Betfair Poker is a ‘hidden’ gem in the poker world and trust me, I have played in a dozens of different sites. Being the biggest sporting exchange, it’s clear that Betfair Poker attracts the biggest gamblers around.
I wanted to write about my experience and give you my Betfair Poker review.
When I say gamblers, I really mean gamblers since most of these guys have not put in the time to actually learn how to play poker and just gamble it away as if they were playing blackjack or roulette by playing weak hands badly.
Do not be put off by the smaller amount of traffic than in other networks such as PokerStars and Ipoker. In Betfair it’s about quality not quantity. And when I say quality, I mean quality of bad players.
There is also the added softness of games brought about by Mediterranean players (who generally tend to be big gamblers), particularly Greeks and Cypriots who are, for a lack of a better word, generally ‘horrible’ at poker. These fish have a variety of styles but most tend to be very loose and passive. Post flop these players tend to be quite passive, fishy and prone to weird plays (donk bets out of nowhere).
These are the types of players you want to be up against and you can value bet them hard and they will likely pay you off with worse holdings. Or suck out on the river. Either way, in the long run, you are sure to get their money, if you happen to play with enough discipline.
- The software is quite good and you are easily able to play up to 8 tables quite comfortably, if that’s what you want. If you prefer playing just one table then you can blow up the table to fill up most of your monitor and it won’t look out of focus like it does in Boss Media software. The game play is fast and smooth and the lobby is quite easy to navigate.
- Betfair have a useful ‘friend finder’ feature which makes it easy to ‘tag and release’ fish and to find them a later date. A pop up comes up in the top left corner once one of the fish you have tagged sits down at a table and you are able to quickly join this table.
- PokerTracker and Hold ‘Em Manager are available to work within Betfair.
- Real-money player statistics as of November 2009 show roughly 1,200 ring-game players at peak hours, and roughly 4,000 tournament players at peak hours.
- Plenty of No Limit tables from micro limits up to 100NL. Limit tables are noticeable up to 5/10.
- Micro limit tables are always busy (less than $1 pots). Play money tables are available.
- Daily freerolls
- $30,000 Guaranteed NLH Freezeout ($500+10 buy in – satelites available) every Sunday and satellites are available.
- $3,000 Guarateed ‘Lunch Money’ Freezeout ($20+2 buy in) available everyday at 12:30 GMT – very soft competition.
- $5,000 Guaranteed ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ Freezeout ($50+5 buy in) are available every night at 23:00 GMT and tends to be quite soft in terms of competition. Above two tournaments, I have managed to win three times and I am by no means a tournament specialist, so again with some discipline and luck you will at least cash regularly.
Rakeback and Bonus
- 30% Rakeback is paid directly into your Betfair account twice monthly, on the first and third Thursdays of every month. 40% rakeback if you rake more than £1500 a month.
- $600 sign up bonus available.
- If you are a keen trader within Betfair, you can gain ‘Betfair Poker Points’ by playing poker in order to reduce your overall commission. I know one such player who is a horse trader that only plays poker for this sole reason and his goal is to break even in the game. Personally, I currently only pay 3% commission on the exchange as opposed to the normal 5% due to my regular poker play. Those extra 2% make a big difference if you are a serious punter.
- US players not allowed
- Traffic is low during non-European peak times.
If you are going to play at any one site, it HAS to be Betfair for the reasons outlined earlier, particularly the softness of games and some lucrative tournaments. Also, it is important to take advantage of the 30% rakeback and $600 sign up bonus available.