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Op-Ed: Poker: free tournaments, free money, but not for American players

By Alexander Baron     Feb 26, 2012 in Entertainment
A leading poker affiliate is offering a $10 bonus to clients who sign up with an on-line money transfer service. The big sites are offering free tournaments galore. And both Full Tilt and American players are still in the doldrums.
First the good news, RakeTheRake, the world's largest poker affiliate, has teemed up with Skrill, formerly Moneybookers, to offer existing and new RTR players a $10 cashback bonus. If you play on-line poker and are not already getting paid to play, you could do worse than sign up with RakeTheRake. You can sign up with most of the large poker sites here including Ladbrokes, about the only place on the web you can play Pot Limit Razz, and William Hill, which offers an excellent free tournament every Sunday to its Facebook fans.
Although RakeTheRake is the largest affiliate, it is not the only one, so check out others such as Rakeback.Com and RakeBacks.Com. If you do decide to take the plunge, consider all the options including the various sign up bonuses to maximise your earnings potential, or at least to minimise your potential losses.
PokerStars, the world's largest poker site, is still offering a plethora of promotions, including freerolls every day. Noble Poker, which has changed its software, or at least its colour scheme, is currently offering a series of depositor freerolls every Friday. As Noble is a small site, the competition is likely to be less intense than on PokerStars, and the payouts bigger. But don't count on it! As ever, shop around.
Next month, PartyPoker is running a promotion called The Gladiator, which is slightly different. As with most sites, players can earn special points simply by entering tournaments or playing cash games. Earn one point for five days, and you will gain entry to a $500 freeroll. Earn 1200 points on 30 days, and you will qualify for an $8,000 World Poker Tour package.
What's the catch? There are 1,440 minutes in a day, so that is nearly a point a minute, which sounds impossible, but is in fact achievable by dedicated players who play four or even more tables simultaneously. There appear to be players on this site who are actually doing this already, which means Party Poker could be giving away a lot of packages if this promotion is taken up en masse. All the same, 1200 points a day for 7 days in a row is a lot to ask, and 30...good luck with that!
There are a number of sites devoted solely or mostly to monitoring poker freerolls, like this one.
Now for the not so good news. For previous articles about Full Tilt and the background to the Black Friday domain seizures, click here and follow the links.
On Friday, high stakes poker player Matt Glantz published a lengthy analysis of the current situation. Although he makes it clear that he is expressing an opinion and not quoting facts, he has clearly done his research, and believes not only that the deal with the French group Tapie will fall through but that Tapie never had any intention of buying Full Tilt. The whole thing may have just been some sort of bizarre publicity stunt.
For those with plenty of time on their hands, three 2 hour plus audio files on this subject produced by a dedicated poker source, have just been uploaded to YouTube. Including radio phone-in discussions, they are called Special Report: Full Tilt Poker $450 Million Ponzi Scheme. Part 1 can be found here.
If the new allegations detailed by the American legal authorities as revealed herein are true, then this looks black indeed not only for Full Tilt but for anyone connected with it, but at the moment all we have are allegations, and the danger of giving too much credence to allegations made by any branch of the American Government needs no underlining here.
Assuming Full Tilt to be a lost cause, the American lobbying group the Poker Players Alliance is continuing to pressurise the authorities on behalf of its million plus membership, and may be making some headway. Its latest news reports can be found here.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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