Yesterday, I found a promotion at UnitedPokerForum (one of my favorite places for poker promotions) to play with $5 (no deposit) at a flash online poker room called JohnWoodGaming.
Due to some good luck, I turned this $5 into over $25 in about 4 hours, and was under the impression that I could cash out, as the website doesn’t state any playthru requirements for when your initial deposit is made as a bonus. All the site basically says is that you need a minimum of $25 to cash out.
I wanted to cash this money out for two main reasons.
First, JohnWoodGaming is a poker room that I would not recommend. There aren’t many tables to play at. I just checked at noon and there wasn’t a single player for any game. The playability is poor, things would freeze, boxes that were checked (e.g. the box that says something like “auto-post blind”) would for no apparent reason on occasion become unchecked. The play seemed quite slow compared to other poker rooms where I’ve played. I’ve played at PitBull Poker, which is also a flash program, and I didn’t have these issues, so I don’t want to attribute them to the fact that it is a flash program.
The second reason I wanted to cash out is that I wanted to claim finally that I actually won at an online poker room. I’ve played in about 10 poker rooms this summer and I’ve lost in each room. Specifically, I’ve lost the bonus money they have given me for trying out their rooms.
I just called the support at JohnWoodGaming to find out what I had to do in order to cash out (I had called last night, but they said that the accounting people weren’t there to answer this question), and they told me that since it was won from a bonus, as opposed to my own deposit, that they could give it to me only if I met the following requirements, none of which are indicated on their site:
First, I would have to deposit a minium of $25 from Neteller. Second I could only withdraw cash to Neteller if I played for 4X the amount of the deposit or 12X the amount of the first-deposit bonus, which is $25.
I do have a Neteller account, but I have never used it yet, and I’m pretty certain that there is a charge for sending money, a fee that I doubt that JohnWoodGaming would eat. I have no idea how difficult the other requirements are to satisfy. I know that they can’t be easy, since at present I cannot even find a table to play at.
I am certainly disappointed. While I appreciate the $5 bonus, I wish that the playthru requirements were clearly stated, so I wouldn’t have had false hopes of finally winning money at an online poker room.