Top-10 online poker promotions
By Aaron Todd
10. Deposit bonus
Just about every online poker room offers a first deposit bonus, and most occasionally offer reload bonuses to players, as well. These bonuses require play-through, but they are great way to grind your way to free money.
9. Doyles Rewards
Players at Doyles Room get all the benefits that are offered through the Cake Poker Network, like Gold Chips, Gold Stacks, and Gold Cards for their play. But Doyles Room recently announced a new program dubbed Doyles Rewards which awards players additional "Brunson Bucks," which give players additional rewards, like bonus cash, freerolls, and for players who reach the highest echelon (Doyle's Legends), a 9% APR on the balance in their account.
8. Bad Beat Jackpot
Just like many brick and mortar casinos, a number of online poker rooms now run tables with bad beat jackpots (UB.com, Carbon Poker, Ladbrokes and PokerKings are just a few). These tables give players an opportunity to cash in for a huge score at tables with low-to-mid limit stakes. To win the jackpot, a player usually needs to lose with quad eights or better. But buyer beware — in order to create those jackpots, an extra rake it taken from the hand.
7. PokerStars milestone hands
The world's largest online poker room has made a habit of celebrating its milestone hands (10 billion, 25 billion, 40 billion and 50 billion) by rewarding the players at the table where those hands take place with boatloads of cash. But in their last iteration, the site also rewarded players in every millionth hand for the 300 million hands leading up to the 50 billionth.
6. PartyPoker's "The Gladiator"
In November, PartyPoker will begin a promotion that will reward players who only play a little with freeroll tickets, while giving their high-volume players cash and even a free entry into the World Poker Tour's LA Poker Open. At the lowest level, players who net 10 points on five days get a ticket to a $5,000 freeroll, while players who earn 1,500 points on all 30 days get the $10,000 seat at the LA Poker Classic.
5. Cake Poker's "Two for the Money"
Sites that are part of the Cake Poker Network are running a promotion for players who multi-table cash games. Play 100 or more raked hands while multi-tabling ring games at $.10/$.20 or higher and you'll be rewarded with a ticket to a $1,000 Kamikaze event, where every player is forced all in on every hand until a winner is determined. These tournaments have netted about 350 players per tournament, so there's about $3 in equity for each one you enter. Win one and you'll walk with more than $200.
4. VIP Stellar Rewards
PokerStars debuted its Stellar Rewards program this year, which gives players cash bonuses when they reach VPP milestones throughout the year. A player's first 750 VPPs will net $10, and at the upper level, every 10,000 VPPs from 50,000 to 90,000 earns a player $100. The money requires no play through and it costs just 1 FPP to get the bonus.
3. Random cash/bonus
Sometimes if you neglect a poker room for awhile, you might just open your inbox to find out that an online poker room has put some money in your account just to get you to come back and play. Or, if they're not feeling quite as generous but still want to woo you back, they may instead give you money in your bonus account that you can play through without having to make another deposit.
2. UB.com's "Perfect Play"
UB.com is running a Perfect Play promotion this month, giving players who play in blocks of 10 tournaments with buy-ins of $10+1 or $3+0.30 the chance to win $7,500 or $2,500, respectively, for finishing at the top of a monthly leaderboard in those tournaments. The top-50 players on those leaderboards pick up extra cash, and based on my own experience, if you chose which tournaments you play wisely, you should have a shot to get some added cash.
1. Full Tilt Poker's "Take 2"
Take 2 rewards players who play at multiple cash game tables, or who play Rush Poker on multiple days. In the most recent version, players who earned five Full Tilt Points playing multiple tables or Rush Poker in five of 10 days earned a $5 bonus, while players who met the threshold in nine of 10 days earned an additional $20 for $25 total. While this promotion recently ended, Full Tilt has run it a few times now, so don't be surprised to see it announced again in a few months.