25% off poker lessons!

I have decided to re-open my coaching services.

Now is the perfect time to improve your game at a huge discount, as I'm offering poker lessons for 25% off!!! Improve your game significantly so when online poker sorts itself out you can annihilate your opponents!

I have decided that I will offer my services at 25% off of what my hourly coaching rate was when I last coached in 2010, which was $250 per hour. It will now be $187.50 per hour. I think this is a great value and you have the added bonus of knowing that I'm a considerably improved poker player since the last time I was coaching students.

My coaching lessons are two hours in length and I feel like a minimum of 5 lessons (10 hours) is ideal for being able to fully convey my knowledge to you and have a significant impact on improving your game. If you choose to purchase a 5 lesson package, I will give you even a further discount of 20% off of the already reduced hourly fee of $187.50 on the entire lesson package. That's only $150 per hour for quality poker lessons! That's a total of 40% off my normal coaching rate!!!

My specialties are NLHE 6 Max cash games and mass tabling. I can help boost your # of tables played by at least a table or two by helping you understand how to use a few secret things that I've discovered in my VPP quest this year... I have slightly over 930k VPPs so far in 2011.

If you would like to contact me about getting lessons feel free to private message me on Cardrunners.com or email me at "Duckslayer2k@gmail.com" and I'd be glad to respond.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Merge network poll results are in

Thanks to everyone who voted in last week's poll.  Just to recap the results I will list the poll question and the % for each available choice:

Last week's poll question was:  How long will it take for the DOJ to shut down Carbon Poker/ Merge Network?

People's answers were as follows:

  • 1 week:     16% of voters
  • 2 weeks:   19% of voters
  • 1 month:   22% of voters
  • 2 months:   3% of voters
  • 3 months or more:  33% of voters

So the most popular response was 3 months or more!  So we have some optimistic people out there, lol!  What is clear though from the poll results is that basically answers are spread across the board.  Clearly at this point it has taken them a longer than a week to shut down but if you count that the site isn't accepting members anymore from four different states then I guess those people were still partially correct.

Only time will tell to see who was correct about this poll... we'll just have to wait and see!

I have posted a new poll today and plan on starting a new poll every Monday morning (this new poll will only last 6 days instead of the normal 7).

Please go ahead and vote and of course have fun doing so!!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Apartment in Canada

So I finally got around to taking some pictures of my apartment in Canada.  It isn't anything special but it does the trick.

Also, I decided that I'm not going to bother buying a real bed because this air mattress I'm using is awesome!  I paid like $200-300 bucks for it while I was in Chicago because one of my friends was staying at my place for a few weeks.  It's an "Aerobed" and it has adjustments on the air pump to make the bed either softer or firmer.  I seem to sleep just as well on it as I do on a normal bed and I haven't had my back hurt from it at all.

Computer set-up is normal, except for the addition of the Canadian flags and mugs!

Here are the pics:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fate of U.S. player's FTP money looking worse and worse

With each day that passes, it seems that the Full Tilt Poker situation gets worse and worse.  U.S. players have yet to receive their money WEEKS after PokerStars paid out.  

Players are selling their FTP money now for anywhere from 75 cents to 85 cents on the dollar... sometimes even lower.  This thread on 2+2 is a long, but interesting discussion of the worth of an FTP dollar.

This thread on 2+2 is trying to find answers but since FTP hasn't spoke in two weeks no one really knows exactly what's going on.

The most interesting development lately, in my opinion, has been that FTP was caught allowing $60 MILLION dollars worth of player deposits to go through and be available for play on their site when they were unable to pull the money for those deposits from player bank accounts... seems like a really horrible business strategy.

Draw your own conclusions... whether it be to add up the facts and make a logical deduction about the situation or just go with blind FTP devotion and faith like so many players seem to be doing.  

The truth is, there is not a 100% chance they will pay out no matter what FTP faithful think... and even if they do pay out it could be months, even years potentially before U.S. players ever see a dollar from their FTP bankrolls.

The next poll will be related to this post so check back in a few days to vote!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hit 700k VPP milestone

I ended up hitting the 700k VPP milestone today on Stars about midway through my first session of the day.  It's going to be a year-long struggle to get back on pace for 2 million VPPs due to the DOJ shutdown which forced me to take a unwanted 3 week vacation in April as well as the first few days in May.

I'm not too far off pace though and I expect to still make my goal but it's going to take a lot of dedication and be a lot more difficult to achieve.  Currently I'm 90,000 VPPs behind pace... it seems like a lot but there's still more than half the year left so I should be OK.  I just need to get back on the pace I was for the first three months of the year and I'll be fine.

This is a bit old and it's my VPP number pre-black Friday but this list puts me at 16th overall in the world in VPPs acquired on PokerStars this year.  Hopefully some of the people above me were Americans so I can pass them!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Merge network likely falling next

There have been no reports of success stories cashing out from Merge for the last two weeks... the reports that have come in are saying that if they were lucky enough to receive a check from Merge it bounced....

Also a report that Merge network may be banning four states as well as Washington D.C.  The states supposedly blocked for real money sign ups are as follows:  New York, Maryland, Missouri, Louisiana.  For the full report click here.

Looks like I should have put an #X days option on my poll...

Two payment processors hit as well!

It appears that two popular 3rd party payment processors (ewallets) have been hit as well. UseMyWallet and Quick Tender.

On May 6th bank wires sent by the two payment processors stopped reaching player's bank accunts.

For the full story click here.

Black Friday # 2!!!!!!!!!!!

The U.S. Government has struck again!!!  Ten more sites knocked out!  May day, may day!!! Here is the main thread about it on 2+2.

ALSO, FTP money value is dropping fast... estimated to be worth only 80 to 85 cents on the dollar at best.

The end is near for U.S. online poker for the time being.  Many of my friends are insta-withdrawing any and all money they have on sites that are still available for U.S. customers.  I would recommend you cash out all funds on sites that still service the U.S. IMMEDIATELY!!!

There is a very good chance that when they get hit by the Department of Justice that they will not have the funds to pay the players back since the size of these sites pale in comparison to the only site that has paid out thus far... PokerStars.

The sky has officially fallen.  This is for real everyone.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Canada Relocation F.A.Q.

Hey everyone.  I've been getting a few requests to explain what it takes to relocate to Canada and potentially being able to regain access to your poker accounts... so I thought I would make a blog post about it.

I'm just going to jot out as many things as I can think of that is helpful to know about.  I will separate it into two categories... first being the actual stuff you have to do to relocate to Canada, get all of the details set up for your place, etc.  The second list will be what you need to provide the poker sites to prove you have relocated in order to make an attempt to regain access to your account.

Relocating is not easy.  It's a pain in the ass and I'd estimate that it took me like 3-4 weeks of planning to do it.  Also, remember that Canada gets super cold during the winter obviously... I don't care about this though because it isn't any worse than North Dakota!!!

Canada Relocation
  • First of all, you need a U.S. passport or you aren't getting across the border.  I would also recommend a secondary form of ID like a driver's license.
  • Secondly, don't act suspicious or like you're doing anything wrong. Know the answers to the basic questions the border patrol agent will ask... such as why are you coming up to Canada, where are you staying, how long will you be staying, do you have any guns or tobacco in your car, will you be leaving anything that you have in your car in Canada, have you ever committed a crime, when's the last time you've been in Canada, how much cash do you have on you, etc.  
  • Obviously they can ask you whatever they want and the list I gave isn't a complete list of normal questions.   If you hesitate on these questions or appear suspicious you can expect multiple follow up questions to the aforementioned questions.  Also, most online poker players fit the profile of a drug smuggler... single, white male traveling alone into Canada.  So you can expect to be questioned like a criminal by some aggressive male agents. 
  • Thirdly, I wouldn't bring shit up to Canada that you don't absolutely need.  Don't bother bringing your computer, computer monitors, computer desk, or chair for example. If you do bring stuff like that they will think you're going to move up to Canada and never come back, thus likely red-flagging you and give you a visitors pass to monitor your activity in Canada.
  • Don't have more than $10k cash on you.
  • Next, know that you can only be in Canada for as long as the border agents tell you.  If they don't give you a date you have to be back by, then you can stay for up to a maximum of 180 days.  The 180 days is not a cumulative number per year... meaning once you come back to the States and go back up to Canada it refreshes.  However, if they find that you're staying long periods of time in Canada and only coming back to the U.S. for short amounts of time they will catch that and either deny you entry or put a restricted time frame on your trip.  
  • Don't expect it to be easy to find an apartment if you choose to do that.  For some reason in Canada the government is heavily involved with housing and in Winnipeg for example, the occupancy rate is 95%.  So basically it's a major pain in the ass to get a place set up.
  • Also, at the border, if you tell the Canadian border agents you have an apartment in Canada and have set up bank accounts they will give you a hard time about it.  They start to think that you plan on moving up to Canada for good/indefinitely and it's their job to stop people from doing so without the proper documentation/VISA permits, etc.
  • One of my poker friends came up to share my place with me but the border agent he talked with tore him apart with questions on his way up, made him go inside the building for further questioning while the briefly searched his car.  They were very suspicious of him so they gave him a "visitor's pass" which he had to hand back to the Canadian border patrol on his way back to the U.S. if he ever wanted to come back into Canada. 
  • He eventually came over to my place, I cooked him a steak, and we were going to run some errands... however when I woke up the next morning he had vanished!!!  Later that afternoon he called me and said he had to go home because the border patrol had spooked him so much that he was just so nervous being in Canada that he would never come back again.  They tore his car apart at the border searching it on the way back, after he handed in his visitor's pass.
  • So basically the point of that story is:  if you suck at live poker or crack under pressure then it's probably not going to be fun for you at the border.
Poker Site - regaining access
  • The general idea here, at least for PokerStars is.. "give us sufficient proof that you've moved and we'll unlock your account."
  • That means you have to hand them stuff like a signed copy of a lease, multiple utility bills, and Canadian bank statements with your Canadian address on it. 
  • Stars wants to call you on a Canadian land line for some reason, so just set up a old school phone to avoid headaches.
  • There are extremely long lead times on setting up both internet and phone service.  This is probably due to the fact that Canada is basically like the U.S. was 10-15 years ago technology-wise.
  • Email them those documents and then log into Stars from Canada and you should be good to go.
  • No matter what you send FTP they will give you the run-around.  I sent them everything that I sent Stars... in fact I sent them more documents than I sent Stars.  They emailed me back with some bullshit saying that the documents I sent them would not work and they couldn't accept things such as a legit, signed copy of a lease with my Canadian address on it.  They also did not accept my internet bill from MTS as a form of relocation proof.

Short analysis of the state of cash games post Black Friday
  • I have been playing on Stars so I can't really comment on the games at FTP.
  • They games are not any better.
  • There are more European regs than ever before.  I think that lots of the European regs that were playing on FTP have cashed out from there due to suspicions that the site is in financial trouble (click here for more on that)... so instead of risking their money on a site that has not paid back U.S. players weeks after they were granted permission to do so they are choosing to play on the one site in the world that has proven time and time again that it is the premier site in the world, PokerStars.
  • There are much less tables to choose from.
  • I normally play $2/4 NL through $5/10 NL but I've been forced to play lots of $1/2 NL lately because there just aren't enough midstakes games running at certain hours to play the amount of tables I normally play.
  • So basically the biggest change in the state of the games is two things: less games running overall and completely changed peak hours for the "best times to play."
  • During an average day, the best time to play is from 8 AM to like 4 PM with peak amount of cash game players occurring at around 1-2 PM (Central standard time).
  • Also, I found this to be very weird... the weekends are no longer the best times to play!  For some reason, Monday afternoon draws over 40k cash game players on Stars and Tuesday afternoon draws like 38k... it has been like this the past two weeks.  So basically the old Friday night is the new Monday afternoon and the old Saturday night is the new Tuesday afternoon.

Canada sucks.  There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  It is a horrible place to live.  Extremely cold and rigid for like 7-8 months out of the year.  All the roads are by far worse than shitty.  The second Canadian past-time (behind hockey of course) is towing illegally parked cars.  Normal citizens just call in tow trucks to tow people... even if they don't have anything to do with the property or location that the car is illegally parked.

Relocation is complicated and a huge hassle.  Add in the extra costs you'll have from renting an apartment for like $1k per month, flights back home (a lot more expensive than normal flights within the U.S. because the taxes on the ticket are extremely high), fewer games running, etc. it's hardly worth it.  Also, it's just not an option for many Americans.  Many American poker players have families or other ties to the States so they can't just get up and relocate to Canada.

Relocation is NOT the answer.  The ONLY answer is to CALL, EMAIL, OR WRITE YOUR GOVERNMENT REPRESENTATIVES TODAY and plead with them to work to legalize online poker in the U.S. as soon as possible.

If you play poker and are not a member of the PPA shame on you.

Everyone please go here now and send out letters to your political representatives and hopefully we will have legal, regulated, poker in the United States in 3-4 years.

This should answer most of the basic questions everyone has... I guess if there's anything you still have questions on just ask it in a comment, eh.

Friday, May 20, 2011

VPP update

Hey everyone, hope you're running well.  I am inching closer towards the 700k VPP milestone so I'm looking forward to that.  Currently I have 681k VPPs.

I'm glad the weather is finally starting to get nice up here in Winnipeg, it seems like it has been way too cold so far but I guess that's what I get, eh?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More before/after Black Friday cartoons

I can't get enough of these cartoons, they are hilarious!  I only made it through one more page, page 5, and here were some of my favorites.  Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Churning out the VPPs

I'm getting back into my groove that I had before Black Friday.  I'm still not playing quite as much as I was pre-doomsday but that's mainly due to still spending a few hours per day doing miscellaneous stuff.  Hopefully in a few days I will be done with all the errands I need to run so I can focus on grinding a ton and put in 8-10 hour days like I was before so I can get caught up and be on pace for 2 million VPPs.

I currently have 673,079 VPPs and am about 78,000 VPPs behind pace for 2 million so I have some work to do.

Don't forget to vote in the poll I have put up!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New HH Service Site!!!

hhSmithy is a re-launched hand history site and I must say that it is 10xs better than PTR as far as price and customer service is concerned.  Their coverage is constantly improving; they just recently updated their mining software on PokerStars to increase the HH count to 75%+ of actual hands played.

Unlike PTR where you pay more for different amounts of daily hands, it is just one flat rate on hhSmithy for daily hand history subscriptions!  Also, if you need hand histories for multiple game formats (6 max, full ring, and HU) these are all included in the hhSmithy price!!!  No longer pay separately for 6 max and full ring hands for the same stakes.  

They are also running a deal right now where you get 50% off the list price if you order multiple stakes, except the most expensive stake is full price.  In addition, you get 25% off the first month of service.

Lastly, the customer service is far and away better than PTR.  I've sent PTR emails and waited days for a response.  The first few emails I sent hhSmithy got replied to in only a few hours!!!

If you're currently getting hands from PTR, I'd cancel your subscription and CLICK HERE to get the same hands for a fraction of the price.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Epic & hilarious 2+2 post!!!

I've been meaning to make this post for a while, but haven't got around to it.

Basically, someone made a Microsoft paint picture of a U.S. poker player before and then after Black Friday... he left a template and greatness followed.  Here's the link to the thread.

These are some of my favorites so far but I've only made it through four pages of the thread so far (it is 17 pages).