A legitimate, fair poker site played for real cash?
If you are in an area where online poker isn’t “legal” (regulated), your choices are very slim. They range from sketchy, risky sites to places where the play is so bad that you really can’t even call it poker. I saw a video recently where Jonathan Little discussed this issue specifically, and the outlook was not very good. He basically advised that you not tie up any significant money anywhere, unless you live in a state where the game is regulated.
It is also an option for some people to travel into a state where online poker is legal. That isn’t convenient for everyone. Banking can still be a pain. And in many cases, if you are going to travel an hour or two to sit in a Starbucks and play on a laptop, you can just go to a casino and play live. That is the case for me. It isn’t much more difficult to get to a poker room than it would be to set myself up in New Jersey on a laptop.
With that said, I have had some success on ACR. I am probably down overall there, but I did cash for $500 in one of their Sunday tournaments, after getting in on a $10 satellite. I was paid out promptly by check, but there was a $60 fee. I have felt that ACR has been sketchy recently, with software issues, changes, etc. so I have sworn off putting in anymore money, at least for the time being.
I have also played on NLOP. I final tabled, and finished 4Th (or 5th) in their Main Event Mania steps tournament (winner got a seat in the Main Event). I got $400 for that, and they paid me promptly via PayPal. However, I am not happy with the ROI on their regular games. Any that involve decent money are mobbed. And more players does not mean more money in the prize pool. And there are lots of really gambly players, players who are very weak, players who won’t fold anything, ever, etc. it becomes very hard to navigate that many high variance situations, especially with the short-stacked, turbo structures.
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