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Making Money Online: Playing Poker

This is going to be the first of a series of posts I’m going to be making about various things I’ve tried and am looking to try to make money online.  I feel like this is an important topic because the key to escaping the ordinary and being able to travel is to have a steady stream of income through online ventures.

Even before I knew what I really wanted, I’ve been trying to make some money off the internet.  Over the years I’ve tried many things– some successful, some not so much.  One of the things I’ve tried is online poker.  Now, I’ve been gambling most of my life, mainly just small time with my brothers and sisters, and I’ve also done a bit of poker playing at the casinos.  I can’t say I’m great at it.  In fact I lose more often than I win.  I figured that this is because I’m easy to read at the poker tables, because I get too nervous and feel too much pressure, so I thought playing online would eliminate some of those weaknesses.

The impetus that got me thinking about playing online was watching the Amazing Race.  A season ago or so, they had these two women who were professional poker players, and were very successful at it.  They didn’t seem very remarkable to me, so I wondered how they could be such great poker players. It was then that I thought, if they can do it, so can I.  In fact, I thought most professional poker players don’t seem to be too impressive to me, and it didn’’t seem to take any extraordinary skill to succeed at it.  So I signed up for Poker Stars.com.

Now there are a lot of poker sites out there and some of them offer special deals and incentives for you if you sign up with them.  I just signed up with the one that seemed the most legit.  That part is easy enough, but getting the funds to play is another matter.  When I tried to enter in my credit card number, it was rejected because some credit card companies block online poker transactions.  After trying all my credit cards, and having them all blocked, I looked for another way to get money to my account.  I found out there are some prepaid credit cards you can use to enter and play.  The one I got was a Visa All Access card for $25.  The $5 activation fee for this card was a bit much, but by this point I just wanted to play.

Finally, I got the money into my poker account, and was ready to play.  There are a bunch of different rooms you can play in with every kind of poker you can think of.  I stuck to the 50¢/$1 Texas Hold ‘Em tables.  I ended up winning about $10 early on, but I got greedy and started to that feel this wasn’t enough if I was going to make a living out of this.  So I started playing at the higher limit tables, and by the next two days I was down to $0.

Playing poker online is a lot harder than I thought at first.  I’m naturally a very frugal person, and I guess that translates to my poker playing as well.  I was uncomfortable with betting high unless I absolutely knew I had the best hand. And when I knew I had the best hand, I went overboard with the betting, which just scared everyone off the hand.  Bluffing was out of the question, so I was really quite easy to read.  By the time I was down to my last $5, I was playing so desperately and recklessly, I quickly lost that in one hand at the 2¢/5¢ tables.

Despite this poor showing, I haven’t completely given up hope of making money playing online poker.  I realize I have to take more risks in order to win.  I’ve also gotten some poker books for myself so I can learn some strategies for playing.  I’m not trying to win a gold bracelet in the World Series o f Poker here, but I would like to be able to win money on a consistent basis.  I’m confident that this is not outside of my poker playing ability.