Poker is one of the most popular card games on earth, played in card rooms around the world, with millions staked on the outcome of a single tournament, and even a single game. The World Series of Poker is one of the biggest events on the gambling calendar, offering a substantial jackpot to the one lucky player who makes it through several days of action for a final table face-off that promises to change their lives, and one that has gifted winnings in excess of $5 million to a number of the game’s greatest and most accomplished players.
The best thing about this game is that you don’t need to track all of the way to the City of Sin, buying your way into the WSOP for a cool $10,000. You can win your own fortune in the comfort of your own home, and some of the biggest poker tournaments in the world are held online, including the acclaimed World Series of Poker.
Jai Hachem, one of Australia’s most celebrated players, began his carer playing online poker, and most of the other WSOP winners began the same way. So, if you want to compete with the best of the best, to turn your hobby into a lucrative career, or even just to earn a few dollars on the side, online poker is the perfect place to start.
Where to Play
Online poker is a strange business. You may have noticed that every sports book and betting brand seems to have a poker site, but that many of these are the same. That’s because they are. They all use the same networks, and more often than not, they are the iPoker network or the OnGame network. This includes some of the biggest gambling sites in the world, such as BetFair and BetWay.
Pokerstars is different, but this falls a little short for many players. They dominate the industry, and have done for some time now. Because of this, they can get away with being sloppy, which is why they have some of the smallest bonuses around.
888 Poker, on the other hand, are one of the fastest growing networks. The 888 brand has been around for some time, and they have their own poker network. This can be accessed via a download or directly through your browser, and while there have been issues for Mac and Linux users in the past, these are no longer present.
In an effort to take some of Pokerstars’ share of the market, they have gone all-out with bonuses. 888 Poker currently offer the highest welcome bonus, and they are also the only ones to have a no deposit bonus available. This is only really useful for small stake players though, because at just $20, it won’t appeal to the high stakes players and will barely cover a single buy-in.
Most poker sites have some form of loyalty scheme, but 888 Poker is one of the better ones. Every time you play you will be rewarded with points, which you can then convert to cash, tournament tickets or prizes.
Tips for Real Money Success
Struggling to make an impact on the biggest tournaments or cash games? These tips might be able to help:
- Manage Your Time: Before you signup for a multi-table tournament, make sure you check the late registration and the blind levels, giving you an idea of how long it will run. You might only have an hour or two to spare, but many guaranteed tournaments run for at least 5 hours, and you won’t hit the payouts until you’re at least 75% of the way through. If time isn’t on your side, choose a Sit n Go or a cash game instead.
- Bankroll Management: All professional players have a bankroll. This is an amount that they can afford to lose, an amount that is often deposited into a web wallet or a poker account and them used to fund their play for a matter of weeks or months.
- Stick to Your Limits: It’s very easy to get frustrated following a bad beat, which can lead to riskier and more reckless bets, usually at stakes that you can’t afford. Players have lost entire bankrolls in minutes this way. So, keep your head and always stick to your limits. It may help if you take a break following a bad beat or a long tournament in which you didn’t cash. Most of the time it just takes 5 or 10 minutes to calm down.
- Play Satellites: Rather than saving up all of your money for a big buy-in, focus on small satellite tournaments instead. These let you earn your way into a big tournament, and depending on the size of the buy in, you should be able to qualify from as little as a few cents or a few dollars. There are dozens of these available on 888 Poker.