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Testing the Online Poker Waters: Part I

Since I've got a lot of catching up to do, I'm going to breeze over much of my early online play. But I'll do my best to fill everyone in (everyone being me and a couple friends so far...) on my humble beginnings.

In mid-February, while working from home (I'm a computer guy and every now and then you land some pretty sweet contracts), I got bored one day and decided to try the online poker thing. I'd noticed some ads for TigerGaming (I'll be doing a lot of free advertising for a lot of poker rooms and sites that I like) while watching the Celebrity Poker Showdown on TV. So I went to the site and downloaded the software. I wasn't ready to actually put any money into online poker for a few reasons: I didn't know how secure online poker really was, I wasn't sure of the legality surrounding online poker, and I really sucked at poker and didn't want to lose money.

So I started playing some of the free "practice" poker. For anyone out there trying to compare free online poker and real money online poker, don't bother. Free online poker is basically no-skill texas hold'em (or stud or whatever you're playing). The whole idea of poker relies on someone putting their own money on the line in order to win other peoples' money. If you've got nothing to lose, then you can't play the game properly. Poker is gambling and unless you're gambling for money (or some other form of prize), it just doesn't work.

Anyway, I played at TigerGaming for a while and stunk the place up. I then signed up with Empire Poker and UltimateBet. For anyone out there considering starting an online poker "career", learn from my mistakes: do not sign-up with multiple sites until you understand the ins and outs of online poker room bonuses and rakeback. I've really limited how much money I can make playing poker due to the number of rooms that I signed up with without first investing the time to discover the bonuses and free stuff that I could get by signing up through an affiliate (I'll explain this stuff in later posts...or not...we'll see).

Anyway, I spent the next month or so playing free online poker. Was it a waste of time? Nope. I think it's good to at least get a feel for how online poker works. The fact that I played at multiple sites gave me a good taste of what was out there. Still, I wasn't getting any better. Then something happened that would jump start my poker career...

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