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Showing posts with label poker funding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label poker funding. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

ePassporte to Limbo

Since the Port Security bill secured the United States ports (??) by making it illegal for US financial institutions to transfer funds to or from online gaming institutions (including online poker!) the major players (Firepay, Neteller) have turned their back on the US market and other funding solutions have taken their place. One of the more popular of these is (ePassporte) who have actually been around since 2002 (well before the new law) and it's also one with the most problems... Customer support is dismal and requests for help or information about your account can take weeks for response. On the bright side the service runs efficiently most of the time and you can generally sidestep the issues by following some simple rules:
  • Don't let your account balance go over $5000. If you do they require paperwork from you and the paperwork is going to take time and lots of it.

  • Don't use the new "instant fund" option from your bank account. Doing so will cause your account to be locked for 8 business days (yes business days and they're very strict on that) so if you use this funding option on, say, a Friday you won't be able to get at your money for 12 days (locked from any withdrawal option including visa and atm and online charges). The regular method is slower but typically won't take 8 business days and won't cause your account to be locked.

  • Do plan ahead for your withdrawals. If you need money in your checking account you'll have to withdrawal it $600 at a time (and that's IF you've ponied up the extra money to increase your daily limits) and that money will take a week to get to your checking account. You definitely don't want to wait until the last minute when rent is due to start making this withdrawals.

  • Do increase your withdrawal limits by paying the $5 fee--taking money out $300 at a time is obnoxious and you'll regret it when you want to. Plus this limit extension may not happen instantly so get it started.

  • Do get the physical visa. The price is worth it to have plastic you can use around town.

  • Don't expect fast responses from customer support. You won't get them and sometimes they never respond at all.
When the ban on online poker is lifted (and I have to believe it will be) then other funding options will appear and ePassporte will have to get its ducks in a row to compete, but for now they're sort of like the phone company--the only real choice for a lot of people--and they know it. I hope these tips save you some aggravation until then.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Texas Holdem for Fun and Profit

It's been a while since the last post on the Low Limit Holdem blog and certainly a lot has happened since last year. The biggest elephant in the room is of course the weasel-like ban on funding internet gambling sites from US sources that was tacked onto an unrelated port security bill.

Since that bill went into law late last year there are only a handful of reputable poker sites available to play at for US players Full Tilt, UltimateBet, PokerStars and Bodog Poker are among the best known sites still serving US players.and the major funding players (Firepay and Neteller) are gone from the US market. In their place are sites like Epassporte, MyWebATM, and Click2Pay.

The short and happy news is that online poker isn't going away, but the definite bad sucking news is that our legislators are engaged in some strange operation foot-bullet to make playing poker online less secure and less regulated. Take a cue from the UK and actually regulate internet gambling (including poker) and use the funds to improve the country and to provide help for the small minority of players who actually have gambling problems.

Rest assured, whatever happens with online poker lowlimitholdem.com will continue to exist and provide poker strategy, advice and discussion.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Party Poker 1 Million Guaranteed (Part 2)

I had wanted to finish the long blog of my experience at this 600+40 buy in tournament with 2100 (!) entrants on Saturday but between blogger.com eating my last entries to just a general feeling of exhaustedness after it was all done, I opted to take a brief respite.

When last we looked I was working on the third hour of the tournament with an above average chip stack.

It's at about this time that I received a phone call reminding me about an important lunch that I had previously scheduled. Arrrgg! Now I was in a bind--I could skip the lunch and take my chances for the rest of the tournament, making several family members quite angry, or I could go to the lunch and give up a chance at 272,000. Just then, option #3 came to me... I have a friend who's a very decent no-limit ring game player. A quick instant message and he was available to take over for a 50% stake. I could go to lunch and still have a chance.

Lunch was very good.

When I had left there were about 1500 people left and the top 220 were in the money. When I returned my friend had made it to 134th place and was still in the tournament(!). He had a slightly below average chip stack at this point (24k) so I put on my spectator goggles and watched him try to climb his way through the money. He made it to 100th, then 90, 80, 70, 60, 50! During this time he only played three hands and they were all all-in. AKs (he won unimproved) pocket Queens where he beat out pocket Jacks at the end and finally pocket 9s against an opponent holding AKo who hit an Ace on the flop...

He skipped playing one hand which I found interesting. The person UTG raised all in for about 5x the big blind (at this level most people at the table were right around 4-5x the big blind). My friend, on the big blind, has pocket Jacks and has the person covered in chips (although he'd only have 2x the big blind if he lost) and he folds his hand. He said that this particular player was very tight and he thought the most likely hand was AK and he wasn't willing to go into a desperate chip position if he lost (although really everyone was in a desperate chip position at his table). He wanted to be able to take a few guaranteed trips around the table and pick his move somewhere else and not risk being dominated by a hand like QQ/KK/AA. It sounds reasonable, but I can guarantee you I will call that bet with JJ every time. Even though it's possible I might be a big dog it's also likely that I have a slight edge, and there's a decent chance the person has a hand like 88, 99 or TT in which case I have a huge edge. Combine that with the fact that there's already 6,000 in the pot and I think a call is very reasonable.

He didn't make this call, though, and did end up just north of 40th place. A great finish, though not the 1st we were both hoping for. Still with $2,000 and change each in prize money it wasn't bad. Not bad at all.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Party Poker 1 Million Guaranteed

Remember at the end of Rounders when Matt Damon is mentally pondering whether the one million dollar prize at the WSOP has his name on it? What? You haven't seen the movie? Ok I can wait...

Ok well that's sort of how I feel at the beginning of this Party Poker tournament except, well, the first place prize is a bit over $200,000 and I'm not Matt Damon and I didn't just play a marathon game of poker with my life on the line and... Ok nevermind!

Since I haven't blogged for Low Limit Holdem in a while I thought this would be a great opportunity to do it, even though this isn't low limit ($600+40 buy in no limit tournament), but it is poker and you can be right with me when I win it or fail to do so.

At this moment registration is about to close and so far there are 2150 registrants for the tournament with a prize pool of $1,290,000.00. Getting to the final table at this game would be more than a little impressive even for the top professionals. Many of the players today won their seat by playing smaller satellite games at Party Poker with buy-ins as low as $7+1. For my seat I just bought in, because one major tournament is enough stress without burning myself out on a satellite or super-satellite (TYVM!). Will I make it to the money? It all depends on whether I can survive the early tournament rounds and build my stack. If I can hit the middle rounds with an average stack (or better) I like my chances of getting to a paying seat. As far as getting number 1. That's my goal... That's my goal.

Ok registration is over. The final pre-game stats: Total Players 2164, Total Prize Pool $1,298,400.00, First Prize pays $272,664.00 and Second pays $137,630.40. Number of seats paid are 220.

With about one minute before the tournament starts I launch media player and start through my 4 and 5 star mp3's. First up "Wind", the theme from some of the earlier Naruto episodes.

Let's shuffle up and deal.

First hand utg it's my good friend K4o. All IN! No wait that's for later. Fold, someone grabs the tiny blinds and it's on to my big blind right at the start. The first hand took about seven weeks as many of the players were not at their keyboards. BB 57o, SB 72o. Good. Let's get those cards out of the way early. Fourth hand, first player after a minimum pre-flop raise 3 players see a flop of Qs2dJs. Player 1 bets $150 (! big blind is $15), Player 2 Raises another $150 and Player 3 goes all in. This is one reason why I like to play especially tight in the beginning because people are c-razy especially with this many players. For the record the all in player won the pot right there and we'll never know if he really had QQ or just A2 of spades.

For myself the next several hands are crap after crap. It's all good.

Now for the action. I call a minimum raise in the BB with T8o and the flop comes 7J2 with two suits. I check and one player bets $100 into the pot and I call with a $1450 stack. Turn is the 9 of hearts making my straight, I check, player bets $150 into me and I call. River is a blank I check and player checks. Nothing special and played timidly by myself, but I would rather give players a chance to bluff into me than throw my chips into a made and slowplayed flush, at least in the early tournament.

Very next hand, flop is JJ3 with 4 people seeing the flop including myself with pocket 8's. One aggressive player bets a little more than the pot and all fold around to me. I call. Turn is a 7 which further rainbows the flop. Player checks to me and I bet $225 (about half the pot) and they call. River is a 6 and they bet $500 into me and I call. They have ATo, no pair.

I've doubled my stack now to $3000.

Two hands later I have QQ in late position. It's be minimum raised (why do they even bother) and called before me and I re-raise pot. One player calls and we see a flop of T23 rainbow. Player checks to me and I bet 600 and they call. Turn is a rag and they bet their last $880 into me and show JJ. No 2 out miracle on the river leaves me up to $4500 after less than 20 hands of play.

I go down a bit on when a raise-reraise-all in preflop scenario pits my AKo vs their AA (Ace on the flop also! Glad they didn't have more chips!) putting me down to about $3700 but then back to $4200 two hands later when my 8d9d hits top pair and a flop checkraise and a pot bet on the (non threatening) turn pushes an aggressive player out of the pot.