Easiest Online Poker Sites for Digital Nomads
A write up for the guy on the Philippines poker post who asked which poker sites are the best.
Even though I’ve played online poker as my main source of income for 10 years I’m really not that good at the game. I don’t study, I don’t break down my hand histories, and I don’t use HUD software like PokerTracker or Holdem Manager (cheapskate obv).
Laotian poker pro Lily Kiletto
I don’t care about being the best player in the world. I got into online poker so that I could make money while sitting at home in my boxers smoking weed and mindlessly clicking a mouse.
Ten years ago there were so many ‘fish’ around that it was super easy to do just that. I just signed up for 20 low buy in tournaments a day and made enough to get by.
Sadly if I knew then what I knew now I would probably have a 6 figure life bankroll after mass tabling cash games getting the huge rakeback that was available. But then I also probably wouldn’t be living in Asia so…
Online Poker for Digital Nomads Today
Anyway ten years later things have changed a lot and there are far less fish.
When I first moved to Asia and hopped back on line I was playing tournaments because those were what I was used to and they tend to be full of weaker players. I deposited $250 onto my Skrill account to put on the different sites and really never had to deposit again.
Almost all of my early winnings came from PartyPoker MTTs. But as time went on I realized tournaments were no longer the way to go. It used to be that you could buy in for a $3 rebuy and have a chance at winning $5k+.
Well after Black Friday (when most Americans left the online poker market) those days are long gone. And the sites keep decreasing the guaranteed payouts on the tournies so there was less incentive to play. So I switched to cash games and started looking for new sites.
PartyPoker is still a soft site to play on, but since I only sit at tables with really weak players it pays to have multiple sites to bumhunt on.
Xuan Liu (Chinese) and Maria Ho (Taiwanese)
I started asking around and someone told me about 888. I had heard of it, I believe it used to be Pacific Poker, but I really didn’t know much about it.
I was told that they had these ‘jackpot’ tables that really bring out the fish. With nowhere else to turn I put $500 on the site and crossed my fingers. If this didn’t work I would be doing the last thing I wanted to do: hopping back in tourneys with a real sense of urgency to win.
Well things started off great on 888. They gave me a very nice first deposit bonus that I cleared after a month. $400 of free money considering I would have played even without it.
At first I was playing the lower stakes but it didn’t take me long to try out the .50-$1 jackpot tables and realize they were the place to be.
However you have to pay .50 cents a hand to be part of the jackpot and since I can do math I never do that. In 3 years on the site I have never got a spade royal and would have been paying $500 a day chasing it.
Thankfully they let you play there even if you aren’t posting the jackpot because the fish love to chase any hand that has high hand potential. They will make terrible calls preflop with there 34 suited because maybe they will make a straight flush.
In a dwindling poker climate where every site seems to be hurting and fish are extremely hard to come by 888 just keeps on kicking. Every time the jackpot hits and it drops to $5k the site slows down for a week or two, but its not long until the action is back.
Vietnamese poker chicks Evelyn Ng & Liz Lieu
Game Selection is the Most Important Skill of a Poker Player
As mentioned I am really not that good at poker. However I am awesome at game selection, I have to be or I would never have survived in this game for so long.
When I used to play like I would table hop as many as ten times a night until I found a good game. All the while other lazy regs are sitting in the first game they got sat in playing a game with no action at all.
To many people take the ‘any game is beatable’ or the ‘I am awesome so I can win at any game’ attitude. Sure if you are a really good player maybe you can win at a tough table.
But guess what: you would still win more (a lot more) at a table with bad players. And 888 is where the bad players are.
Sites like PokerStars and FullTilt have so many regs that it is almost impossible to get a seat with a fish. Any time I play on them by the time I notice a fish in the lobby the list is 20 deep and by the time I get called for the game he is gone.
On 888 you can’t just sit in any game and be sure it will be great, its not quite that easy. But you will be able to find good games if you put in a bit of effort to look for them.
More of Lily Kiletto
So that I don’t sound like to much of a shill for the site I gotta point out a few things. There are some annoyances to the site that may drive you a little crazy at times.
They have the ‘post jackpot’ box ticked when you sit at a jackpot table. If you forget to untick it you are paying .50 a hand.
I randomly end up posting my blinds instead of waiting to post in the big blind even though I clearly have ‘wait for bb’ ticked on occasion. I’ve played for a long time, I know how to post my blinds, yet on 888 there is the occasional fuck up.
There is another annoying thing where you get called for a game, click the open seat icon, and then get told the seat is reserved for someone else even though its reserved for you. Back to the end of the list you go.
These can range from moderately annoying at times to OMG I HATE THIS SITE annoying on days when you are running bad. If there weren’t bad players on 888 I wouldn’t put up with it.
But put up with it I do because I know that the minor annoyances are all worth it to be able to play in such fishy games. If not for the site I might be back in the western world hating my life right about now, so I gotta still love it despite its flaws.
Easiest Poker Sites – Summary
In summary 888 is my pick for the easiest poker site to play on, and it kept me afloat living in the Philippines as a digital nomad. Try out 888 Poker here.
Both sites don’t players physically in the US (except some states like New Jersey but then you’re ringfenced and only play against other residents of that state, so less action).
If you are in the US I’d recommend Americas Cardroom, you can play in the US (except in those ringfenced states) AND anywhere in the world, so a much larger global playerpool. Sign up here for a rakeback account instead of a VIP rewards one.
Unlike e.g. China that bans online gambling, South East Asia is more relaxed and has many online casinos operating there.
Also check out my Lazy Mans’ Guide to Online Poker ebook to learn how I play.