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Texas Hold'Em!
Forget FullTilt, forget PartyPoker, if you're in the USA then you can't play there anymore.

About the only game in town now is the World Poker Tour's ClubWPT. I registered there several months ago in early 2011, play about 3-4 tournaments daily, and am having just about as much fun as I did on FullTilt --- and you can't lose!

To get started, just click the banner on the side, pay your $19.95 for a month, and start playing.

Very soon, I'll be writing a bunch below on what I've learned about what it takes to win at ClubWPT, some strategies that aren't immediately apparent, and details of how the whole thing works.

As advertised, there's a monthly fee and that's all it costs. After that, you're eligible to get into bunches of ring games, tournaments and Sit-and-Go matches, most which have cash prizes.

I'll be emailing out a notice when I get this page updated. To get on the list, send your email address to
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Everything I've Learned about ClubWPT
The Basics

It's like they say on TV -- you can't lose money playing on their site, other than the $19.95 that you pay each month. There's an optional two-week free trial period, but you don't really get a good understanding of what it's all about in just 2 weeks. My suggestion is to click on the ClubWPT banner above and pay the $19.95. Compared to what you've probably paid out to check out other Poker sites, that's a small price - and you can drop out anytime - no contract.

All of the discussions that follow ignore the Play money games. Just as on most Poker sites, there's a Play money option. I forget how much they give you to play with, but they replenish it if you lose it, just like most others.

In the "Real money" arena, everything is based on Tournament Points. When you come in, they give you 500 TP. If you lose that, you're stuck playing freerolls, until tomorrow. Tomorrow, they set you back up to the 500. I was able to get up to about 10,000 TP in the Sit-and-Go matches for just a few days, so haven't had to worry about how many TP I spend on tournaments. If my totol drops, I go into a couple of Sit-and-Go matches to rebuild my "bankroll."

TP are used to buy into tournaments. Buy-in amounts vary from freeroll to 10 TP up to 2000 TP.  Most are in the 10-50 range. Generally, the top 4-20 Places Paid get cash plus TP, then the rest of the Places Paid get TP only. Most tournaments payout to the top 100-200 players.

There are also points called Tournament Leaderboard (TLB) points, which are earned whenever you are in Places Paid for a qualifying tournament (which is most all tournaments other than freerolls). On the 10th of each month, there are special tournaments for the TLB point leaders, which involve a much lesser number of players and possibly a slightly higher skill level of players - thus enhancing your probabilities of success in getting to the cash.

I should have mentioned earlier -- there are games offered on ClubWPT other than Texas Hold'Em, such as Blackjack and Omaha. Since I mostly play Hold'Em, all of my comments here relate only to that game.

I don't have any special tips to offer relative to how to play Poker. I offered enough of that in my book referenced above, plus all of the books by experts back on my Poker page. What I'll offer here are tips on things I've noticed about ClubWPT. And how can you repay me for these valuable tips? Simply use the ClubWPT banner above to access their site. If you join up, they'll send me a dollar or two for talking you into it.

As far as I can tell, there's no point in accumulating a bunch of TP. Unless I've missed something, the only thing they're good for is to enter tournaments and the highest entry fee I've seen thus far is 2000 TP. I like keeping mine in the 10k range so I can enter any tournament on the spur of the moment without worrying about whether I can "afford" it.

There's not much to say about Sit-and-Go matches, so most of the following pertains to tournaments. The only thing I can say about S&G is that they don't seem to last longer than an hour at most and the best strategy that I've seen is to sit back and let the loonies knock each other out until you get a hand really worth playing. All of the S&G that I've played have 10 players and the top 3 positions are paid. You can almost sit out the entire game and still come in 2nd or 3rd, because people get knocked out so fast that the blinds don't generally get above 50-100. In the 1000 TP games, the starting stack is 2000 and levels are 10 minutes, so you have plenty of time to wait for a good hand.

There are two objectives in playing ClubWPT tournaments. First, you'd like to get into the Places Paid, so you can accumulate some TLB points. Secondly, you'd obviously like to get into the places that are paid cash, but that's an fairly difficult task. Tournaments generally have 600-1500 players, with 2 to 4 thousand on the big (2000 TP) games. Beating that many players, many of whom are willing to play almost any hand and go all-in on almost any cards, is a real challenge. I generally play fairly cautiously until I'm in Places Paid, then get more aggressive in an effort to get to the cash.

Best Tournaments

This is obviously a matter of opinion, but I've noticed that the easiest tournaments to make the Places Paid, and to then have enough chips to make an attempt at the cash, are the $50 Double Stack tournaments. In these, you start with 2000 chips instead of the usual 1000, and they have 200 Places Paid. It's these tournaments that got me into the TLB tournament after my 2nd month of play.

These $50 Dble-Stk tournaments are played every day at (Eastern time zone) 9 AM, 1 PM, 5 PM, 7 PM, and 10 PM. Of these, the 9 AM and 1 PM generally have 800 players or less, making it easier to achieve the two objectives noted above. The later games have increasingly more players, with the 10 PM game usually over 1400. No matter the number of players, these tournaments appear to finish in just over 3 hours, with the 10 PM game being the longest at around 3.5 hours.

Early Tournaments

Just as the $50 Dble-Stk tournaments have fewer players early in the day, so do the other games. There are plenty of good single stack games all day, starting every two hours early in the day, then every 30 minutes in the afternoon. With the few players in the early games, it's highly likely that you'll be in the Places Paid by simply sitting out, even though you only start with 1000 chips. They often make the 200-player level before the 1-hour break.

Sit-Out Strategy

Many players appear to come in with the intent of all-in as soon as possible, then they either have a big stack or go on to another tournament. For this reason, it's easy to get knocked out early in the game by some weird hand that shouldn't have even been playing. One strategy that I've noticed to avoid these "all-in loonies" and achieve objective #1 above (TLB points), and have used myself, is to simply not start playing during the initial stages of the game (about 40 minutes). Tournaments start with the blinds at 5-10 and increase every 6 minutes. By the time you get to the first break at 30 minutes, the blinds are only at 30-60. If you don't play at all, you'll still have over 1800 chips (in the Dble-Stk tournaments) at the 30-minute break. After that, the blinds go to 50-100 and are at 100-300 by the next break at the 1-hour mark. The Places Paid are usually reached just after the 1-hour mark. I've seen many, many players that sit out the entire game and make the Places Paid. In fact, from the little research that I've done watching the top players in the Leaderboard, they appear to register for almost every tournament and sit out many of them. CAUTION: In just a few of the tournaments, the game Details note that any players not seated in the first 12 minutes will be taken out of the game. I saw this recently in a large tournament and the number of players out jumped about 300 at the 12-minute mark.

Having Fun

Thus far, I've found that I can either have fun and play a lot of hands, or be cautious and make TLB points. It's rather difficult to do both, although maybe there are some who are doing that. When I made the TLB Bronze Tournament (see Gold, Bronze, Silver details on their website) last month, I played VERY cautiously all month, often passing up some really good hands just to make sure that I made the Places Paid. I accomplished my goal of getting into the TLB tournament, which was quite a good tournament, but I played more aggressively there and got knocked out just before hitting the cash. I'm currently trying to see if I can reach a balance between having fun and making the Places Paid. Am having some success, but also am not in the TLB tournament range yet for this month.

Hand Histories

Although I figured this out very early, many of the players don't seem to be aware of it. When you're in a game, there's a button on your display labelled "Hand History." Clicking this to look at a hand will not only show you what happened during the hand and what the winner had, it also shows what each of the players had that were still in at the end. Since these cards aren't shown on the table display, it's often worthwhile use the history to see what the losers were holding at the end of the hand.

More Later

As I learn more, or if I decide to play some Blackjack, I'll be adding more information here. If you are a player on ClubWPT and have some other suggestions that you'd like to offer, feel free to email to me at

If you use the ClubWPT banner above to join, please email me and let me know.

So. I played at ClubWPT for a few years living in North Florida, during which I wrote all of the notes above. In 2012, we moved to Alabama, where they don't allow online poker, so I played off and on in play money games. I managed to accumulate over 2 billion points, which are of no value. In 2015, we moved to South Florida (hopefully our last move) and I started up again at

On my return, I noticed several changes. For one, the only option seemed to be to play on their website instead of using the desktop game. I hated it! I couldn't figure out a quick way to conveniently check the lobby to see how many players remained or what my rank was, how long we had remaining in the current level, and other things. Each time I tried, I'd miss a couple of hands before I was able to re-open the game and sometimes got locked out altogether. I'd then have to exit the website and re-enter, meantime losing out on several hands. I was about ready to give up on WPT altogether. HOWEVER, I wandered around and asked around and finally was able to get a working copy of the desktop game. It made all the difference in the world. It definitely gives me advantages over those playing on the website. When I was playing back in 2011-2012, I was lucky to win enough cash to cover the monthly WPT charge. Since coming back, I've actually won $150-$200 several times. It's largely due to my use of the desktop game, but also because of several other neat tips that I've learned in many hours of playing. It occurred to me the other day that I might like to share some of those things with other players at ClubWPT, as well as those who hadn't joined yet.

I was planning to explain on this page about the desktop game and other tips that I've learned, but was ultimately convinced that I shouldn't do that. What I am able to do is to offer this information to every one of you that decides that you'd like to purchase my "Secrets for Winning Online Hold'em Poker" for only $10. Simply click on the book above, order it using the Paypal link on the Purchase Info page, and I'll include a copy of my 2016 UPDATE notes for winning at In addition, I'll keep you updated with other things that I learn in the future, plus tips that I hear from others playing at ClubWPT.