They say one should attempt to market only things they’re really familiar with. Well, I don’t quite fall into that belief, but I can honestly say that this is one site that I actually do participate with.


I think I’ve been on PokerStars at least 4 years now, possibly five. I believe I signed on in 2004, as it was one of the first poker websites out there that I’d ever heard of. Two of their celebrity representatives at time had won the World Series of Poker championships in consecutive years, Chris Moneymaker and then Greg Raymer, and in 2005, another one of their representatives, Joe Hachem, won it all. These guys won entry into the tournament by winning one of PokerStars online tournaments; imagine, winning an entry into a $10,000 poker tournament by playing the game online.

I love this site, although I’ll admit I’m not always happy with how the game goes when I’m playing it. Let’s take these in order.

The site is easy to sign up for. You go in and start with the demographic stuff. Then you come up with the name you want to be displayed every time you play. You can also select an image, but think carefully about this one because you might never be able to change it again. It’s probably best not to select in image immediately; you can always go back later to do it.

Once you’ve created your account, you get a window that looks something like this:

As you can see, there are multiple choices of games, including types of games, dollar amount of games, free games, number of players you want to go against, etc. Some are mini-tournaments, both free and some you’d have to pay for. There’s literally hundreds of different types of games you can play. There are also some free tournaments you can get into where, if you can place high enough, you have a shot at winning real money. And, if you choose, you can alter the look of the game board you’re playing on, so instead of seeing this:

You can see something like this:

The main thing I want to convey here is that you don’t have to pay to play if you don’t want to. However, if you do, there’s a minimum deposit of $10, but the site often has bonus money they’ll pony up if you decide to buy into the site whenever they’re running a promotion. These are the ways you can pay:

• Moneybookers
• NETeller
• VISA / VISA Delta / VISA Electron / Gift and Prepaid VISA†
• MasterCard / Gift and Prepaid†
• Diners Club International
• Solo / Maestro
• Cashier’s Check / Money Order / Bank Draft – minimum deposit $100
• Local Bank Transfer
• Online Bank (selected countries)
• paysafecard
• eChecks

Truthfully, I have never paid for it. Actually, we’re not supposed to be able to play online poker, the paid version, from the United States, but obviously some of these ways are used anyhow. And there’s a group calling itself the Poker Players Alliance, who have helping to lead the charge former NY senator Alfonse D’Amato and a host of other celebrities and former politicians, and there’s a very strong possibility that ordinance will be overturned. It needs to be, since it was sneaked into an act that was passed to protect the waterfront borders of the United States; that’s just sneaky politics, as those trying to regulate online poker beforehand kept getting rejected.

And, depending on the level your stomach can handle there are games that start at a penny, all the way up to buy-in games around $8,000; ouch! But in games where you pay some money, every once in awhile you encounter a professional player; there are even special events where that player is announced to be a part of it. So, if you like poker and know some of the names, you can take your shot against a pro.

As I said, I love this site and this game. So, what’s the problem? Understanding that, with an online site there are lots and lots of games going on, way more than at a casino, you sometimes see some things going on that your mind says “that’s not supposed to happen this often.” There’s a ton of what’s known as “bad beats,” which are hands that lose when they were way ahead because some final cards hit that just seemed to come out of nowhere. I’ve experienced quite a few of those over the years, and sometimes it’s frustrating. The balance, though, is that it also happens in your favor, and it doesn’t seem as prevalent once you change games.

And there are a bunch of different games: Texas Holdem, Omaha, Omaha Hi-Lo, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Hi- Lo, Five Card Draw, 2-7 Triple Draw, Razz, HORSE, HOSE. Those last two are kind of tournament styles where different types of games are alternated while playing, which really tests your overall poker acumen.

And PokerStars has an affiliate program, and I’m now a new affiliate. If you don’t belong and love to play poker, check it out, whether you want to play the free game or get your money into the mix. You won’t even have to tell them that Mitch sent you; they’ll already know. 🙂

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