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How I Made Over $30,000 Playing Online Poker

6/24/2010 update – I am sort of glad online poker was banned in the state of Washington. I then tried other ways to make money from home and stumbled on affiliate marketing. There is lots more potential in online marketing than there is in poker. Please read about the best way to build a poker bankroll.

Alas, the gravy train is over. The past 2 years have been nice to me but for now it is all over.The first blow was that I live in the state of Washington which made it a felony to play poker online. A felony with the same punishment as raping a child! Talk about ridiculous. Mind you it is quite alright to bet on the lottery or horse racing online or to go to one of the dozens of Indian casinos to gamble. That’s just fine our politicians say. But play poker in your own home on the Internet and you are a very, very bad person.

The second blow affected everyone in the US as the politicians in Washington DC (who are much smarter than everyone else) passed the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act). This forced most online casinos to stop taking credit card payments and Neteller payments from people playing in the US. Although you could still find a couple of ways to get your money in, it was now much harder and most of the fish (bad players) left when their money ran out. What remained was the better players playing the better players and no new money being introduced into the game.

These two things happened within months of each other and I decided to give up the online game at least until the climate changes back to being more favorable. If you are interested in playing on free poker sites without any risk, you can always play at PurePlay where thousands compete every day for real cash prizes. It is also a good place to play to get used to the online game and they have $10,000.00 tournaments that you can get it for free! Playing at PurePlay is better than playing with free chips at FullTilt or PokerStars because the people are trying to win real money and at FT and PS the people are just messing around.

So, how did I win over $30,000.00 playing part time in about 2 years? It really was quite easy once I figured out how to do it. First I must say that I was not a beginner when I began playing online. I have spent way too much time at a real poker table in my life and I do know the ropes. But the online game was different than the live game and it took me a while to figure out the best strategy and then I started building confidence.

I made a lot of money at Bodog where they had a bottomless bonus!

No limit was also new. I had never played no-limit until the poker boom hit for no other reason that there weren’t any no-limit games. Suddenly though, everyone was playing no-limit and I thought I would give it a try as well. I did not win right away. It took me a while to figure out this very different game than limit Texas-Holdem.

In poker you need patience. Without it you will never win. I finally realized that in no-limit you need to try to make the nuts (the best possible hand) and hope the other player gives you most or all of his chips. I generally played only the best starting hands but I did try to limp in with a weaker hand if it was cheap. In no-limit, the bad player will eventually lose almost every time and all you had to have was tons of patience. However, that was not what made me the most money. It was playing for the bonuses. In that 2  years I did not play one hand of online poker that did not count toward a bonus. Never.

I had accounts at over 30 online poker rooms and went from clearing one bonus to the next bonus. I started playing one table and then when I got better went to 2, 3, 4, and sometimes 5 at the same time. I made the most playing 3 games of 50 cent/$1.00 no limit and at one time I had it calculated that I was making between $25.00 and $30.00 per hour. In my pajamas! Pretty effortlessly. The bonuses were easy enough to clear (because I only played the better ones) and when you threw in the fact that I won most of the time as well, that made me a consistent winner.

Now that it is over I do miss it somewhat. It was kind of like a gold rush with everyone scrambling to get as much as they could. Many of the Internet poker sites I played on are gone or don’t accept Americans now and I believe the bonuses for those who do play are not as big and easy to clear as they once were. It is kind of sad but I still do have hope. There are rumblings in Washington DC that the UIGEA may be reevaluated sometime in the near future. If it is made “legal” again in the US there may be another gold rush yet…at least a mini gold rush. And to those who are wondering, yes I did pay my taxes on the $30,000.00 (unlike many others).

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  • 1

    Some people make a living out from online poker in the U.S. This UIGEA really destroyed the pro poker players source of income.

    David on August 26th, 2007
  • 2

    […] in your head. I have a sheet of paper that I keep adding to everytime I get a new one. In this post here I talk about my online poker experiences and how I played on more than 30 sites. I had a list of […]

  • 3

    That is amazing you made all that money online playing poker. How do you get paid out or cash out?

    CHESSNOID on August 28th, 2007
  • 4

    All the poker rooms will send you a paper check or electonically deposit money into your bank account. Well, they did at the time and now there are only a handful left that will let Americans play.

    DayJobNuker on August 28th, 2007
  • 5

    that`s a lot of money you made. i play a little poker my self but only with some friends.

    Hoto on August 29th, 2007
  • 6

    […] incentivized freebie websites when I was playing online poker (read about how I made $30,000.00 HERE). If I signed up at a new poker room they would give me a bonus but there were several referral […]

  • 7

    […] How I Made Over $30,000 Playing Online Poker […]

  • 8

    oh, this post brings back memories. Before I went to Iraq in January, I used to play online poker a couple of hours per day … mainly on ultimate bet and pokerstars. When it came to cash games, I pretty much broke even. But, I did do pretty well in tournaments. Won once on UB for $2600, and cashed a few times in the Pokerstars Sunday tournaments. We played live games while I was in Iraq, just cheap $10 buy-ins “sit-n-go” style … usually winner take all. I helped the time go by. Now that I’m back, I haven’t played any poker in about 7 weeks … I miss it.

    Todd Morris on November 27th, 2007
  • 9

    Thats a pretty crazy story.. congrats! Have you considered moving to another state where you can play poker? And, wow… someone that actually pays their taxes on the winnings.

    Bankroll Boost on November 28th, 2007
  • 10

    Congratulations on the wins… lots of great advice in this post!

    Fuzion Poker on November 28th, 2007
  • 11

    […] want to take that offer either. I don’t know why but maybe because I smelled weakness. I am a poker player after all! I knew the next level up plan was $100.00 for 2000 minutes and if I had had that plan we […]

  • 12

    You story if very interesting. I know lots of people who have cleared large sums grabbing bonus offers. Maybe not as much as you but large enough. You were definitely on to something before some sites changed the rules to clearing a bonus. There is another way now and only time will tell for another player like you to tell there experience.

    Glad you could share your experience. It keeps the game alive.

    E. Mastack

    Erick Mastack on January 8th, 2008
  • 13

    Great story. It is too bad Washington has taken the legal stance they have about online poker. I am glad to see you make it clear in your story that not everyone can make money playing online poker. It is a tough game, and most people loose money at it. I am glad to see youhad some success.

    Online Poker on January 18th, 2008
  • 14

    I am from the UK but I feel your pain with the gambling band, its so stupid to be biased against one form of gambling while supporting another, I think things are looking up though I heard they may be reovking it soon.

    Poker Forum on April 14th, 2008
  • 15

    i like playing live poker better than online…the rush is way more intense

    poker online on July 10th, 2008
  • 16

    i think it online poker is banned because there is no reliable way of taxing participants. it’s a really pain but what can you do just have to abide.

    888ladies bingo on September 24th, 2008
  • 17

    One can only hope that they stop what they are doing to online poker and make it legal in the U.S. At least not put it on the same level as rape. “What you in for?” “Murder…You?”…”A pair of twos.”

    No Limit Poker Justin on October 8th, 2008
  • 18

    I’m in England and so poker is still legal. If you want you could give me that $30k and I’ll change it into $300k in a few weeks!

    Haha, if only.

    The only times I’ve played online I’ve lost so I’ve kind of given up. It’s fun, but expensive, timewise too..


    PS3 on October 9th, 2008
  • 19

    nice job man, yeah I have some friends who are really good who play for the bonuses here in Canada.

    texas hold rules on October 22nd, 2008
  • 20

    still new to poker
    thx for your information , it impress me a lot!

    fan on October 25th, 2008
  • 21

    Are you still playing and winning?

    Poker Radio on November 1st, 2008
  • 22

    I’m not playing anymore because it is illegal where I live. And I am making more by doing affiliate marketing than I was playing poker.

    DayJobNuker on November 2nd, 2008
  • 23

    Thats a pretty crazy story.. congrats! Have you considered moving to another state where you can play poker? And, wow… someone that actually pays their taxes on the winnings.

    Poker on November 13th, 2008
  • 24

    I think it could be years before it is all legal again!

    Virgin Casino on December 19th, 2008
  • 25

    I think it will be regulated and legal very soon!

    Gambling Usa on May 23rd, 2009
  • 26

    Really nice article and writing by a real
    online poker player. Each word has sense
    specially how he uses bonuses to earn a 30K

    Gambling on August 13th, 2009
  • 27

    I agree that many of the fish have left many of the US poker rooms out there. But there are still some smaller sites where you can still find them in the small stakes. What I am most excited about is some new legislation in cogress right now that might open up online poker again in the US, making it even bigger then it was before. I guess the Senator from Nevada is pushing this hard. So Im crossing my figures.

    Michael on May 10th, 2010
  • 28

    There seems to be some positive developments in terms of the easing of poker legislation in the US. This week the online poker room Party Poker has hinted at a possible return if the Obama administration succeeds in relaxing the draconian online gambling laws. They think it may even happen this year!! Fingers crossed

    iPhone Poker on May 11th, 2010
  • 29

    Well, at least the US Congress looks like it’s regained its consciousness. I hope the UIGEA will be lifted in the US, even being a Brazilian online poker player, because it means more players (thus, more fish) for everybody. 🙂

    Poker online gratis on July 30th, 2010
  • 30

    I’m amazed that some people in the US still think it’s illegal to play online poker in the US. It’s only illegal for banks to process transactions, it’s not illegal to play.

    Poker Fish on September 27th, 2010
  • 31

    It is a FELONY in the state of Washington. Period. You are a fish and I removed your link for your stupid and misleading comment.

    DayJobNuker on September 28th, 2010
  • 32

    Great story… How much I miss Paradise and Party Poker days… This ban affected the whole world not just USA.

    Rakeback Bonus on October 1st, 2010
  • 33

    Great story… How much I miss Paradise and Party Poker days… This ban affected the whole world not just USA.

    David on October 15th, 2010