When you download and sign up to a poker site via a link or a signup code, that affiliate is usually getting something based on your deposit, play, or whatnot. I highly encourage doing this, because it's to the benefit of the blogger (let's say) you read and love who provided the link, and it doesn't cost you anything now or ever will in the future. It's a nice way of paying it forward for all the hard work they do and in fact, can even help you with various bonus offers (an extra percentage atop your initial deposit). I have a list of links
with various signup bonuses, but you can also sign up through other bloggers who are also affiliates. Like iggy
who bust their humps day in, day out to provide quality, thoughtful, entertaining writing and linkups. The hours it takes to read through all the wonderful blogs... think how many more hours it takes to research, collect those links, and write 'em up coherently in the first place.
The point is: if you're planning to sign up to a site anyway, sign up through an affiliate.
(This is also the case with other links that may be on the site, whether it be books, CDs, etc. -- if you're going to buy, buy through them... you would pay the same amount anyway, and the affiliate gets a few pennies and is that much more encouraged to carry on blogging.)
My big regret is signing on to Party and their skins (Empire, Intertops, Multipoker, Eurobet) -- or really any online poker room -- without using an affiliate. If I were under an affiliate, at least that person would be getting something (usually a percentage of my rake) every time I play. Now, all
of that rake is collected by the big nasty conglomerate cardroom. And with the volume I play collectively on Party & skins, it's quite a significant number that outweighs their measly $50 comeback and redeposit bonuses. Does Party really
need more money? Well, their servers keep crashing so I guess they do.
When I was looking around for places for The Grublog Poker Classic, ChoicePoker
was amenable and agreed to host. They struck me as very personable and open to ideas about the tournament as well as their site. I signed up as an affiliate and decided any money I received from people signing through me would go back into the tournament in the form of extra prizes (and hopefully cash).
Some stats so far:
22 people signed up through me (on their own or for the tourney, of which 17 are registered)
5 people played cash games
1 person (not including me) played over 300 raked hands
As I understand, to qualify for the referral bonus of $30, each referral must deposit a minimum of $50 and play a minimum of 300 raked hands within 30 days of depositing.
Assuming that the one person who played over 300 raked hands made a deposit of $50, I should have $30 coming to throw back into the prize pool (already done).
Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we'll qualify for Choice's competition of winning with most referrals (first place is $2000 -- wouldn't that
have been a great add-on) because Choice defines referrals as qualified
referrals, and hence, 300 raked hands per person and a $50 initial deposit.
Which I cry foul, because it's awfully difficult to play on their site when hardly anyone is there for us to play against. Several times I've logged on to see no one playing. If the pace stays the same, I don't see how anyone
could qualify for, much less win this competition.
But ah well. We still have some great prizes offered from some great sponsors who were willing to support our tournament without any history behind us. I only queried companies I know and liked, and I'm happy they came through. Visit their stores
and buy their products -- not only are they worthwhile, but they thought well enough of our tourney to toss in a thing or two to make the prize pool more than just about the cash... it's about the chips (ha). (And our latest is a t-shirt offer from Love and Casino War
to the first person to win with The Hammer
! Thanks, LCW!)
The blog tourneys will only get bigger from here.
In a bid to play with us in the tournament, grubette provides a fun report from this past Friday at Hawaiian Gardens (a week after she, hdouble, and I played), along with her first no-limit ring game:
Yep, it was nice hanging out with grubby in the Hawaiian Garden's poker room. But that weekend I drank too much, played poker too much and saw more acrobats than I usually do in LA. At the NL tourney grubby and I played, I met Joe, a 73-year-old widower who was giving me pointers about how to read people. He was in the 3s when he called all the way head's up to the 10s with a King high. When the cards were revealed, the 10s had 6 high! Crazy stuff. Joe says poker books are for kids, and the only real way to play is through experience.. lots of it. I got a strange but correct feeling that Joe was hitting on me, while he would say, "I'm old enough to be your grandfather!" he'd then creepily say, "Who do you live with?" and "I'm looking to remarry." But, he was loaded up with compliments for me and my play, so Joe, you can be my poker sugar daddy!
This week at work was so dull. So Friday is rolling around, the only night tournament that HI-G hosts, so I was looking forward to it. I get off work at 4, so I get over there and bought my ticket and then started playing live until the tournament started at 6.30. I pick my usual $4/8 game, but everyone was staying in on everything, and I didn't have time to fish (though I'm not above it occasionally to mix it up). So, down $40 in a mere 15 minutes, I hear the announcer call, "New No-Limit game $100 buy-in. Make your move!" I can't resist and go over there. I'm hesitant to sit down though, because the players look like they get their paychecks in poker chips. But as Joe says, I can't read people, so what the hell. NL there has a very unusual set up, or one I haven't seen. I guess the host of the table is employed by the casino, but he also plays and gives out chips. So, he's writing down your name to establish seniority at the table, playing with his own chips, has stacks of chips to give out change and calling people from the board when a new seat opens. Plus, everyone knows him at the table and calls him by name. I find it's always good to remember the host's name and call him that, preferably when a new player sits down so they think you're a professional. But this is my first time at a NL live game, and I was caught by another player who said, "Oh, I haven't seen you in a looong, loooong time," (good so far) "don't you normally play $4/8?" Gulp. 1s with too many gold teeth immediately starts flirting with me, "You are my girlfriend, sit next to meeee!"
$100 max buy-in and $2/3 blinds, so I felt this would be a slow game, at least slow enough for the hour I needed before the tournament started. And I was right, most people folded. Early on, I get AQo and raise to $15 right after the BB. Everyone folds. Hmm.. I think I made $2, because of the rake, which is taken out every hand. Then a few hands later, I pick up AA in middle position again. I just call the BB this time, Asian Mafia guy bets $10 more, followed by another $10 caller. The blinds fold, and it's up to me. I hesitate, then my heart starts beating loudly, deafeningly so. I peep, 'I'm all-in" and shove my chips to the middle. Damn I've never done this live before- it's so exhilarating. I expected to pick up the $31 pot pre-flop, but Asian Mafia guy tells the dealer to count my chips. It was $97. He has about the same amount. He calls. The other caller thinks. Calls time. Looks at me (he was the one that hadn't seen me in a long time). Stares me down, with a smile though, "What you got?" as my fingers go numb since the blood is rushing out of them to my feverishly beating heart. He folds.
Asian Mafia guy confidently turns up his cards. AKo! I flip up my AA and there's a collective, "oooh" at the table. They know I won. Me however, I didn't know this yet. The flop is rag-rag-rag, turn rag, river rag. Not a single face card, and I had it all the way. The dealer gives me all the chips and like $6 back to the caller. No "nice hand" from him. He re-buys.
What a rush. I could get hooked on this NL stuff.
But, not too much later, I get JJ and call a $45 raise and lose. Oh well, win some, lose some, I need to place in the tourney, which pays to 27 spots.
I go to the tournament after seeing Joe again, getting up from the live NL and wishing me luck. The tourney has already started, and I'm nearly 40 minutes late (I do this on purpose to avoid getting tempted into re-buying). I see an unbelievable pot, where 2s and 10s are battling it out. The board is AJJ32 and tons of money in the pot. 10s slams down pocket Aces for the boat, and 2s turns over his monster, pocket Js. Had this had been a live game, it was bonus time $25000 with a $700 or so table share. Gosh darn it.
I was chip leader at my table for awhile, sitting in between 2 new tournament players, one a woman. The other guy clung to his single T500 chip for 30 minutes, then finally lost it. Woman was out, then I was out, in 50th place.
I go back to NL live. There are three guys there that know each other, and all are 21! Good lord! One guy is exceptionally boisterous and talkative so I say, "What the hell do you do for a living that allows you to play with this kind of money?" and he calmly says, "I play poker for a living. And go to Golden West College." I saw him take down a great pot on the flop, KT4. He bets small, caller bets $150, college boy raises $400 all-in, then gets up from the table! Caller's thinking for an eon. And folds it. College boy's friends try to guess what he had. I said KT, his friends said pocket 4's. College boy was mum.. he probably had Ks.
Doug's still playing and losing at $3/6 when two of our friends arrive looking for some 13 card poker action. They settle for Pai Gow (Hawaiian Gardens is more than just Hold 'em, it's a way of life). In fact, one of them calls Doug on his cell phone to leave a message, but then forgets to turn off his phone. I picked up the 10 minute long voicemail that details him playing Pai Gow, saying "YES!" and "You got it!" with the "TZ for $4/8 hold'em!" announcer in the background.
I go check on Doug and saying I'm playing NL and he says ok and I leave. Then a minute later he calls me and says when I left, this woman at his table told him (about me), "That woman wants you bad, couldn't you tell??" She was 21. Doug asked why she had her name on her shirt, "Glenn." She said, "It says GUESS!" and he proceeded to call her Glenn the rest of the night. After her flirting with him (and probably him flirting with her too) she gets up to go play Pai Gow and whispers to him, "I'll be over on the side playing Pai Gow." Harlot.
Right after midnight Doug calls me to wish me a Happy Valentine's day. I hear his table in the background giving him a hard time and groaning. Then I hang up and Gold Teeth guy from earlier comes over and wishes me a Happy Valentine's day, "I am so glad that I am the FIRST one to wish you a Happy Valentine's day." I told him he was the second, and he said, "Then I am the SECOND. Where are we going for dinner on Valentine's day?" The Joe comes over and brushes him away telling me that guy's no good for me, that he's a player (as if I didn't know). Good ol' sugar daddy, already looking out for me!
The "Wheel of Cards" winner is called, which means it's 2am. Gotta get out of there! With Doug and I both down more than the ATM usually allows, we go check on our friends playing Pai Gow. This is not your Vegas momma's Pai Gow and I don't really get it. You can play on anyone else's hand, so Doug and I, in a last ditch effort to win on some game, put $100 each on top of our friend's $100 wager. He gets a pair of Js behind, and KT for the top, a marginal hand, a push hand maybe in Pai Gow. The dealer, who is really a player, not the house, gets a pair of 7s and K9! Won $300 just like that. All four of us jump ship, happy to leave on a good note at last.
McDonald's steak and egg and cheese bagel
Chips Ahoy cookies
Breyer's peach ice cream
4 Diet Cokes
garden salad with grilled chicken
poker: -68... 1@10+1 (1st), 4@30+3 (big fat zero -- JJ vs. 99 (9 flopped); AA vs. A8 (88 board)), 5@50+5 (two 2nds),