Friday, May 06, 2011

Never Trust A Junkie

It had been 20 days since I played a hand of online poker. But I was OK with that. Perhaps just somewhat, but OK nonetheless. I figured I'd simply increase my live poker play and as such would go to the wormhole PLO game a bit more often. But what is it they say about the best laid plans?

Evidence for the existence of wormholes has yet to be discovered. But if theoretical astro-physics is correct, apparently they are truly unstable constructs. My wormhole vanished. And by vanished, I mean shutdown by the local authorities. Unfortunately, PLO wasn't the only game that was running there. The trouble magnets known as video poker machines triggered this bust, and luckily for me, I wasn't there. Oh, I would have been. But thankfully Dr. Chako was coming to town for the mudrun and I had to stay near my house to pick him up.

"No PLO for you," said the imaginary poker Nazi, and he was right. If I were still planning on playing a PLO event at this year's WSOP, then where on Earth would I get practice?

Just one fix....

Browsing the 2+2 forums, I noticed that some US-facing sites were still in business. Was it risky to get involved with them now? You betcha. How much was I willing to risk? Well, perhaps the amount of my PokerStars check that I'm due to receive. On April 15th, I really expected my funds to simply vanish, so substituting one site's balance for another wasn't all too intimidating. And after reading more and more about it, I made a decision.

I chose Lock Poker.

I'm not an affiliate nor do I receive any benefits from sharing the following information. (edit: Actually, you can apply for an account at using the bonus code BadBlood if you'd like. No worries if you don't.) I'm just doing it in case there are other readers out there who need their online fix and are willing to take a risk with a smaller site. They're on the Merge network and my hopes are that the US DOJ is too busy being involved with their current targets to take note of some of the minor sites. Again, it's a hope, and it could easily be that I've just set money on fire by depositing. But if you want to know, here's how I did it.

First, I went to and signed up there. Why? Well they have a promotion going where if you sign up with them and use the bonus code THENUTSIPAD2 (verify, I'm not 100% sure that's correct, going off the top of my head), you will receive the following:

35% rakeback
a free iPad2 if you clear $1000 in rake in the first 60 days of play.

I believe this offer expires May 31st.

So I signed up, downloaded the software (Mac compatible too!), and tried to deposit.

...and utterly failed.

Back to the 2+2 forums I went and after some more research, I had heard that there were successful deposits if you chose the CASINO option in the Lock Software to deposit. Once successful, you could transfer from the casino to the poker room and begin playing.

So I tried that.

...and utterly failed.

I tried 3 VISA credit cards (WARNING: DON'T TRY CREDIT CARDS) and 1 VISA DEBIT card. The next day I was greeted with emails and phone calls from each card's fraud department. Fantastic. I was resolved to try the Western Union option and if that failed, simply hang my head in disgust and failure.

However, after speaking with my debit card's department, after confirming that it was me who attempted the purchase, the agent said that the charge should go through the next time I tried it. So I went home and tried one last time.

...and it worked.

However, by depositing with the Casino side, I wasn't able to enter the bonus code to entitle me to the free iPad2. A man needs goals afterall. So a quick email to seemed to rectify the situation. Also, if you remember Rizen (Eric Lynch), he's a representative for Lock and is active over at 2+2. I PM'd him my details too just to be sure and he got back to me the next day with a reply. Outstanding.

And so off I went. By my calculations, I'll need to play about 12,000 hands of .25/.50 PLO to qualify for the iPad2. I'll be getting rakeback the whole time too, so my first $1000 in rake will yield about $850 back in my hands in either cash or, best of all, TECH GADGETS!!!

So there it is. Back online. For how long? Who knows. Will there be difficulties in the future with this endeavor? Highly likely there will be. Am I willing to take that risk right now? Well, apparently the answer is a resounding yes.

I need help.