Not a day goes by without any of us hearing the words 'Credit Crunch' and right now all of us are feeling the pinch. Online Poker is no different in this regard, and although gambling traditionally doesn't suffer too much in a recession, we all have to be very mindful of what we are doing with our hard earned money. Poker players are worrying that the good games will dry up and although that may not happen, poker is definitely feeling the pinch too. We have seen poker rooms close down this year as well as other ones merge or move networks to stay afloat.
Don't worry, online poker is going nowhere and in fact it might actually flourish in a recession. However, we all have to be much more selective with what we do with our bankroll, where we play and what we play. That's why we are bringing you this new feature, the PokerNews Credit Crunch Buster, which is our indispensible guide to getting the most from your time at the tables during the credit crunch and letting you know about some of the best value promotions anywhere online.
Spread your bankroll
The first bit of advice we can give you is don't leave all your eggs in one basket. Right now financial experts advise that you spread your savings between several banks to protect them and the same can be said of your poker bankroll. Generally speaking, your money is safe in a poker room, especially the bigger ones, but we are in turbulent times and who knows what is round the corner? There is a very slim chance that a poker room (or the bank they hold your funds with) could go bust –why would you want to potentially risk losing your entire bankroll or at least not being able to get to it for a while because it's all in one place?
If you play across several rooms then try and keep an equal amount in each and maybe some in an eWallet like NETeller or Moneybookers, to reduce your risk and give you more flexibility. If you stick to one room primarily why not earn interest on your bankroll by keeping it in a savings account, if you are using bankroll management you should never need your entire bankroll at any one time anyway.
Just as a little disclaimer, your money is safe in big reputable poker rooms and the above is simply a case of planning for the worst and hoping for the best.
Keep an eye on the exchange rates
Not only is the economy in turmoil but right now the pound is exceptionally weak against the dollar. This is obviously very bad news for anyone planning a trip to Vegas but there is silver lining on this grey cloud if you currently have dollars in a poker room (Which most of us do, as it is really the currency of poker). Assuming you are sticking to good bankroll management skills, this might be a good time to cash out some of those hard earned dollars and reap the benefits of the exchange rates.
$1000 will get you about £673 at the time of writing; 12 months ago you would have been looking at something closer to £450, so now is a really good time to enjoy your winnings. Likewise, you can make a case for playing lower stakes than you are used to, because you will have a greater skill edge while not hurting your sterling earn rate.
Obviously this works both ways, if you don't have dollars in a poker account right now you might be better off not depositing into a poker room that plays in dollars, as you won't get as many for the pound, and perhaps be better with a room like Sky Poker that plays in pounds.
The bottom line is, always keep an eye on what the currency markets are doing before you move money in and out of poker rooms.
This week's PokerNews Credit Crunch Busters
Every week we are going to bring you the best deals to fight the credit crunch and get more value for your hard work at the tables. This week we are all about sending you for a holiday to Australia for next to nothing, with the added incentive with a free shot at a fortune with an Aussie Millions package.
Littlewoods Poker have been kind enough to organise a points race for PokerNews sign ups with cash and an Aussie Millions package on the line. Earn the most points between now and December 14th and you will be in line to win a $12,500 Aussie Millions Package that includes entry to the anticipated $10,500 Main Event, luxurious accommodation and cash for travel to sunny Melbourne! Normally rake races are really tough, but there is a really good chance that the player pool will be small for this and you will be in with a really good shot at placing for the following:
1st place - $12,500 Aussie Millions Package
2nd place - $1,025 cash, plus entry to the Littlewoods Aussie Millions Qualifier
3rd place - $900 cash, plus entry to the Littlewoods Aussie Millions Qualifier
4th place - $300
5th place - $250
6th place - $200
7th place - $150
8th place - $100
9th place - $50
10th place - $25
You need to sign up to Littlewoods Poker via PokerNews to be eligible and how about a £200 sign up bonus to get you started?
If you would prefer to win your Aussie Millions seat the traditional way, by being the last man standing in a tournament, then we can get you there for free too. Poker770 and Titan Poker are holding freeroll qualifiers to the Aussie Millions for anyone who signs up via PokerNews and fulfils the reward point criteria. Three seats in total will be given away for nothing and once again, we expect relatively small fields for this so extra value all round. Go to our freerolls page for more details (And remember, this will make you eligible for all future PokerNews promotions on those poker rooms).
Join us next week for some more Pokernews Credit Crunch Busting advice