According to the new Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers, poker players are “beyond white trash.” But I think there are millions of people who would beg to differ. As a matter of fact, poker is wildly popular right now and so are those who play it professionally. This is evidenced by the fact that professional poker players such as Chris “Jesus” Ferguson, Phil Gordon, Mike Matusow and many others have achieved huge celebrity status in the last decade.
This surge in popularity has caused many to try their hand, so to speak, at making a living playing on on-line poker sites. Some have actually been very successful and as a result, poker has created a whole new wave of Internet millionaires. These successful poker players are sometimes surprising, because there are almost as many teenagers and people in their early-twenties as there are seasoned professionals. Unfortunately, for every new batch of successful poker players, there are also those who have been victims of Internet poker scams. Mostly new players step into this trap, because they don’t know how to verify a online poker site’s bona fides.
To make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you, the following points can help you determine whether a site is a scam:
- If the site doesn’t have professional-looking graphics and technology, go somewhere else. Low-quality construction could be the sign of a quick-buck artist at work or at the very least, a cash-strapped operator.
- Check if the site or its owners are members of the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC). IGC members pledge to follow a code of ethics.
- Don’t register with a site that doesn’t have 24-hour support with both a toll-free phone number and e-mail addresses.
- If a site passes the first three requirements, do several small test transactions before you do any major gambling. These will reveal a lot about the quality of the site.
Everyone has to start somewhere, so there’s no reason why with a little luck and a lot of practice you couldn’t become one of online poker’s stars. Just make sure to do your homework first, so any success you achieve won’t be spoiled by regret.