As of November 6, I can no longer play at Hold’em Poker because it is scared of the recent United States anti-gambling bill, and doesn’t want people who live in the US to play for real money. The people at Hold’em Poker who make these decisions should read this article and perhaps they might reconsider their policy. So I cashed out ($259 – all winnings), and thought that before I deposit any of this money into a different poker room, I would play some more at JonWoodGaming (JWG), the poker room where my $ rise (now over $700 between JWG and Hold’em Poker) in online poker all started from a measly $5 no deposit bonus, and where I still have a few bucks in my account ($19.50).
I knew that I needed to have at least $25 in my account to cash out of JWG, which by the way, is a reason that I’m somewhat down on the poker room. I know that other poker rooms have similar cash out policies, for example, Party Poker. But there is a big difference between JWG and Party Poker. At Party Poker if you drop below the minimum you need in order to cash out, you can always deposit the difference and then cash out without any playthrough requirements. In contrast, at JWG anytime you make a deposit you have playthrough requirments, which I believe is playing for 4x the amount of the deposit. And there is no way that I’m going to do that again, especially since there is no bonus at the end of the day. So my plan was to win $5.5 more and then cash out for free.
Unfortunately, winning is not always guaranteed in poker. And I ended up losing about $10. I think that part of the reason for this loss was that JWG does not at present have any no-limit tables with less than $.1/.25 blinds, something that they used to have, and at this level I don’t feel I know what I’m doing.
I’m a $.05/.1 player. I don’t know why a few pennies seems to make a big difference in how I do. It’s probably psychological. I’m not sure why, but eventually I plan on moving up to these higher stakes and figuring it out.
The other excuse I have for the loss is that I was doing too much chatting with another player at the table, Graeme, a seemingly nice guy, who was winning everyone else’s money at the table. A virtue of JWG, as I’ve mentioned in the past, is that since the play is so slow, you have plenty of time to chat. This can make the game often feel more friendly. But it also can be distracting.
After losing the $10, I decided to quit for the night. When I decided to play again to see if I could win the amount that would let me cash out, I rediscovered that I didn’t have enough money to play at the $.1/.25 no-limit table. You need a minimum of $10. I thought that the $9 was lost forever. But then I decided to contact support and see if they had any ideas of how I could either get the money out or use it to play. Some support person said that my only option was to use the money in the casino. So I went to the casino, layed down a dollar on blackjack and won. I now had enough to rejoin the poker room.
After playing in the poker room for a little while (I believe I was down three dollars), I finally got a decent hand (a set of 10s after the flop). But true to form something happened with the JWG program, and I was disconnected. When I tried to reconnect, not only was I not able to finish play with my set of 10s, but I wasn’t even allowed to join the room, since I was again below the $10 minimum.
So back to the casino. I win two or three hands at blackjack and now have enough money to play some more poker.
So back to the poker room. In no time I lose about $8. I’m down to less than $3, thinking this is the end. But somehow I pulled out of the quicksand and now I’m over $11.
I went to JWG last night to see if I could again make the additional $ to cash out, or at least die trying. But guess what? No one was playing online at JWG. Big surprise.
The lesson I’ve learned from all of this – Perhaps I should stick with blackjack.