In an attempt to start playing online poker again and perhaps help find a better training tool for our readers, I recently tried out ClubWPT. Their subscription-based $19.95/mo model allows people to play online poker in the U.S. without violating any gambling or banking laws. Sounds great!
Instead of paying entry fees for every tournament you play, at ClubWPT, you pay a flat fee for as many tournaments as you want. There’s $100,000+ in real money given away every month in their tournaments. Sounds like it’s worth checking out!
But no… ClubWPT is not worth checking out! In fact, it appears the only positive decision they made was hiring Playboy model Alison Waite to promote them. Unfortunately, I think they also hired her to program their software:
- Windows Only – Are you kidding me? I had to install ClubWPT through Parallels on my Mac just to try it.
- Flash Based – Wow, they apparently found the last Flash programmer on earth and gave him a job… for a weekend. Their client takes forever to load, only selectively draws graphical features on the tables, and button clicks occasionally fail to register. It’s a complete nightmare.
- U.S. Only – Wow. Amazing. I’m an American, but since I’m traveling in Taiwan at the moment, I couldn’t even download the ClubWPT software until I installed Tor and started playing it through a convoluted proxy setup that routed my traffic back through 3 different countries and then into the US again. I’m not just in the 1990s… I’m also apparently a Chinese dissident now.
- 10 second timers – Taking a couple seconds to size your bets? Too late… your hand is already folded anyway! I especially like the brilliant “feature” that folds your hands on a timeout even if you’re not facing a bet. Guess I should have clicked “Check” faster! Thanks for the kick in the nuts ClubWPT. Nice touch.
- No games – You want action? ClubWPT has new tournaments starting up all time! Oh wait — you wanted to play for real money?? Never mind. But don’t fear, if you just wait 20-30 minutes, there should be another 300 player tournament with a prize pool of $20 or so for you to chop up. Wooo hooo! I just have to win 5 of these a month to win my subscription costs back.
In their defense, ClubWPT does have one thing going for it: Their players are every bit as crappy as their software. If the thought of slowly winning $1/hour by calling down manics who shove into 50% flops (just like TV!) excites you, ClubWPT is your dream come true! It’s also dream-like because of the nostalgia of having Internet Explorer open again.
So since we can’t use ClubWPT, I’m still searching for other online poker options. I’ve heard Carbon Poker is a good choice for US players looking to get back in action. I’m planning to sign up for Bodog too. What are other US players doing?