I was sitting at home last Friday, lazily playing some tourneys, watching an old American TV series called Journeyman and scratching myself (normal Friday) when my phone pinged with a Twitter message from Marc Convey.
You’ve definitely read Marc’s stuff, he’s been knocking about writing poker for over a decade, and he’s everywhere. He and I connected on Twitter about a year ago, but I didn’t think much of it, because he’s a poker celebrity, and I’m a bum.
Marc’s message was (paraphrased) – “Oi. Ya gobby bint, wanna play a €6k gtd ladies only SnG at Unibet Open in Bucharest? They’ll pay expenses and a Main Event entry.”
Now, when stuff like this happens, if I want to earn street-cred, I should be cool; I should gently pull down my hoody, tilt my sunglasses and reply, barely audibly,“Yeah man. Whatevs”.
Except I have no street-cred and I am not in any respect “cool”, so I fell off my chair, excitedly whooping.
OF COURSE I WANNA PLAY! Let’s Fucking Go!
So, why are Unibet doing this?
I’m not a great player, I’m a complete no-mark and I’m a massive liability after half a bottle of wine. Why would they invite me anywhere?
It would seem that I share a passion with the powers-that-be at Unibet, in that we all have a boner for low-stakes poker.
They want to put together a Twitch streamed table of ladies with character (diplomatic description of me), for a fun event.
Marc was very clear that the emphasis here is on fun, and having a laugh, and I’m better at that than I am at poker, so fair enough!
I can’t wait to see what other raucous girls rock-up, it’s going to be cocktail fuelled carnage, I’m sure!
A lot of my low-stakes, recreational friends play on Unibet, and they do it because the site does not allow the use of HUDs or scripts or any other tool that professional/serious recreational players use to hunt fishes.
I never recommend a product until I’ve tried it, so I signed up to Unibet, and was initially a bit weirded out by the fact I can have multiple identities and switch between them.
It’s not multi accounting, I can’t play five identities against one guy in a 6-handed sit and go!
The multiple identities allow a level of anonymity, so that new players can settle in, and not be targeted. It’s unusual, and it was new to me, but I can see how it prevents inexperienced players quickly becoming targets, given that there are now experienced regs at all stakes.
I have discussions about equity and ranges with people who play NL $2; what realistic chance has a total noob got on PokerStars after they’ve been tagged as a whale by one of these guys?
I am always banging on about committing to bringing new players into the game, creating an environment where they feel comfortable and not pandering every poker product to the high-rolling pros. Unibet are walking my talk; well played, Unibet!
Another thing I like about the site, in terms of new players, are the “achievements”.
A few sites do this now, and I think it’s great fun, as well as helping new players find direction in what can be a hard landscape to navigate the first time you walk across it.
Some of us may have been playing online for so long we’ve forgotten those “WTF??” moments when you join a site and are faced with page after page of madness, I think the achievements, and the prizes associated with completing them, really break that up.
I also like the free money when you sign up; the no-deposit bonus is really simple!
You get some $0 value beginner freeroll tickets (pretty standard), but you also get a €4 Unibet Open package satellite ticket, giving you a route into the live Main Event (€4>€25>€215 package satty).
The bit that really rocks is the £10 “cash ticket” they give you.
It’s basically a cash bankroll that you can play at 2c/4c beginner tables. It stays as a “cash-ticket” until you see 750 flops with it, and then is converted into hard cash.
I don’t play much cash poker, I like the stories of tournaments, but I’m not turning my nose up at a free tenner, ever, so I got involved.
The games are loose, fun and it’s not as hard as you think to see 750 flops! I played for four hours, pushed my €10 up to €31.56 and saw 200 flops (fish alert!).
Provided you see at least one flop every six days, that money stays in contention; there does not appear to be any strings or bullshit attached to that bonus money; absolutely perfect for noobs!
I used to recommend 888 for totally new players, but from now on, until someone else does better, I’ll be recommending Unibet, because I think they’ve nailed it for total beginners. In fact, I am signing my Dad up this evening… he asked me when he should “stick or twist” whilst playing, but I still think he’ll be okay at those beginner tables!
I wrote a rant a few weeks ago, moaning that live poker operators never buy independent bloggers/media into events and let them say what they want, like a theatre industry review.
I take it back now, because that is what Unibet are doing here.
They have asked me to write a blog during/after the live event, but I have no obligations to them on the content! Regular readers of my blog will know I am always honest in what I write, you cannot buy space on The Poker Baffer, so they are taking a risk.
If I go to Bucharest and it’s a bad event from a low-stakes perspective, I will say it, irrespective of them paying my entry.
I can only assume Unibet are confident about their event being a good one for their target market in a way that other operators are not, because they have invited an independent blogger, on their dollar, and are letting me say what I want.
Between the online poker function, the event schedule and treating me to a short poker holiday, Unibet have certainly made a very positive and exciting first impression; I can’t wait to get there!
Watch this space!
I’ll be writing a piece on the Ladies game the day after, will make some attempt to keep y’all updated as I play the €1100 entry, €500k gtd Main Event, and will write a review of the whole shebang when I get back.
The Ladies event will be Twitch streamed (Marc Convey is commentating), so I’ll post the link when I get it, and I’d love to have some of you rail me/troll me as I play. Bring the NOISE!
In addition, I’m going to give away 10% of anything I win, since I’m in for free, it’s seems a bit tight not to pay some of that forward, so if you want to have a shot at 10% of my winnings (bear in mind 10% of £0 is £0), then follow the instructions below to take part.
I hid it at the end of the blog so it favours you lovely people who always read all the way to the end of my pieces without throwing your device across the room in disgust!
10% Competition T+Cs
- You need to “quote” the Tweet of this blog post link with the hashtag #UnibetOpen (no hashtag=no entry).
- Due to FB’s ridic rules, I cannot offer this through there, so you have to join Twitter if you haven’t already; it’s better anyway, FB sucks. Find me @ThePokerBaffer.
- Entries close 2pm CET on 30th Nov 2016.
- Prize is 10% of any winnings from two tournaments: Ladies Invitational and Unibet Open Main Event Bucharest.
- You need a Unibet online username to claim the money. If you haven’t got one when I announce the winner, any monies will go to the next person in line.
- Winner will be selected by the list of Tweeters being given a number and then a browser RNG used to select one of those numbers.
- This competition is nothing to do with Unibet, it’s all me, so don’t pester them with nonsense. I won’t skank you, if you think I might, don’t enter.
- I will transfer the money when I have it in my bank account, then put it on Unibet and transfer it, so it will not be instantaneous.
- I’m not the world’s best player, so don’t get your hopes up too high!
- Wish me luck and give me your rungood. (That’s not a rule, but it would be nice!)