Pokerstars rakeback

I won a Pokerstars $7 MTT yesterday consisting of 1250 people and paying $2,250.

There were many hands I played well, and some I did not. Fortunately on a very key hand a couple of levels before the money, I got pretty lucky. I don’t think you can win such a large field tourney unless you are lucky a few times. It does not mean that you do not need skill, but you also need luck.

I raised from under the cutoff with KQ off suit, and got called by the big blind.

The Flop came AQ7 rainbow and he led the whole pot right out into me. I thought for a minute, and I just couldn’t bring myself to believe he would play an Ace like this, definitely not a big ace like big slick.

For one thing the stacks were of a reasonable size and he was a pretty aggressive player, so I thought he would have reraised me pre-flop with a big ace.

I also thought he would elect to check raise me with a smaller ace, because at that level on that flop he was probably going to get a continuation bet from me on the flop.

I raised him all in, and he called in about 2 seconds and flips over an ace jack. Luckily I spiked a queen on the turn to win the hand and eventually went on to win this tournament.

I guess I need to work on my hand reading abilities. The tournament is a great value. I think there were only about 500 people left after the first break, a great overlay.

You can play these tournament too at Pokerstars. If you have not yet signed up, note that there is not such a thing as PokerStars rakeback. But instead they have an internal VIP program that more than compensate for this.

I’m actually pretty good, but luck doesn’t hurt once in a while. Overall luck evens out, and it is skill that will determine your bankroll. Study the game and practice, and the money will follow.

Is poker gambling

This is a very common debate among beginners on poker forums. I am not going to attempt to tackle the legal version of this question, as it is highly contentious and may vary by jurisdiction. I will also sidestep all the linguistics nuances of defining gambling. The issue that I am discussing today is this: Is it correct to tell your friends and family “Poker isn’t gambling, it’s not like other casino games. It’s only gambling if you don’t know what you are doing.”

Poker isn’t like other casino games in a lot of ways, but it still involves wagering a sum of money on an uncertain outcome that players cannot fully control. Poker is a game of skill of course, but gambling and skill are not mutually exclusive.

There is a reason that David Sklansky’s book is called Gambling for a Living. There is a reason that virtually everywhere in the world bans children from playing real money poker. Poker is gambling. But you say, “Investing in a business is wagering money on an uncertain outcome. The entire insurance industry is gambling!”

Warren Buffet says it better than I: “Gambling involves, in my view, the creation of a risk where no risk need be created.” Placing a bet at a poker game doesn’t fulfill some societal need. The major desire to play poker is to create a new risk that creates the opportunity to raise money and only results in money changing hands. Nothing is created, as there would be in a business.

There is no insuring of a inherent risks, such as injury, fire, loss. A very small percentage of insurance transactions might constitute gambling, if someone is using the policies to speculate on affairs they are not involved in, but generally speaking the insurance industry helps reduce variance in ventures that are necessary to a functioning society.

Ostensibly the above definition I took for gambling could be considered excessive by many poker pros including my friend Annette Obrestad. After all she managed to create a bankroll in the millions starting with only money earned from poker game free rolls. This requires a lot of skill and this odds of this happening by pure chance are close to zero.

In poker there is some gambling and some skill, and every player has his own balance between the two. It is a personal choice, in order word the question in this post will depend on each player.

Reno Spring Seminar

We have heard about available reservations for The Reno Spring Seminar March 12th and 13th. The seminar will be held at the Peppermill Casino and will be focused on a variety of games and ways to increase your income playing poker as a full or part time job. We couldn’t be happier to be working with the Peppermill, they will be rolling out the red carpet for our attendees and they have a lot to offer.

The cost for this seminar is $1,199 and includes everything except airfare and a few meals. We recommend you book your airfare online through a site like You can see a tentative schedule for the seminar soon.

Instructors we have already booked include:

Chris ‘Fox’ Wallace – Professional player, coach, and author, Fox has coached hundreds of players with an incredible success rate. Read more about Fox later.

Dr. Alan Schoonmaker – The ultimate poker psychologist, Al has published multiple books on the subject of tilt control and worked with some of the best players in the world. Read more about Dr. Schoonmaker soon.

Lou Krieger – If you have trouble dealing with typical loose live games, we have the coach for you. Lou is an excellent writer and teacher, and has published books on Omaha and Holdem, as well as coauthoring Poker for Dummies. Lou is a veteran of the low-limit cash games in California, and a master of beating the “no foldem holdem” games. Read more about Lou at his website.

Mark Scellato – As an online tournament pro Mark has had great success, and he has translated this success in to the coaching world, often working with to teach tournament strategy.

Adam Stemple – Coauthor of No Limits: The Fundamentals of No-Limit Holdem and twenty year pro, Stemple has been through it all in the poker world. Stemple focuses on pot-limit Omaha and mixed games these days, and is a well known expert on Seven Card Stud High-Low.

We do expect this seminar to sell out, so sign up now to make sure you get a spot!

My recent poker game

In the last 2 and a half years I have had a love hate relationship with online poker. The first time I played poker was with my friends though it wouldn’t be right to say that’s where I learned the game. After playing a few times with my friends I was hooked and made the progression to online poker. Which for someone who has worked on websites for several years was a natural progression.

In my first 6-9 months of playing poker I thought I was a really solid good player. Reading low limit poker and super system had installed the basics of the game of poker in me. Also during this time I turned about $50 into about $700-$800. The majority of this was playing limit poker and clearing bonuses via numerous sites and whilst it isn’t a lot of money but I’m still pleased of what I made in under 3 months.

Looking back though I wasn’t that good a poker player. I played pretty tight but I was not aggressive enough to make as much as I should have. My understanding of the game was pretty limited too….although I understood the importance of position I didn’t know about the gap concept or implied odds etc. I rarely play online now. I probably play about 2-3 sit and gos a week online. I do play live a lot more though. I usually play Sundays, Mondays and Fridays at a local pub and occasionally the odd home game as well. It’s a great setup – its run well, they have great poker tables and the majority of people are good people.

At these live games of 50+ or 100+ people I am nearly always at the final table or close to it (particularly when there are 50+ players). I am a much better player than I was 2 years ago. So why is it that I can’t transfer this to online play? Why is it that the best I can seem to do just now is break even online whilst two years ago I was consistently making a profit week in week out. I don’t believe I am alone in this. There are many players down at the poker club who, like myself, are always close to the money. They are solid players and they know the game well. However, I have heard many of them stating how badly they have done online and how they wouldn’t play online again.

The most common and I guess the easiest explanation that most people give is that players online are all fish and that they make terrible players. Though why is it some of these supposed fish are making money online whilst other solid players arent?

Brick & Mortar VS The Internet

The fact that 2 years ago when I was a poorer player I was making more money really got me thinking. Below are some of what I know to be my major problems with playing online

Too many Distractions. I just cant seem to sit and just play the game. I am posting at poker forums, I am listening to music, I am reading the BBC or CNN. So why can’t I just sit at peace and pay attention to the game I am playing online. Why? Truth be told I get very bored by doing just that. I don’t think I could sit for hours on end paying such attention and not browsing the web or whatever. I’d rather just go to the poker club.

I know this is a major problem and if I have this state of mind I probably shouldn’t be playing but I love poker and I love playing it. I just struggle to commit 100% of my brain to it when im sitting at my pc and have music, the web and what not at my disposal. When I play live I am always paying attention to what everyone does – who raises, by how much, with what hands etc. I lose a lot of vital information and a lot of my game by not watching every hand.

It’s too easy to click call. I think it’s safe to assume most people play looser when they play online. Why should this be? Surely by playing tighter you could make more money? If it was only this easy. Perhaps it’s easier to click call or raise on the internet than it is to pick up your chips and physically move them over the line.

Tiredness & Alcohol. One of the games I usually play is the 10pm ET $10+$1 game at pokerstars. 10pm in New York but to us in the UK it starts at 3 AM. Tiredness always makes me play much much poorer. Regular players in that game will admit to that. On occasions I play pretty good in these games but the killer for me is patience. The games sometimes last til 5 AM for me. If I get a good chip lead I don’t think I should be able to finish in the money I actually think I need to start taking players out!. Why…because I want my bed!

It goes without saying that alcohol has the same or worst effect on players though for me it’s always been starting a game at a time I really should be catching some zees.

Human Interaction. I have read a lot of articles suggesting that the lack of human interaction, and therefore not being able to read players tells etc, can take a lot away from a players arsenal. Whilst this is certainly true and whilst it would clearly hurt good players more than bad players, on the whole I don’t think this is valid since everyone has the same problem and therefore the playing field should be leveled. Well on average anyways. At the very least I don’t think it’s something that anyone can do something about as playing online will always be like this. (I know this isn’t relevant to my game but I thought I would mention it anyway)

It is clear that there are other factors as to why my game, and other players games, suffer when they make the jump from playing live to playing online. However the above points are definitely things I need to address if I ever want to make any decent money playing poker online.

Payment methods no longer accepted for US players

Making a payment at an online casino has started to become more and more difficult during the last couple of years. Things have started to get nasty right after the 2006 UIGEA bill was passed and after that the whole online casino industry has started to go wild and a lot of payment methods that used to work perfectly for US players started to be no longer available.

In this article we are planning to put things right and offer you the list with all the payment methods that can still be used for gambling on the internet even if you are located in US, and what are the payment methods that are no longer accepted.

Here is the list plus a short description of some of the most popular payment methods that are no longer available to US players to make deposits at online casinos:

ePassporte – The ePassporte was one of the most popular payment methods for online casinos in the past and many of them used it as a payment method to deposit and cash out their winnings. Unfortunately ePassporte is no longer available to any player since the end of 2010. They have closed all their operation and they are no longer a payment method.

FirePay – is just another ewallet company that has stopped accepting payments from US players.

Neteller – is currently no longer accepting US online casino players to use this as a payment method.

Moneybookers/Skrill – is currently one of the most popular ewallet after paypal.

Paypal – There were some days back in the past when US players were allowed to use paypal as a payment method for online casino, but those days are now gone. Even if the US players are not allowed to use paypal as a payment method, there are still a pretty good number of online casinos that accept paypal as a payment method.

EcoCard – is an online prepaid payment method that is no longer available to US players, but in case you are located in EU you could definitely try it. They have been only for a short period of time available for the US market.

UseMyBank – is an ewallet online system that has stopped taking payments from US players. This online payment company is located in Canada and officially they are not obligated to obey the US laws.

The Full Tilt fiasco

If you want an example of how to destroy a great brand in a few months, look no further than Full Tilt Poker. Indeed they took a bad beat, but there was no bad beat jackpot to save them.

Indeed five months ago Full Tilt was considered like a top brand in online poker. Ranked number two by traffic behind pokerstars, these two mammoths of igaming had been dominating online poker for a few years. For example these two rooms probably employed 90% of all top pros sponsored by an online poker room. Each room has dozens of them if not over one hundred. Except these two, Party Poker, Titan Poker and a few other rooms had a bunch of them, but the vast majority was playing either at stars or at FT.

In fact it could be argued that regarding high stakes poker, Full Tilt was the number one. Pokerstars surpassed Full Tilt by most measures, except maybe the traffic of its high stakes nose bleed ring games. At Full Tilt hundreds of rail birds were accustomed to observe these matches day in, day out, and this had created a unique buzz. Players such as Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan or Patrik Antonius were the stars of these matches that could get started at any moment, on an impromptu basis. In fact this is how Tom Dwan rose to the top of online poker, thanks to his prowess at these games.

They were other famous rising stars at these high stakes games. Isildulr1 for instance was a player coming out of nowhere who got involved in some of the largest pots in online poker history, at times surpassing one million dollars. Pokerstars snapped him before Black Friday, and this was a great move for him not to be tied up with Full Tilt Poker anymore, unless numerous of his clolleagues who are still waiting to get their bankroll back.

Now it seems Full Tilt will have a hard time to ever come back online after the Feds accused them to run a Ponzi scheme. This is certainly an exaggerated accusation designed to put the pressure on the company. Full Tilt did not need to get involved intentionally in financial embezzlement, it is just the result of greed, mismanagement and bad timing. Nevertheless it is sad to see such a unique product disappear from the igaming landscape all of a sudden.

Best Places to Get a Bingo Bonus

Online bingo is a rapidly growing niche that is getting more and more busier in both the UK, the US and the rest of surrounding Europe! Cropping up and growing just as fast as poker was doing in 2002 – 2010, bingo is probably here to stay. If you want to learn more about bingo and grabbing a fantastic bingo bonus than keep reading below.

Why Sign up to a Bingo Site?

Obvious first question if you ask me. There are hundreds of reasons I can think of for joining a bingo site. Each one will be different depending on what kind of player you are and what really makes you tick.

The biggest reason for signing up to bingo sites however if of course, “in order to play bingo and win big cash prizes!” All the most famous bingo sites will provide an astounding range and promontory daily promotions for players, including VIP shopping vouchers, loyalty points and gifts, cash bonuses, jackpot prizes and more.

When you play 75 ball or 90 ball bingo games from as little as 1p per ticket (or even free at some bingo sites like Cheeky Bingo and Bet365 Bingo) you can win jackpots up to the value of £1,000. Most bingo sites will even run their own instant games such as video poker, classics such as Cluedo and Monopoly, or TV themed games such as Spiderman, Deal or No Deal and the X-Factor which have prizes worth more than £250,000.

Bingo Bonuses and Special Deals

The best part of online bingo sites is that 99% of them promote special deals and promos to players. New bingo players that sign up to a room can regularly take part in special bingo deals with free bonuses worth up to £250 (you can see a whole bunch of bingo bonuses and offers at

The good news is that there are all kinds of great deals for players. So even if you’re thinking “well they probably don’t have anything suitable for me or my bankroll”, then you’re completely wrong. Bingo sites offer bonuses for all types of players – whether you’re a first timer just browsing the site or an experienced jackpot winner looking to deposit £200 worth of funds. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

The most popular bingo deal on the Internet is the deposit bonus. This is a match-up style bonus where the bingo room will give you free money based on the amount that you deposit. For example, if the bingo rooms promotes a 100% up to £200 bonus for new players then it means if you deposit £100 of your own money you’ll receive a total bankroll of £200 to buy tickets and play in the games.

The other type of bingo promotion, geared more to newer players, is the free sign up bonus. This is where players can claim free money just for signing up and registering an account. You don’t need to give away any financial information or make a deposit at all. 888 Bingo for example gives all new players £5 free just to try out their site, while Foxy Bingo is current running a special promotion giving away a £10 no deposit bonus to all new players this summer!

Online Slots Betting Tips

Do you need any suggestions about making bets at the slot machines? Here you will find several of them. If you want to improve your slots playing, you should read this post.

It is said that the slot machines are one of the most popular online casino games. Every day, millions of people around the world sit to these wonderful machines in order to have fun. It does not matter if you are just a traveler on your holiday looking for some entertainment, or a professional gambler playing in order to earn money, you can always gain some profit from betting. However bad the player’s odds are, there is always a way to gain more.

Firstly, you have to choose the best slot machine. If you are not looking for a big profit but for fun, nickel and dime slots will be the best for you. But, if you play in order to earn money, the dollar slots will suit you. They cost more to play but you can gain bigger winnings. In quest for the best slot machine you should avoid the most flashy and colorful slots. Usually they are situated in the busiest place in the casino, but they do not offer large profits. Those machines which can provide you with the largest winnings are not so colorful and attention-drawing.

If you are a newcomer try asking other gamblers on which slots they were lucky. Surely, many friendly locals will gladly share their knowledge about the best slots in the casino. Of course there would always be some boors interested only in their own business, but it is better to ask somebody for the advice and additional information. It might help you to increase your odds.

Try to set a limit of money that you would like to spend on slots, and keep it. For example, if you want to spend $200 on slots, do not exceed the limit. The worst thing you can do after losing all your money is to try winning it back in panic, because then you can lose even more! Try to be smart. Do no allow yourself to be carried away by your emotions! Use your head!

If you play slots very often, try joining a slot club. For the casinos slot clubs are a very good way of enticing new players. Its members can get free meals, free tickets for shows, exclusive slot tournaments invitations and sometimes even cash. Everything is determined by the amount of money that you spend at the casino games.

Before playing slots try to do your own research. There are many books available on the market, which would surely help you to hit the jackpot. These books are written by professionals, hence they contain many useful tips and information about the slots, which may improve your gambling skills. It is good to read at least one of them before heading any slot machine. Background will definitely provide you with the ability of wining, and increase your winnings.

Bluffing tips

For many people playing poker online is possibly the first time you have tried your hand at the sport. With the reach of the Internet enabling more and more people to get involved in this great sport of skill, it opens the doors to a new breed of poker player, the online poker player!

The ability to bluff in land based games of poker is an integral part of the game and if you have a good knack at pulling it off, you can turn a bad hand into a winning hand. When a proper poker strategy is being played, bluffing is actually the one factor that turns poker into a true game of skill. It allows you to win hands even when you’re not dealt a ‘winning’ hand. It allows you to win bigger pots when you are dealt a winning hand.

There can and are times when the players around the poker table don’t have much of a hand either and would rather fold and cut their losses than go for the win. Of course, you don’t have to have an awful hand to bluff – you’re just assuming that you don’t have the best hand at the table (if you think you have the best hand, you’re not bluffing now are you? ).

You will find that you will need to bluff occasionally to get bigger pots out of the table. It’s simple actually, if you only raise when you’ve got a good hand – it doesn’t take long for other players to notice and act accordingly. Sure, your good hands will still win the pot, but if everyone folds on your first raise you won’t be winning much – so players need to believe you’re at least capable of bluffing. This is why you need to alter your play when playing poker online.

No single bluffing technique will work at any given time, it depends on who you’re playing with and whether they’ve caught on! Try to mix up your strategy before people get wise to you. How do you bluff when your ‘poker face’ is digital?

There are more intricacies to bluffing when you’re playing with people face to face, as your gestures, general attitude and what you say will all play a part in your bluffing technique and your determination of other people’s bluffing habits.

When playing online poker you don’t see people, so bluffing is reduced to your actions on bets and raises throughout multiple hands. Still – it plays an essential part of any poker game, so be sure to make it part of your game, online or off, if you want to be a winning player.

Some poker sessions

In my vast experience during my 3 weeks of playing at pokerstars, I met some of the absolute worst 7 Card Stud players I have ever seen.

Others have commented likewise in their in poker blogs. I have had to adjust my playing strategy to account for just how bad they are. I lost a bundle at first because I was TAG, kept firing on all streets, and one of the four calling stations would fill their draw on 6th or 7th to beat my aces up, etc. My AF on 3rd is now down around 0.4, with AF >3 on 5th street on. Seems to be working.

It is absolutely astonishing how many players call on 5th and fold on 6th. Must be allergic to money. I only play the 1/2 7 Card Stud at pokerstars while clearing the bonus. The Full Tilt bonus does not clear fast enough at that limit, and I made what is probably a tactical error by signing up for a 100% to $300 signup bonus at Interpoker, and I need 3000 MPP to clear it. I have been clearing 100 points per day for the last week at 2/4 Texas Hold’em, during noon nap time which is prime time in Europe, with mixed results at the tables. This morning I was stuck $130 before a miracle comeback where I posted a $6 profit and cleared 125 points. Only 2100 points to go.

I heard that the low limit 7 Card Stud players at Paradise are even worse. And there is no ante in the .5/1 game. The same passive/aggressive game strategy applies, but hand selection can be even tighter.

Off to the park and then come home by 3 to work on the Absolute Poker bonus and start dinner. My daughter is such a flirt. She let a 22 month old boy kiss her at the park yesterday, then she giggled and cooed at him the rest of the time. Punk. I came home and cleaned my shotgun. Just getting ready. My worst fears are already being realized – the apple just does not fall far from the tree.

Guide to Online Casinos.

Thanks to furtherances in modern electrical engineering, casino games are now available to pretty much anyone of the correct age who happens to own a PC and internet connection can win on casino.

This means that those classic games, such as roulette, blackjack and poker, as well as fantastic slots games are pretty much playable from wherever you happen to be sat, as long as you have an internet connection and a computer to play on of course.

Well, in many cases, the same games can be found at different places, this is true. But then again, this is simply because the classics are classic for reasons and as such, you would be disappointed to visit a site and find that roulette for example was missing from their pages now wouldn’t you?

Of course, if you happen to enjoy a taste of all things traditional, then perhaps Poker is more you likely to be your cup of tea. After all, this is the game which has been played for cash since the days of the cowboys in the mid-west and as such, is often considered to be a truly special and historic game.

There are also some impressive slots games to be found online and these games are also very much worth your time and effort as, though they are in all honesty an incredibly simple premise, they could also win you large amounts of cash, simply for a pull of a virtual arm.

So, if you happen to be interested in the casino style, but do not have the capability to fly over to Vegas every time you fancy a flutter, online casino gaming might well make a difference to you.