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  • Archive for June, 2011

    Casino Launches Literacy Book Drive

    Thursday, June 30th, 2011

    This isn’t a post where I’m going to tell you to go gamble or where to go gamble. Actually, if you want one of those, check on my morning post on Silver Oak Casino’s Crewpon bonus. But stop and think about something — you can only read my fantabulous post about the Crewpon bonus because you can read. You can only read the terms and conditions for that bonus because you can read. If you couldn’t read, you’d be at a great disadvantage when it came to navigating online gambling and just life in general. Which is why I’m taking time to tell you about the “Turning the Page on Illiteracy” campaign at the Greektown Casino-Hotel in Detroit.

    Now most of us will probably never head off to Detroit for some hot gambling action, but if you’re heading there this summer — take some books with you! The casino is holding a book drive to collect as many books as possible for the popular reading levels of kindergarten through eighth grade. These books can be found in the Children’s and Young Adult section of your local bookstore. They aren’t overly expensive (come on, it’s a kid’s book. You spend more than that at a buffet.) The Greektown Casino-Hotel will donate all the books they collect to Detroit Public Schools elementary and middle schools.

    If you don’t live in Detroit, you might want to check with organizations in your town to find out what programs they offer to help support literacy for both children and adults. Because it’s simply a good effort to get behind.

    Silver Oak Crewpon - grab it now!

    Thursday, June 30th, 2011

    Every now and then I head over to Silver Oak casino and check out their Crewpon bonus to see what the number is up to. This is one of the most unusual online casino bonuses out there because the more of us who take part, the bigger the pay off. And as I write this, you have one more day to get in on a free $300. And if enough people jump on the Crewpon, that amount could go up to $500.

    So, what exactly is a Crewpon? It’s a coupon that give you a chance to work as a crew to bring the bonus amount up for everyone. When you make a deposit to Silver Oak casino today use the code CREW200. That will get you a 200% bonus on your deposit. Now you have to deposit at least $50 to get in on the CREWPON. But here’s the big bonus. You’re going to be able to benefit from the combined deposit money from other players. Silver Oak casino gives everyone who takes part in the CREWPON a free chip for being part of the crew. This month, over 500 people have claimed their CREWPON. So that means everyone taking part gets a free $300 from Silver Oak.

    Yes, folks, you can get in on this action. Make a deposit of $50 (or more) and get a 200% bonus - so $50 becomes $150. Then you get to claim your free $300 chip. Doing the math here? Deposit at least $50 and you’ll have $450 to play with. Isn’t that worth a little time over at Silver Oak Casino? I say, sign me up on this Crew.

    Washington DC to keep online poker low stakes

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

    In Washington DC the stakes are high in politics but apparently in poker, they’ll remain low. Now Washington DC is the first area in the United States to legalize online poker and there has been some fuss about how it was done. Apparently the DC crowd used a secret trick of getting the bill through Congress by proposing it when Congress wasn’t looking. But despite some arguments about the politics behind the bill in a place filled with politicians, DC is going ahead with its online poker efforts.

    Now there have been some details release about the effort. Apparently the minimum playing age will be 19, lower than the required age of 21 in Las Vegas but according to those in the know, old enough to keep those still in high school from playing. And it’s also been revealed that the maximum amount a player will be able to deposit into their account is just $250. This means that the games played on the site will be low stakes poker games.

    Now the question has come up as to whether the legal but low stake and low population site will be able to muster enough interest to keep itself going. While the spotlight when it comes to online poker always seems to be on the high stakes players, it is important to remember that the majority of online poker players really do play for low stakes or even micro stakes. But population size does matter. Washington DC has a population under 1 million and only a percentage of those are likely to be online poker players. Even if poker players accept the low stakes, the online poker room has to be able to get enough of them at the table at one time to offer games. Of course, they do have one advantage — they’ll all be in the same time zone.

    Personally I’m waiting for the first shot of a member of Congress playing poker while they’re in session. Has anyone thought of the impact of online poker on a fillabuster?

    Alderney suspends license for Full Tilt

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

    News is tricking in from the European side of the world about Full Tilt Poker this morning. Full Tilt was considered one of the strong names in online poker until federal action in the United States resulted in the online poker room’s domain name and bank accounts being seized by the FBI. That same action also seized PokerStars, and Absolute Poker. To date, only PokerStars has managed to refund money to players in the United States, though all of the poker rooms continued their UK and EU operations after the US shutdown.

    Now, it seems the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has been reviewing the operations over at Full Tilt Poker and has now revoked their license. The news isn’t good. As of today the AGCC has ordered Full Tilt to cease “ to register new customers; accept deposits from existing customers; allow existing customers to withdraw funds that are held in their accounts; and permit customers to participate in any form of poker game play or gambling transaction.” Though Americans have been dealing with the “not being allowed to withdraw funds” for about three months now.

    The AGCC has said that there will be a hearing for Full Tilt Poker on July 26th, which means there will about a month delay before the issue is reviewed. I haven’t found a statement from Full Tilt Poker yet. There is an announcement on their site that they are down for scheduled maintenance. I suspect the maintenance was more of the unexpected and unscheduled variety. I’ll keep an eye out for more news as it comes out. I’m hoping for more updates before late July at least.

    Is free poker the best practice for poker players?

    Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

    If you have any interest at all in playing poker, you’ve probably noticed that a number of online sites and applications are available that will allow you to play free poker games with friends or other site members. Now, these games can be a great way to get in some poker fun without worrying about credit cards, deposits or well, withdrawals. But are they just for fun or a good way to practice your real poker game?

    I’m afraid my answer here is going to be that they’re just for fun. To explain it, I’m going to recount some of the action I’ve seen over on the Zynga Facebook site. Now, Zynga has a nice online poker game that lets you connect and play with other Facebook members. And you don’t have to pay for chips since you get a certain number each day. But join in a Zynga poker game and you’ll find wild bets flying all the time and stakes zooming upwards in even the low stakes hands. Why? Well, there’s no real risk here. So players make outrageous bets. Playing on the free games may help you learn the poker hands and even release so stress. But it won’t teach you the realities of the betting part of the game. And that part can’t be ignored if you want to win a real money poker.

    So, what should you do? Well, certainly you should play on the free sites if you enjoy them. But if you want to play for real money, check out the small stakes or micro stakes games at an online poker room. Surprisingly even playing for pennies gives you a better feel for real money than playing for “big” money on the free money rooms.

    The rise and fall of Cereus Poker

    Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

    It’s been a rocky road for the Cereus Poker network since they were established way back in 2003. Despite drawing big names to their Absolute Bet and online poker rooms, the Cereus network always seemed to be struggling to overcome one scandal or another. The two largest of those, perhaps until now, was the revelation that a ring of members on the sites were using system tools that allowed them to see the other players’ hole cards and cleaning them out. Now when this was discovered, it probably should have killed both and Absolute Poker early in their existence. Because oddly both sites managed to have similar cheating problems. But the sites persevered, despite having to refund over a million and a half dollars to players.

    Then there was another smaller issue that hit the poker news when a company revealed that it had been able to break through the system protection for Cereus Network sites. The “hackers” in this case did nothing with the information they were able to acquire, except use it to make it obvious that the Cereus network seriously needed to upgrade its systems to secure SSL. Which they did.

    Then Hellmuth left. And somehow that seems to have been the signal of the A-poker-lypse for the online poker network. Because not long after Hellmuth left, the US authorities seized the and Absolute Poker domain names and bank accounts. They also seized Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. The question then became — when will players on the sites get their money back? But while everyone was struggling with that, Cereus Network struggled even more and soon people were hearing that they were having trouble paying out even the non-US players.

    And from there the fall seems to have been a fast one. Rumors now say that the Cereus Network poker rooms usually have under 100 real money players at any time. Which means fewer options for players. And since the network has yet to pay back the money of US poker players, it’s possible that many of those players are US poker players simply recycle their money on the site. Because despite the feds seizing their domain names, the Cereus Network is letting US players with existing accounts and the software already installed on their computer play on the site while they fight the allegations.

    Comp Points at Club USA Casino

    Monday, June 27th, 2011

    This morning I wrote about the Loyalty Program over at Villento Casino. The problem some of you might discover is that Villento Casino no longer accepts players from the United States. So while their loyalty program is great for the UK or EU players, it leaves the rest of us wanting a loyalty program at a casino we can play at. So, I’m checking out one of my favorite casinos to tell you about their loyalty program.

    Club USA casino calls their loyalty program a Comp Points program, so you’ll want to look for that information rather than the term loyalty program or reward program (two other names casinos will use for their programs). Now the comp program at Club USA is an easy one, they award a free comp point for every $10 that you wager on the site. And when you get $100 comp points, you earn a $1 in cash that has no wagering or cashout restrictions. Other bonus money offers generally include both of those. And they offer other specials like Jackpot Comps. Just play any of the casinos progressive jackpot games and you can earn double comp points on your wagers. So If you love progressives, you’re comp points will roll in twice as fast.

    Now at Club USA casino every player is automatically included in the reward program so you just have to play to get your points. And remember that comp points add up based on what you wager — regardless of whether you win or lose. Which can be a great thing to remind yourself when you hit a losing streak. (Yes, that happens, even to the best of us. And I don’t want to talk about that video poker game.)

    Villento joins Casino Rewards

    Monday, June 27th, 2011

    If you’re a player on Villento Casino I’ve got news for you. Villento Casino has joined the Casino Rewards VIP program. Now VIP programs are a great way to get a little extra bang for your gambling dollars, pounds or euros. Now when you play at Villento Casino you’ll be rewarded a dollar for every 100 points you earn playing. But if 100 points sounds like a lot don’t worry, there are plenty of promotions that will allow you to rack up the points and the bonus dollars.

    Now, most online casinos offer a VIP or Rewards program, and I recommend joining the VIP programs for your favorite casinos. The good news is that they’re usually free to join and what many people don’t realize is that if an online casino group shares a common reward program, you can earn rewards for your account regardless of the connected casino you play at. For example, if you play at Villento Las Vegas and any of the other casinos that offer the Casino Rewards program, you collect points in your single Casino Rewards account.

    This has an advantage over many casino specific bonuses. I’m going to look at this from a personal perspective. I have small amounts of bonus money scattered over a bunch of different casinos. Now the problem is that in many cases the bonus amount is too small for me to play anything other than the occasional three reel slot machine for pennies. I’m not joking about the penny thing. It’s what happens when I win 75 cents in a freeroll slot tournament. If I were able to combine those small bonus amounts into one larger amount I could play something like video poker. So the idea of combined bonuses through a rewards program is appealing.

    Villento Casino is currently not open to players from the United States but players from the United Kingdom and Europe are welcome to play.

    Congressman to say shuffle up and deal

    Friday, June 24th, 2011

    Lately all the news focusing on gambling in the United States has made it seem like there’s a huge battle between gamblers and the folks in charge in Washington, so it’s nice to see when something happens that shows us that the situation may not be as cantankerous as we think. And this week, that event is taking place at the World Series of Poker when Joe Barton steps up to the microphone.

    Joe Barton is a true poker fan. He’s also a Republican and a member of the Texas Republican House of Representatives. Now, I’ve always figured that in Texas even the Republicans might have a more liberal view when it comes to playing poker. After all, poker is a non-partisan sport and Texans love a challenging game.

    But this week, Joe Barton will take part in something that’s a poker player’s dream. He’ll make the “Shuffle up and deal” announcement to start the play at the World Series of Poker. So, yep, a congressman is going to tell people to play poker! And yes, Barton is a fan of online poker. And you know that means the PPA (Poker Player’s Alliance) is working with him to help bring legalized online poker to the United States.

    So, if you’re a gambler who feels a little shaken by recent events in the world of online gambling, don’t be too discouraged. What we’ve seen may very well be a little shake up to clear the playing field before more liberal online gambling rules can be put in place. And while I’m not one to preach, I have to say this — if you are a gambler who wants the freedom to gamble online, remember we elect our represtatives. Check to see what your reps think about online gambling.

    Doyles Room still open to US players

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

    There is a lot of confusion in the world of online poker these days and most of it traces back to the Online Poker Shutdown on April 15th. But a second later action taken by Maryland is adding to the confusion about what’s going on with poker rooms. PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are both open to UK and EU players but closed to US players. PokerStars has been refunding money to US players who had money in accounts on the site. Full Tilt Poker is still working to reach that point. Unfortunately and Absolute Poker seem to be struggling even more to come back after the shutdown and we’ve heard that even EU and UK players are having to wait to withdraw their winnings. These poker rooms were part of the April 15th shutdown.

    But Doyle’s Room wasn’t caught up in the big April 15th action but a small “sting” operation in Maryland. Doyle’s Room has changed its domain name to a .ag domain name but the news is that it still continues to accept players from the United States. But the question many players will have before jumping onto an online poker room these days is — will I be able to get my money out if I win? Well, Doyle’s Room recently upgraded their software for better play, but they also found a new payment processor to handle players in the United States. Reports are that players are being paid what they are owed and in a timely manner. So, despite the “administrative problem” that they ran into recently, Doylesroom is still up and running.