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June 2005: Instant Bankroll!

Bankroll: $98

On June 1st, I decided to enter one of Hollywood Poker's$250 freeroll tournaments. Back then (it seems so long ago), registration was limited to the first 300 registrants. A friend tells me that I have to sign up for the tournament as soon as registration opens, so I finish dinner, sit down at my computer, and manage to register for this freeroll tournament. Within 3 minutes, all 300 spots are filled and I'm ready to put up a fight for the $75 top prize.

I've got a couple hours to kill until the tournament starts so I play some limit at Pacific. After about an hour and a half, I'm down $2 and in a bad mood.

Once the tournament starts, I basically just play it nice and tight and manage to squeeze into the money 2 hours later. My poker memory isn't too hot, but I remember that I was on the button and hit top pair on the turn with my A3o. There was only me and the two blinds in the hand. I put in a pot sized bet (about half of my chips at the time), the small blind folds, and the big blind goes all-in. At the time, I didn't know all that much about tourney play. I'd read Harrington's book but hadn't had enough experience to really understand it. So I called the all-in bet and lost to big blinds two-pair (aces over something). So, I made $2.50 for my two hours work - not much, but free money is free money. [ed. I ended up losing that $2.50 the very next night at one of Hollywood's 25c/50c tables when my AA got cracked by TT].

By about June 3rd, I'd pulled $65 out of TigerGaming and pumped it into Pacific Poker in order to take advantage of their 25% deposit bonus. Pacific put $17 bonus into my account straight away but I'd have to clear the wagering requirements before I could withdraw any of the bonus money.

Anyway, the real excitement started on June 8th. Towards the end of May, I'd signed up with PokerSource Online in order to take advantage of their Instant Bankroll promotion. Basically, they claimed that all I'd have to do is sign up with PokerSource Online then sign up with Party Poker using a PokerSource referral code. By doing this, $75 would be deposited into my Party Poker account immediately and after playing 500 raked hands, an additional $25 would be put into my account.

So, June 8th, I call PokerSource Online and they let me know that my $75 is now in my account and ready for use. Basically, my bankroll was almost doubled overnight-sweet! Over the next week, I played about 10 hours of 0.50/1.00 limit poker at Party Poker. The only reason I had the balls to try playing at 0.50/1.00 was because:

  1. Party Poker does not have limits less than 0.50/1.00.

  2. Party Poker is known to have some of the loosest games at 0.50/1.00. This is true simply by virtue of the number of players playing at any given time. More players = more fish (of which I was one).

  3. I'd just been given $75, so if I pissed it all away, no loss.

After 10 hours of playing, I was actually up $25. So I was averaging more than the 2 BB/100 that I was aiming for. On top of that, I earned the extra $25 bonus for clearing 500 raked hands (very easy at Party Poker). So I was up $125 in one week! Now that's more like it! My wife was actually impressed as was my friend. I would've been up a bit more, but I lost a big hand when my AQ ran into another guy's AK and we both hit full boats. That's when I learned another lesson: be careful about capping any street without the nut draw or the nut hand. This doesn't necessarily apply to experienced players, but it'll save any new players out there a bunch of money.

I also signed on with Royal Vegas Poker, a Prima skin, to take advantage of their free $10 bonus with any new account. I made another $3 on top of this $10 playing 25c/50c limit poker.

I was on a roll, so I signed up with The Gaming Club (through VegasPokerPro - like PokerSource Online, they give you gifts when you meet certain playing requirements at one of their affiliated poker rooms) in order to take advantage of a free poker book deal. Play some number of raked hands and get two free poker books (I chose Doyle Brunson's Super System and Super System II). Over a ten hour period of 0.50/1.00, I'd managed to increase my $50 deposit to $72. This also netted me a $20 bonus courtesy of The Gaming Club.

I also decided to start another promotion with Noble Poker (through Poker Source Online). I really wanted to get a copy of PokerTracker and all I had to do was earn 500 crowns at Noble Poker to get it. I deposited $150 and was instantly given a bonus of $10 by one of Noble Poker's friendly online support people. I played about two and a half hours of 0.50/1.00 and managed to rake in about $12.

It's funny - once I made the jump to 0.50/1.00, 0.25/0.50 became completely unplayable. In earning an additional $20 bonus at The Gaming Club, I needed to play the 25c/50c games in order to comply with the bonus regulations (and earn my books from VegasPokerPro). I actually lost money doing this (well, maybe I was up after the $20 - I'll check it out and report my findings in the July 2005 entry).

All in all, June was a huge month. My bankroll jumped from $98 to $280. I was also well on my way to earning a couple of poker books (just needed to clear 250 more raked hands or something at 25c/50c at The Gaming Club). I still had not deposited a single red cent of my own money into any online poker room and was doing pretty well.

But how would I fare in July?

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