Archive for Articles

Gambling in Canada – On Both Sides Of the Law

Gambling and betting are activities as old as competition itself – some say as old as humanity. Humanity’s perception of gambling has changed a lot through history, though. Although the activity itself is still very popular, it has often been deemed immoral, illegal, or even a sin. And, as most laws are based on ancient moral codes, sometimes betting and gambling are considered illegal activities by the lawmakers of certain countries.


Canada is one of the countries where the perception of gambling in general, and online gambling in special, are a little controversial. According to the applicable laws, companies are forbidden to operate online betting and gambling companies on Canadian soil. The country’s Criminal Code is the law governing the gambling and betting activities. It forbids any gambling activities within Canada that don’t fall within the exceptions set out in the law.


Still, after 1989 – when the first commercial casino was opened in Winnipeg – a series of gambling operations were opened in almost all provinces in the country, and “video lottery terminals” and state lotteries are also operated by local governments.


One of the workarounds for Canada’s prohibitive laws are offered by the authorities of the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, especially when it comes to interactive gambling operations (online poker rooms and casinos). The territory, located in the east-central part of the country, offers Canadian internet gambling operators the possibility to request a license, under certain conditions – for example, to host their web operations on the servers of Mohawk Internet Technologies, a datacenter located in the territory. The licenses to online and land based operators are issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.


Due to this “loophole”, Canadian citizens can still conduct gambling activities online. A list of the operators approve to conduct gambling activities on Canadian soil can be found at the Gaming Commission’s website, and more details about them are available through specialized websites like Grizzly Gambling or other similar operations. These websites usually present not just the operators – casinos, poker rooms and similar – but also the games available there (you won’t be able to play them here, but you can find a place to play them legally).


As all other industries, the one involving online gambling has its share of scammers and crooks. The Gaming Commission has strict rules assuring the fairness and correct business policies of the operators. It collaborates with various international bodies – like the eCogra, Gambling Associates, iTech Labs and others, to ensure the best and fairest gaming experience for players at the operations of its license holders.


In conclusion, betting itself is not illegal in Canada – the only thing not permitted by the laws is to operate gambling houses on the country’s territory. Thanks to the Mohawk, Canadian companies can operate from Canadian soil and not at the same time, providing their customers with the safety of working with a local company, and still be on the right side of the law.

What fraction of online poker players are winners? (Part 2)

Its been a few years since we posted a highly popular article dispelling the myths on what fraction of online poker players win money over the long term, so we figured it was time to give out some updated statistics.

The general gist of that article is that for a number of reasons the amount of winning players is far higher than people expect. However within that there is a huge variation between different networks. Some of it is caused by regulatory factors, such as high taxation on the operators forcing higher rake jurisdictions, some is caused by some networks heavily investing in freerolls and guaranteed tournaments which will boost players tournament profitability, possible at the expense of other types of promotions, and some of the causes are simply unknown. Whatever the reason though the data is still quite interesting to try and interpret.

One of the limitations of our data, other than it only including tournaments, is that we only include players with at least 100 games played. For the larger networks we’ve found that this limit has little effect on the fractional results, but it does tend to boost the smaller network probability as you have to be dedicated on these network to even find 100 tournaments to play.

The other thing to remember is that these numbers do not exclude any external promotions such as rakeback or deposit bonuses.

So the headline figure is that 22% of online tournament players are profitable which is down from the 26% we saw in 2009.

Here’s the data by network:

Network % Profitable Players 70% 51%
Dollaro 43% 37%
PKR 35%
Revolution 31%
Merge 29% 29% 28%
IPN 27%
PartyPoker 27%
SkyPoker 27% 26%
MicroGaming 26%
SvenskaSpel 25% 25%
Gioco Online Italia 23%
Ongame 23%
iPoker 23%
FullTilt 22% 22%
PokerStars 21% 20%
MicroGame 18%
PokerClub 17% 15% 14% 13%

The top 2 networks and are clearly effected by the 100 game small network bias, although generally the Spanish markets fair well overall. This is possible due to it being the newest major regulated market so the different sites are still competing hard with aggressive promotions to win early market share. Other than that most of the trends remain consistent to the data seen in 2009. Italy is still bad place to play winning poker and it appears the unregulated sites such as Merge and Dollaro are able to funnel their lower tax burden back into their players profits through lower rake and better promotions (though remember withdrawing from the unregulated sites is always a gauntlet).

Maximizing the Poker Money $$ available to you

I’ll bet not!

There are 3 ways you should derive income from poker.

The first way is obvious, become a winning player, but that not what this article is about.

The second way is to get as much back in the way of Rakeback (see poker room reviews) and let’s not forget the all important Frequent Player Points, or whatever your site calls them. These can be very valuable and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Find out what your site offers you the opportunity to do with these points. Merchandise Store, Tournament Entries, Trips to events and some can even be converted into cash

So that’s 2 out of 3 and as Meatloaf said “2 out of 3 ain’t bad”. But if you’re not going after number 3 you’re just leaving CASH on the table.

The newest and maybe most profitable way to earn CASH is by becoming a Skrill Cashback member!

That’s right just by making deposits using Skrill you can get up to a 1.9% rebate every time you deposit.

Fun, Fair and Legally.


I recommend one of my advertisers VIP-Cashback, and let’s face it who doesn’t want to be a VIP.

Maybe you just had a losing session (ouch) and need to Re-Load, Maybe you don’t feel safe keeping Large Sums or any Sums on your site overnight. Either way when you make that deposit you can get a Rebate, Cashback, call it what you will, it’s $$ and it’s the 3rd way you can maximize your Online Poker Ledger.


My advice is sign up with VIP-Cashback here

Sign-up and they’ll do the rest. Make 1 or many deposits and see the money going into your account.

It’s that simple and it’s the third way to make money playing online poker with absolutely no downside.


Hope that helps



What fraction of online poker players are winners?

One of the common – and more amusing – threads I see on many of the internet forums is discussions about what fraction of online tournament players are profitable. One of the most frequent guesses i see is 5%. Often someone will then post that SharkScope has in its FAQ that 1/3rd of usernames are winners. The person will who suggested 5% will then immediately claim our numbers must be wrong.

Why they think we would get this wrong I have no idea – but for psychological reasons players seem to want to believe the number of winners is small. The losers want to feel more justified in showing that they haven’t won any money because its extremely hard to do so, and presumably the winning players want to feel that their accomplishment is even more special.

So what are the exact numbers? Based on our entire database 26% of players are winners. If you exclude rake, then the number is more like 33% of players are making money against other players.

The fraction is also surprisingly constant for the different tournament variants, for example if you filter for just heads up games, the percentage of profitable players is still exactly 26%.

The number varies somewhat by network, but not as much as you might think. For example take a look at the table below which is the fraction of winners for all players who have played at least 100 games:

Network % Profitable Players
Merge 44%
Cereus 39%
B2B 33%
Cake 32%
Party 32% 31%
Everest 31%
Sky 31%
PKR 30% 29%
IPN 28%
SvenskaSpel 27%
PokerStars 27%
Pacific 27%
PokerClub 26%
Betfair 25%
Ongame 25%
FullTilt 25%
iPoker 24%
CryptoLogic 23%
Peoples 22% 20%
GiocoDigitale 17%

You can see that most networks are grouped around the 30% mark. There are some tracking artifacts that effect some networks numbers, for example if a site does a lot of guaranteed tournaments with overlays or freeroll tournaments then this will directly boost the number of winners. The clearest case in point is the Merge network, which manages to have a huge 44% of players making a profit presumably due to all the money they are pumping back into the network in the form of their $50k Guaranteed tournament that often has a 3x overlay.

For some networks, such as Everest, we don’t yet tracked scheduled tournaments and so the results don’t get a boost from these types of bonus tournaments, if there are any.

Another factor effecting the winning percentage is obviously rake. We’d expect most of the Italian networks to be at the bottom of this list as they tend to charge significantly more rake than their global counterparts. Its still hard to understand why GiocoDigitale has such a small fraction of winners compared to other sites though. We can probably speculate about that until the cows come home…..

The biggest collusion ring ever… or something else?

One of the big benefits SharkScope brings to online poker is ability to check for player collusion. The head to head statistics feature allows you to see how often 2 players play together and how their ROIs compare when playing with and without each other.

This feature has been used by many users over the years, who have seen a suspicious play and want some further evidence to prove their case and alert the poker sites to the problem.

The most interesting example of these came fairly recently. A user of ours who happened to be professional statistician spotted some strange statistics of a player who had made it onto one of our leaderboards ahead of him. The player’s name was T049078 on the Cereus network and he had achieved an ROI of over 100% in 327 $20 ultra turbo 6 handed games. Our user then posted his suspicions on a forum (under the name Sharkscoper, which I admit is a big coincidence given the name of this site, but I assure you he is not connected to us in anyway other than being an unknown user of the site). His post was then promptly laughed out the forum which is sad indictment of how much the average poker player understands statistics – though a great sign for us trying to make a profit from our poker.

Although an average ROI of over 100% is possible for a good player in the larger tournaments, it is completely impossible for a 6 handed game as possible ROI goes down with the size of the game. In addition the faster the game, the lower the possible ROI as a good player has less time to make his poker advantage count. So for an ultra turbo game this was more than 10 times the expected ROI of around 10%. And yes, 327 is enough games to draw conclusions.

So how was this ROI being achieved? Clearly there was some form of cheating going on. Sharkscoper posted on a couple of the more intelligent forums, TwoPlusTwo and PocketFives, and started getting a few more helpful comments. Initially of course, the shout was for it being a super user (given the history of Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet this is now the default cry for pretty much anything on Cereus), but there is simply no way someone with a super user account would waste their time playing $20 6 handed games to earn a measly $7500.

It was then spotted using the SharkScope head to head statistics feature that T049078 had played a disproportionate amount of games with another user DRAGONEN8.


Clearly there was some form of collusion going on. But things still didn’t add up as T049078 also had a huge ROI in games not played with DRAGONEN8. Then the plot thickened as forum posters started checking their own hand histories for games played with T049078 and discovered highly suspicious plays between other users and T049078. Again the use of the SharkScope’s head to head statistics feature confirmed these users were part of a collusion ring with T049078. As time went on the number of confirmed colluders kept rising. By the end a staggering 17 colluders were found and you have to assume there were plenty more out there. In virtually all games containing T049079 had at least 2 other colluders present.

This is by far the biggest collusion ring I have heard of being uncovered. Normally in collusion cases it will simply be at most 3 players, colluding at the same table, but this was something on a bigger scale and clearly quite special.

Cereus naturally launched an investigation and promptly confirmed that these users were in fact colluding and to their credit began refunding the players who had lost out due to this collusion.

So is that the end of it? Do we fully understand what went on here? The answer is no, there is still some investigating to do to see what was going on here. For starters, T049078’s ROI was only 100%. So if he was also providing the stake for two other players in the tournament who were shown on inspection to have an average -50% ROI in those games, he was roughly breaking even every game. Some forum posters suggested that they could have had rakeback, but even with this and other benefits this would not have been particularly profitable.

Furthermore if you are colluding with another player surely you’d expect this advantage would mean that you would more than break even on each game. The fact is they were having a net neutral effect on the game, and therefore getting no benefit at all from the collusion. What kind of collusion is that? Are they just very bad at poker?

So at the end of day this wasn’t a case of collusion against players and therefore had to be sophisticated money laundering scheme. One of the biggest problems online poker sites face is credit card fraud. A person will create a new account and deposit money with a stolen credit card. They then have to figure out how to get the money out of the account.

Most sites force you to withdraw to the same location as you deposited from, so this adds a little protection. The best alternate route you’d think is to lose that money to an account in good standing and then withdraw the money from that account. The difficulty of course comes when the Poker site learns that the credit card was stolen and promptly closes down all accounts related to the fraudulent one and that have played suspicious heads up games.

Repeatedly creating accounts in good standing to get the money out must be pretty difficult and time consuming. So this scheme was clearly was an effort to get round this. Presumably they thought, how could a poker site detect you losing to specific players in multi player games? And for a time they were correct.

The most interesting part of the whole story is that users spotted the problem, complained to Cereus and got compensated by Cereus, but in reality, based on the statistics the only real losers here were Cereus themselves. The colluders had a net neutral effect in the games they played in and so took no money from other players and Cereus would have lost all the money that was no longer in the T049078 account when they closed it and the refunds they paid out. So it was really quite generous of Cereus to provide these refunds (although politically they have no choice here as they are trying to restore their reputation and no one would have accepted that the colluders didn’t benefit at their expense from what they were doing).

It must be very tough as a business to run a poker site, particularly the smaller networks, when you have to suck up these kinds of costs, and maintain constant vigilance looking for new ways that people are trying to steal from you. Presumably all the poker sites are rushing to add automatic detection (if they haven’t got it already) for this new kind of laundering, so it too will be wiped out soon. People tend to always assume that collusion is the poker sites fault for not detecting it but as we’ve seen here it can be extremely tough and they certainly have the most to gain from eliminating it.

Makes you think that a lot of the delays we experience in receiving withdrawals from sites must be partially down to the extensive fraud checking they have to do. The longer they have your money, the more chance they have time for something fraudulent you did to come to light.

The moral of the story is that not everything is quite as it seems.

Poker Infancy to Maturity and back to Infancy

In the course of nature things begin a new and the species, whatever that is, seems to mature, ever growing ever evolving. That’s the order of things. Not so in the poker industry.

In the poker industry the order of things is somewhat skewed and that’s because as poker evolves it expands. It spreads out, and when it spreads into a new area, once again poker enters into its infancy.

Let’s look at the evolvement of poker and online poker.

Poker has been around since the late 1800’s. It was played in saloons and homes in the old west. Its variations were simple; one card down and 4 cards up or in its simplest form draw poker. In those days people would play for gold or silver, sometimes land. In fact sometimes they played for the covered wagons they rode in to get to the saloons.

This is where we get the term today that tells people that you have the best hand.

“The Nuts” in today’s terms means that you have an unbeatable hand, but in those days when you had no tangible assets you bet your covered wagon and to keep you from riding away after you lost that hand you had to go to your wagon and remove one of the “nuts” that held your wheel on. Thus the birth of the term ‘The Nuts’

Today the versions of poker are many and players number in the millions. Everything from high end casinos to penny games at Grandmas house.

Back in the year 2000, when poker was, to today’s standards just a baby, pre the hole cam card revolution, poker was played mostly in casinos and home games. There were a few visionaries however that saw the personal computer as a way to advance poker from its then infancy and take it to a new level.

A few of those companies are still in business today, but their journey wasn’t an easy one. Paradise Poker, Party Poker and True Poker to name three brought to the forefront a notion that poker can be played from the comfort of your home. It wasn’t an easy sell. Thoughts of honesty and integrity arose but were quickly dispatched by a new generation of poker players.

In the early days it was quite a sight to see 200 players sitting online from points around the world playing poker with each other. Think about that, in the early west you may have had to travel two days from your ranch into town for a good poker game, now you merely had to have a PC and a desire to play. Once again poker in another form in its infancy.

Well this notion of playing online seemed to catch fire and when the WPT and WSOP started using hole cams to show cards on TV broadcasts and all hell broke loose. 200 players was a thing of the past and 2000 players was now the norm. Maturing once again, poker grew in leaps and bounds.

The next natural step was competition and it came in droves. Poker magazines that were once filled with ads for tournaments in brick and mortar card rooms now had pages over-flowing with online poker site ads.

The next step in maturity was the players, because online poker deals out hands at approximately three times the rate of a brick and mortar card rooms. Players learned the game quicker and of course took that game even further as is natural in the maturity of any game. Players are always getting smarter and playing the game in new and different manners and from that the game evolved again.

Then a marketing change occurred; online poker rooms starting holding satellites and started sending players to major brick and mortar tournaments, like the WSOP. Most marketing gurus will tell you that any strategy which sends your customer to a competitor and with him a chunk of money is crazy! But someone there was a genius. What happened was the masses of players, young and old, that wanted to go to the Big Dance known as the WSOP Main Event found online poker to be their only avenue. Sign-ups on online sights skyrocketed and online tournaments started drawing an almost unbelievable number of players.

No site benefitted from this more than PokerStars. PokerStars tournament software at the time was the only scalable online software out there; so many new players went there to qualify for the WSOP and in the meantime populated the small everyday tournaments. Then the unlikeliest of things occurred. A guy who entered a satellite on PokerStars for 24.00 won a seat to the main event and then won the WSOP Main Event. His name was Moneymaker!!

With the birth of the televised poker explosion came a new infancy, using the poker pro as the face of the online site to draw new players and with it the birth of logo wear. Moneymaker was the face of PokerStars, but then what about the competition? Many sites tried to emulate what was happening at Stars, but only one really succeeded; Full Tilt Poker.

Full Tilt took some of the top names in the game and opened their own site. Names like Ivey, Ferguson, Lederer, Harmon and Lindgren, etc. A blockbuster if you will from the best names in poker.

So what happened to the 2000 players who first started on Paradise Poker, well they’ve grown some. In fact there are now 100’s of sites and poker networks that have over 20 skins. How many players? Well to say that there are well over 100,000 wouldn’t be an exaggeration.

Sundays are our best barometer when it comes to size and scope. It seems like every site has a huge Sunday tournament offering and some sites more than one. Full Tilt has a $750,000.00 guarantee which pales in comparison to the 1.5 million guaranteed on PokerStars. The buy-in is a mere $215.00

So has poker now done all the maturing it’s going to do? The answer comes from history and history tells us certainly not! The reason of course is that poker still has to travel the world. It’s easy to see the new growth in Europe and emerging countries, but what about places like South Africa and now Asia. To these areas poker is once again in its infancy and by the time poker matures there I’m sure there’ll be some new form of the game to learn or some new tournament to play.

Hope that helps,

Warren Karp

The Mouse in the Sunday Maze

Sunday has turned out to be the biggest day in online poker. It’s gotten so big in fact, that brick and mortar tournament organizers have adapted their schedules with the knowledge that fields will be smaller because the online events offer so much value. Online Sunday buy-ins to First Place Dollars is a ratio that can’t be and isn’t being ignored by poker tournament players.

Every online network whether stand alone or multiple skin sites is trying to compete in the Sunday time slots, but where to play and why?

There are buy-in events that range from $65 to $500 and events that start at 8AM eastern and run throughout the day. There are shootouts, knockouts and re-buy events as well.

Events can start with as little as 1500 in chips and go up to 10,000!

So with the multitude of opportunities where does one point his or her mouse on a Sunday? Further, is there a site you shouldn’t point your mouse.

This answer of course depends on your bankroll, but if all things were equal and you had a choice I think the clear cut winner is:

Best Overlay would be BoDog, now at $250,000.00, it’s been awhile since I’ve played here, but their overlays are famous

Best Value, meaning most $$ for your buy-in is PokerStars. Their Sunday Million is now up to 1.5 Million for 200+15. Also, they give you 10,000 in starting chips. That’s a real plus for me because you can really play the game.

Best Re-buy event might be the 65.00 buy-in Multiple re-buy on Microgaming $175,000 guaranteed, which isn’t the biggest out there, but if you get there on 1 buy-in of 65.00 it’s a great ratio.

The Worst value I think is Full Tilt. Their Sunday Guarantee is $750.000 which is half the guarantee of Stars with the same buy-in; in fact they even charge you 1.00 more in juice! Further they only give you 3000 in starting chips, why? More embarrassing still is the Sunday Warm up on Stars is a 750,000 guarantee for the same 215.00 where once again you get 10,000 starting chips and some days is an overlay.

There is an upside; if you knock out one of the FT pros you get 200 and a t-shirt. Then again, who wants to play against pros in a 200 event?

What I’d like to see is a challenge put out by all rooms where if you make more than 1 final table in a Sunday Guarantee you get a bonus. This would benefit all rooms as they would get more players and the guarantees would go up.

Either way Sundays is now reserved for online poker. My wife doesn’t even schedule family outings anymore!

Hope to see you at the tables.

Where are you pointing your mouse?

Hope that helps

Warren Karp

Cheating In Tournaments, Stronger than ever!!

After coming back from spending seven weeks in Vegas for the WSOP I was thrilled to take off from playing tournaments for 3 weeks. I got to do some things around the house, not the least of which was spending time with my beautiful wife and daughter.

Alas, all good things must come to an end and it was August so it was time for the Legends event to begin at the Bicycle casino in Los Angeles, so back to work I went. I made my 45 minute trek up to LA from the OC and was pleasantly surprised to see 800 players for a 300.00 event

This is when the reality of playing in L.A. hit me again. I’m not sure why I forget what it’s like but it takes less than the first round for me to see. Cheating in L.A. is rampant and off time it’s blaring. So visible that it might as well be in 30 foot letters scanning 42nd street and Times Square.

I hear quotes like:

I didn’t want to bust you so I bet small

I could have gone all in there but you’re a friend

Our home game wouldn’t be the same if I busted him

Words in Farsi after a hand between two participants

Words in multiple languages in fact, Vietnamese, Pilipino, Chinese, Hebrew Etc.

The words in English are offensive enough to me, merely because I understand the implications.

What they are all saying is, I don’t want to bust out a friend, a clan member and home game buddy, my backer etc…In other words CHEATING!!

Cheating is rampant in LA, not that this kind of cheating isn’t happening elsewhere, I know it is, but maybe because L.A. is such a vast community that all gather at either the Bike of Commerce that I find it so visible.

Worse is the notion that these players don’t even think they’re cheating!

When I ask ‘why wouldn’t you bust him”?, the answers are un-real:

‘Well he’s the host of my home game”

“Hey sorry, I’m not busting the guy who backs me”

“I want to keep him in because we drove together”

“I would have beaten you with my pair, but I folded because it was you that raised”

and many more unbelievable answers…

Worse come from the guys that know they’re cheating but have a hard time with their justifications. From these guys I hear:

“Hey I never slow play, but I’ll make a big bet or move all-in to let him know where I’m at”

“I won’t lay down a big pair, but I probably will not go for that flush or straight draw”

Ladies and Gentleman, you are all cheating and you should be penalized, thrown out and should never be allowed in poker tournament.

Aren’t you being to harsh here Warren?

NO, I’m not, this is no different that passing chips to a friend in the bathroom

Soft playing is cheating

Not betting your nut hand in last position is cheating

Keeping a friend or a backer or a horse in an event when you can bust them is cheating

I hope someday that those who do this are dealt with properly and those who are now getting away with it will stop

Hope that helps

Warren Karp

UIGEA has its teeth “PIC”ed

The UIGEA (unlawful internet gaming enforcement act) has been a hindrance for some, meaning those that still find a way to get their funds online. The law has been an absolute non starter for others, the ones who chose not to find a way to play online and have moved either to Brick and Mortar casinos or home games. There are still others who’ve moved to subscription sites, where you “legally” pay a monthly fee to play poker online

Remember the UIGEA doesn’t say anywhere in its many words that it’s illegal for anyone to play online poker. No it’s interpreted as saying that it’s now incumbent on Banks not to transact with online gaming sites and further to do their own enforcement of the same.

To that end some payment processors have removed themselves from the market and further some online poker site have decided it’s best to concentrate their efforts elsewhere and have removed the ability to play poker on their network if you live in the United States.

This mixed bag of reaction to the UIGEA has left many sites, players and processors looking for ways to shake hands again. There are still dozens of sites that cater to the US market and those with a will have found the proverbial way to continue to play.

One company, however, has taken to heart another old proverb “that there must be a better way’. That company is the PIC Club or Players Investment Club and is located at

One bold and bright for online poker players’ statement in the UIGEA explains that while banking institutions can not transact with online poker sites there are some businesses that are exempt from this law. One of those businesses is the Commodity Trading business. In other words you can’t stop a company house like a Schwab or E-trade or Lynch from investing in businesses or trading in commodity products around the world.

The PIC Club is exactly that, an internationally licensed Commodity Trading Company. So literally the UIGEA says it’s ok for a company like the PIC Club to transfer funds between it and any other business. Another way to put it is the UIGEA says it’s legal for the PIC Club to operate as a Commodity Trading Company to transact with anyone it chooses. The PIC Club just happens to be the first of its kind to choose to trade in poker as a product.

How does that help you as a player then?

Well as I understand it here’s how it works:

You deposit into PIC Club, well actually you are buying shares of a product with the same value as your deposit. Because you own these shares, PIC Club will at your request to transfer, sell the shares you own to the poker room. The poker room places the money that they owe you for those shares in your players account for you to play with. You can transfer all or a portion of them to an online poker site…then you can play, transfer, and withdraw. You even transfer between rooms thru the PIC Club interface.

There are also some great features like PIC Club only member benefits. There’s a Pro Team filled with names of high end players, a Celebrity team filled with Hollywood notables. These teams are found weekly at some PIC Club tournament on one of the networks. You get a chance to play with some great folks who kindly have a bounty on their head each week. Further because they move around, you get to download and play on other online poker software. That broadens your game play and who knows you might just find that perfect game for you!!

Now, here’s one of the coolest features for me. Every transaction you make they remove a dollar and put it for you into an interest bearing investment account which you get back during the winter holidays, just in time for gift giving. In 2007 this account paid 14% interest to all PIC Club members.

Withdrawal is as easy as depositing, all PIC Club does buy your shares and then send you back your money, hopefully if you played good it’s more than you deposited!!

This begins a new era in online poker and banking for online poker, me, I’m glad I joined the PIC Club and I recommend you do too.

Hope that helps

Warren Karp

A New Ask me Poker Forum

Back in the old days when I used to write for Card Player magazine, people used to come up to me and chat like they knew me. They told me that because of my style of writing, it seemed as though I was talking directly to them. Instead of it just being a column I was writing the words jumped off like a conversation. I took this as a compliment and haven’t changed my writing style since. The only downfall I suppose is that it gave my readers license to ask me questions about the game, their game and game strategy as we were playing.

The above was one of the reasons I originally opened the PokerMD website. It was a place I could tell my stories, talk about my trip reports, tell people where my up-coming events were happening, but most important was the forum.

Whenever players would ask me things at the table, I’d say “I won’t answer that here, but if you post it on my forum I’ll answer anything. Game strategy, where the best tournaments are, who the best players are and I’ll even include the hand I bluffed you with!!

I laughed and said seriously that the PokerMD site was founded to help players. After-all, the category I wrote for in Card Player was for “The Beginner”. Poker has been very good to me and I’ve always wanted to give back to the industry.

About 6 months ago my good friend and owner of asked me to help jump start his forum with an Ask the PokerMD section. I was flattered and honored but told him that hardly anyone knows me anymore and he might not get any hits. He pushed the issue and up went the section on the forum.

He was right and I was flattered again. More importantly I found that my advice still rings true with many players and that I can still help in some small way. I’ve been told by many readers of that forum that I’ve flat out helped their game. It’s very satisfying!!

So I decided it was time to give back to my loyal PokerMD readers and new PokerMD readers to come. I am re-opening my own forum on the PokerMD website (it will be active soon)

Ask anything, there’s very little I won’t cover. Be specific and remember there’s no question that’s too stupid or I won’t cover. Live play, tournaments, poker books I recommend etc. The range of readers includes pros to beginners, so a question you might think is dumb is on plenty of reader’s minds.

Look for the Forum to open soon and keep those questions and suggestions coming in. The PokerMD site is as much you’re as it is mine if you want it to be and as my tag line always says….

Hope that Helps

Warren Karp