My Party Poker Experience

If you would have told me last year that I would have a real money account at Party Poker, or any online poker site for that matter, I would have told you that you were completely crazy. However, after finding out about Poker Source through an online deals forum, all that changed. My buddies and I have been playing home poker tournaments inspired by the World Poker Tour series on the Travel Channel for several months now. One day I was browsing through a deals forum and saw “Sign up for Party Poker and get a 300 11.5g poker chipset.” We had been playing with those cheesy Wal-Mart red, white, and blue plastic fantastic poker chips; you know the ones I’m talking about – 100 chips for $1.00. Anyway, I saw the deal for the free casino style chips and figured what heck. It was a big leap of faith for me because:

A) I don’t like giving my credit card information out over the internet.

B) You have to worry at some level if this stuff is rigged.

C) What if 3 people are in the room tell each other what cards they have?

Well, I did some research to calm my fears.

A) I used Neteller to fund my account. They are another form of PayPal and very reputable in the industry.

B) Party Poker doesn’t make money based on if I win or lose, they make money either way based on the rake.

Finally, I don’t really care if people are in the same room talking about their cards, because when it comes right down to it that could hurt more than it helps.

So, for the past couple of months my new hobby has been Party Poker. My girlfriend even tells me that I’m cheating on her with Party Poker, and that I love poker more than her now - woman I tell ya! The funny thing is, I’m getting her hooked now too! I have to warn you though; online poker can be a very expensive hobby. I found myself making another deposit every week for a while. Finally I realized that online poker is a whole different game. First of all, it is much faster paced. Think about it, the computer is shuffling and the cards are being dealt about 5 times faster than in a live poker game. There is a timer on each hand so you only have a maximum of 30 seconds to determine your fate. You can’t see the other player’s eyes or body movements. Finally, there is a lot around you to distract you. When I first started playing I would be on the phone, watching TV, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, shaving, and oh playing poker at the same time. I learned over time that if you want to actually win at online poker, you need to concentrate at online poker. Doing so will make sure you are focused and you will also begin to notice online poker tells. Yes there really are poker tells online. How fast did the person bet? How much did they bet? Are they going for the trap? All things you can tell if you actually pay attention and analyze what the other players are doing. So yes, there really are online poker tells. The next thing I learned is to control the pace, and don’t let the pace control you. Since online poker is so fast paced, it is easy to fall in that trap. Ignore the people at the table putting “zzzzzzzzzzzzzz” in the chat window. It’s your money! My next piece of advice is to maybe play some low limit tournaments or ring games first. Learn how to play the game online, because like I said, it is much different than playing poker with your friends or even a casino in Las Vegas. I went straight to the higher limits I was used to playing. Finally, my last piece of advice is, don’t give up. Had I stopped playing online poker after my first couple of deposits, it would have been a very bad losing experience to the tune of close to $700. However, I was determined to figure it out and over the past month I have erased that loss and have some coinage to show for it. If I followed my own advice (if I only knew then what I know now), I might of only lost $200 and would be up significantly more right now. I guess the main thing to take away is – have fun, be patient, and learn with every hand. Enjoy Party Poker or whatever other online poker room you decide to join!