They’re Just Giving it Away!

I read Daniel Negreanu’s blog. So sue me. I think he’s interesting. He’s a professional poker player, and he’s pretty good at it. Anyway, I read his blog, and due to the ease of persuading me to do stuff, he got me (and several other people – like 3500 or something) to sign up for a “charter membership” to his website. I didn’t know what the hell that meant. I thought maybe I’d get entered in a contest to win a trip to Vegas or something. He did that once just before I started reading the site.

That’s not what it meant.

Negreanu sold his domain name to a company that turned the site from just forums and a blog into forums, a blog, and live poker. That’s right – yet another online poker site. But my “charter membership” at Full Contact Poker gave me a 100% match bonus on my first deposit! How could I turn down free money?

(Note – non-charter members get a 50% deposit match, which is still pretty good, from what I’ve seen.)

My first day playing on the site, I played for two hours and won $30. Please recall that the highest stakes I play are $.50/$1. That’s insane. The second day, I played for another two hours and won another $15. Crazy!

Oh, right, I forgot to mention. The site actually supports Mac users, like Poker Room. Actually, a lot like Poker Room, seeing as FCP is actually just a skin of that same network. And you thought skins died with Empire. Not that I’d know what it was like to play on Empire… But FCP is blue, which I hear was a benefit to Empire…

Anyway, the real excitement isn’t that they were giving money away on this network, it was on Friday. I signed on while Mike took a nap, and decided I wanted to play some Stud8. I suck at Stud8. But I’d won so much earlier in the week that I thought I could afford to practice. As soon as I started a table (no one was yet playing Stud8), KldPoker joined my table. I read it wrong the first several times I looked at it, and started wondering if it could really be Daniel. It made me nervous. It made me play stupid. Then I realized that it was actually spelled kLd, not kId. I stopped being stupid.

But I did start reading the lobby chat, where KLD was getting harassed for using such a similar name to the spokesman for the site. Then I realized that the real KidPoker was actually involved in the chat. He told everyone what table he was playing at, and we all started rail-birding. It was so cool to “watch” a professional poker player play at a $5000 buy-in NLHE table. That’s a lot of money. And so awesome.

Of course, it distracted me so much that I donked away the rest of my buy-in at the Stud8 table. I realized that was what was happening too late, and closed the window after going all-in with a pathetic hand and losing. I kept chatting in the lobby and watching Negreanu play, though. The person formerly known as KLD asked me why I left the table. I told him the truth. Oh, “formerly known as”? Yeah, that’s because FCP let’s you change your alias whenever you want to (so long as you aren’t currently at a table when you do it). That is a feature I’m pretty sure no other site has. It’s awesome, especially since only the FCP part of the network can do that. Poker Room members have to keep their names forever.

Back in the lobby, after everyone on Negreanu’s table busted or ran away, people started begging him to do a SNG. What do you know, he did it! He set up a $10+1 30-person SNG with 5-handed tables, and medium-speed blinds (12 minute levels). That’s right. You can set up your own SNGs and even scheduled tournaments, with your own rules and everything! Hint to any WPBT people who may read this page – you don’t even have to talk to or beg a person to do that.

By the way – no, they aren’t paying me to say this stuff. I’m actually this excited. Maybe they should pay me. I like money.

So, I joined that SNG. It was more expensive than any other tournament I ever play. It was full of people who chat in the FCP forums about poker all the time. It couldn’t have possibly been more -EV for me. But I was kind of making friends with these chatters, and I might even get to play against a pro and costs that don’t make me cry.

I lasted quite a while, I think, considering that I was probably in the bottom third of ability at the tournament. Actually, for a good part of the beginning of the tournament, I was in second to last place – and Negreanu was in last! He eventually vaulted ahead, just before I pulled out a huge suck out. Well, not technically. It was a bad beat, but when the money went in I was only a 4% dog or so. I had KQ-suited and he had a pair of 8s. He had me covered, but not by much. But then he flopped an eight.

Mike had just woken up and I told him about the tournament I was about to bust out of. Then I got running cards to make my flush. I wasn’t paying enough attention, and was in fact confused when the money came my way across the virtual felt. I apologized saying, “I already resigned to losing!” To which he responded, “I already celebrated!” The whole table laughed, but he was out soon after. I made it to 12th, which isn’t bad, again considering how bad I am at tournament play.

I had a lot of fun playing poker! And considering I have no delusions of actually being able to go pro (due to my complete lack of patience for things like reading books), what more can I ask for?

December 19th, 2005 • 9:21 am • dinane • Posted in Poker

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