Well it has been awhile since I last wrote about my poker experience. In this post I'm gonna start going through my history of my online poker transactions to build a picture of how profitable it has been in the past 2 years (well, its been since November of 2004). All of my poker experience has been through Poker Source Online which offers huge incentives to get started in online poker. In November of 2004 I started up with PSO and did their Party Poker promotion for a chipset. At the time, I only really wanted the chipset, which seemed like a fairly low risk venture. The promo at the time was to get a 500 chip set for playing 250 raked hands at Party Poker at .5/1 limits. I deposited $100 on my credit card and lost $30 there over the raked hand requirements (considering I knew nothing at the time this was not a big deal). I received my chips a few weeks later and I started thinking about learning how to play poker so I could take advantage of the rest of the PSO promotions.
In December 2004, I deposited $100 at The Gaming Club that at the time were offering an amazingly sweet promotion. $300 of bonus money was available for my deposit, I simply had to play enough raked hands to release it. As I recall it was something like 200 raked hands for $20 released at a time, but I'm not too sure if that is accurate and the promotion has long since gotten worse. I had aquired a copy of Lee Jone's low limit poker book and was using its starting hand requirements to my benefit and was almost immediately breaking even. Over the time at the gaming club (a little over a month), I played break even poker and cashed out a cheque in early January of 2005 worth $405. In addition, I received $70 worth of PSO points to spend at their store. My online poker life had begun.
Next on my list of places to be hit was Pacific Poker where I once again deposited $100. This site was full of fish-like players and I found it much easier to win there than at the gaming club. Between the experience of playing at the gaming club and party poker, and the weak players, I made a healthy profit for playing .5/1. Not long after, I had already completed the short PSO requirements and cashed out a cheque worth $184 plus my PSO prize of another 500 chipset.
A week later, I started the Absolute Poker promotion where I once again deposited $100 and worked through the PSO raked hand requirements while clearing the deposit bonus money. This promo was a little harder to complete at .5/1. In the end I made my first jump to playing 1/2 and hit a lucky streak of cards that ensured a profit when I cashed out. At the end of January 2005, I received my $60 PSO points prize with another cheque worth $189.
Sometime in January there, Party poker gave me some free money to play with which I turned into $53 more money. Hooray!
Another big event happened that January. On the PSO forums, the site organizers had arranged to come to Edmonton for one of the first Canadian Poker Tour events! With such short notice, they made a general post asking if people in Edmonton were able to make it to the $500 buyin poker tournament. I signed up almost immediately and got several others who had let me know about PSO sign up as well. We had a group of 5 people play, and it was me - the 2 month poker experience player who placed well into the money. In fact, I placed 6th for a prize of $3490!! Talk about a bonus for my bankroll! Alot of the reasons for my success was due to the tutelage of Darse Billings: currently a PHD student about to graduate after working on AI in poker for a number of years. He used to play professionally and made a pretty good living doing so, so his experience helped me out considerably. A great part of being a member of PSO is getting a chance to hit some free prizes just for being a member. Over these 3 months of being a member I received $32.50 of PSO points just for participating in the forums, and my great experience with the site would soon get me some referral points (in the next month). That gets me through my first couple months of bonuses. I'll update again in the next week or so with the next segment in my online poker experiences. Here's what I had received from November 2004 - January 2005:
Party Poker: -$30, 500 piece chipset Gaming Club: +$305, $70 PSO points Party Poker: +$53 from free money Pacific Poker: +$84, 500 piece chipset Absolute Poker: +$89, $60 PSO points $500+50 CPT Poker event: $+3490 (canadian dollars) PSO freebies: $62.50 PSO Points Total Winnings: $501 USD + $3490 CAD + $162.50 PSO Points + 1000 chips
Note: select segments were reworded and added to since the first posting to fill in some details I forgot in my rush to post. I've started work on the next few months of PSO experience and that will be up in the coming days!