Frequent player points are a way poker rooms reward players for playing a lot of poker. Every tournament, sit & go or raked cash game that you play in will earn you a certain amount of points. These points are earned based on the rake generated by each pot or buyin fee. Points are gradually added to your FPP or VIP bank in your poker account while you play. When you reach a certain level of points you can redeem them for cool products. Electronics, clothing and books are a few of the neat things you can buy with your points in the poker room store. If your current poker room doesn’t offer frequent player point programs, you should definitely consider making the switch to one that does. Here are a few key topics to remember when you are trying to acquire FPP or VIP points.
Higher end products obviously cost more, but wasting frequent player points on low cost items like towels and stress balls is a terrible idea. While saving your points for a year or more might be boring, you will thank yourself in the end when you finally get the 60,000 points you need for that new I-Pod. Lower end products are cheap and are usually thing you might only use once and throw away. Saving for higher end products keeps you motivated as a poker player and gives you a goal to work for. Many people even keep track of FPP or VIP points in their personal blogs or websites.
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Divide the estimated cost of the product you are buying by the amount of points it takes to buy it in the poker room store. This will tell you how much the poker site you are playing at pays per point. In the case of Full Tilt Poker each frequent player point (FPP) converts to $.005 real dollars. This will also tell you if a poker room is “over-charging” for a particular product. Compare the rate between two different products to see if you are paying a premium for one item over another.
Many people play multiple tables on a daily basis and generate huge amounts of points. They don’t need to buy a new computer or i-pod for themselves so instead they buy the hottest gadgets in the player point store and re-sell the items on Ebay. This is a great idea for someone with a lot of points to get rid of that wants the cash. Some rooms don’t offer point to cash conversions. This is just one of the many ways around the system. Re-selling your purchased items for cash will definitely help pad your poker bankroll.
Instead of re-selling on E-bay you can make deals with other players behind the scenes. That player Paypals or transfer you an agreed upon amount of money and you buy an item for them in the store with your points and have it shipped to their address. The legality of this practice is questionable, but is extremely difficult for poker rooms to prove. They usually don’t waste their time investigating this practice since it doesn’t involve a huge amount of money.
Buyin fees for certain tournaments can be made with player points on some poker sites. This can be a great idea if you are looking to satellite into a specific tournament. However, most sites don’t let you actually play poker for pots composed of tournament points. They want to avoid one player getting enough to actually buy the new cards and motorcycles displayed. Another thing to keep in mind is the penalties associated with FPP tournaments and sit & gos. Each of these types of games will subtract from your monthly rakeback.
If you are signed up for rakeback, purchasing items from a frequent player store will crush your rakeback totals. It could even put your rakeback account on negative which could really upset the affiliate you signed up through. Excessive frequent player point use could get you blacklisted by your affiliate. The best option would be to spend your player points on a high end item and delete your account with the site when your item is delivered. Then sign up again with different information to avoid receiving massive rakeback penalties. Many people currently practice this exact method and they shouldn’t have to. Poker rooms should be smart enough to know that people won’t endure penalties to their rakeback. There are always ways around the system – and penalizing rakeback is just plain dumb.
Frequent player and VIP points are a great way to reward players who play a lot. The situation would be even better if poker rooms didn’t penalize affiliates and rakeback accounts everytime someone uses the points they earned. Overall, player points are a great incentive for dedicated holdem players. The more hands you play the more points you will earn. Logging in to play a long session of cash games is much more enjoyable when you can also earn enough points for a neat gadget on the side. Always remember that each time you use your points you are penalizing your rakeback figures fairly heavily. Instead of spending your points on useless items, save up for what you really want and buy it when you get enough points. Wait for your item to be delivered and then never play under that account again.