I had 28k in frequent player points and was gearing up to cash in 25k for a $285 bonus on Poker Stars, when I ran into a hitch.
You need to be Gold Star to redeem the bonus.
Being one level below at Silver Star and with the majority of my play on Full Tilt (I like the software and tournament features better), I don’t see earning another 2000 points by the end of this month.
Worse, with less than $300 in my Stars account, chasing Gold Star could end up busting me.
It’s also irritating that even after redeeming the $285 bonus, it still requires a certain amount of play before it releases.
So I decided to put those points to use in other ways.
In the past, I’d used points for a few books and shirts. I could purchase a DVD player, which would come in handy because I can’t seem to stir up the motivation to stick my 5-month-old Netflix DVDs into my laptop to watch in one sitting (Netflix’s streaming is somehow more convenient to me). I could get an iPod. I could get more books and shirts.
A friend’s been doing well in the SnG freerolls that award one winner $11 in T$ for 70 FPPs. Maybe I could build up cash that way.
I gave it a shot, played almost a dozen, and lost them all, losing three in heads-up and one on the bubble despite falling asleep at the first level. I tend to shy away from any tournament that awards one prize, but the bad play does seem to make up for it.
I then tried the Sunday Million turbo entry for 2700 FPPs. Of 20 players, four $200+15 seats were guaranteed. I liked my odds at a 20 percent chance.
I came in 6th.
Not wielding my FPPs too well, I tried one more. This time I gave myself the best shot possible — a 10-table SnG where the top four win. A whopping 40 percent. Surely I should be able to outlast 60 percent of players. In multis, just folding every hand outlasts half the field after the first break.
The cost was a steep 5400 FPP, or the equivalent of 1 baseball cap and 10 posters of Isabelle Mercier.
For the $285 bonus at 25k FPP, each point is worth 1.14 cents.
For the tournament, 10 people paid 5400 FPP to win four seats adding up to $860, with each point worth 1.59 cents. And if I could turn my 5400 FPPs into the $215 entry, that would make each point worth 3.98 cents.
Though it didn’t much matter because I busted.
If I tried again, that would cut the 3.98-cent value in half, but at 1.99 cents, it’s still a better value than the $285 bonus… provided I win.
So I did, and this time I won.
Tried two more. Lost one, won one.
Then another 2700 tourney, and lost, but would’ve easily won had my AK held up against A7.
And that was it for my points. Though I was almost zeroed out, I unregistered both tourney entries and had $430 in T$, which was just as good as cash because they can be spent on SnGs.
So for roughly the cost of what I would’ve spent for the $285 bonus, I used the points for a $430 win.
Much better than $285. And I don’t have to work it off.
Now to win some SnGs with that $430…
(Later, I found out Stars will bump you to Gold Star briefly in order to purchase the $285 bonus. Good thing I didn’t know that, or else I wouldn’t have tried the better valued tournaments.)