Getting back into the on-line thing seeking words of wisdom

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Post  korkskrew on Tue May 20, 2008 12:01 pm

I used to play PartyPoker.com back before the government decided they wanted a say. I haven't played on-line since and have no idea what it's like now.

Are some sites softer than others?

Is there any site that rakes less than 5%? More than 5%?

Are tourney fees always 10%?

What level are the softest games?

Any other advise or ideas are appreciated. Personally, I like playing 25/50 cent up to $2/$4. Sometimes will play 10/20 cent if I know of a good table where I can keep my rate up. I'm not much of a tourney player, but it seems that is where most of the money is to be made (other than PLO8).

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Post  dexman1349 on Tue May 20, 2008 1:08 pm

I spend the majority of my time on Pokerstars. I have accounts with Fulltilt and with UltimateBet, but I don't use them very much. I originally created my pokerstars and my full tilt accounts as a free ones (play with worthless chips), simply because I didn't have the money or the means to deposit and it helped me learn the layout and structures. I don't spent much time above the .01/.02 cash limits or the $1+.20 tourneys to really answer your questions very well.

The one bit of advice i would give concerning online poker is this: pick a level you're comfortable with and stick with it. At the lower levels, play can vary greatly between the $1 tourneys and the $5 tourneys, and strategies don't always carry over very well. I'm in the process of taking my game from the $1 to the $5 games because my BR can finally support it, but I took a decent sized hit at first because the play was different and took a bit to get used to. A $1, 45 man SNG will take me ~1.5 to 2 hours to complete, whereas a $5, 18 man SNG may take just as long.

As far as rake goes, pokerstars charges .05 per full dollar in the pot at the lower stakes. Uncalled bets don't get raked, and a $1.01 pot and a 1.99 pot will be raked the same (.05). The tourney rake is typically 10%, except the $1 SNG's get raked at 20% (1.20 buy-in for regular games, and 1.10 for turbos).

I can't really speak to the "softness" of one site verses another simply because I don't play much beyond Pokerstars. You can safely assume that the quality of players generally improves as the stakes go higher. So the levels I play at are very easy money simply because most of the players either aren't very good, or they just don't care much (it's only a $1 tourney, if I get busted out no major loss).

Pokerstars does have a very wide variety of games offered as well. They have the obvious limit, pot limit, and no limit texas hold em and omaha. They also spread omaha hi/lo, razz, 7 card stud (& hi/lo), 2-7 triple draw, A-5 triple draw, 5 card draw, and HORSE. Most of the tourneys at the lower levels <$5 are Texas, Omaha, and sometimes HORSE, although I have noticed a few of the other games offered as tourneys as well.

If you don't have any other accounts, I would recommend checking out websites like bankrollmob.com, as they offer "free money" to play if you open certain accounts through them (I have $30 on Ultimate Bet because of this). Just about every site has some kind of first deposit bonus. They vary, but the majority are 100-110% matching up to a certain amount (Full-tilt is 100% up to $600 first time deposit). I've seen some go up to 125%, and others don't offer any bonus at all. I would assume alot of the sites will start to open up their bonuses as the WSOP approaches to help build numbers.

Another option to consider if you don't want to worry about depositing (as I have never deposited myself and currently have ~$75 in my various accounts), you can check out www.cardsharkfrenzy.com. They will provide buy-ins for various tournaments (mostly Pokerstars, but a few are doing more on Full Tilt), on the condition that you split the winnings with the person who fronted the buy-in. Because I have split the winnings, it's taken a little while to get my bankroll built-up to the point that I can start working at higher levels.

just my $.02 (although with the length of this post is closer to $.17)
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Post  Stallion on Tue May 20, 2008 2:37 pm

Full Tilt seems to have turned in to a 2+2 forum nit fest. The play is a lot tighter than you'll find at UB or Stars at pretty much every level. The closest I've seen to the Party Poker fish fest is Stars. As you move up you'll find more solid play, but there are plenty of really crappy players at .10-.25 and .25-.50NL. I haven't played much higher than that since the UIGA passed and I had to cash out of Party.
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Post  PoWdA on Tue May 20, 2008 5:48 pm

Play on Pokerstars.

If you decide to play ANYWHERE else serach for rakeback before you create an account.

Pokerstars is the biggest and best guy on the block and there really is no reason to play anywhere else (in my opinion) but they do not offer rakeback. Even Full Tilt, the second biggest site, offers some rakeback.
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Post  ak1971 on Tue May 20, 2008 7:16 pm

1.) Dont do it.

2.) see #1
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Post  idh78 on Tue May 20, 2008 9:07 pm

ak1971 wrote:1.) Dont do it.

2.) see #1


see above.
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Post  Wetdog on Wed May 21, 2008 1:48 am

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Post  dexman1349 on Wed May 21, 2008 10:04 am


Wow. Great read. Very well written and researched. This is the first I have heard about it, I wonder what Phil Hellmuth is going to do now...
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Post  PoWdA on Wed May 21, 2008 10:13 am

I can't read it from work....


Clif notes?
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Post  dexman1349 on Wed May 21, 2008 10:26 am

PoWdA wrote:I can't read it from work....


Clif notes?

Sorry, clif notes woudn't come anywhere close to doing it justice. This is definately a must-read in it's entirety.

Essentially it's an article that was posted on the 2+2 forums yesterday concerning cheating allegations towards Ultimate Bet and Absolute Poker. Evidence has been found tracing "superaccounts" back to prominent individuals within the company and their use towards stealing tons of money. Both UB and AP have acknowldeged that cheating has occurred, but neither have done much to rectify the problem.

Edit: I guess AP has actually refunded most, if not all, of the alleged stolen money. UB is still "investigating."


Last edited by dexman1349 on Wed May 21, 2008 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Stallion on Wed May 21, 2008 11:09 am

On the bright side, the superuser accounts probably weren't used at the micro tables so I'm probably safe.

I prefer Stars anyway, better game selection.
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Post  korkskrew on Wed May 21, 2008 11:22 am

Thanks WD! That was very helpful.

As far as idh78, and ak1971 go. Thanks for the sentiment guys, but I'm jonesing here. I need a fix. I'm just doing my homework to make sure I get the good shit.

Thanks to all for your comments. Please feel free to share more if you think of something.

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Post  korkskrew on Wed May 21, 2008 11:26 am

Thanks to dex for the tips on free money! That's something I knew nothing about.

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Post  dexman1349 on Wed May 21, 2008 11:40 am

korkskrew wrote:Thanks to dex for the tips on free money! That's something I knew nothing about.

No problem. I will have to defer the thanks to PoWdA simply because it was him who had taught me about those sites before.
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Post  idh78 on Wed May 21, 2008 12:28 pm

yeah that absolute/UB stuff has been going since last October....

if you want to feel like your money is "safe" (and I use that term loosely) I would stick to the big ones like Start or FTP...maybe throw Bodog in there although they have been a little shady about things in the past, but at least nothing to do with cheating...

I used to play on some rinky-dink site back in the day and was able to sucessfully get a payout...and I never put a dime in...got $20 for free and turned into $250 and cashed all but the $20 out....tried to repeat the process but was unsucessful.

I'm still sticking with my orginal story of I do not like online poker.....I would rather play $2-$5....I guess I like the interaction with actual people...(and free beers)

but I will still dabble at the stakes dex plays when I need my fix, as it can be fun at times and the $$ means little, it's purely entertainment for me.
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Post  idh78 on Wed May 21, 2008 12:31 pm

also checkout rakefreeze.com before you signup anywhere new....
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Post  Mondogarage on Wed May 21, 2008 1:12 pm

As far as I can tell, there's no Bodog rakeback offers. That said, I've had great customer relations experience with Bodog and, while I don't exactly endorse their choice of endorsed pros, and I don't like their interface, the site's never crashed, the play is soft-to-average, and I like it there.

Really, the answer depends on what you want to do. Cash games? Don't even think about FTP unless you want to invest in Poker Tracker and such, because everyone else is using it and is taking advantage of headsup displays on everyone elses tendencies. Frankly, I hate that shit and won't place cash games at sites that allow HUDs, because to me, that's not poker.

Anyway, Full Tilt is probably the best site to find SNGs of varying sizes, stakes, and types of games, Stars has the biggest fields...the tourney play at both, at small-to-medium buyins, is pretty bad. Be prepared to get played back at by top pair 2nd kicker. I've had my worst beats at Stars, for some reason, but that's probably just variance.
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Post  PoWdA on Wed May 21, 2008 2:41 pm

Mondogarage wrote:As far as I can tell, there's no Bodog rakeback offers. That said, I've had great customer relations experience with Bodog and, while I don't exactly endorse their choice of endorsed pros, and I don't like their interface, the site's never crashed, the play is soft-to-average, and I like it there.

Did you hear about them signing justin bonamo (or however you spell his name). Just awful for the site for those who know.

<--- won't touch Bodog.


I am pokerstars all the way with a little full tilt. I used to play Ub but it has been a while. I might actually put some dough on Carbon Poker but not for the poker, for the backgammon.
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Post  ak1971 on Wed May 21, 2008 3:30 pm

Im done playing online for awhile at least. I cant play seriously enough on there, and it ends up me just hemmoraging money in the end
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Post  Mondogarage on Wed May 21, 2008 4:07 pm

PoWdA wrote:
Mondogarage wrote:As far as I can tell, there's no Bodog rakeback offers. That said, I've had great customer relations experience with Bodog and, while I don't exactly endorse their choice of endorsed pros, and I don't like their interface, the site's never crashed, the play is soft-to-average, and I like it there.

Did you hear about them signing justin bonamo (or however you spell his name). Just awful for the site for those who know.

<--- won't touch Bodog.


I am pokerstars all the way with a little full tilt. I used to play Ub but it has been a while. I might actually put some dough on Carbon Poker but not for the poker, for the backgammon.

Yup, I'm aware of the Bonomo signing. I'll say this much, I don't excuse a damn thing that lil' mutil-accountin' cheatin' sumbitch did in his teens.

That said, I don't think the guy should be made a pariah for the rest of his life for things he did before he wasn't even old enough to go into a casino. People can rehabilitate their actions, and subsequently, their image. While I think it was really dumb for Bodog to sign him at this time, I don't think it's necessarily appropriate to argue that anyone who ever sponsors him is bad.
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Post  idh78 on Wed May 21, 2008 4:21 pm

the reason I don't play bodog is simple....because your money also can be bet on sports.....and I'm done with that shit....
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Post  PoWdA on Wed May 21, 2008 4:26 pm

Mondogarage wrote:
PoWdA wrote:
Mondogarage wrote:As far as I can tell, there's no Bodog rakeback offers. That said, I've had great customer relations experience with Bodog and, while I don't exactly endorse their choice of endorsed pros, and I don't like their interface, the site's never crashed, the play is soft-to-average, and I like it there.

Did you hear about them signing justin bonamo (or however you spell his name). Just awful for the site for those who know.

<--- won't touch Bodog.


I am pokerstars all the way with a little full tilt. I used to play Ub but it has been a while. I might actually put some dough on Carbon Poker but not for the poker, for the backgammon.

Yup, I'm aware of the Bonomo signing. I'll say this much, I don't excuse a damn thing that lil' mutil-accountin' cheatin' sumbitch did in his teens.

That said, I don't think the guy should be made a pariah for the rest of his life for things he did before he wasn't even old enough to go into a casino. People can rehabilitate their actions, and subsequently, their image. While I think it was really dumb for Bodog to sign him at this time, I don't think it's necessarily appropriate to argue that anyone who ever sponsors him is bad.

Basically I have never played on Bodog and never planned on it. Recruiting one of the biggest online cheaters of all time to represent your site isn't helping matters much.
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Post  Wetdog on Wed May 21, 2008 4:58 pm

I played on Bodog about 3 years ago. Cashed out very shortly after starting. They told me I didn't clear the bonus, so I couldn't have that. I told them to keep the fucking bonus, the interface made me want to gouge out my eyes and take a bath in acetone. They told me thanks for the input and sent me a t-shirt. I withdrew via neteller with no problems.
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Post  korkskrew on Wed May 21, 2008 6:58 pm

Wetdog wrote:I played on Bodog about 3 years ago. Cashed out very shortly after starting. They told me I didn't clear the bonus, so I couldn't have that. I told them to keep the fucking bonus, the interface made me want to gouge out my eyes and take a bath in acetone. They told me thanks for the input and sent me a t-shirt. I withdrew via neteller with no problems.
T-shirt...sweet! Bodog it is! tongue

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