Is PokerStars the Best Online Poker Room?

The world has extremely many online poker rooms, and depending on where you live, you can play at most of them. Some are for US citizens only, others are not allowed for American customers. E.g. Full Tilt Poker is not allowed in every country in Europe, unless you pay some sort of tax, assuming that you want the money you win withdrawn from the poker room.

Americans can’t play at any poker rooms they want neither. Some years ago PartyPoker lost a lot of customers, due to a law in the US that forbid americans to play gambling related games at foreign suppliers, such as PKR, PartyPoker and LuckyAcePoker.

One poker room though, is available to all, and legal for all to withdraw money from, and it is PokerStars. PokerStars is by far the most crowded online poker room, and that’s definitely not a disadvantage for neither the players nor the poker room itself. There is at any time a free chair at a table with any player’s favorite game, and at any different stake that the player wants to play.

What about the number of different games? Well, when a specified type of game is becoming popular at one poker room, it is likely to move across all poker rooms, so today most poker games are available at any of the online poker rooms. The most common poker games today is Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo (8 or better), Stud, Razz, Five-card draw, Deuce to Seven (Triple Draw or Single Draw) and Badugi. Also the mix-type games such as HORSE, HOSE, Mixed Hold’em and Mixed Omaha Hi/Lo are all offered at PokerStars and all the other poker rooms as well.

Also, online poker rooms need to do marketing to attract new players. The way they do in the online poker business, is to sign a sponsorship with professional poker players and by that binding them to play at the poker room. That’s why you see people playing poker on television, that wears caps, t-shirts or other clothing. Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen and Chris Ferguson is sponsored by Full Tilt Poker and they are all bound to play online at Full Tilt Poker as well as doing other marketing stunts. At PokerStars they have Daniel Negreanu, Chris Moneymaker and Viktor “Isildur1” Blom to attract customers, but they also are the headline sponsor at the event EPT (European Poker Tour).

When you want to play poker, you can always find yourself a comfortable seat at PokerStars. It is the most popular poker room, and whether your are a pro or a newbie there is a table that fits you. If you don’t want to play with real money, you can just choose to play using fun money or playmoney and with them practice until you feel safe about playing at the real money tables.

If you have a friend that already plays at PokerStars, and you don’t have any money on your own account, you can just ask him or her to borrow you some. PokerStars has a feature that allows players to transfer money between each other, and that can be used if you are running low on your own poker account. Just remember that if you want to maintain your friendship, it’s recommended to pay back the money you borrow, and you can of course use the same money transfer system to transfer back the money.

If you want a little money boost, you can choose to write a PokerStars Bonus Code when you sign up. If you do this, you can get up to $600 extra on your first deposit – it’s a 100% bonus, so PokerStars gives you the same amount as you deposit, so go find a PokerStars Bonus Code, and get extra money, and then play poker to win the millions.

PokerStars for a Living

If you can make money out of it, you can make it your living. It’s not recommended to quit your daily job and begin playing poker if you don’t have a talent for it, but if you are one of those who always have a lot of money in the end of the game, you are probably suitable to make poker your primary income.

It is far from everyone who is constantly able to walk away from a poker table with a lot more cash than they had when they first entered the game, and it isn’t every professional who does it either, but some do, and it would be some kind of disaster if that kind of people just sits as a check-out assistant at the local grocery and makes less than $15 an hour.

How do you make PokerStars your primary source for money? If the answer was just as clear as the question, a lot of poker players would quit their jobs, but first of all you need to practice poker. Practice is a good tool for everything including poker when you want to master something. Practice against skilled players as well as unskilled players. You should practice against unskilled players, both because you need to know how they act in certain situations, but also because they can be easy targets and therefore also players which can easily supply you with more money. Unskilled players act weird at a poker table, because they are really inpredictable in their behaviour and could at any time raise when your just expect it the least.

Some players have managed to make poker their primary source of income. Among those is the well known face of Daniel Negreanu who has been sponsored by PokerStars for many years. Also newcomers such as the talented and notorious “Isildur1” are one of PokerStars’ famous players that can be found playing at PokerStars’ online tables. If you want to play with them, you might need to raise your stakes to the highest possible.

To master online poker, is not the same as mastering poker at real tables in casinos or other kinds of tournament poker. When you play online, you have no chance to get tells from your opponents, which make online poker far less psychological than in the casinos. That doesn’t mean, however, that there are no psychological aspects in online poker at all. Online poker is about making calculations inside your head and making decisions all the time, and if you’re not in a good psychological mood, you are likely to have a bad poker day, and one loss can become fatal if you can’t win the money back, so if you have a bad day you might consider doing other things than online poker.

An easy way to quick success at online poker is a little legal money boost. The online poker rooms offer some kind of bonus, which you can get when you sign up. If you aren’t signed up at PokerStars yet, you can get extra cash you can spend at the table for free, also known as PokerStars bonus code or PokerStars marketing code. That’s a combination of letters and numbers that you can optionally enter during sign up at PokerStars, and it will give you a money boost of 100% on your first deposit at PokerStars. In other words, PokerStars are giving you up to $600 if you decide to enter a PokerStars bonus code. It’s free to enter, and it will give you money so there is really no reason not to use one.

No More Online Poker? What Now?

On April 15, 2011, the FBI shocked the online poker world by seizing the domain names of the most popular poker sites on the web. Effectively, US players can no longer place a bet on such well-known sites as Full-TiltPoker.com, Ultimatebet.com, AbsolutePoker.com. Even the grand-daddy of them all, PokerStars.com, felt the wrath of the FBI’s strict enforcement of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), which forbid internet money transfers from financial institutions to online gaming sites.

What does this sudden federal action mean to the online poker playing community? In short, it means that millions of poker players will have to find their poker action elsewhere. Two likely venues pop to mind: brick and mortar Casinos will get an immediate influx of new business, and traditional home games will once again proliferate over time.

Will poker players accustomed to the anonymity of online play adapt to sitting at a poker table and looking their opponents in the eye? They better, because they really do not have an alternative since Congress does not seem to be in the mood to change the law any time soon. There has been a push to introduce legislation, which would legalize (and regulate) online poker in the States. Most notably, the Poker Players Alliance has been advocating for the rights of US poker players to play online. The PPA has two noteworthy congressional champions of their cause in Alfonse D’Amato (former Senator from NY) and Barney Frank (D-Mass). So far, their efforts have not been fruitful, but they continue to try.

Some folks Sept wonder why poker players insist on playing for real money online; after all, why not play with ‘play money’? Most experienced poker players will agree it is impossible to play real poker with fake money. If it costs you nothing, why fold to your opponent’s bet? The calculation as to whether to call a bet, or not, is much different if you are risking 25 real dollars, versus 25 dollars of play money. Forcing an opponent to fold his hand because he is unwilling to risk real money, is an integral part of the game.

Can casinos adequately fill the void of online play? In many cases, ‘yes’ they can. Thirty-four states offer casino poker rooms of some kind. Players within a reasonable driving distance of, say 50 miles, can simply take a short ride and find plenty of action. But this is not the case for everyone. Sixteen states do not offer poker games in a casino environment. If you are fortunate enough to live near a casino poker room, you will have to adjust your game a bit:

– Do you have a good poker face? Can you pull off a well-timed bluff without giving yourself away? Can you contain your excitement while holding the nuts? If not, you better learn quickly!

– ‘Live’ play in a casino is likely to be much slower than what the online player is use to, so you will have to throttle back your impatience, and learn to enjoy the more relaxed pace of casino play.

– The online player will be expected to learn table etiquette in order to keep the game enjoyable for everyone. Example: cell phone use at most tables is prohibited.

– Finally, online players will learn they are expected to tip the dealers if you win the pot in a cash game, or if you make the final table and finish ‘in the money’ of a tournament.

Casinos typically take a ‘rake’ (or share) from every poker game they host. 10% house rake is not uncommon for cash games (usually with a reasonable maximum amount per pot), and 20% is common for larger tournaments. In either case, the winner(s) are still expected to tip the dealers in addition to the house rake. If the casino’s take is too much for you to swallow, you will prefer to play in home games where the rake is likely to be non-existent (and possibly illegal in your area).

Home games have been enjoyed by poker players for generations, and remain popular today. Before you agree to play in a home game, you should familiarize yourself with the local law governing such games in your area. Be sure any home game you play in is structured in such a way as to be legal. Assuming you are able to structure a legal home game, a group of friends can assemble to share a common interest in poker, and have a great evening with many social benefits. The social benefits of a home poker game should not be overlooked. Many friendships and business relationships have developed while playing poker.

The flavor of home poker games can vary widely from loose and casual, to very competitive. Be sure you find a game to suit your personality and style. If you are a high-stakes player, you will not enjoy playing ‘dealer choice’ games for nickels and dimes. Likewise, if you just want a fun social evening of playing cards, you should avoid high stake games such as Pot Limit Omaha. The great thing about poker is that there is a game for everyone.

If a group of friends can pool a few dollars each, they can invest in the items that make their game more enjoyable and professional. Such an investment should include a quality poker table, with cup holders and a felt surface. Next, a case (or two) of quality poker chips will make the game seem like you are playing in a Vegas casino. Finally and perhaps most importantly, a few decks of 100% plastic playing cards will make all of the difference in the world, and are considered an absolute must for a good home game.

So while many online poker players are lamenting the recent FBI crackdown, in the long run, most players are likely to find a nearby casino or home game that will fill the void. With that final comment, let’ go play, it’s time to ‘shuffle up and deal’!