If you believe what Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers says, professional 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 incredibly popular at the moment and so are those who play it professionally. This is evidenced by the fact that professional poker players such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Gordon, Mike Matusow and many others have achieved enormous 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 websites. The results have been good for some and as a result, poker has created a whole new wave of online millionaires. These successful poker players are sometimes surprising, because they’re often quite young and not seasoned pros. But for every group of successful poker players, there are also those who have been victims of Internet gambling scams. Mostly new players fall into this trap, because they are lured by the promise of easy money and don’t do their homework first.
To make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to you, the following tips can help you assess whether a site has the potential to be a scam:
- If the site doesn’t look professional, don’t even register there. Sub-standard construction could be an indicator of the work of a quick-buck artist or a cash-strapped owner who may go belly-up and take your money with him.
- Determine whether the site is a member of the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC). IGC members pledge to follow a code of ethics.
- Make sure the site has 24-hour support with a toll-free phone number and e-mail.
- If the site looks professional, is an IGC member and has good contact info, do a few small transactions as tests before you put up any major money. These will reveal a lot about the integrity of the site.
Every poker player got his or her start somewhere, so with some luck and a lot of skill and practice, you too could become one of online poker’s new stars. Just be sure to do your due diligence first, so any success you achieve won’t be spoiled by regret.