Virgin Poker (no, it’s not about dating…lol)

It’s been a while since I’ve written a poker post. So it’s time. This weekend my gmail account showed a comment on a poker blog I haven’t written in for like 2 years. Of course my first thought was spam, but i still went to check it out. Turns out it was neo-spam…some guy just trying to promote traffic to his blog. I checked out his blog and it was ok (sorry, don’t remember the address off hand).

One of the things he mentioned was Virgin Poker. As in Virgin Atlantic’s poker site. So, me being curious I went to check it out. This guy’s blog had several comments from other poker bloggers he commented on for traffic and it all seemed pretty positive about Virgin’s players and interface. Those references helped me decide it was worth checking out.

So I downloaded the software and put a small amount of money in from my netteller account (btw, my poker roll’s getting to be a pretty good size; my limits have been going up steadily). I didn’t put too much in just in case the site sucked or whatever. The first thing I noticed was that it seems to take longer than most to log in. That’s a minor inconvenience, not enough to put me off playing there. The next thing I noticed is that the interface is extremely plain. I don’t mind this. I play alot at Full Tilt and Poker Stars which both have customizable interfaces with avatars or pics…this one is just red. That’s ok by me but will probably limit the amount of poker noobs they get. One would think.

I went to put my money in and one interesting thing is that this site has an extra layer of security; you deposit your net-teller dough into another money handling site who then puts it into your Virgin account. For taking money out you need to enter a security code that gets snail mailed to you. Thats a bit of a pain in the butt.

So finally it was time to play. Right off the bat I noticed that I was the only north american playing on any table I went to. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing…scandinavians in particular and europeans in general are incredibly loose players and can be good for the profits with a little adjustment to playing style. I played an STT for 5 bucks to start, and was winning the whole way. Lost on back to back badbeats (ak beat by j7 and qq beat by a4) when we were down to 3 players so I made my money back but didn’t win the main prize. I then decided to play a poor man’s no limit cash game for a while just to see how the players were. I got into a .25-.50 table and started out playing super tight with a 15 dollar buy in just to see how everyone played.

It’s amazing to see some people and how they raise and play. Full table, any ace or any k or any suited q, 6-8x big blind raise was the norm. One of a suit on the board they’d call a pot sized bet down to the river waiting for the flush. Straights too. It certainly didn’t take long for me to decide the only way to make money was to play lots of hands preflop and then get out if I didn’t flop something good. This strategy worked for the most part, and I was up to about 70 dollars in a couple hours. I did lose a couple badbeats and a couple chase downs, which is the norm for low dollar value games I find.

One thing about I noticed about players from nordic countries on this site: they will call anything…single pair, ace high, draws…whatever…right to the river until you’re winning. Once you’ve won a few hands in a row they will fold every time and become quite easy to bluff. Til you get caught. Then they call everything again until you beat them down some more. I ramped up my chips quite quickly once I figured this out. Win a few hands, get to the point where it was easy to steal but the wins are small, let one of the donks take me down with a big pair on a bad bluff, (and show everyone…that’s important), start cycle again. It was amazingly clockwork-ish. I don’t mean to generalize about nordics (er…nordicians? Scandinavians? or just Northern Europeans?  What do u call people from nordic countries?) with this tactic, but it was like a rule. Anyone from a place with a name that had umlauts or one of those ‘o’s with the line in it or that ended in ‘poo’ would fall for this every time. It was hilarious.

Overall I got about 4 or 5 hours of play in on Virgin poker over the weekend and have a little more than triple my starting money. I’m gonna write it off to beginners horse luck for now and play it out this week to see where my virgin roll lands after some steady play there. I think I’ll move up to a $1-2 nl game as well just to see how it’s played in the bigger limits. If it’s anything like the cheap game (which I’m sure it’s not) I’m bound to make some good profits at Virgin poker.

Having said that, would I recommend the site? meh…not yet. That whole waiting for the snail mail access code to get your money out kind of bugs me. And like I said…first day or two on a site alot of wins could be written off to pure card luck. I may play there next time and lose every hand to a flush on the river or runner runner two pairs. We’ll wait and see.

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