the night with a 2nd and a 3rd, getting back to even, but I really need to make myself just shut it down when things are running bad, as I definitely wasn't playing my A game after that.

    PokerRoom is officially kicking my ass, too. I'm not playing badly, not tilting, playing tight, aggressive poker, but I just can't get a hand to hold up to save my life. Sets keep losing to rivered straights, straights to rivered flushes, etc. etc., blah blah blah. Honestly, though, a good measure of it is my own fault, as far as being slow to re-adjust to the 3/6 full ring games. It's been a little over a year since my last journey up the limit ring game ladder and it shows, especially with all the time I've put in of late at 1/2, clearing bonuses and rebuilding the bankroll.

    I folded two large pots last night where I had the eventual winner, scared off TPTK by nothing more than a re-raise on the turn with a scary board (flush and straight potential). In both cases the raiser (who had limped pre-flop) was holding nothing more than middle pocket pairs (99 one hand, 77 the other). Yeah, I know, pitiful. One of the drawbacks to playing so much micro-limit with players who will play any two cards for any amount of bets is that you start seeing monsters lurking everywhere, especially when limpers suddenly wake up and raise in the face of strength and a scary board. When advanced/tricky play is generally absent (as it ofetn is at micro-limits) the above play usually means one thing: a big hand that TPTK with no redraws isn't going to beat. At higher limits, though, it can obviously mean all sorts of things.

    Feeling relatively good about my play overall, though. Went through SSH again, a bit slower this time. I still can't get myself to play middle pair/decent kicker as aggressively as they recommend but I definitely picked up some other useful nuggets.

    I also had one of those idiot epiphany moments, where my thick head finally grasped something that had been eluding me, which was, umm, pretty simple to begin with. On the first read I'd had a bit of trouble buying into some of their arguments about protecting vulnerable hands with a check-raise in situations in which the check-raise would swing a call from chasers to slightly -EV (whereas calling one bet would be slightly +EV for them). I understood the concept and the underlying maths but kept thinking, "Umm, dude, that's only the case if they're savvy and doing the same equation and calling or folding based on the math. If they aren't you're chunking money in, in a vulnerable situation, where most players will simply call anyway, flying by the seat of their pants. You can't eliminate someone with a mathematical equation if they're not doing the math."

    Which is obviously a pretty dumb thought to have. It makes absolutely no difference what they're thinking, whether they are thinking, what they're capable of thinking, etc. All that matters is that their money goes into the pot when they don't have the necessary odds to make that action profitable. When that happens, you win. End of story. Part of the difficulty (for me at least) is separating the fact that while you often want those chasers to fold, the odds-destroying nature of the check-raise doesn't rely on the fold. It presents your opponents with two choices, a right one and a wrong one. All that matters is which they choose, not what is running through their heads.

    Sunday, October 24, 2004

    Poker and Football, Oh My

    For some reason I woke up far, far too early this morning. Which isn't all bad, as I got a healthy dose of poker in, plus got caught up on assorted poker blog reading, as well as some other chores and what-not.

    Glad the Red Sox took game one, but geez, what an ugly, ugly game. Having to watch Tim Wakefield and Cornrow Arroyo pitch on the same night can cause one physical pain when they're struggling. All's well that ends well (for BoSox fans), I guess, but that was a pretty pitiful display all the way around.

    Last week I tore it up as far as football prognosticating. 12-2 for the week and 4-0 on money games. That brings me up to 57-31 overall for the year, or a healthy 65% on the year. I've been betting at InterTops, using the initial poker signup bonus that I cleared, and doing pretty well. I'd never bet on football before, but told myself it was basically a freeroll, not to sweat it, etc. So far so good.

    Here be my picks for this week. Tricky week overall, and I only put money on the Vikes (-6.5), Bills (+6.5), and the Jags (+9):

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5 Chicago Bears
    Baltimore Ravens -6.5 Buffalo Bills
    Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 Atlanta Falcons
    Minnesota Vikings -5.5 Tennessee Titans
    Carolina Panthers -3.5 San Diego Chargers
    New York Giants -6.5 Detroit Lions
    Cleveland Browns +7.5 Philadelphia Eagles
    Miami Dolphins +6.5 St. Louis Rams
    Indianapolis Colts -9.5 Jacksonville Jaguars
    New England Patriots -6.5 New York Jets
    Green Bay Packers -3.5 Dallas Cowboys
    Oakland Raiders -3.5 New Orleans Saints
    Arizona Cardinals +6.5 Seattle Seahawks
    Cincinnati Bengals +5.5 Denver Broncos

    Poker is treating me fairly well this weekend. I finally got around to chasing the sign-up bonus at PokerRoom (which is a pretty hefty 40% on initial signups, up to $200 max). I like the interface a good bit (especially the chick with the enormous breasteses) and they've got a decent amount of tables running. The client is also Web=based so there's no software to download and it'll run behind some firewalls in the workplace, too. On the negative side, the bonus is going to take awhile to clear. You have to accumulate a set amount of player points, based on rake, which get doled out to you .5 pts at a time (usually if the pot is over $10) or 1 point at a time (usually if the pot is over $20). If you play 2/4 or higher, it goes fairly quickly. If you're used to clearing bonuses at .50/1 or 1/2, it'll take much longer.

    The games are fairly soft, though, especially the NL tables. Yesterday the poker gods decided to hand my ass to me (I was down $200 at one point) but I managed to repair a good bit of the damage today. I'm about $75 down, and one-third of the way to the bonus.

    Played a bit of 2/4 on Empire and keep steadily building up the roll there. I don't really like playing at sites where I'm not clearing a bonus, essentially handing rake money away for no reason, but it's hard to pass up the opportunities at Party/Empire/assorted skins. After the wedding I'm going to do some wrangling and scheming and finally set up a rakeback deal to resolve that issue, but until then they'll just get all of my rake, greedy bastards.

    Speaking of which, next week at this time I'll be married. Crazy. In a good way, but still crazy.

    Friday, October 22, 2004

    That Was a Crazy Game of Poker

    Due to much assorted busyness, this is going to have to be an abbreviated Friday broadcast. I was planning on putting up an InterPoker site review but I got waylaid by all sorts of work-related stuff.

    So you'll just have to made do with the shortest poker blog review ever. With no further ado, I give you:

    The Nut Heart Flush

    Not only is there plenty of juicy poker content, but you get a behind-the-scenes peek into the process of writing a book about poker. Yes, some people are just that lucky. As the wee man would say, Oh the humanity!

    As if that wasn't enough, she's a former child television star, as well as a pupil of Jim "JimBob" Magnuson, the finest literary wordsmith of the 20th century. (And with that I probably blew my cover, if it wasn't already blown. Hee.) And she knows karate.

    I'll shut up, if you'll just go read. Deal? Cool.

    Thursday, October 21, 2004

    Dude, I Suck

    Well, that was an odd way to finish 96th out of 133 in the blogger tournament. Key hands include:

    Dealt KK, flop a set, lose to a full house. Get knocked down to about 600.

    Dealt 1010, flop a set, double up.

    Dealt 1010, flop a set, lose to a flopped straight. Back down to 600.

    Dealt JJ, double up.

    Dealt AJd, flop comes all diamonds. Get it all in with a guy who had 99 and flopped a set. Sweet. Except, umm, he catches the case 9 on the river for quads. Err, not sweet. Bye bye for me.

    'Tis a little disappointing, as I had plenty of good cards and chances but I just couldn't dodge the cards I needed to dodge. Such is life, I suppose.

    Tiger Gaming Bonus Codes

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    Curse Schmurse, Red Sox Rule

    Thank ye, Boston, for the bounty which ye have given unto us. May thine hair and beards grow every longer and thy smiting of the infidels grow apace.

    I've gotten my ass kicked at the tables the last two nights. No need to sugar coat it or pretend otherwise. I'd like to say that it was horrible bad beats, suckouts, stupid fish, blah blah blah, but I can't really say that. Just a lot of second best hands I couldn't release and not many coin flips going my way. Plus a healthy dose of non-hot cards. I'm also playing too loosely, looking at my blackjack winnings from last weekend as play money. No more.

    I think I need to settle a bit, as far as the tables I play. Variety is indeed the spice of life but that doesn't mean one has to constantly bounce around the Omaha, limit, and NL tables. I've been harvesting PokerTracker hands on the $50 NL tables at Party while I'm at work and I think I may settle there for awhile. It's a catch 22 of sorts, as I'm still too passive to extract the most value out of playing NL games but I enjoy it more. Plus there's just so much dead money in the NL games, even at the $50 level. Or maybe especially at the $50 level.

    Pretty psyched for the blogger tournament tonight on Poker Stars. I'm playing under the handle "frogalog" (err, don't ask). Hopefully I'll post a better showing the last time, when I didn't even make it to the first break. I'll also be playing in the $2,500 freeroll at Empire at the same time, so hopefully I'll be able to make a run at one of them.

    Work is increasingly become a tedious, mind-sucking drag. I can't even think about not working here at the moment, due to the double whammy of mortgages and wedding bills, but it's getting harder and harder to pretend to be enthused. I had my quarterly review yesterday and while my boss only had good things to say, she was pretty aware of my general level of burnout. It may be a moot point, though, if the mothership in NJ continues to outsource everything that isn't nailed down. The happy/sad thing is that I'd almost welcome change being forced on me, despite the potential hardship, as there just ain't nothing good about stultifying stasis.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2004

    Casino Affiliate Programs

    Casino affiliate programs are great ways to make additional income if you have a blog, website, or any other online service devoted to gambling. With a minimum of effort you can have banners and links up in seconds, turning your existing website into a cash cow.

    There are two main types of casino affiliate programs: cost per acquisition (CPA) and revenue sharing. Both have their advantages and disadvantages so be sure to pick the one that best fits the traffic of your website. CPA programs pay you a flat fee for every player you refer, usually on a sliding scale, paying more for a greater number of players referred each month. Revenue sharing programs pay you a fixed percentage of the revenue produced by referred players.

    Casino Affiliate Programs

    CPA/Revenue Sharing:

  • Sunny Diamonds: up to $350 CPA or 31% commission>

  • CasinoBlasters: earn up to $250 per player or up to 50% gross revenue

  • Casino Rewards: $50 per player or 35% gross revenue

  • CasinoPays: up to $300 CPA or 35% gross revenue

  • Revenue Sharing Programs
  • Casino Profit Share: up to 35% commission

  • Fortune Affiliates: up to 40% commission

  • AllStar Affiliates: up to 30% commission

  • ReferBack: up to 35% commission

  • Income Access

  • AdRiches: up to 35% commission

  • Integrity Casinos: up to 35% commission

  • Acropolis Casinos: up to 35% commission

  • MySportsAffiliate

  • 9AM

  • VIPProfits
  • Poker Blogs I Read Every Damn Day

  • The Cards Speak
  • A Fool and His Money
  • Up for Poker
  • Al Can't Hang
  • Guinness and Poker
  • Felicia Lee
  • Gambling Blues
  • Poker Grub
  • Mean Gene
  • Internet Poker Pro
  • stfu
  • Chris Halverson
  • Maudie's Poker Blog
  • Double As
  • BadBlood
  • Tao of Poker
  • Cheap Thrills
  • John-Paul Costales
  • Online Poker Thoughts
  • Outkicked
  • Poker Chronicles
  • Poker in the Weeds
  • Poker Nerd
  • Riding the F Train
  • Todd Commish
  • Lion Tales
  • Poker on Film
  • Catching the

  • The Nut Heart Flush
  • Wired Aces
  • Whiskeytown
  • The Poker Penguin
  • Poker Odyssey
  • Decker's

  • Love and Casino War
  • Betting for Value
  • 2 Hole Cards
  • Las Vegas and Poker

  • The Fat Guy
  • skitch-o-rama
  • 50 Outs
  • StudioGlyphic
  • Andy Ward's Diary
  • Nickel and Dimes
  • Donkeypuncher
  • Wagering War
  • Lumpy's Blog
  • Poker Words
  • The Obituarium
  • My Poker Adventure
  • Poker Junkie
  • This is Not a Poker Blog
  • Vanity and Poker
  • Trials of a Poker Apprentice
  • JSAW
  • Poker in Arrears
  • Twenty-One Outs

  • Human Head Thinks Big
  • Poker, Pique, and Parenthood
  • Based on Years of Experience
  • Poker Works
  • Bad Beat Blog
  • Big Slick Nuts
  • Pokerama-rama
  • Chicks Dig Poker Geeks
  • fhwrdh
  • Call, Raise, or Muck

  • Hella Hold 'Em
  • Mikey Likes It
  • Huntsvegas Poker
  • Royal Poker
  • Sideways Poker
  • Bill's Blog
  • Go Be Rude
  • My Little Poker Blog
  • Ugarte's Poker

  • tp's table talk
  • Milkybarkid's Poker Blog
  • The Camel Ruminates
  • OnTilt
  • redsimonpoker
  • Fish and Chips
  • Everything in

  • A Pirate's Life for Me
  • PokerShark's Cardroom
  • she verb
  • Flush Draw
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  • Steal the Blinds

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  • Donkey Hunter

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  • A Slave to Variance

  • Poker Party

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  • Poker Bonuses

    Poker Tip O' the Day
    Don't get stuck in a rut, playing the same game, day in and day out. Sure, some people are immune to the grind and can multi-table four $3/6 games until their eyes bleed without making a mistake or getting burned out. But most of us can't. If your normal game starts feeling like a grind, mix it up a little. Play some Stud. Play some Omaha. Any and every game out there has its own unique lessons to teach, many of which carry over to other games.

    Poker Bonuses; Or, To Whore or Not to Whore?

    Let's get this out upfront. I'm a pretty dedicated bonus whore. I make the good people at Neteller very happy, constantly shifting money from site to site, opening new accounts, etc. So I'm a little biased, and perhaps not the best person to objectively answer the question of whether it's worth it to chase bonuses at different sites. Or, you know, perhaps I'm the best person. 'Tis in the eye of the beholder. Just be forewarned that these are the words of a poker bonus junkie.

    Many online poker sites offer cash bonuses for you to play at their site. They almost always require you to play a certain number of hands (usually hands that have been raked) before you can claim the bonus and potentially withdraw it. These bonuses come in two forms: initial sign up bonuses and reload bonuses. Initial sign up bonuses are one time offers that are good only when you create an account, while reload bonuses are available to any player with an existing account.

    Bonuses typically run in the range of 10%-30% of your deposit into the site. Most bonuses are capped as far as the maximum you can receive, usually in the range of $100-200 (i.e. deposit $500 at a site offering a 20% initial signup bonus and you'll get the maximum bonus allowed, $100). You can deposit less than the maximum amount and still receive a bonus, albeit a slightly smaller one.

    So let's say you sign up a new account at PartyPoker and you use bonus code SCURVY. You'll get a 20% on your first deposit, up to $100. If you deposit $500, that's a $100 bonus. Sweet. All you have to do to get the bonus is to play a certain number of hands in which a rake is taken from the pot. When you play the set number of hands, the bonus will automatically be credited to your account.

    You can do the same thing at Empire, InterTops, Absolute, and many other sites. After you get all the initial sign-up bonuses, you can often get reload bonuses from the very same sites, as they periodically offer you incentives to deposit more money into your account.

    So why do sites do this? Because they make money when people play. And the more players they have on their sites, the more tables that are available, which enocurages more people to play. And so on and so forth. While they know that some smart, savvy players like you will get the bonus and cash out ahead, for every smart savvy player there are 3 fish who will lose their entire deposit. The poker sites are also somewhat protected by the fact that no matter how good you are, you still have to pay them rake money. So even if you clear the bonus and cash out ahead, they still get a piece of the action in the form of rake.

    Enough babbling, you say. Is it worth it or not, to chase bonuses? Good question.

    For the first year and a half of my online poker playing career, I didn't chase bonuses. I signed up at Party and got the initial bonus, as well as some reload bonuses, but I didn't sign up for any other sites. I was happy enough where I was, I'd set up to pay them through IGMPAY from my checking account, and didn't want to hassle with setting up a payment method for non Party sites that don't use IGMPAY. It just didn't seem worth the hassle.

    But I got curious, especially after reading assorted forums dedicated to bonuses, like People claimed to be making pretty decent money chasing bonuses, and I like money. What the hell, I though, so I bit the bullet and set up a FirePay account.

    Which was a mistake, albeit a small one. Neteller is far superior in regards to fees and speed of use. If you're going to chase bonuses, do it right and set up a Neteller account. They're quick, professional, and security conscious. They also offer a ATM that will let you draw cash from your account, which is a potentially nice perk. Once you set up your Neteller account, you'll need to link it to an existing checking account. When that's ready, you'll simply transfer money from your checking or savings account to Neteller. When the money is available in your Neteller account, you're ready to whore it up.

    As far as dollars and cents, it's hard to quantify what hourly rate to expect from assorted bonuses. The biggest factor is the terms of the site, as far as what conditions have to be met to make a bonus worthwhile. Pay close attention to the number of hands you have to play, and if they have to be raked hands. Some sites offer what look like good bonuses (such as Full Tilt and Ultimate Bet) but in reality are almost impossible to clear, due to what they require to get the bonus. Other sites offer what appear to be lesser bonuses (such as InterPoker's 100% monthly match bonus, up to $90 maximum) which are actually very good bonuses value-wise, due to how easy they are to receive.

    Of course, it also depends largely on your skill as a player. If you aren't very good, you'll like lose money, depsite the bonus. The bonuses are never large enough to make up for being a poor player. 'Nuff said.

    To take full advantage of bonuses, it's usually best to be able to comfortably multi-table. How fast you clear the bonus isn't really important (although some bonuses do have deadlines when they expire), but you'll inevitably find yourself playing on sites you wouldn't normally frequent for whatever reason (tightness of play, interface, etc.) Being able to quickly clear the bonus and get back to your favorite stomping grounds is psychologically a nice tool to possess. Unless you have a huge bankroll, you'll also likely be splitting up your roll over multiple sites, which some people feel slightly uncomfortable doing, so being able to quickly clear the bonus and consolidate funds is also a good thing.

    Speaking of psychology, for some players (including myself) playing with a bonus adds an extra level of comfort. It should make no difference but I simply feel more confident and solid when I'm working off a bonus, as if I have an insurance policy in my back pocket. It's an incentive to make me play more aggressively across the board, which usually translates into a much better game overall.

    Bottom line, bonuses can greatly speed the building of your bankroll if you're a skilled player. They won't magically transform you into a superstar but they will provide you with a steady stream of income if you play well. It's basically found money and it's a minimum of hassle to reach down and pick it up. It literally takes less than a minute or two to signup for some sites and fund an account, after which you essentially get paid for playing your normal game.

    So which sites have good bonuses? It's always a bit in flux, but the following are sites I've cleared bonuses at, which I'd highly recommend:

  • PokerNow

  • PartyPoker

  • Empire

  • InterTops

  • InterPoker

  • PokerNow

  • Paradise Poker

  • Pacific Poker

  • Please note that for Party, Empire, Intertops, and PokerNow you'll have to register with different email addresses, preferably on different computers. Because they're all skins/sister sites, they share players and will not allow you to create an account if you already have an existing account on another skin. All you have to do, though, is use a different email address, as long as you're on a different computer when signing up (or delete the other sites from your computer). All your other info (address, Neteller, etc.) can be exactly the same on all accounts.

    Sites I would recommend, but which have tougher/smaller bonuses:

  • Absolute

  • Caribbean Sun

  • PokerPlex

  • Sites I wouldn't touch with a ten foot bonus pole, due to impossibly hard to clear bonuses:

  • Full Tilt

  • Ultimate Bet

  • Tuesday, October 19, 2004

    Crazy Cards

    Before the Tuesday pimpin' begins, a couple of oddball hands from yesterday.

    I'm sitting at a full ring 2/4 table on Empire, about to get up and go do some yard work. I'd been multi-tabling to crank out enough hands to get into their big freeroll on Thursday and was down a bit on the table. I decided to see one last orbit in an attempt to get even.

    On the button I get dealt AJ clubs. UTG bets, five others limp in, I raise, and the BB and all the others call. Eight of us see the flop, which is K Q 10 clubs. That's right, sports fans, I flopped the royal flush. That's only the second one I've ever had, and the first time that both of my hole cards played (the other one I had the 10 of hearts and the board supplied the AKQJ of hearts). It checks all the way around to me, and I just check. Turn is a 9 and MP bets. Hee. LP calls and I just call. River is a 5, MP bets, LP calls, I raise, MP re-reraises (hee) and it ends up being capped with the three of us in. I think the only thing crazier than flopping the royal flush is that I actually got action off of it.

    Later that night I was playing shorthanded $25 PL Omaha and had QJJ10 double suited. I think the bet was $1 or something and five of us see the flop, which is QQJ. Obviously I like that flop, and bet something like $2. Two callers. Turn is a Q. Hee. I just checked here, as did everyone else. River is a J.

    So not only do I have quads, but double quads (4 Qs and 4Js). Which obviously isn't optimal, as you'd rather the lower of the quads be live in someone else's hand, but still pretty cool to look at. Sadly I didn't get much action, as one of the players bet out $1, I raised a goodly amount, and he folded.

    Allrighty then, on to the pimpin'.

    I've had a relatively hard time finding good reading material online about Omaha strategy. Yes, there are some decent posts out there but most are geared towards people just starting out, with few examples of actual hands and real-world situations. I stumbled across some pretty decent articles by Rolf Slotboom (I'm just going to assume that's really his name) on He's got some limit hold 'em articles up too (including a pretty interesting artice on playing AK), but the majority of his stuff deals with PL Omaha. Check 'em out if you haven't already, as he's a decent writer and seems to know his stuff.

    Lots of good stuff in the last week from the blogging crew. In no particular order:

  • Real Life by Otis at Up For Poker

  • Turning Pro at riding the F Train

  • Split Boards by Wired Aces

  • Year in Review at The Cards Speak

  • May the cards be with you.

    Monday, October 18, 2004

    I Worship Thee, Gamblor

    Much to blog about this early Monday morning. So, with no further ado...

    Things continued to run well on the poker front last week. I'm more encouraged by weeks like last week than some where I actually make more money, as I managed to squeeze out a decent profit from some pretty atrocious cards. Clearing some bonuses helped ($200 from Pokernow, $210 from Absolute) but it was mainly a matter of fighting through some cold cards and sticking to my guns.

    Lately I've been multi-tabling different limits and games, usually playing one 1/2 Omaha table, one 2/4 table, and one $25 NL table (and one more 1/2 Omaha 8 if I'm feeling jiggy and can concentrate well enough). I need to keep better records of my Omaha play (which is one of the few disappointing things about PokerTracker so far, the inability to track Omaha games), but for the last two months at least limit Omaha has been the largest source of profit for me. That's a bit surprising, but not overly so. I still think of myself as an Omaha newbie but I've got three months of steady play under my belt now, and am getting a good feel for the limit game. Still have big holes in Omaha 8 and I'm still too much of a wuss for the push-fest that is Omaha PL, but I'm doing well with the Omaha limit games.

    I'm also still on a pretty crazy $30 SnG run. I've made the money in 12 of the last 15 I've entered, winning six. At some point I'd like to devote a month to just SnGs and see how I do. I've played enough of those to know that those results are abnormal, and have suffered through plenty of offsetting dry spells in the past, but I'd be curious to see the overall results from playing 100 or so of them in a month.

    I also played a few MTTs for the first time in awhile. Note to self: never play another speed tournament (blinds increase every 3 minutes) until Party finds a way to prevent people from mass stalling into the money. I like the idea of a speed tournament but there's massive collusion now, especially by people on the top tables that don't get broken up and rebalanced, so it basically comes down to a random crap shoot as far as what table you're sent to when yours breaks and the position you get relative to the blinds.

    I also played a $5,000 guaranteed on Empire, which was interesting. Nothing went right from the first hand, leading up to me getting knocked out 20 minutes in when my KK got cracked by J10o. Oh, wait, I'm not out, I've still got 20 chips. Hee, my 89 held up, now I've got 60 chips. Big money. Then my K10s rivered a straight, to put me up to 240. I was about to push the next hand with K6s, but I thought wait, don't be stupid, the Red Sox/Yankees game is still on, you've got enough chips to do something with, the blinds are still tiny, etc.

    So I kept hanging around, doubling up, hanging around, hanging around, tripling up, etc. I made it to the first break, hit a hot streak of cards, cracked AA with 1010, and suddenly was an above average stack. Long story short, I ended up placing 6th and taking down a bit over $250. Not the biggest cash in the world but that's the first time ever that I've come back with only a chip and a chair to win some decent money. So, you know, keep swinging.

    The other gambling fun was of the blackjack variety, as I spent the weekend in Bossier City for my bachelor party. Louisiana casinos crack me up, especially the Horseshoe in Bossier City. It's a decent enough casino but, you know, it's still Louisiana, and, well... They also don't have a poker room so I was doomed to sit at the forever -EV blackjack table. Don't get me wrong, I used to love playing blackjack, but so much poker playing has tainted me a bit, as far as to the allure of sitting and watching crads flip out, always playing at a disadvantage, with no control whatsoever.

    It also annoyed me a bit that they didn't offer any $5 blackjack tables. My main desire was to gamble as much as possible while risking the least amount of money possible. Yeah, I know, I'm a high roller. But I just got the final estimate for our wedding at the end of October and was still in a state of sticker shock, so I couldn't stomach the thought of dropping too much money. So I sat at a $10 table, cashed in $100, and managed to hold my own for awhile. I was up $100 or so at one point, down to my last $20 at one point, and cashed out to go get some dinner with exactly $103. Sweet.

    After dinner I hit it again. Except this time they'd raised all the minimum bets to $15. Bastards. So I play for awhile, hanging around, until I get whittled down to $50, two green chips. Instead of breaking them down to prolong my agony I just start playing $25 each hand. I win a couple of hands to get back to even, win a couple more, and start pondering if I should cash out, up a bit. Some loud jackass and his brother and father sit down, smoking cigars. The louder jackass brother sits right next to me and keeps insisting on giving me the fist bump when one of us wins. So now I'm really pondering leaving, especially when I hit a bad stretch of five or six hands.

    For some reason I stay though, and proceed to hit the wonderful shoe of goodness. I've been playing $25 for awhile so all I have are greens, and at some point I doubled it up to $50 a hand. Everything was working out, doubling down, dealer busting when we needed it, etc. The whole nine yards. I'd been keeping close track of my chips, rolling around numbers in my head, but I blanked out a bit here, almost scared to see how much I was up. We hit the cutoff card, one last hand (which I lost) and I just shoved all my chips in the middle to color up, before I talked myself into staying any longer and giving it back. I got eight black chips back, along with $80 in greens and reds. I tipped the dealer $25 and ran away.

    It's interesting, the effect of poker on my thinking. In the past I never would have left then, convinced that I was running hot, that I was on my way to a truly huge score, only to slowly piss it away over the next few hours. This time, though, I couldn't run away fast enough, knowing how lucky I was, excited to take essentially found money and put it to better use in a poker bankroll. Well, minus about $50 of that I blew on really nice cigars at the cigar bar in the casino lobby. Heh.

    Friday, October 15, 2004

    Absolute Poker Site Review

    Absolute Poker Site Review

    What to say about Overall it's pretty standard fare, as far as online poker sites go. You'll find all the games you know and love (limit and NL hold 'em, Omaha, Stud, etc.) and the site has a decent number players. They offer single and multi-table tournaments at a variety of levels and limits, as well as 1 on 1 tables for heads-up play.

    Absolute has two main things going for it. They offer one of the best signup bonuses (35% on your initial deposit) and their cashouts are lightning quick. I normally have my cashouts in my Neteller account in less than an hour. They also offer a ton of reload bonuses, so it's easy to build up a huge bank of bonuses, which don't seem to expire.

    That said, Absolute definitely has some drawbacks. While the bonuses are plentiful, they're pretty slow to clear, and you have to play more hands than on sites such as Party, Empire, etc. While not impossibly slow to clear like FullTilt and UltimateBet bonuses, they clear fairly slowly.

    Another drawback is their software interface. While that usually boils down to a matter of taste (liking blue backgrounds versus red, etc.) the biggest problem is that Absolute's software is pretty resource-intensive. It brought my older desktop crying to its knees. Which isn't hard, but still, not what you want to see. It plays reasonably fast, not quite as fast as Party but faster than Crypto sites.

    Many people complain about the rock garden nature of players on Absolute. I honestly haven't found that to be the case, and would rate the limit games (3/6 and below) as medium on the fish scale. I see a decent amount of pretty atrocious play there. Perhaps not all out horrible play, as you see regularly on Party, but pretty dang fishy at times.

    On a scale of 10, I'd give it a 7. If you like to chase bonuses, I'd definitely add it to your list, due to all the reloads and initial signup bonus they offer, but I'd only clear the bonus when you were out of other juicier ones. One fairly common tactic amongst bonus whores is to build up a bank of bonuses at Absolute (sometimes accumulating $2,000-3,000 in pending bonuses) through all of the reloads and use it as insurance if other bonsues dry up. Their cashouts are so quick that it doesn't tie your money up and you can cash in and out to take advantage of all the reloads.

    If you haven't, overall it's probably worth giving Absolute a whirl. The initial signup bonus is good and the games are definitely beatable. Not the greatest site but far from the worst.

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Poker and Me

    Poker Tip O' the Day
    If you're playing in a tournament and find yourself short-stack with less than 10BB, your life just got much easier. You've got two choices when it's your turn to play: shove all-in or fold. You simply can't afford to limp in at that point. Pick your spot and go.

    This is the more amorphous day in my new poker blogging weekly schedule. I always think it's interesting to read poker blogs (and blogs of any sort) that manage to straddle the line between public and personal information in a fun, amusing way. Sure, we're mainly here to talk about poker, but sweet Jebus, that can get boring really quickly, for both author and reader.

    But the flip side is a catch 22 as well. Does anyone want to hear someone babbling about the boring minutiae of their life? Not this monkey. And some of us are just really damn boring. It's okay. It's true. No need to feel sorry for me.

    So I dunno. I really enjoyed Grubby's latest post, both for the honesty and for the way it straddles the intersection of "life" and gambling. That's always fascinated me, as far as how different people define gambling. It's not just the stakes involved (although that's a major part of it) but it also encompasses the approach itself.

    For me, poker isn't gambling, not when you get down to brass tacks. Assuming the current status quo of online poker remains as it is, with my current poker bankroll I am guaranteed to make money playing poker over the next year. I consistently play well enough that I can bonus whore at low limits and guarantee a profit over the long run. Now, obviously, we're talking a potentially miniscule profit, one that doesn't justify the hours expended producing it. Or it could be a huge profit, if lady luck smiled upon me. Or even a loss, in any given month. So yes, variance and luck plays a major role. But for me, in my own head, it ain't gambling if there's no element of potential loss involved.

    But I also occasionally go to the horsetrack and gamble. I'm going to Bossier City this weekend to play craps and blackjack and gamble. I gamble on football. The difference? The obvious one is the lack of control and confidence (aside from that whole house advantage thing at casino games such as craps and blackjack.) But does control and confidence suffice? Can you remove all potential risk just by being confident?

    Part of me scoffs at that, as no amount of confidence can overcome an inherently -EV situation. I don't care how confident you are that that quarter will come up heads more often than tails. I'm going to take all of your money if you pay me a buck every time it turns up tails but I pay you only fifty cents when it's heads.

    But let's say you tell me you want to start a new business. Let's assume that 75% of all new businesses fail within a year. Starting a new business is mathematically -EV. But people do it each and every day and at least 25% of them last longer than a year. Were they gambling?

    Yes, I know. I'm mixing arguments and comparing tests of skill and games of chance. But it is interesting to ponder. While the line gets blurry, it always exists. No amount of confidence and skill can ever make a mathematically -EV situation a +EV situation in the long run. If it's not guaranteed, though, any generally (but not universally) -EV situation can be turned into a +EV situation, by dint of skills, work, and/or confidence. And vice versa, I suppose.

    PokerNow Bonus

    Just a quick little notice about a new Party skin/sister site that's offering a pretty decent sign-up bonus. Site is and the bonus code is SHARK. On a $500 deposit the code is worth $200 in bonus money with only 1000 raked hands to clear. If you play 500 hands in October you can also get a free poker book from the ones listed on this page.

    There are a few caveats, though, so be forewarned. The deposit is granted in two different steps, so you'll only get $100 in bonus money when you initially deposit. After you play 500 raked hands, the second $100 in bonus money will become available. The site itself is a little bit odd, as it's a Party skin like Empire/Intertops/etc., but it's branded as a "sister" site. It's owned by Party, if you check the fine print, so it isn't some affiliate scam, but it's a slightly different flavor of skin. It shares some of the same multiplayer tournaments and promos with Party (which other skins don't), and it won't allow you to play at Pokernow and Party simultaneously. Some people also get a warning ("You can't create an account on this computer as you're a member of Party and we share players, blah blah blah") when signing up from a computer with Party/Empire/etc. installed, while others don't get the same warning. So you maye have to use a clean computer or delete some Party registry keys.

    I did the deposit, got my first $100 in bonus, all that jazz. Cashouts are reportedly fast and the site is definitely owned/affiliated by Party, so your money is safe. No one has reportedly received the second $100 bonus for the SHARK code yet, but so far all the promises from the site managers have panned out. Pretty decent bonus if you're into chasing them and you get to play with the same fishy Party players.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2004

    Poker Table Selection

    Poker Tip O' the Day
    I'm not sure who to give the original credit for this tip to (as I've seen it mentioned on different blogs), but if you find yourself being too results-oriented (i.e. constantly checking the balance in your account on the poker site you're playing at, or telling yourself you'll quit playing when you're +10BB), try playing blind for a few sessions. Simply cover up the graphics that display the chips/money you have at a table with a sticky Post-It note. Except for a few rare occasions, that number is essentially meaningless and shouldn't affect your play and mindset as much as it often does. If you can't block it out, the next best thing is to cover it up.

    Table Selection, Thou Art King

    So you want to play some poker. You fire up the online poker site of your choice, click to your favorite limit, find an empty seat, click it, grab some chips, and start firing. Right?

    Well, yeah. That is right. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But, like many things, there are various degrees of "right". And our goal in poker is to maximize how "right" we are, in each and every situation, as our overall profit comes from accumulating lots of tiny, individual correct decisions into a big shiny overall profit.

    Table selection is very important. If you're going to profit from playing poker, it necessarily comes at the expense of other people sitting at the table with you. That's the nature of the beast. But all tables are definitely not created equally.

    Before you take a seat, sit and watch the action for an orbit. Yes, I know, that's frustrating as hell. You want to play, damnit, not sit and watch. Who cares what the action is, you claim, as most of these players will rotate in and out, they're all fishes anyway, I don't need to sit here and...

    Yes, you do. Wouldn't you rather have that maniac that raises nearly any two cards pre-flop immediately to your right? Would you rather avoid him altogether? Wouldn't you rather know that the betting is capped three times out of four pre-flop? Or that three or four players chased gutshot straights down to the river, cold calling the guy raising with TPTK all the way?

    Here's another way of looking at it. If you can even imagine seeing action at the table in one orbit that might cause you to second-guess your decision to sit down, then you must sit and watch at least one orbit of action. The last thing you want is to start a session with any misgivings whatsoever. If nothing can phase you and you can switch gears with the best of them, come maniacs or ultra-tight rock gardens, then by all means, sit down and get some chips as quickly as possible. But if certain game conditions make you nervous, you owe it to yourself to sit tight and check out the table first.

    Will you always pick that up based on viewing one orbit of action? Of course not. Should you wait patiently for an hour, scanning tables, trying to find the perfect table? Of course not. The last thing I'm advocating is paralysis by analysis. You want to be playing as soon as possible, as that's where your profit comes from, not by sitting. What I am advocating, though, is doing everything to sit down with a rock-solid confidence that you're maximizing your advantage, at each and every step. Sit down knowing that you're in control, that you're driving, that you're doing every thing possible to put yourself in the most comfortable, profitable situation possible.

    Table selection isn't over, though, once you sit down. You're faced with the dilemma of table selection every second that you're playing, as you're always free to get up and find a new table. Assuming you're playing one table, at every moment you're faced with the unspoken, implied question: is this the best place for me to be exposing my money to risk in the hopes of creating a profit? Or, more simply: am I better than these fools, or should I be playing with some other fools?

    The answer to that, obviously, is a pretty subjective one. Depending on your own style, your bankroll, the stakes you're playing, you'll have a different answer. Throw in the fact that most online tables rotate players in and out frequently. My perfect table is far different from yours, or hers, or his. The important thing to remember, though, is that the table will change and that you'll have to change with it. And sometimes the easiest way of doing that is to simply get up and find a new table.

    I'm a big fan of changing tables whenever I find extraneous elements affecting me. For me, a perfect table is one where I never notice that some idiot has sucked out on me three times in a row, or that I always lose coin flips to that dumbass with the pink shirt. Once you start noting things like that you start playing differently. Yes, obviously, in many cases you should play differently based on what you've observed from other players. That's a given. But when the things you can't control or reliably take advantage of start sticking in your craw, it's time to find new grazing land.

    If you're playing lower limits (1/2 and below), I'd also caution against falling into the trap of relying on the presence of maniacs and horrible players to classify a table as "juicy". I'll admit, this is debatable, but it's my personal belief that you really don't want to be sitting at a 10 max table with three or four really bad players, especially ones prone to raising. Yes, indeed, there are large amounts of dead money being shoved into the pot. It's prime for the taking. But it's not a given that the skillful players at the table (i.e. you) will be the ones to take it. Both Sklansky and Miller touch on this (and probably others as well), but the presence of too many fishies creates a "schooling" effect that actually makes their individual piscine play (chasing gutshot straights and flush draws or two outers without the proper odds) the correct play, when two or three of them simultaneously engage in it. Their cumulative "bad" plays build the pot to the point where, magically, each "bad" play becomes "good". While that doesn't mean you can't profit from such games, it means you have to shift gears dramatically, to the point where you're likely better off simply finding another game.

    PokerTracker and other databases of player statistics also add a whole new twist on table selection. Should you track, tag, and identify players, and seek them out at whatever table they're sitting at? Of course you should, if you can do it quickly and easily. This is more important at higher limits which typically have a smaller number of regular players, but can apply to all limits. The more you know about a player's tendencies, the greater your advantage. The only way to capitalize from that knowledge is by sitting at the table with them. The obvious caveat, though, is that there's a break-even point where the energy expended to track and play with certain players overcomes any advantage you get. All that time you spend chasing players around from table to table could be spent actually playing. Just keep in mind all the time spent on tracking, tagging, and locating, and be sure it's not counter-productive to your EV in the long run.

    There are also larger table selection issues, such as what time of day you play. Various theories abound about when the "best" time of day to play is, but it's hard to argue that conditions on online sites don't change. For most of us, we jump on and play when we have time to, whenever that is. But if your schedule is more flexible, experiment with playing at different times. Maybe early in the morning is more profitable for you, taking advantage of people finishing up a long losing night, trying desperately to recoup their losses. Maybe late on weekend nights is better, taking advantage of the drinking and gambooling crowd. Just keep in mind that part of table selection is the time of day/week that you play, as the composition of players on the site as a whole is affected by larger considerations at various times.

    Long story short, every winning (and losing) session starts at the same place: selecting a table. Even if it makes absolutely no difference, 95% of the time, where you sit down, over your poker playing career that 5% will loom large. Take all the little advantages you can get, even if it's something as relatively mundane as the seat you sit down in. Remember, the whole point of table selection is to engage the enemy on your terms, fully confident. With a virtually unlimited number of tables out there, there's always a great table for you, with a warm seat waiting.

    Tuesday, October 12, 2004

    Pimpin' Ain't Easy But It's Necessary

    Poker Tip O' the Day
    If you're not feeling it, get up and walk away. In the glorious day of online poker there's absolutely no excuse to sit and play when you're distracted, pissed, tired, etc. There are always thousands of players and thousands of games, every single hour of the day. Forcing yourself to play when you're not playing optimally, for whatever reason, is a recipe for disaster.

    I'm struggling to find some decent poker content to pimp, so you'll have to make due with a long thread on 2+2 where Sklansky manages to make an ass of himself again. I'm sorry, but every time he opens his mouth (or, umm, engages his fingers) on the 2+2 forums I lose a bit more respect for him. I fully realize the huge influence his books and thoughts have had on poker in general, but I can't help but think he's a very good example of the "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches" dictum. And the sadder thing is that he's not even a particularly clear nor polished teacher.

    I've also added a few new poker blogs to the daily reading list over the last week or so. In no particular order, here they be. If you're not reading them, dude, get on the trolley:

  • Poker on Film

  • Riding the F Train

  • John-Paul Costales

  • Once in a Blu Moon

  • Internet Poker Pro

  • Poker Roadtrip

  • For the hard core bonus whore addicts out there (you know who you are) like myself that chase Crypto bonuses every month, you may have a use for any player points you've accumulated on Caribbean Sun, per the following email I just received:

    You've asked, and we answered...(basically we finally gotten our s**t together with the poker points), so clear your calendar this and every Thursday at 7:00 PM EST during the month of October, and you can now use the poker points that you've been earning for months in the poker room to enter the $1,000.00 (guaranteed prize pool) No Limit Hold 'Em tournaments on Thursday's.

    The entry fee for the private tournaments will be 1100 Poker Points or $10+$1, and the guaranteed prize pool is $1,000. So invite a friend, just make sure he doesn't play better poker than you, and we'll see you in Caribbean Sun Poker room on Thursday.

    I've played a few MTTs on the Crypto sites and if you play, be ready for the gamboolers. Don't be scared off by early all-ins, as I've seen people push with hands like K10o, A8, etc.

    Monday, October 11, 2004

    The Week in Poker: InterPoker Bonus, Absolute Bonus, PokerPlex and More

    Poker Tip O' the Day

    If you have a choice of seats at a new table, sit so that you'll have to post the equivalent of a BB to play, and will also get hit by the blinds very soon. What the hell sort of advice is that? It's just one BB and it'll instantly brand you as a silly fish to the more observant players at the table. If you hit a big hand and come out firing it also sometimes helps you immediately take control of a table, too. But the main value is a cheap fishy advertising play that only costs you 1 BB.

    Overall the last week was a positive one at the poker tables, but not without the normal peaks and valleys. I ended up +$112 for week, but was sitting up about $300 mid-week. I've been pretty much sticking to limit ring games, working off assorted bonuses from InterPoker, Absolute, and PokerPlex. I played a little $25 PLO at Empire as well as a few $30 SnGs.

    Absolute is getting to be a bit of a drag and I'm coming around to the side of the fence that recommends not chasing bonuses there, or doing so as a last resort. I just don't like the interface and feel like the games are limited, finding myself occasionally sitting in games to strictly get in hands to clear the bonus, instead of sitting in games that seem ripe. I especially do this with Omaha, as they often don't have a single game going, or, if they do, it's short-handed, with 3 or 4 players. I've got $100 or so left to clear on the bonus, which I'll probably grind through, but I don't see myself playing there much in the future.

    I've been floating around a bit on the limit tables I'm playing, trending more to 2/4 than 1/2. The play itself isn't that much different and I've got more than the bankroll for it. My head still hasn't quite adjusted to the size of my online bankroll these days, as I've had to wipe out the roll I've built twice in the last year for real life expenses, so I tend to assume I've only got the roll for the lowest limit games. Granted, I'll likely wipe out the roll again soon for wedding expenses but them's the breaks. Until then, 2/4 it is. I enjoy it more so far, stripping out some of the fishiest of the fishy play that you see at .50/1 and 1/2.

    I also got a wild hair and sat at a 10/20 6 max table for an hour the other day. Which is very dumb, when you've only got $300 to play with, but also a good learning experience in some ways. I did it mainly based on assorted advice I'd read, as far as occasionally taking a shot at higher limits if you've got money to spare and the discipline to not make a habit of it. I think it's a good exercise, especially if you do it to reassure yourself about your play and not out of some misguided notion that you're going to run $300 into 10K in one day, etc. Once you get to a certain skill level the play (especially in limit ring games) is generally the same. But knowing that and experiencing it first hand are different beasts, and I think it's good to take a shot here and there to see, first hand, that you can definitely hold your own. I finished down $10 or something piddling like that but felt I played pretty well. In the end it's all still poker.

    Getting Jiggy With It

    So I got bored and started tracking visitor sites for this wee humble poker blog. And lo and behold, people are actually reading. Which is cool but also slightly embarassing, as now I feel like I should do more than jot down my own poker results and thoughts and what-not.

    I have to admit that it even gets a little tiresome for me, yammering on about how I did at Empire the night before, about this suckout, that bad beat, stupid fish this, stupid fish that. Blah blah blah. In a larger meta sense, yeah, that's what I want this blog to be, as far as keeping a record of thoughts and feelings during various stages of my poker playing career. But it doesn't have to be just that. Or so damn boring.

    With that in mind, I'm going to get jiggy with the format. I'm going to post every Monday-Friday. Monday is going to be the wrap-up of the actual poker playing from the week before, all the boring details, the dizzying highs and lows. Tuesday is going to be nothing more than links to other great poker blogs and poker-related content out there on the Intraweb. Wednesday is going to be devoted to a mini-essay about some facet of poker play. Thursday is personal day, where I babble about real life stuff, hopefully drawing some sort of link to poker. Friday will be devoted to a review of an online site or poker book, plus info on upcoming satellites, big tournaments, etc. Plus I'll hopefully throw in a Poker Tip O' the Day with each post. Which may quickly become silly, as I think I have about three decent short, snappy poker tips I can think of.

    Which is sort of boring and formulaic in itself, but I work better with schedules, so we'll see what happens. I'll probably get lazy and lapse back into my posting habits of old. We shall see.

    The Good, Bad, and Just Plain Ugly


    I got much done this weekend on the yard and house, including lugging and placing two tons or so of ginormous limestone blocks as a deck border, plus re-sodding about a quarter of the backyard. That's the last of the big daddy home improvement projects until next spring. Except for some trim painting here and there, the house is pretty much good to go and ready for assorted visitors to descend upon it at the end of the month.

    The Bad

    The poker gods thumped me soundly upon the head this weekend. Successful poker takes a decent amount of hubris, methinks, but one should also never forget that, to some extent, you're always at the mercy of the cards. I just got hammered, over and over and over. I cashed in $200 at PokerPlex, chasing their $50 monthly bonus, and nearly lost the whole damn cash-in in a couple of hours. Which is pretty hard to do, playing 1/2. I jumped over to Absolute, same damn result. I finally just gave up and went out and worked in the yard.

    I manage to salvage a bit of the damage yesterday, running the remaining $15 at PokerPlex back to $125, counting the bonus. I also hit a hot run of cards at Absolute, including one ridiculous hand where I accidentally raised pre-flop at a 2/4 table with J8o. I was multi-tabling 4 tables and simply misclicked. What was worse is there had already been a raise, two calls, and a re-raise before it got to me. Hee. Everyone else just called and the flop came 10 9 2. Hee. I caught the 7 on the turn for the straight and ended up taking down a huge pot, beating out a lower straight and a set. No one even berated me for playing and raising with such dumbass cards.

    The Ugly

    My lord I sucked it up with my NFL picks this week. Not to mention OU blanking the less than mighty Longhorns. I'm not sure I've had a week this bad. Ever. So far I'm 4-9 and 1-3 on money games (with the only win in cash games coming from the Vikings scoring a TD in OT). Just. Plain. Ugly.

    Saturday, October 09, 2004

    Big Honking List of Poker and Casino Bonuses

    Casino bonuses listed first, then poker bonuses.

    The Big Honking List of Casino Bonuses

    I've listed these roughly in order of potential value, as far as the good casino bonuses out there that have favorable terms. But be aware that some are cashable bonuses that blackjack is allowed, some are sticky bonuses, some are video poker bonuses, and some are a mixture of all of the above. With the general info for each group, I've linked to the appropriate strategy guide for playing the bonuses. For the sake of simplicity, they're listed by either their name or owner or by the way they're promoted, as many of the casinos within a group share the same owners and terms, etc.

    Party Gaming: Cashable bonuses where blackjack is allowed. Great bonuses, should be the first ones you do. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • StarLuck: up to $100 free

  • PlanetLuck: up to $100 free

  • AceClub: up to $300 free (You might save this one until your bankroll is bigger to take full advantage of the 30% up to $300 bonus)

  • Bet365: Great cashable bonus, blackjack is allowed. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • Bet365: up to $200 free

  • Casino on Net: Great cashable bonus, try to do it by depositing with a service other than Neteller to take advantage of lower WR. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • Casino-On-Net: up to $200 free

  • 32Red: 32Red's signup bonus is 100% up to $100 (you can also do it in pounds) but it's a slots-only signup bonus. Not great, obviously, but after that they offer nice monthly bonuses, which allow blackjack and are cashable. So this one isn't bad to do as far as gambling it up with the signup bonus at slots but then grinding out the monthly bonuses on autoplay blackjack.

  • 32Red Casino: up to $100 signup bonus plus $50 monthly match bonus

  • BeTheDealer: Good cashable blackjack bonus, with a slightly high WR. Also sort of fun and unique, as you have the option to playas the dealer/house on assorted games.

  • BeTheDealer

    SportingBet: The following casinos are all owned by SportingBet and all offer good cashable signup bonuses and reloads that can be cleared with blackjack. Be careful about doing them all at once, though, as they sometimes close your account if you have signup at multiple casinos and refund your deposit with little to no warning. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • $50 free for downloading casino

  • $50 free for downloading casino

  • up to $30 free for downloading casino

  • $50 free for downloading casino

  • Super Vegas Casino: get up to $100 free

  • Cryptos: The following casinos are all Crytpologic licensees and almost all offer great signup bonuses as well as great monthly bonuses. You’ll have to wait for a PIN to be snail mailed to you before you can cash out, but these are all great cashable bonuses that can be cleared with blackjack. Many of them also offer really good poker bonuses, if you’re a poker player as well. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • InterCasino: up to $90 every month

  • Littlewoods Casino: up to £50 free

  • VIP Casino: up to $90 signup bonus

  • Omni Casino: up to $100 free

  • William Hill: up to £50 free

  • TotalBet: up to £25, monthly

  • UKBetting: up to £25, monthly

  • Peach Casino: up to $200 free

  • Golden Palace Group: The first two listed below are great bonuses that can be cleared at blackjack. They're now completely cashable, but they only allow you to sign up at 1-2 casinos in the group before they ban you from further signups/bonuses.

  • GoldenPalace: up to $300 free

  • OnlineCasino: 100% up to $300 free
  • Grand Online Casino: up to $200 free

  • Flamingo Club: up to $200 free

  • 24Kt Gold Casino: up to $200 free

  • Aspinalls: up to $200 free

  • Triple Win: up to $200 free

  • Topcard Casino: up to $200 free

  • SixShooter Casino: up to $200 free

  • StarOnline Casino: up to $200 free

  • Grand Riviera Casino: up to $200 free

  • Online Vegas Casino: up to $200 free

  • Merlin's Magic Casino: up to $200 free

  • Go Casino: up to $200 free

  • WagerShare: These are cashable and allow BJ but only count it as 10% towards clearing the WR, which typically results in a WR of 150xB+D, which is obviously -EV. You can still play these like a sticky, though, or even a semi-sticky, if you grind out a lot of WR trying to sticky it up and can then clear the remaining WR profitably.

    Pigg's: 40% up to $400
    Mummy's Gold (currently offering a $500 free to wager with for an hour, letting you keep a maximum of $200 in profits)
    Jackpots in a Flash: 100% up to $100
    Spin Palace: 100% up to 150
    Ruby Fortune: 100% up to $100

    Fortune Lounge: These all now use the EZ bonus system and should be played like a sticky. They also sometimes will ban you from signing up at all of their casinos, especially if you signup at multiple ones in a short time span and/or cashout from one with a big profit, then hit another shortly thereafter, etc.

    Vegas Villa: 30% up to $1000<
    Vegas Palms: 50% up to $200
    7 Sultans Casino: 200% up to $200
    Desert Dollar: 150% up to $150
    Royal Vegas: 100% up to $100
    Fortune Room Online Casino: 1000% up to $500
    Vegas Towers: 100% up to $50
    Platinum Play: 100% up to $100

    Casino Pays: These are all good bonuses but they’re also all sticky bonuses, so be aware of that. Some allow blackjack but be sure to check the current terms, others don’t, and need to be cleared at video poker. Use the Strategy for Sticky Casino Bonuses to clear these.

  • Club Dice Casino

  • Carnival Casino

  • New York Casino: up to $212 free

  • USA Casino: up to $600 free

  • Monaco Gold

  • Joyland Casino: up to $808 free

  • Casino Rewards: These all now use the EZ bonus system and should be played like a sticky bonus to be +EV. This group is also hit or miss, as far as how many they let you sign up at within their group. Sometimes they cut people off after 1 or 2, sometimes they let you sign up for a few more.

    Blackjack Ballroom Casino: 40% up to $400
    Golden Tiger Casino: 50% up to $250 free
    Yukon Gold Casino: 100% up to $50 free
    Captain Cooks Casino: 1 free hour on the house
    Strike it Lucky: 100% up to $20
    Virtual City Casino: no deposit $10 free
    Lucky Emperor: 100% up to $100
    Zodiac Casino: $10 free, no deposit required
    Casino Classic: 1 free hour on the house
    Casino Kingdom: 100% up to $77
    Phoenician Casino: up to $1,200 free
    Aztec Riches: up to $850 free

    Casino Profit Share: This group also uses the EZ bonus system, so these should be played like stickies.

    Challenge Casino: up to $1,000 free
  • Music Hall Casino: up to $500 free
  • UK Casino Club: up to $125 free
  • Golden Reef Casino: up to $100 free
    Nostalgia Casino: up to $200 free
    iBig Casino: up to $100 free

    Playtech Stickies: The next group all use Playtech software and all offer good sticky bonuses. Be sure to check the terms, as some allow blackjack and others require that you clear the WR at video poker. Use the Strategy for Sticky Casino Bonuses for the ones that allow blackjack and the Strategy for Video Poker Bonusesfor the others.

  • Casino Tropez: get up to $100 free
  • Vegas Red: get up to $200 free
  • Europa Casino: get up to $100 free
  • Casino Del Rio: get up to $100 free
  • Swiss Casino: up to $400 free
  • Casino King: up to $300 free
  • Casino Las Vegas: up to $400 free
  • MagicBox Casino: up to $567 free
  • Royal Dice Casino: up to $200 free
  • PlayGate Casino: up to $1,000 bonus
  • Giant Vegas

    Affiliate Lounge: The next three offer small bonuses, but they’re monthly ones that can be cleared at blackjack. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • Cherry Casino: 30% match up to $30

  • Casino Domain: 30% to $30

  • Casino Euro: 30% to 30

  • English Harbour Group: This group has some nice cashable bonuses, but blackjack isn’t allowed to clear the bonuses. Check the terms and conditions for currently allowed games, the best of which at the moment is single coin video poker, which must be played manually. Use the Strategy for Video Poker Bonuses.

  • Caribbean Gold

  • Silver Dollar

  • English Harbour

  • Super Slots

  • All Poker Casino

  • Millionaire Casino

  • Wager Junction: These all offer good bonuses that can be cleared at blackjack (be sure to select the bonus coupon that allows blackjack, as some coupons are slots only). The WR is high for the bonuses that allow blackjack, but still +EV. Use the strategy in the Beginner’s Guide to Casino Bonuses to clear the bonus at blackjack.

  • Geisha Lounge: get up to $100 free

  • Grand Aces: get up to $100 free

  • King Solomon's: get up to $100 free

  • Trident Share: These also use a version of the EZ bonus system, although BJ counts more here, so it makes these slightly less sticky. You should still play them as stickies initially, but you have a better chance of getting close to clearing the WR by trying to sticky your balance up, at which point you can profitably grind out the rest of the WR instead of cashing out and sacrificing the bonus.

  • King Neptune's Casino: 100% up to $200

  • Trident Lounge Casino: 100% up to $200

  • Vegas USA Casino: up to $50 free

  • Sports Interaction: This one is a cashable bonus that allows blackjack (be sure to check the terms, though, to see if blackjack is still allowed.)

  • Sports Interaction Casino: get up to $125 free

    Vegas Partner: These all use the EZ bonus now and should be played like stickies.

    Crazy Vegas Casino: up to $100 free
    Sun Vegas Casino: up to $60 free
    Cinema Casino: up to $70 free
    777Dragon: up to $100 free
    Arthurian Casino: up to $75 free

  • Casino US: up to $350 free
    Maple Casino: up to $60 free
    Golden Riviera Casino: up to $200 free
    River Nile Casino: up to $100 free
    Miami Paradise Casino: up to $100 free

    Jackpot Factory Group: These all use the EZ/ClearPlay system and should be played like stickies.

    All Slots Casino
    All Jackpots
    First Web Casino
    Wild Jack Casino
    Capital Casino

    RTG: You’ll have to check the terms on these, as offer bonuses that can be cleared at blackjack, some offer only slots only bonuses, some are cashable, some aren't, etc. One nice thing about RTG casinos is that the software is very fast, so clearing bonuses goes quickly, even at minimum bets.

    One note of warning is that some RTG casinos are notorious for taking forever to pay out withdrawals, as well as for offering misleading bonuses. If you do these, comb over the terms very carefully and don't be surprised if they drag their feet on cashouts, ask you to fax them copies of your ID, etc.

  • Bodog

  • Gold Key Casino

  • Vegas Frontier

  • Windows Casino

  • Cirrus Casino

  • CoolCat Casino

  • Palace of Chance

  • Blast21
  • Club Player Casino

  • Stanley Entertainment: This is a sticky bonus, blackjack allowed. Use the Strategy for Sticky Casino Bonuses to clear.

  • Acropolis Casinos: get up to $400 free

  • Casino Fortune: These offer nice sticky bonuses that allow blackjack, but with a twist. While you can’t cash out the bonus, it isn’t removed from your account when you withdrawal, as is the case with most stickies. This means that with a little luck, you can make some nice scores with these, as you can win, withdraw deposit plus profits, then still have the bonus left in your account to continue to play and win with, repeating the process. Use the Strategy for Sticky Casino Bonuses for these.

  • Casino Fortune: get up to $200 free on your first deposit

  • GoldGate Casino: get up to $200 free on your first deposit

  • Mapau: get up to $200 free on your first deposit

  • Miami Beach Casino: get up to $100 free on your first deposit

  • Rich Webmaster: These can usually be cleared at blackjack and/or video poker, so check the individual terms and conditions. Also check to be sure that the bonus is cashable and not a sticky bonus.

  • Sterling House Casino

  • Grand Banks Casino

  • Black Widow Casino

  • PlayGate Casino

  • Casino Onliner

  • Luck N’ Roll

  • BelleRock Gaming: These also use the EZ/ClearPlay bonus system, should be played like stickies, yada yada yada.

    Aces High
    The Gaming Club
    Home Casino
    Jackpot City<
    Lucky Nugget
    River Belle
    Showdown Casino

    Grand Prive Group: All of these use the new ez Bonus system. and should be played like sticky bonuses. While the bonus is cashable, if you try to clear the WR in a normal fashion, it's -EV, as BJ and video poker games require a very high WR. These can be +EV, though, if you play them like a sticky bonus, as you can cash out at any point and forfeit the bonus.

  • Casino Grand Bay: 100% up to $250

  • BellaVegas: 100% up to $250

  • 100% up to $250

  • Lake Palace: 100% up to $250

  • PlayerShare Group: EZ bonus system, should be played like a sticky.

    CasinoShare: 100% up to $250

    G3Partner: EZ bonus, should be played like a sticky.

    Grand Monaco Casino: 100% up to $150

    Roxy Group: EZ bonus, played like a sticky.

    Roxy Palace

    Vegas Splendido

    Vegas Affiliates: These have slightly odd terms, as you can only cashout at least the original amount purchased plus double the bonus, if you claim a bonus at any of these casinos. They also prohibit you from playing it like a sticky and doubling up by playing the following games: Roulette, Baccarat, Craps, Blackjack, Red Dog, Sic Bo, Video Poker, Table Poker, Casino War and all variations of these games. So basically you can only play slots here, and pray that you hit a big score to bump your balance up enough to cash out. Obviously not the best of terms, but for the sake of being comprehensive I'm listing these.

    Vegas7 Casino
    Colosseum Casino
    Vegas Slot Casino
    Vegas Country Casino
    Royal Plaza Casino
    Vegas Joker Casino
    Grand Hotel Casino

    Big Dollar
    : EZ bonus, played like a sticky.

    Big Dollar Casino: 100% up to $100

    Affilite Casino Marketing Group: This group offers some decent sticky bonuses throughout their properties and uses proprietary software.

    Golden Spur Casino
    Treasure Tomb Casino
    Royal Towers Casino
    Captain Morgan's Casino
    Dragon Rouge Casino
    High Rollers Club Casino
    Mount Olympus Casino
    Double Jackpot Casino
    Vegas Reels Casino

    The Big Honking List of Poker Bonuses

  • Pacific Poker: 25% bonus up to $100

  • BoDog Poker: up to $100 bonus

  • Noble Poker: 100% bonus up to $500

  • $20 bonus for 250 raked hands

  • $20 bonus for 250 raked hands

  • $20 free for 200 raked hands

  • Island Poker: get up to a $120 bonus

  • SIA Poker: get up to $100 bonus

  • Paradise Poker: 25% bonus up to $50 (Bonus code FIRST25)

  • Full Tilt Poker: up to $600 signup bonus

  • Absolute Poker: 35% bonus up to $210 (Bonus Code AP35)

  • English Harbour Poker: 25% signup bonus up to $50

  • InterPoker: up to $90 free every month

  • The Gaming Club: up to $300 bonus

  • Bugsy's Club: 20% bonus up to $100

  • SportingBet: Get up to $100 free

  • Poker Rewards: 50% signup bonus up to $200

  • PokerRoom: 40% bonus up to $200

  • Hollywood Poker: get up to $1,000 free

  • Will Hill: £25 free every month

  • PartyPoker: 20% bonus up to $100 (Bonus Code SCURVY)

  • Empire Poker: 20% bonus up to $100 (Bonus Code CHIPS948)

  • Intertops: 20% bonus up to $100

  • PokerPlex: $50 free every month

  • EuroBet: 25% bonus up to $50

  • Aztec Riches Poker: get up to $50 free

  • Golden Riviera Poker: get up to $50 free

  • TotalBet: £25 free every month

  • UKBetting: £25 free every month

  • Crazy Poker: 40% signup bonus up to $40

  • Bayou Poker: 15% signup bonus up to $150

  • Aspinalls: 25% bonus up to $100

  • Gaming Club Poker: up to $300 signup bonus

  • Golden Tiger Poker: 50% signup bonus up to $200

  • Virtual City Poker: 50% signup bonus up to $200

  • 7 Sultans Poker: up to $200 signup bonus

  • Royal Vegas Poker: 40% signup bonus up to $100

  • RiverBelle Poker: up to $300 signup bonus

  • Lucky Nugget Poker: up to $300 signup bonus

  • Golden Riviera Poker: up to $50 signup bonus

  • Bet Holdem: 25% signup bonus up to $100

  • Colosseum Poker: 25% signup bonus up to $100

  • City Poker: 25% signup bonus up to $100

  • Poker333/Pigg's Peak Poker: get up to $75 signup bonus

  • Captain Cook's Poker: get up to $50 signup bonus

  • Poker Metro: up to $50 signup bonus

  • 25% signup bonus up to $50

  • Bet365: up to $50 signup bonus

  • Wild Jack Poker: up to $30 signup bonus

  • Grand Bay Poker: get up to $30 signup bonus

  • Trident Poker: get up to $30 signup bonus

  • Roxy Poker: get up to $50 signup bonus

  • Aztec Riches Poker: up to $50 signup bonus

  • Poker: 25% signup bonus up to $50

  • 32 Red Poker: up to $25 signup bonus

  • Crazy Vegas Poker: get up to $40 signup bonus

  • Big Dollar Poker: get up to $30 signup bonus

  • Spin Palace Poker: up to $30 signup bonus

  • BetonUSA: 20% signup bonus

  • Ultimate Bet: 40% bonus up to $200

  • Tiger Gaming: 30% bonus on first deposit, up to $120

  • Caribbean Sun: $40 free every month

  • GoldenPalacePoker: 25% bonus up to $100

  • CD Poker: 25% bonus on first deposit, up to $100

  • Hollywood Poker: 20% bonus on first deposit, up to $100

  • Doyle's Room: 35% bonus up to $135 or free copy of SuperSystem2

  • Fair Poker

  • Sportsbooks Bonuses

    1) Bowmans: 10% signup bonus and 10% reload bonus
    2) bet365: 10$ signup bonus
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