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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:19 pm 
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PSO Poker God
PSO Poker God

Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 5:38 pm
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Location: Michigan
Here is the original text, but it is out of date with all the new regulations and promotions and whatnot:

How to build an online poker bankroll


Some of the most common questions posted on the Forum here at Poker Source Online are questions like, "What promotion should I do next," or "What is the best bonus for me?" With so many poker room choices out there, it is not always easy to figure out where the optimal place is to park your bankroll.

The great thing about the Forum is that there are so many members of the PSO community that are eager and willing to help each other out. Opinions and advice are plentiful here. But, we at PSO decided that, since we have experience with all of the poker rooms with which we work, it would be a good idea to have one, comprehensive reference guide for the PSO community.

What follows is a "bankroll building" discussion. For those who are afraid of losing money, don’t have the money to deposit, or simply don’t have a large bankroll, this document is for you. The goal of this lesson is to show you how you can actually begin playing poker without depositing a single penny of your own and grow that bankroll, through bonuses offered by the poker rooms themselves, into well over a thousand dollars. This way, you can begin playing online with zero risk, and with a little good play and a little luck, you will be able to continue playing without ever having to open your wallet.

This is not your typical "how to build an online poker bankroll" primer, though. Yes, it tells you at which poker rooms to open accounts. Yes, it tells you about the different bonuses available and which ones are worth, or not worth, earning. But this document adds another ingredient to the mix: Poker Source Online promotions.

Throughout this discussion, you will be shown how to not only use poker room deposit bonuses to build your bankroll, but you will also be shown how to use the promotions at Poker Source Online to your advantage. These promotions can be used as "extras" for you to earn free gifts just for playing poker, or actually be used to add on to your bankroll. The choice is up to you.

As you read through this document, you will see some poker rooms where the deposit bonus is easier to earn than the PSO promotion, as well as some where the PSO promotion is easier than the deposit bonus. You will be advised as to the differences with each as you go. Additionally, where applicable, we will tell you how much to deposit so you can clear your deposit bonus and the PSO promo simultaneously.

Before we begin, there are a couple assumptions that we will be making as we go:

1) You are a low-stakes player who generally sticks to $0.50/$1 fixed limit games or $25 NL games and lower.
2) You will be choosing PSO Points for your promotions and spending them on Party Poker (or Absolute Poker) gift certificates. This is a bankroll building discussion, after all.

Remember, in the end, the poker room order here is just a suggestion. If you think you would like to do the fifth room first, go ahead. If you want to skip one altogether, that is fine, too. This is simply a guide, but a guide that has been planned out carefully with your bankroll building interests in mind.

Create a Neteller Account

Before you even start your online poker adventure, you will need a safe place to park your bankroll, as well as a method to deposit to and cash out from the different poker rooms. While every online poker room offers many options for financial transactions, the most popular, and perhaps easiest, is called Neteller. If you already have a Neteller account you can just skip this section.

Neteller is essentially an online wallet – a place to keep your poker funds when they are not residing in your poker account. With Neteller, you can make quick and easy transactions with every poker room on the internet. It is safe, secure, convenient, and only takes a few minutes to setup.

To begin, go to the Neteller website, http://www.neteller.com and click on the “Open Account” button. Just follow the signup process and you will soon be issued your Neteller account number and a Secure ID, along with the password you create. The Secure ID is sort of like a second password – you will need this and your account number when you make deposits and withdrawals from the poker rooms.

That is all you need to do at this time. You will likely want to link your Neteller account to a checking account so you can actually get the money into your hands at some point, but you can wait on that, if you want. Just like the signup process, linking to a checking account is easy. Just login to your Neteller account and select the Online Check (EFT) option. Then, complete the registration form using the information found on one of your checks (you can also link to a savings account, but you will need to get the routing information from your bank).

Once you have registered your checking account, Neteller will deposit a few cents into the account within 1-5 business days. Check your bank account to see how much was deposited, then login to your Neteller account, select Online Check (EFT), and enter the amount that was deposited. If you entered the amount correctly, your Neteller account will be verified and you will be all set to transfer money back and forth with your bank.

If you are nervous about giving Neteller access to your bank account, don’t worry, you have every right to be. It takes a lot of trust to give a company that kind of information. Neteller is a very honest and legitimate company, however, and never plays games with people’s money. If you want to take a small extra step to ensure the safety of your personal finances, you can always create an additional account at your bank solely for your poker bankroll. That way, if, by a long shot, a mistake or strange computer glitch happens at Neteller, the only funds that will be affected will be your poker funds. It is very unlikely that anything will happen, though.

If you are still unsure about linking your Neteller account to your bank account, you can always have Neteller mail you a check for a small fee.

Speaking of fees, you will not be charged anything for most normal transactions. Making basic withdrawals and deposits with the poker rooms will not cost you anything, nor will transferring money to and from your bank account. As stated above, there is a small fee for having a check sent. The one fee that unsuspecting Neteller customers get hit with is the fee for instaCASH transfers. All instaCASH does is allow you to fund your account immediately, without having to wait for the normal processing time. Neteller charges 8.9% for this method, which is a complete waste of money for you, the customer. Any deposits you make with a poker room happen instantly, so there is no need for instaCASH there. Withdrawals can take some time, anywhere from a few hours to a few days, but because this is poker money and not rent money, there really should never be a time where you need the money so desperately that you should be willing to fork over 8.9% of your hard-earned winnings. Whenever instaCASH is offered, decline it.

Your Bankroll Foundation – Poker Source Online’s Free Money Promotion

Now that you’ve taken care of your Neteller account, it’s time to start building your bankroll. And what better way to do it than without spending a single penny of your own? Poker Source Online will give you – yes, give you -- $75 to start your poker career on Party Poker, the internet’s largest online poker room. Plus, after you complete the requirements of the promotion, Party Poker will chip in another $25! That’s a total of $100 right off the bat, for doing virtually nothing!

Of course, you’re thinking that there has to be a catch. There actually isn’t. As discussed earlier, Poker Source Online is a poker affiliate, a company that gets paid by the poker rooms to bring them new real money customers. It is with this payment that PSO can, in turn, make the deposit into your new Party Poker account. It’s a win-win-win situation. You get free money, Party Poker gets a new customer, and PSO makes a few bucks.

Before we get into how to signup for your free poker money, there are a few very important rules about this promotion. First, you MUST be at least 21 years old to participate. Yes, the minimum age at Party Poker is 18, but Party and PSO agreed that for this promotion, 21 was the cut-off, and they are very strict about this. Second, you must be a first time real money player at Party Poker. If you have a play money account there, you can still participate. Simply create a new Party Poker account using a new account name and a different e-mail address. Third, this promotion is only open to customers from the United States and Canada. PSO does have other promotions available worldwide, just not this one.

And now, on with the show.

To begin, visit Poker Source Online’s free money (also known as Instant Bankroll) site at http://www.pokersourceonline.com/freepoker/money.asp and click on the first offer, the “No Deposit Required” option.

The first page you arrive at after selecting the no deposit option is very important. It contains all the rules, terms, and conditions of the Instant Bankroll promotion. Please read them VERY carefully before continuing. If you do not understand something, you can read the FAQ on the previous page or post a message in PSO’s Support Forum – the link for the Forum can be found at the very top of the page or under the light blue “Community” tab. Failure to meet the conditions of the promotion will result in your promotion being rejected by PSO and you will not be able to get your free money.

The next page reiterates a couple of the very important rules, just as I did earlier.

Step three (you can see which step you are on by following the progress bar on the left side of the page) is where you download and install the Party Poker software and actually create your Party Poker account. Be sure to read everything on this page before doing anything. Again, missing a step will result in your promo being denied.

You will see the “Signup Bonus Code,” INSTANT, highlighted several times. This is the most important part of the signup process. You must enter this code in the appropriate field when you create your Party Poker account, just as it shows in the screenshots on the PSO page. The code is important because it tells Party Poker that you signed up through PSO, which gets PSO paid, which allows them to have the money to deposit in your account. Without the code, INSTANT, Party Poker has no idea that you are doing the Instant Bankroll promotion.

After you finish this step, there will be a couple more screenshots to show you how to get your Party account setup for real money. Complete these steps and you have finished the first part of the signup process.

Once your Party Poker account is created and you advance through the steps on PSO’s site, you will be prompted to create a PSO account. This account is separate from your Party Poker account, so be sure to not confuse the two (although you can use the same account name, if you’d like). The PSO account is the way PSO knows that you are a customer. The information you will provide is the same basic information you provided Party Poker. At no time will you ever be asked for anything personally sensitive, such as a credit card number or social security number. Remember, PSO is giving YOU the money – you can keep your wallet in your pocket.

After you create your PSO account, the final step is to actually let PSO know that you are doing this specific promotion. PSO already has your name, but they do not know, until you tell them, the promotion for which you are signing up (it would be great if just by your visiting the site, PSO could figure out what promo you were doing, but it doesn’t work that way). You will see a confirmation form which simply asks for your Party Poker information. When you fill this out and submit the form, your promotion will be in PSO’s database. Now they know who is doing which promotion.

That’s it. Now you just have to wait. In 1-5 business days (remember, weekends and holidays are not business days), you will receive an e-mail from PSO instructing you to call a toll-free number to finish up the process and actually receive your money. When you call, a Poker Source Online employee will run through some information with you, make sure your account is setup properly, and then deposit the money. You will have the free poker money in your account by the time you hang up the phone. The call should only take a few minutes, although there may be some hold time, depending on how busy they are.

Be sure to check your junk mail folder to be sure the e-mail didn’t get filtered out as spam. As a backup method, you can also login to PSO using your PSO account and go to your “My PSO” section. Here, you will see your Instant Bankroll promotion listed. If the status tells you that the e-mail was sent, then go ahead and call.

And there you go! You will have $75 in your Party Poker account, all set to play with at the real money tables! Remember, in order to cash out any money, you must play 1000 raked hands. While you are more than welcome to play tournaments, Party Poker only counts raked hands at the cash tables. If you finish the raked hands within 30 days of when you created your Party account, you will also receive the additional $25 bonus.

Before we continue, you may be thinking, “What is a raked hand?”

The rake is the fee that the poker room takes from the pot at the ring game tables. This is how the poker rooms make their money. Not every hand is raked – the pot will need to hit a certain minimum for a rake to be taken, plus most poker rooms do not take a rake if there is no flop. But, most will be raked. Raked hand definitions vary poker room to poker room, but in general, if you are dealt cards in the hand and the rake hits a certain level, it will count as a raked hand. Some sites require a higher rake than others for the hand to count. Some sites even make you contribute to the pot to get credit for the hand. We’ll explain each poker room’s requirements as we go.

For Party Poker, a raked hand is any hand in which you are dealt cards and your portion of the rake is at least one cent. To simplify, Party will take the total rake from the pot and divide by the number of players at the table. As long as that is one cent or more and you were dealt cards, you get credit for a raked hand.

Where to Next?

Let’s assume you played through your raked hand requirement at Party Poker and broke even, so you now have $100 in your poker bankroll. If you made some money, great! You’re doing well. Now you have to decide where to go to continue building your bankroll.

Before you start playing at another poker room, you will need to cash out your money from Party Poker to Neteller. Just go to the Cashier and select “Cash Out.” Choose Neteller as your cash out option, give Party your Neteller information, decide how much you want to cash out, and you’re done. It might take a couple days for the money to hit your Neteller account, especially since this is your first cash out, so just be patient. Party is normally very quick, and future cash outs should not take long at all.

In deciding where to play next, we’re going to assume that you are playing low stakes games, generally .50/1 limit and lower or $25 no-limit and lower ($25 meaning the maximum buy-in at the table). As your bankroll and comfort level increase, moving up to 1/2 and $50 no-limit may be an option. The problem with playing such low stakes is that the online poker rooms have been making it more difficult lately to chase bonuses. Bonus terms tend to be designed for people who play higher than micro-limits.

To explain, bonuses are awarded at online poker rooms based on how much you deposit. They are typically stated as a percent of your first deposit up to a certain dollar amount. So, if you saw a deposit listed as “50% up to $100,” that would mean that you would receive a bonus of 50% of your deposit, with a maximum bonus of $100. Thus, you would need a $200 deposit to maximize the bonus. You can always deposit more, but you would only receive a $100 bonus in this case, as that is the ceiling.

Just like with the Instant Bankroll promotion, each bonus has play through requirements. With some poker rooms, you have to play a certain number of raked hands, with some you have to earn a certain number of “points,” which are generally based on the rake taken from hands you play. You will usually see the requirements listed as “10x raked hands,” or “10x points.” What this means is that you have to play 10 times the deposit amount in raked hands or earn 10 times the deposit amount in points. So, if a $100 bonus has a “10x raked hands” requirement, you will need to play 10 times 100, or 1,000 raked hands. A 5x requirement would be 500 raked hands, and so on. Obviously, the lower the multiplier, the better. A couple years ago, it was easy to find 5x requirements for bonuses. Now, 7x is generally the lowest you can ever hope to find, while 10x is becoming the most common.

It may be slow-going for a while when you are trying to build your bankroll, but if you know this going in, you’ll be able to just concentrate on your game and let the bonuses roll in. Always remember that you still want to be playing winning poker – the bonuses are just a way to build your bankroll faster.

If you need a reminder while you are playing of what constitutes a raked hand, what the PSO promotion requirements are, and how keep track of your raked hands or points at a poker room, you can go to the PSO Help Center and click on the Promotion Requirements link.




Sun Poker

After Party Poker, it is tough to decide which poker room to go with next because, as stated earlier, it is becoming more and more difficult to bonus chase at low stakes.

That said, the best bang for your buck will be with Sun Poker, a poker room on the same network as several others that use the Cryptologic software platform. It is not necessarily any easier to complete than other bonuses, but it requires the smallest deposit.

The beauty of this bonus is that it is actually two in one.

The first part is your initial deposit bonus: 100% up to $50, with a 5x raked hand requirement. So, if you deposit $50, which you should have from the Instant Bankroll promotion, Sun Poker will credit your account with an additional $50 after you complete 250 raked hands (5 times 50).

But that's not all. Sun Poker has a second bonus that you can earn every single month, without an extra deposit. If you play 200 raked hands during the month, you will get another $40. The best part is, this bonus is earned concurrently with the initial deposit bonus, so once you play 200 raked hands, you'll earn $40, and you only need 50 more raked hands to get your $50 initial deposit bonus.

So, the best way to take advantage of both of these bonuses is to NOT start at Sun Poker right at the end of the month. Doing so will essentially waste the monthly bonus. Give yourself enough time to get through 200 raked hands.

The biggest obstacle to earning these bonuses is that, as discussed earlier, at low stakes, they will clear slowly. Here is how Sun Poker calculates a raked hand, based on the rake:

$0.00 to $0.24 rake = 0 raked hands
$0.25 to $0.99 rake = 0.25 raked hands
$1.00 to $3.00 = 1 raked hands

This means you will need at least a $5 pot just to earn a quarter of a raked hand. You will need a $20 pot for a full raked hand.

What is the significance of this? If you are playing .5/1 fixed limit or low stakes no-limit, you will need to play a lot of hands – more than a thousand. But, considering how little money you need to deposit to get the bonuses, it is worth it, as long as you know going in that it will take some time.

As for the PSO promotion, Sun Poker is a room where the promo will take longer than the deposit bonus. Three times longer, in fact. The PSO requirement is 750 raked hands, and like all PSO promotions except for Instant Bankroll, the hands must be completed within 60 days. If you do the PSO promo, the best idea would be to start it in the middle or beginning of a month so you can get the $40 monthly bonus, then span it to the next month to complete the promo and get another $40 monthly bonus at the same time.

For Sun Poker, you will receive 6,000 PSO Points. Not enough for a poker room gift certificate yet, but after the next promotion, you will be able to purchase one.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $100
Bonus: $130
Gift certificates: $0
Ending bankroll: $230


Paradise Poker

The next stop is one of the mainstays in the internet poker world, Paradise Poker. At this point, let's again assume you played break-even poker at Sun, AND got two monthly bonuses (you can change the numbers if you didn't), so you now have $230.

Paradise Poker's initial deposit bonus is 25% up to $50, with a 10x raked hand requirement. Perfect. Deposit $200, get a $50 bonus.

A couple things will make Paradise easier than Sun Poker, although it is not as lucrative (bonus-wise – the winning is, as always, up to you). First, you only need to be dealt cards in hand that is raked at least 25 cents to earn a raked hand. No more fooling around with fractions of a hand. Thus, the hands will accumulate faster than at Sun. Second, Paradise releases its bonus in $10 increments after every 100 raked hands, so you will reap the rewards of your progress more quickly. Plus, if you decide you want to cash out before earning the full bonus, at least you will have earned some of it.

Paradise keeps track of your raked hands using a point system, but it's one point per raked hand, so there's nothing tricky to remember. You can also earn points by playing tournaments, but it is at such a low rate, that it is not worth playing tournaments to earn the bonus. That's not to say that you should not play tournaments; if you like them and can make money playing them, go ahead. Just keep in mind that they will barely put a dent in your bonus progress.

For the PSO promotion, you must play 1,000 raked hands, which is not bad at all at Paradise Poker. This will earn you another 6,000 PSO Points. If you have already done the Sun Poker promotion, this is enough to buy a $100 Party Poker (or Absolute Poker, but if you did Instant Bankroll, you already have a Party account) gift certificate and have 2,000 Points left over.

Once you cash the $100 out to your Neteller account from Party Poker, you will be looking at a $380 bankroll, once again, assuming break-even play.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $230
Bonus: $50
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $380


Bodog Poker

Bodog is an interesting poker room for bonuses, although you can skip this one completely if you are Canadian. Unfortunately, Bodog does not allow Canadians to sign up.

If you find you like Bodog Poker, you can go back as many times as you would like for bonuses. That is because Bodog has an unlimited 10% deposit bonus. Now, Bodog won't be happy if you just deposit, earn the bonus, cash out, re-deposit, earn another bonus, and continue like that, but if you don't look like you are blatantly abusing their bonus system, you can rack up the extra dollars.

Bodog's bonus works differently than the ones you have already done. At Bodog, you receive your bonus up front, not in increments, not at the end. This is great, as it gives you more money to play with immediately, but you cannot withdraw your money until you finish earning the bonus. If you do so, your bonus amount will be removed from your total.

Bodog differs from your previous poker rooms in another important way: you must actually put money into the pot in order to get credit for a raked hand. Blinds do count, so even the tightest players will contribute to the pot at least twice per orbit. If you do play fairly tight, you will need to either be patient and realize the hands will accumulate slowly, or loosen up your play a little bit.

The bonus at Bodog is actually tracked via a point system, which is based on the amount of rake taken from the pot. Here is the breakdown:

$0.05 - $0.20 rake = .10 points
$0.25 - $0.45 rake = .25 points
$0.50 - $0.95 rake = .50 points
$1.00 - $3.00 rake = 1 point

You must earn 3 points for every $1 in bonus, so if you deposit the $380 you would have at this point with break-even play, you will need to earn 114 Bodog points for your $38 bonus.

One nice thing about Bodog is that you can earn points by playing in tournaments, as well. You will earn 3 points for every dollar of tournament entry fee, so a $10 + $1 tournament will get you 3 points. This is great thing for people who are good at tournaments.

The PSO promotion is not bad, either. Technically, it requires 200 points, but the 50 points you get automatically at Bodog count towards the 200 (they don't count towards your deposit bonus), so you really only need 150 points. For Bodog, PSO will give you 9,000 PSO Points, so now you can up your total to 11,000 and buy another $100 Party gift certificate!

That's $200 you have made in extra bonuses from Poker Source Online so far. Your bankroll should now be up to $520 (we'll round up a couple bucks).

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $380
Bonus: $38
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $520 (rounded up for neatness)


Quick Time-Out: If at any point you feel that depositing enough to get the maximum bonus would make the bonus too difficult to earn, don't worry about maxing it out. Just deposit less to get a more manageable bonus. With the bonuses like Paradise's that release in increments, it usually doesn't hurt to max it out, as you can always cash out part way through.


Poker Rewards

Poker Rewards, a poker room on the Prima Poker network, is very similar to Paradise when it comes to the bonus, but much more generous. Like Paradise, you get a raked hand when you are dealt cards and the rake is at least 25 cents.

Unlike Paradise, though, you can get a much bigger bonus. At Poker Rewards, it is a 50% up to $200 bonus, so you will need $400 to max it out. You need to play 10x the bonus in raked hands, so 2,000 for the entire $200 bonus. The bonus is released in one lump sum upon the completion of the hands.

The PSO promotion is easier to finish than the maximum bonus. For PSO, you just need 750 raked hands to get your free gift. Assuming you are still choosing PSO Points, that's another 6,000 Points, which, if you are doing the poker rooms in the order that they are listed here, would make your PSO Points balance 7,000.

Remember that the PSO promos clear concurrently with the deposit bonuses, so the raked hands (or points, depending on the room) you earn with one count for the other at the same time. Of course, the end points for each may be different. In the case of Poker Rewards, if you max out the bonus, you will need 2,000 raked hands. The first 750 finish the PSO promo, but you will still need another 1,250 for the bonus. If you want both to finish at the same time, deposit $150 for a $75 bonus, which will require 750 raked hands.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $520
Bonus: $200
Gift certificates: $0
Ending bankroll: $720


Full Tilt Poker

Full Tilt is an excellent poker room, popular in large part because it was started by professional poker players, all of whom actually play there.

The bonus strategy here, however, is going to be different that the rooms at which you have already played. Why? Because Full Tilt's deposit bonus is extremely difficult to clear at low limits. Therefore, our recommendation is to play here for the PSO Points promotion, not the bonus.

The initial deposit bonus at Full Tilt is 100% up to $600. Full Tilt uses a points system to disperse bonuses. For every dollar raked during a hand in which you are dealt cards, you receive one point. Fractional points are also awarded. The most points you can get in any hand is three. Points are also awarded for tournament play, seven points for every dollar of entry fee.

As strange as it sounds, you will earn $1 of bonus for every 16.6 points. As you might be able to tell, at low stakes, that can take a really, really long time.

While Full Tilt distributes the bonus in increments, you can always max it out and cash out if you don't want to work towards the whole thing, but it's actually a better idea to deposit less than the maximum because the bonus will be easier to earn. This is because Full Tilt releases the bonus in 10% increments or $20 increments, whichever is lower. Thus, if you deposit less than $200, your bonus increments will be less than $20 and thus will be released more quickly than if you max it out.

The minimum deposit for the PSO promotion is $100, and the point requirements are 250 points.

Therefore, there are two optimal deposit/bonus strategies when doing the PSO promo:

1) Deposit $150 to make your bonus increments $15. To earn the first $15 installment, you will need 249 points, which almost exactly coincides with the completion of the PSO promo.
2) Deposit the minimum $100 to make your bonus increments $10. You will earn your first $10 after 166 points. If you want to earn the second $10, you will need to earn 332 points, 82 more than the PSO requirement. You will need to decide whether or not you want to keep playing for the extra $10.

If you play higher stakes, the bonus will clear faster and you may feel like continuing to play to earn the entire bonus. It is up to you. If you don't max out the bonus and then find that you are having an easy time clearing it, don't kick yourself. Full Tilt has reload bonuses every couple months.

Once you finish the Full Tilt promotion at PSO, you will have received another 6,000 PSO Points. Your PSO Points balance should now be 13,000, so you can buy another $100 Party gift certificate.

Assuming you got a $15 bonus at Full Tilt, your bankroll should now be at least $835, if you have broken even at the tables.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $720
Bonus: $15
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $835


Ultimate Bet

Ultimate Bet is another very popular room with several big name pros onboard. There are plenty of games from which to choose, including some that you may have never seen, such as Pineapple and Triple Draw.

The deposit bonus at Ultimate Bet is 100% up to $500 with a 10x point requirement. Go ahead and max it out if you want – it is released continuously, in increments less than one dollar. If you cash out early, the bonus never expires, so you can always go back to earn the rest.

For the PSO Promo, you will need to earn 500 points. Points are earned as follows:

$0.05 - $0.20 rake = .10 Point
$0.25 - $0.45 rake = .25 Point
$0.50 - $3.00 rake = .50 Points

Ultimate Bet also awards 6 points for every $1 in tournament fees. So, for a $20 + $2 tournament, you would earn 12 points. For a $5 + $0.50 tournament, you would earn 3 points.

If you are one of the first two players seated at a cash game table, you will also earn 25% more points while you are playing at that table.

This won't be the fastest bonus or PSO promo to clear (at low stakes, it could take as many as 2,000 raked hands for the promo), but Ultimate Bet is a solid site with plenty of action and game selection, so it's a good place to spend some time.

Also notice that you can earn points by playing tournaments. If you are a strong tournament player, take advantage of this, as it is a nice way to earn bonuses without having to grind out raked hands.

If you play the minimum requirement for the PSO promotion, you will have earned $50 in bonus and 6,000 PSO Points.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $835
Bonus: $50
Gift certificates: $0
Ending bankroll: $885


PokerRoom

This is another room, like Full Tilt, where you should play for the PSO promo and not the deposit bonus, if you are a low stakes player. It's not as difficult to earn the bonus as it is at Full Tilt, but it is all released in one lump sum when you complete the requirements, so if you don't feel like you will be able to play enough to earn it, you will miss out on the entire bonus.

The great thing about PokerRoom, besides the high player traffic and game variety, is that you can get 12,000 PSO Points for the PSO promotion. That's $120 worth of points.

The deposit bonus is 40% up to $200 with a 10x point requirement.

0.07 points are awarded for every 10 cents of rake taken from the pot in a hand in which you were dealt cards. So, a rake of $3 will award all players in the hand 2.1 points.

5 points are also awarded for every dollar paid in tournament entry fee. The points for tournaments can help you immensely on your way to the bonus, if you enjoy tournaments.

The PSO requirement for the promo is 400 points, so if you want the deposit bonus and PSO promo to coincide (again, remember that the bonus is not awarded until you earn ALL of the required points), the optimal deposit is $100. This will get you a $40 bonus, which will clear at 400 points, which is the exact amount needed for the PSO promotion.

As always, if you have no problems earning the maximum bonus, feel free to deposit as much as you would like.

Continuing to assume break-even play, PokerRoom will be great for your bankroll. If you deposit the $100 as described about, you will add $40 to your bankroll. PLUS, you will earn 12,000 PSO Points. Added to the 9,000 you should already have, you can now purchase $200 worth of gift certificates from the PSO store!

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $835
Bonus: $40
Gift certificates: $200
Ending bankroll: $1,075


Golden Palace Poker

Golden Palace has some of the weakest players and nicest software around, but has the distinct dishonor of being one of the few rooms that requires you to actually contribute to the pot to have hands count towards your bonus. Thus, even when the hands get raked, if you don't actually put any money in the pot, they won't count for you.

The deposit bonus at Golden Palace is 25% up to $100, with a 125x point requirement.

Golden Palace awards a maximum of 300 "Action Points" per hand, distributed amongst the players who actually contributed money to the pot (blinds count). These Action Points essentially correspond to number of cents taken in rake. So, a $3 rake would generate the maximum 300 Action Points. A 50 cent rake would generate 50 Action Points. You will receive a percentage of the Action Points for the hand in proportion to how much of the total pot you contributed.

Example: If the rake for the hand is $1, 100 Action Points will be awarded to those who actually placed a bet in the hand. If you contributed exactly 50% of the total pot, you will receive 50% of the Action Points, or 50, for that hand.

As you can see, if you play a really tight game, it will take while to get enough Action Points for your bonus. And since the bonus is awarded in one lump sum at the end, you won't see the fruits of your labors until you earn all of the required points.

The PSO promotion requirement is 10,000 Action Points. For this poker room, if you are going to be doing the PSO promo, anyway, you might as well max out the bonus – it's only an extra 2,500 Action Points. If you can do 10,000, you can do the rest.

For the PSO promo, you will get 6,000 PSO Points and should now have a 7,000 Point balance.

The best games for Action Points are Pot-Limit and No-Limit games because of the pot sizes. If you can play Omaha High-Low it can be a great source of points.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $1,075
Bonus: $100
Gift certificates: $0
Ending bankroll: $1,175


Poker Share

PokerShare just reopened in April 2006, after having been around for a couple of months in 2005. It's a long story, but PokerShare is back and is a good poker room.

The initial deposit bonus is 100% up to $300 with a 10x point requirement. It is released all in one lump sum at the end. Frequent Player Points (FPP) are earned as follows: All players at the table who have been dealt cards will receive FPPs for every hand where the table rake exceeds $0.25. $0.25 - $0.49 rake = 0.25 FPP
$0.50 - $0.99 rake = 0.50 FPP
$1.00 - $2.99 rake = 1.00 FPP
$3.00 rake = 1.50 FPP

Additionally, you receive 5 FPP for every $1 that you pay in tournament fees. For example, if you enter a $5 + $0.5 tournament, you will receive 2.5 FPPs for the $0.5 tournament fee. As has become the trend, this is another bonus that you will need some patience for, but it's not as bad as some, primarily because of the looseness of the players at PokerShare. There are a couple things to note about PokerShare. First, the network it is on is European-centric network, so the peak times to play are during the day in North America. Second, the action is almost exclusively at the No-Limit hold'em tables. There are some other games going on, but they are few and far between.

The PSO promo is for 9,000 PSO Points and will require 500 FPP to complete. For the sake of this promotion, assuming you are still playing low stakes, let's say you make the minimum deposit of $50, which will allow you to earn the full bonus and complete the promotion at the same time. Of course, if you want to deposit more, especially if $50 isn't enough to play with, go for it.

After you finish this room, you will have 16,000 PSO Points and can buy yet another Party Poker gift certificate.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $1,175
Bonus: $50
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $1,325


The Final Two

A special note is needed for these final two online poker rooms. If you are playing low limit poker, like $0.50/$1 fixed limit or lower, it will be very, very difficult to earn bonuses at these rooms. Difficult enough where it's probably not even worth the effort. That is not to say that you shouldn't play at either of these. They are both quality rooms. If you try them and have fun, keep playing! Poker is about making money and having fun, so if you can do both of these things, bonuses aren't that important.

If you have moved up past the "micro-limit" games and play games like $1/$2 fixed limit or maybe $50 or $100 No-Limit, the bonuses are much more achievable.


Absolute Poker

Absolute used to be a bonus chaser's dream. They offered (and still do) reload bonuses every week and they were easy to clear. Recently, however, Absolute increased the rake requirement to 50 cents for a hand to qualify as a raked hand, which means you will need at least a $10 pot to make any headway. This is why bonus chasing is pointless at Absolute for micro-limit players.

The good thing is that the bonus is released in $10 increments, so you can always quit and come back, but bonuses do expire if you haven't earned any part of them for 60 days.

The initial signup bonus at Absolute is 150% up to $150, but again, since there are reloads every week, there's no need to max it out if you do not want to do so. Requirement is 10x the bonus amount in what they call "Current Points."

One point is earned for every raked hand (you are dealt cards and the hand is raked 50 cents), as well as for every dollar in tournament entry fee.

The PSO promotion requirement is 400 raked hands. Notice that it is raked hands, not points – tournaments do not count for the PSO promo. The PSO Points gift is 9,000 Points.

Since the deposit amount won't matter too much here, since it will be hard to earn the entire bonus, just deposit whatever you feel comfortable depositing. We'll just assume you earn $40 of the bonus, which would coincide with the 400 raked hands needed for the PSO promotion. You can always continue with the bonus if you desire.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $1,325
Bonus: $40
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $1,465


Titan Poker

Titan Poker is a small, but quickly growing site. It has some terrible players and juicy tournaments, so it can be quite lucrative to play there. The bonuses, however, are worthless. They release in increments of $5 and so slowly that there's no use in even worrying about them.

The initial deposit bonus at Titan is 100% to $500 with an 80x points requirement. Points are earned as follows:

$0.25 - $0.50 rake = 1 Point
$0.51 - $1.00 rake = 2.5 Points
$1.01 - $1.50 rake = 5 Points
$1.51 - $2.00 rake = 8 Points
$2.01 - $3.00 rake = 11 Points

20 points are also earned for every dollar of tournament entry fee – this is the one saving grace when trying to earn a bonus.

The PSO requirement is 1,500 points.

Deposit what you'd like, but for this room, we'll assume you quit the bonus after you finish the PSO requirement and get your 6,000 PSO Points. After all, there will be much better reload bonuses to earn at other sites. But, as has been said before, if you enjoy playing at Titan, and you probably will, keep playing – the money you can win from the other players could be well worth it.

The 6,000 PSO Points will garner you one last $100 Party gift certificate, with 1,000 PSO Points left in your account.

Bankroll Summary (assuming break-even play)

Starting bankroll: $1,465
Bonus: $10
Gift certificates: $100
Ending bankroll: $1,575


There you go! If you followed this plan step for step, you will have grown your poker bankroll to around $1,600 from absolutely nothing! If you lost a little bit in the process, you should still have a healthy bankroll because of all the bonuses, and if you have been a winning player during this poker room tour, your bankroll might now be hundreds or even thousands of dollars larger.

By now, you may have received offers from some of the poker rooms for reload bonuses. These work just like initial deposit bonuses. Deposit some money, play through the hand requirements, and get a bonus. The reload bonuses typically have a certain time period during which you must deposit and, depending on the poker room, a specific time period during which you must complete your play. If you like the offers and the poker room, definitely take advantage of the reloads.

One final note: While this discussion was all about how to use bonuses to build your bankroll, don't let bonuses affect how you play. If you play games or stakes at which you are uncomfortable or play too many hands just to make sure the pot gets raked enough, you will be doing yourself a disservice. The first priority is to play your game and play to win. The bonuses will come. If you realize that you aren't going to be able to earn a bonus or you don't like the poker room, it is alright to just move on. You want to have fun and you want to win – playing only for bonuses is not going to help you do either, at least at forever. Remember, bonuses are a means to help you build your bankroll and give you a bit of a cushion while you try new rooms. The winning is up to you.

One more final note: If you already have a base bankroll or feel comfortable playing higher than micro-stakes, make adjustments to this course of action as you see fit. Max out bonuses that we recommended against, do the rooms in a different order, whatever you would like. This guide is to help you make the best decisions when building your bankroll and each player is different.

Good luck and have fun at the tables!


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 Post subject: no artical
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:57 am 
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i clicked the link to this artical and it says not found anyway i can get ahold of it if u could i would ty very much


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 Post subject: Re: no artical
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:35 pm 
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Posts: 6502
riversucks1 wrote:
i clicked the link to this artical and it says not found anyway i can get ahold of it if u could i would ty very much


Please let me know what your concerns are and I will help to my best ability. Thank you


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:00 pm 
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Cant seem to be able to read this article could someone lookin into why the link no longer works


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 4:03 pm 
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llyndsay1979 wrote:
Cant seem to be able to read this article could someone lookin into why the link no longer works


Try deleting your cookies or switching browsers.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 3:49 pm 
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llyndsay1979 wrote:
Cant seem to be able to read this article could someone lookin into why the link no longer works


That page is no longer active. I pasted the original text of it in the thread. A lot has changed since then though.


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 Post subject: what happened to this site?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:37 pm 
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went looking for it, but it's no longer there.


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 Post subject: Re: what happened to this site?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2007 9:06 am 
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freesmokin wrote:
went looking for it, but it's no longer there.


My guess that is not available any more and like kruger said there has been lots of changes since.


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 Post subject: Re: Build A Bankroll Document Posted
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:07 pm
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DRTjr wrote:
MIKEJ wrote:
Well, it?s a long time in the making, but we are happy to post our how to build a bankroll document:

http://www.pokersourceonline.com/build-bankroll.asp

This document takes into account the beginning poker player and is a great way to build a bankroll from literally $0 to almost $1,600. If you already have started in the online poker world, then you can skip the first sections on Neteller, Instant Bankroll, etc.

This document is a long read, but if you follow all the advise step by step there is no reason you cannot come away with a bankroll of over $1,000!

Let us know what you think and good luck at the tables!


I'd like to see this .... this link is broken .... new link please.
Thank you
David


Dido!


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 Post subject: Re: Build A Bankroll Document Posted
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2007 10:14 am
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DRTjr wrote:
MIKEJ wrote:
Well, it?s a long time in the making, but we are happy to post our how to build a bankroll document:

http://www.pokersourceonline.com/build-bankroll.asp

This document takes into account the beginning poker player and is a great way to build a bankroll from literally $0 to almost $1,600. If you already have started in the online poker world, then you can skip the first sections on Neteller, Instant Bankroll, etc.

This document is a long read, but if you follow all the advise step by step there is no reason you cannot come away with a bankroll of over $1,000!

Let us know what you think and good luck at the tables!


I'd like to see this .... this link is broken .... new link please.
Thank you
David


#2


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:58 am 
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a bankroll is very very important for any serious gambler.

This was a great post.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:45 pm 
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Doesn't surprise me that this has changed in 2 years, but any comments on how? What's different? Any tips on how to build a roll now?


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