In June I reviewed where I stood with respect to the handful of remaining online poker sites available to U.S. players. I noted that quite a bit had changed since I had last reviewed what's available in October, 2011. Well, a lot has changed again. I haven't played online in a few months. Last night I decided to check to make sure that I could log in and play everywhere that I have money on account. The reason for this is my upcoming move to North Carolina. In the process of moving, I will get a new address, new phone number, new email address, and new bank. So I wanted to be sure that all of the sites were working with my current info on file before I go and change everything.
I played on the former Bodog site just once since it made its big changeover, and I hated it. See here. Last night I played a $5 SNG, and felt the same way, even though I cashed. But at least nothing has changed, so logging in and playing was hassle-free.
Black Chip Poker/America's Cardroom
BCP had been on the Merge network, but a few months ago migrated over to the Winning Poker Network (formerly known as Yatahay). I already had an account on a different WPN skin (America's Cardroom, which took over Doyle's Room accounts when the latter closed up shop). It took a bunch of emails back and forth with BCP's customer service and security people before they would recognize me as the actual owner of the $650 or so that I still have on account there. Apparently the problem was having that pre-existing America's Cardroom/WPN account with the same screen name as I was using on BCP. They obviously can't allow two identical screen names within the same network, so some bozo at BCP arbitrarily decided on a screen name change for me, without having bothered to inform me of this.
What they selected for me was bcp-rakewello. The doofus in charge of this process read the zero at the end of "Rakewell0" as the letter O, so made it "rakewello," then slapped a "bcp-" at the front of it. It's just awful. I pleaded with them to let me change it, but they said I couldn't. Grrrr.
I certainly don't need two accounts on the same network, so I'll close one of these after I move. (I don't want a check to get stuck in the middle of the forwarding process.) Which one? Well, that depends. I hate the new screen name so much that I'm inclined to close the BCP account. But I'll have to look closely to see if my rakeback deal is still in operation. If it is, then it will be worth keeping that, despite the screen name embarrassment, and I'll cash out the AC account. But if the rakeback arrangement didn't survive the move to the new network, then I'll cash out the BCP account and keep the nicer "Rakewell0" screen name on AC.
But in the meantime, I did manage to play a $3 SNG on BCP last night. I bubbled it, but at least I know it's all working now.
The Cake Poker network sort of merged with Lock Poker and became the Revolution Gaming Network last year. I had had a dormant account on Cake for a few years, and threw $100 onto it last summer to try out the new entity. I played one SNG and then never went back--not so much because it was terrible, but because I was concentrating all of my online play on BCP for a while.
Since then, Cake stopped doing business with U.S. players, and transferred their accounts over to a skin called Juicy Stakes Poker. See here for details. (Why doesn't anybody consult me on these names they pick? I could tell them how awful they are in advance and save them the embarrassment.)
I downloaded the new software, and my previous Cake log-in worked without a problem the first time, and my account was at $95, where it should have been. I played a $5 SNG to test things out, busted early.
It just occurred to me that I no longer have any active accounts on the Merge network. I believe that Carbon Poker is still a Merge skin, so I guess I could use that, though I spent out my money there a long time ago. I'll have to check on the status of it. I'd like to have an account I can use on each of the U.S.-facing networks, even if I don't use them much. ADDENDUM: Yep, Carbon Poker recognized me as an existing player, so I didn't have to go through any security steps. I deposited $100 on my bank's Visa debit card with no difficulty, and am now registered to play a test SNG, though I don't anticipate any problems. FURTHER ADDENDUM: I finished in 2nd place. Yay me.
It will be a PITA to change everything over to the new real-world information after I move, but at least now I know that I can get in and use the money I have on those sites under my current account information, which will hopefully make the transition less of a headache than it might have been if I hadn't taken last night's steps to update and check on the status of things.
Just for a bit of fun, here's a few things that happened in my three SNGs last night:
Three-way all-in pre-flop on Bovada:
I clicked the screen capture command a bit too soon, but you can see that it didn't matter what the river card was--it was a three-way chopped pot regardless. I'm #8.
The Mighty Deuce-Four strikes again:
I called a pre-flop raise from #5, then check-raised his sorry butt on the flop you see here. He flashed pocket 10s before folding. Heh heh heh.
In the game on Juicy Stakes, I was getting short-stacked, so when I had A-5 and action folded to me, I shoved with my last 7 big blinds. I got called by the small blind, who had K-K. Oops. But then the flop came a miraculous Q-5-5! There was joy in Mudville! But then, check out the turn and river:
Here's a hand from the new version of Black Chip Poker. My opponent there went all in on the flop with just A-K, having missed completely. I snap-called with my flopped set. Then we chopped it when the board ran out to a straight:
You all know that online poker is rigged, right?