The promotions page at Winspark Casino is quite crowded, and it is not just due to the No Deposit Bonus and Welcome Bonuses. This casino has a whole lot more in store for players who show up on a regular basis for the thrill of real money gambling. Here are some options you can take advantage of at this casino:
Seasonal Offers - During festive seasons like Easter, the casino runs special promo events that come with the promise of thousands of Dollars/Euros in cash prizes. They usually come with a minimum wagering requirement and cool features like unlimited rolls.
VIP Loyalty Program - The casino automatically enrolls you into the VIP program when you register and create a new account. This means that you can start earning bonuses almost immediately. Every $10 wager earns you one VIP point. Collect more and head to the VIP store to cash in with bonuses, rewards and more.
Leaderboard Tournaments - These tournaments give you some extra incentive to play your favorite slots at Winspark Casino. With every spin, you can race ahead of your fellow players at the casino and win exciting prizes!
Special Bonuses for Deposits - When you make a deposit using specific methods like Sofort, Skrill, or Paysafecard, Winspark casino rewards you with matching bonuses. The multiplier on these can range from 15% all the way to 25% or more!
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As is usually the case with online casinos, Winspark only accepts players who are 18+ only.
Only players from countries where online gambling is legal can use the casino.
Residents of some countries that include, and is not limited to the USA, Israel, France, South Africa, the UK, are not permitted to register due to country restrictions.
Players are requested to complete KYC procedures and provide ID proof before receiving any winnings.
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Often, the casino software platform allows the operator to add games from other vendors to the casino. Sadly this is not the case at Winspark Casino. You only have the Netoplay bouquet of games to choose from. Don't get us wrong - the games are quite decent. But they cannot be compared to big budget titles from the best companies like Netent and Microgaming. And there is only a handful of them, to begin with.
Virtually the entire games collection can be seen right at the welcome page of the casino. Since there are only around forty games in total at this casino, you don't have to scroll down endlessly to check out each of them. Contrary to some reviews online, Winspark casino does not cater to the needs of every type of casino player out there. They do try hard, with a not too shabby collection of different game genres, but there are many missing categories in this casino game library. Card games, table games, and live dealer games are conspicuous by their absence. These games like blackjack and baccarat require advanced software and game studio capabilities, which are not available to a small firm like Netoplay. The following four categories are available at Winspark, with these games:
Top-Rated - Here you will find all the games across genres that are played most often at the casino. Top titles include Club Rouge, Rich Man's World, Secrets of the Jungle, Lucky Cauldron, and Wild Leprechaun.
Slots - Besides more than half the games mentioned in Top Rated, this category also has titles like Candy Reels, Spinning Fruits, Wild Honey, and Full moon. Most of these look like 3-reels, but we could be mistaken. In total, the casino has just 12 slots games.
Scratch Cards - With interesting titles like Amazin Love, Lucky Cupid, Atlantis Riches of the Deep, and Pumpkins Mansion, this category offers something different to visitors at the casino.
Bingo & Instant Games - yet another unique section at Winspark, these are game genres that you don’t see that often at other online casinos. Even if you do, they only have 2-3 bingo games at best. Here there are 12 different games, all with interesting names like Octopops, Bingo Club, Safe Cracker, and Fortune Wheel.
Modern instant play casinos like Winspark offer some unique features like identical experience across multiple devices and operating systems. This is a far cry from just a few years ago when you could only have the fullest online casino experience on PCs. Mobile and tablet gamers had to make do with many restrictions and a smaller games collection. Fortunately, times have changed and mobile players find themselves on an even footing with PC and Mac users. The two main types of mobile operating systems in the world - iOS and Android - are both supported by instant play casinos. It doesn't matter if you have an iPhone 8S, or a Galaxy S10, or any other Android device - they will all run the casino full well as long as you have a reliable internet connection with decent download speeds.
Banking at Winspark Casino
Banking is one department where the casino truly outshines the competition. The list is pretty long, with over 20 different payment options available to players at Winspark Casino. And on top of that, the casino also supports currencies like EUR, GBP, USD, SEK, CHF, NOK, AUD, CAD, FI. Transactions at the casino are subject to the following main rules:
All deposits are credited instantly at Winspark casino.
Certain methods are only compatible with some currencies.
Though 20+ deposit options are available, withdrawal is only through 3 channels - VISA Credit Card, Skrill, and Bank Transfer.
VISA payments are only available to the max amount deposited by the player using that card.
Skrill and Wire Transfer can be used without this limit.
Bank transfer comes with a minimum withdrawal limit of $50 or €50.
Players have to send copies of their ID to the casino for verification before withdrawals can be processed.
At Winspark Casino you can use the following instant payment options for deposits:
The casino has made deposits exceedingly easy. Each deposit option has a dedicated guide link next to it, making the process as painless as possible for players. >>Get No Deposit Bonus Here<<
The casino also scores heavily in the customer support department, offering an unprecedented four different methods for players to connect with the casino team. At most other casinos, players would be lucky to have two options. These are the contact methods available at Winspark Casino:
Live Chat - available at the casino website 24x7. There are two links - a link at the top of the page, and one at the bottom of every game you play at the casino.
Call back - if you have given accurate contact number details in your account, you can click on the "Phone" option available in your account menu. The casino team will call you immediately on your number.
Email - If you have any issues or queries, you can also shoot an email at this address - [email protected]
Telephone - The casino contact number is +35722007385
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Our Review of EmuCasino
EmuCasino has been around since 2012, and this online casino is one of the most respectable places you can play at, despite their relatively short history. In their 5 years of experience, they have become a core member of the eCOGRA group (which certifies fair play), and although they do not accept players from the USA, they are quite open to accepting players from across the globe, particularly those in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Sweden. EmuCasino is managed by Rock Interactive Ltd and operated by Season Ever Ltd as well as EMG Inc. The casino holds a gambling license issued out of Curacao.
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And it’s not just you — the name reminds us of another casino too — Spin Palace. The crazy thing is that it’s not just a coincidence. Spin Casino is owned and operated by the same company that owns and operates Spin Palace. The name isn’t the only thing these two casinos have in common, though. They also have a similar, if not identical, casino. The games, graphics, and stakes are alike. If playing at identical casinos isn’t your cup of tea, we totally understand. There are tons of unique places to play online. You can browse our review section and find dozens of them. However, if this doesn’t bother you, then the upside is that you know that you can expect a high-quality and enjoyable experience at Spin Casino. That said, we aren’t about to rest on our laurels just because Spin Casino is similar to its sister casinos. This is why we still reviewed Spin Casino with the same scrutiny we do when we review other casinos. This means our review below includes both the good and the bad information that we found. It means we didn’t take money for a fluffy review or inflated rating. And it also means that we’re going to tell you exactly what you need to hear so that you can decide whether Spin Casino is the right site for you to join. If that sounds like a review that you want to read, then we have good news for you — it starts in the next section >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Spin Casino Basic Information
Spin Casino has a license with the Malta Gaming Authority and Kahnawake Gaming Commission. They’re licensed under the names Bayton Ltd and Baytree Ltd. Bayton Ltd and Baytree Ltd are both managed by The Palace Group. There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of The Palace Group, or at least heard of or played at one of their brands. Some of the other brands they operate include Spin Palace, Ruby Fortune, and Mummy’s Gold. The Palace Group has been in business a long time, too — since 2001. This means that they’re getting close to their 20th anniversary online, which is light years compared to other casinos. Between their time in business and their gaming licenses, you can feel comfortable playing at any of their brands. This includes Spin Casino.
Restricted Countries – Who Can’t Play
Players from the following countries cannot play at Spin Casino.
France and Outlying Territories
USA and Outlying Territories
Keep in mind that this list can change at any time. For that reason, we recommend you periodically check Spin Casino’s terms and conditions to see if your country has been added to the list of prohibited countries. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
In the following sections, we’re going to look at Spin Casino’s games. That way, you can get an idea of the games they offer so that you can decide if they’ll be a good fit for you. Unlike most casinos nowadays, Spin Casino uses only Microgaming software for its animated casino games. There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s just that you won’t have the game or graphics variety that you will have at casinos that work with multiple software providers. Trust us, though; this casino is plenty good enough. Spin Casino offers a little bit of everything here including slots, video poker, and table games. They have a live dealer casino, too. Their live games come from Evolution and Ezugi, who are heavy hitters in the live gaming space. The result is a robust selection of live games. We’ll look at these later. The one confusing aspect of their casino is that there are three sections — a casino, live casino, and Vegas (casino). We’re going to list some of their games below, but we’re only going to make a distinction between their animated and live dealer games. We also noticed that their Vegas casino section doesn’t have any filters. You can’t select the type of games (slots, table games, video poker, etc.) that you want to see. This can make it tough to find the type of game you’re looking for unless you already know what it’s called. The good news is that most, if not all, of their Vegas games, are also available in their main casino. This means there’s a chance you won’t need to visit the Vegas section at all. Anyway, that covers the basics. Let’s now jump into each section and look at some specific examples of casino games you can play at Spin Casino.
We’re going to start with Spin Casino’s table games. The following is a list of card and poker games that we found during our review.
Atlantic City Blackjack
3 Card Poker
Double Exposure Blackjack
Vegas Downtown Blackjack
Multi Wheel Roulette
Super Fun 21
Vegas Strip Blackjack
Triple Pocket Hold’em Poker
There are both pluses and minuses to Spin Casino’s table game section. We’ll start with the downsides. The most frustrating thing about their table games is that there’s no way to filter for specific games in the Vegas section. This can make it incredibly tough to find the games you want to play unless you already know what they’re called. Another thing we were sort of unimpressed with is the lack of non-blackjack and roulette games. There are not enough games to offset all the blackjack and roulette options. However, that brings us to one of the good things about their table game selection. They have lots of blackjack and roulette games. In fact, you’ll find more than 30 blackjack games and more than 10 roulette games. Some of these are merely high-stakes variants or duplicate titles with improved graphics. Even discounting those, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better selection elsewhere. Another thing we’re fans of is some of the unique games that you’ll find at Spin Casino that aren’t readily available elsewhere. For example, we can’t think of another casino that offers Triple Pocket Hold’em, Hold’em High, or Card Climber. That’s always a good thing. Table Game Testing, Graphics, and Stakes Once we were done browsing their games, we opened a few of them up to make sure they worked well and to see what their graphics and stakes are like. The graphics for the games we tested are pretty good. They’re not glossy, overly polished, or even realistic. They look more like animated games. There’s nothing wrong with that, though. They don’t make it clear the stakes you can play for. We had to manually decrease and increase our bets to figure out the limits. The stakes we found varied from $2/hand or round to as much as $1,000. But keep in mind that this may vary depending on the game you play. These aren’t bad limits — they’re higher than what many casinos offer. No t only that, but we also anticipated their live dealer casino offering even higher stakes. This means that we’re less concerned about how high the stakes are in this section of their casino. We’ll look at their live dealer section in a few minutes.
The next section we checked out was Spin Casino’s video poker games. Here are the games we found during our review.
Aces & Eights Poker
Aces and Faces
All Aces Poker
Deuces Wild Poker
Deuces Wild Bonus Poker
Double Double Bonus Poker
Jacks or Better Poker
Deuces & Joker Poker
Louisiana Double Poker
Tens or Better Poker
This is an okay selection. On top of this, you’ll find “power,” “multi-hand,” and “Gold Series” variants that you can also choose from. We counted nearly 25 poker games in their main casino. There are video poker machines in the Vegas section too, but we didn’t find anything different than what’s listed above. Testing Their Games, Graphics, and Stakes We tested a couple of their poker games during our review. The games we played had average graphics, but that’s to be expected with video poker machines. They’re not meant to be fancy. They worked great, though. We experienced no lagging or bugs. Some of them had neat features, too. For example, the machines we played offered the chance to double your winnings. When you make a winning hand, you can click the “double” button to play a mini-game to see if you can double up. Keep in mind that if you lose this game, you lose everything. The best feature, though, had to be the automatic hold. Many video poker machines will tell you when you made a winning hand so that you don’t forget to hold those cards. However, one of the machines we played automatically held the best cards according to the common video poker strategy. Now, we don’t know what strategy these machines are using or how optimal that strategy is. However, they did hold the cards we would have had this feature not existed. This is a neat option if you’re new to video poker and aren’t sure how to play optimally. As far as stakes go, we found machines that let us play for as little as $0.25 per coin to as much as $50 per round. We recommend you bet the max number of coins, though, which means your minimum bet will be $1.25. This will vary from machine to machine, though. Overall, we liked Spin Casino’s video poker section. We’d like to see more unique titles to choose from, but our opinion is that this lineup will work for most people reading this.
Next up is Spin Casino’s slot selection. They have far too many slot machines to list here, but here is a small sample to give you an idea of what you’ll be able to play.
5 Reel Drive
Snow & Sable
Book of Oz
Cash of Kingdoms
Fruit vs Candy
Girls with Guns
Game of Thrones
Lady in Red
Kings of Cash
Oink Country Love
Robin of Sherwood
So Much Sushi
The Great Albini
The Phantom of the Opera
Win Sum Dim Sum
Fat Lady Sings
Jekyll & Hyde
The Legend of Olympus
Throne of Egypt
Steam Punk Heroes
Untamed Bengal Tiger
Old King Cole
You’ll find all these slots in the main casino. There are plenty more where this comes from too. You’ll also find more slots — including unique titles not found in the main casino — inside the Vegas section. That said, their selection of slots is much smaller than we expected considering that they work with Microgaming. We still can’t complain, though, especially after seeing some of the titles that you can play here. For example, the slots that stood out to us are the licensed/branded slots. Licensed slots are machines that revolve around IP that other companies own. This includes movies (Jurassic Park), video games (Hitman), TV shows (Game of Thrones), and more. These are fun to play because it’s highly likely that you’re going to be a fan of whatever the slot machine is about. For example, we like Jurassic Park. This means we get to kill two birds with one stone — play slots about a theme we really like. Not only that, but you can play many of these slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos. We’ve played Game of Thrones countless times during our trips to Las Vegas. And this is just the licensed slots. You still have all the other slots that Spin Casino has to offer. This includes slots with bonus rounds, 3 and 5 reels, progressive jackpots, and features such as free spins, wilds, scatters, and more. As for stakes, they vary so much that it’s hard to give concrete numbers. That said, we found machines that allowed us to play for as little as $0.10/spin to as much as $200. Most of the machines we looked at maxed out at $30 or less, though. This means that you might have to do some digging to find the machines with higher limits. Overall, while Spin Casino’s slot section can definitely be bigger given that they’re powered by Microgaming, what they do have will be more than enough for most people. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Live Dealer Games
Last up is Spin Casino’s live dealer section. Here are the games we found during our review.
Shangri La Roulette
Ultimate Texas Hold’em
Baccarat Super 6
Evolution Party Table
This is a solid selection of live games, especially when compared to other online casinos. But that’s not a surprise since some of these games come from Evolution Gaming, who’s a heavy hitter in the live gaming space. Once you click on one of these games, you’ll be redirected to a section where you’ll find several tables to choose from (depending on the game). You’ll also find a navigation bar at the top with several filters to help you quickly find the game you want to play. The lowest stakes we found for these games is $5 for blackjack. This is sort of a bummer since some live blackjack games can be played for as little as $1. However, $5 is pretty standard for a live game, so it’s not something we can hold against them. You can play some of their other games, like baccarat or roulette, for $0.10-$1 per round. The highest stakes we found were $5,000 for blackjack, $2,000 for roulette, and as much as $5,000 for everything else. These aren’t th highest stakes online, but they should work for most people. One of the most impressive things about their games is the camera work. The different angles they use and the close-ups make it look like you’re watching a movie. Depending on the game, you can also change the camera option. For example, the roulette game lets you choose from 3D, immersive, or classic camera angles The streams were very good considering how good the camera work was. We noticed a few lags, but they didn’t take away from the game much. The resolution was pretty good regardless. Other features include the option to chat with your tablemates and the dealer, adjust the sound and camera angles, bet behind, and set up automatic actions. You can even multi-table several games at once. Overall, we’re impressed with the live dealer casino at Spin Casino. You’ll have plenty of games to choose from, stakes, features, and men and women dealers that speak different languages. We recommend you check it out. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Spin Casino is unique from some of the other casinos under The Palace Group brand in that they also have a sportsbook. It’s called Spin Sports. Here’s what you can expect to find if you choose to bet here.
Sports, Market, and Betting Options
Spin Sports has an excellent selection of sports that you can bet on. Here’s what we found during our review.
Snooker and Pool
Super Spin Specials
Many of these options have dropdown menus, too. For example, click on the soccer option, and a dropdown menu containing options such as England, Europe, Spain, Italy, and Germany will appear. This goes for many of the other options, too — you’ll find countries as subcategories. You’ll need to click on these to find the different leagues that play in those countries. Your betting options will obviously depend on the sport you bet on. We found plenty of choices, though. For example, you can bet outrights or money lines for Europa basketball. You’ll find spread betting, more money lines, oveunder, and outrights for NBA games. Click on a match, and you’ll find additional markets. For example, we checked out an NBA game and found options to bet on different quarters, total points, team points per quarter or half, overtime, and more. There are plenty of betting options here, which was a surprise, honestly, considering who’s running this sportsbook.
Spin Sports also offers live sports betting. When we were there, you could bet on soccer, basketball, tennis, ice hockey, and cricket. We wouldn’t be surprised if they covered more matches than this (when those games are available). In fact, we know that’s the case since we looked at their Event View and Live Schedule tabs. This is where you’ll see all the sports you can bet on, all the matches, and the number of betting opportunities available for each one. And that’s about it for their live sportsbook. The one thing we’d really like to see added in the future is the option to watch live streams. It’d make sense to add a racebook too. Here’s hoping that Spin Sports has both items on their to-do list. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
Spin Sports is a much better sportsbook than we expected. It’s hard to expect something this impressive from a company that has been running only casinos for more than a decade. We’re fans, though. There are plenty of sports and markets to bet on. You also have your standard options for betting in American, fractional, or decimal odds, as well as using the sportsbook in different languages. That said, there is room for improvement. They could add a racebook, live streaming, and additional features and build out their esports section. But we think they’ve done a good job so far, and it’ll be more than enough for your typical casino player or recreational bettor.
Something we noticed during our review is that there’s the option to deposit inside both the casino and the sportsbook. As far as we can tell, it looks like you’ll want to deposit to the section you plan to spend your time in. In other words, if you want to bet sports, you’ll want to deposit to your sportsbook account. If you want to play blackjack or slots, you’ll want to make your deposit to the casino. The good news is that it looks like the same banking options are accepted in both sections. Find an option that works for you, and you can use it in both places. When we reviewed Spin Casino, we didn’t find any evidence that suggests they charge fees on their deposits. This is great news. However, it’s not clear whether they charge fees on withdrawals. As for limits, you can cash out as much as €4,000 per week if the amount you’re trying to cash out is more than 5x the amount that you’ve deposited over the life of your account. Otherwise, it looks like you can cash out as much as £10,000 in a 24-hour period. This will depend on the banking option you use, of course. Progressive jackpots are exempt from these rules, which is great to see. It’s no surprise, though, considering that they work with Microgaming. That wraps up their banking details. The following two sections will list the banking methods you can use to fund and cash out your account.
You can claim a few promotions as a customer of Spin Casino and Spin Sports. The following sections summarize the offers you can claim and the terms you need to fulfill if you do.
Spin Casino Promotions
The following are offers that you’ll find under the promotions tab on the casino side of things.
New Player Bonus
This is an offer available to first-time customers. Spin Casino is offering a 100% match bonus of up to $1,000. It’s spread out over your first three deposits like this.
First Deposit – 100% match up to $400
Second Deposit – 100% match up to $300
Third Deposit – 100% match up to $300
This is a nice offer because you have multiple opportunities to claim as much as you can. It’s especially helpful for players on a budget who can’t deposit $1,000 in one shot. You will need to roll over this bonus 50x, though the playthrough will depend on the casino game you play. We recommend reading their terms if you plan to play a game other than slots. The downside to this offer is that if you do happen to complete the playthrough with money to spare, and you want to withdraw it, cash-outs will be limited to 100 casino credits. You’ll forfeit the rest of the bonus. That being the case, it might make more sense to play the bonus (and lose money) until you only have 100 credits left. Then make a withdrawal if you want. That way, you can enjoy the bonus money/winnings for as long as possible. And that’s all they have for bonus offers. Spin Casino does say that they offer bonuses on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. We have no idea what those offers look like, though. While we were there, we did notice that they have a “bonus wheel.” You spin the wheel, and you can earn prizes, such as bonuses to claim. It looks like you can spin the wheel once every couple of hours. This is pretty neat.
Spin Casino also offers a loyalty club. This is a multi-tier program that awards more perks the higher your status. This program has six levels.
As you ascend, you’ll receive additional perks such as bonus points, more entry points, exclusive tournaments, VIP support, phone support, and exclusive gifts and bonuses. You can receive monthly bonuses too. Climb the ladder to the very top of their VIP program, and you can receive more than $10,000 every month in bonuses. Getting to each tier is straightforward — you need to earn so many points to reach a specific status, and then so many points to maintain that status each month. You’ll earn 1 point for every $10 you spend in the casino. We recommend you read their promotions page to determine for sure if this program will be a good fit for you. But if we understand their points setup and minimum point requirements correctly, then this looks like a good program to use — even for low-stakes players!
Spin Sports Promotions
You’ll need to be in the sportsbook section in order to find their sports betting promotions. The following are the promotions we found during our review, including what you can get and the terms you need to fulfill. Free Bet – First-time sports bettors will be able to claim a free bet bonus. This is a 100% match up to $200. To claim the offer, deposit at least $10. This offer has a 5x rollover ($1,000 if you claim the entire $200) before you can withdraw any winnings. We recommend you read their terms and conditions for their other rules, as you’ll need to abide by odd minimums/maximums when you make your bets. And that’s the only offer we found for sports bettors during our review. This isn’t a bad offer by any means. That said, it would be great if they had a few other promotions running. It’d be nice to see some kind of cashback or rebate offer or additional bonuses. But as the saying goes, something is better than nothing.
Both Spin Casino and Spin Sports are mobile-friendly. You don’t need to download any apps. All you need to do is go to the casino or sportsbook from your phone or tablet and log in. You’ll be able to play all games and make bets from your browser. It looks like you’ll have the full sportsbook at your disposal. And considering that they work with Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, we wouldn’t be surprised if most or even all of their casino games are available. >>Claim Free Spins Now<<
You can use the following options to contact Spin Casino.
The email address above is addressed to the parent company of Spin Casino. The issue with that is they manage several other casinos. For that reason, we recommend that you make it clear that you’re a Spin Casino customer when you contact them. That way, you eliminate any confusion and reduce the chances of any unnecessary back and forth. We were disappointed to see that they don’t offer phone support despite saying they do in multiple places throughout their website. That said, phone support still isn’t a standard communication method offered by online gambling sites. It wouldn’t be fair if we held the lack of phone support against Spin Casino. Besides, you can contact them 24/7 using the methods above. We sent Spin Casino an email, and we were surprised to receive a response less than two hours later. They answered our questions, too. That’s better than the average casino for sure. For that reason, we give Spin Casino’s support two virtual thumbs up.
‘Where can I play online poker in the USA?’ There has been an enormous influx of people asking where to play poker online over the last few months. There has also been a massive influx of people advertising poker app clubs on this subreddit (we remove these posts otherwise the top 20 posts on the sub would be spam for clubs). Before the quarantine, it was mainly just Americans asking where to play, but now that live poker has shutdown worldwide there are people all over the world asking where to play poker. Our policy so far has been to remove the ‘come play on my club’ spam and to direct everyone to the quarantine mega thread. Despite this I know users are being spammed with offers to play on ‘Super Big Action Gamble Bluff Special’ club (in part because I get these same PMs). So generally the answer to ‘where can I play online poker in the USA’ has been ‘IDK maybe play on ignition or global poker or ACR, or try some pp poker club that a friend of a friend is an agent for.’ If someone asks ‘which app poker club should I play on’ the current policy is ‘we won’t answer that question’. Some users then give up, but I think the vast majority just ask elsewhere (or are messaged) and find a club to play on. Some of these people are playing on incredibly sketchy clubs where they have no clue who is running the club and they get scammed in various ways. I know a bunch of people both online and IRL from the London poker scene who are either playing in these clubs, running clubs or acting as agents for these clubs. The main benefits are the ability to play from any country in the world, the ease of moving money around, and the soft player pools. Reddit poker has two options at the moment regarding the club situation: 1) Ban promotion of all app clubs. If someone comes to the sub asking where to play we just ban anyone who comments with an answer. This is what we are doing at the moment. 2) We could start our own club. I am making this post to gently float the idea of starting a club for reddit poker users. This is absolutely NOT a diktat where I tell the sub that you should all play here, this is me offering an idea and seeing what the community thinks. There are a few things that a lot of the clubs get wrong 1) They don’t protect the player funds. 2) They don’t care about running a fair game. 3) They ban winners simply for winning. 4) They take ages to withdraw money. 5) They extend credit to players, which inevitably causes problems when people don’t pay up. 6) They rake a ton. 7) They are run by people who have no clue how poker works and are just trying to make quick $. 8) They get involved in unions which causes inevitable problems. 9) The club manager is isolated from the players. You cannot contact them and have to deal with them through a network of agents and subagents. Most of these things are easily remedied: 1) There has to be a trusted person running the club who safeguards the player funds. 2) This person should be experienced in both live and online poker. 3) The in app settings to prevent cheating and collusion should be used. Allegations of cheating or collusion should be investigated and dealt with appropriately. 4) All player types should be catered for. 5) Nobody should get credit. If you want to play in the game, you have to have the funds on deposit. 6) The rake should be reasonable. 7) There should be a way to directly get into contact with the person running the club. 8) Eliminate agents as far as possible. 9) The club should be standalone and not become involved in unions. I think I would be able to provide this and I will go ahead if I have the backing of poker Wait, didn’t we have an Poker mod set up a club before? How did that go? Yes back in the day a fellow mod named Stixx set up a club and it did not end well. I have never met Stixx, we aren't friends on FB and until the club he was involved in tanked I had messaged him maybe twice lifetime to clear up minor mod issues. I never played on his club or had any involvement in it whatsoever. When Stixx set up his club back in the day that was him running on his own. He did a few things that I think were awful mistakes. He essentially speculated with depositor funds on crypto and lied about it, which is a terrible terrible decision. I cannot really stress enough how stupid this was. Also when crypto dropped he just decided to delete his accounts, cease contact and bounce, which isn’t the GTO approach. He also was shy about telling people who he was, so you were dealing with a SN instead of a human. Who are you and why should we trust you $? You might ask, ‘Why should you run this club, what makes you special?’ Below is all my personal and poker info, so you would know you are are dealing with at the source. Here is a link so you know who you are dealing with: My name is Conor Nocher aka myimportantthoughts. I play on PS as ‘TheRedRascal’. I play on Sky as ‘EmmaWatson’. Here is my Hendon Mob page with my name and picture so you know who you are dealing with: https://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=700945 I am a professional poker player based in London. I am 26 years old. I have played thousands of hours of live poker in London, mainly at Empire where I am very well known. I have played live poker, online poker, app poker, private games, casino poker and homegames at everything from 0.01/0.02 up to 10/20. I have coached people playing microstakes online and ½ live. I have done business with various people including buying and selling action, buying packages, swapping currencies etc. and I have never had any issues with anyone. I have blogged for Grosvenor, which is the biggest UK casino brand (it owns the Vic Casino in London). Before I got into poker I studied management at the London School of Economics. This reddit account is 7 years old and I have moderated /poker for years and made 0000s of comments and posts over the years. I am posting all of this information not because I am trying to be famous but so that everyone knows who they are dealing with. If you think a random newly created account that messages you asking for $ is a better bet, by all means hop into their club. Wouldn’t a reddit poker club be super tough? Would a reddit poker club be insanely tough and full of sickos? I know everyone in this thread is basically a GTO bot who beasts 5KNL and is taking lobbies off Linus, but we get quite a few posts on this sub with some guy asking why his 22 lost to A3 on TT994. Further, the number of visitors /poker is getting has more than doubled over the quarantine period and I think it is likely that this mostly represents more casual players. So I think there will be value. Conclusion In summary: For Americans, we could offer a club that gives them the freedom to sit at home in their underpants playing online poker, just as the founding fathers intended. For players in the rest of the world we could offer a club where the majority of the playerpool are Americans sitting at home in their underpants. Let me know what you guys think about this. If you like this idea then I will get the ball rolling, if not I will just scrap it and the current policy on app clubs stands.
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When the coin is put the video game begins quickly. Pictures as well as signs on the screen begin to move up or down and afterwards unexpectedly quit. You win if the images match Complimentary Pokies A raising number of people have tried playing pokies in real gambling establishments or in the on-line gambling enterprises. Do you understand why? Because as soon as you attempt it, you appreciate it so much that you are being literally formulated to it! You get pleasure from the enjoyment you get every time you rotate the wheel. You enjoy the uncertainty whether you win or shed, which provides a moment of adrenaline thrill. However, for sure, I understand that you like to win as opposed to shed Australia. Although with pokies you rely mainly on good luck, recognizing its ins as well as outs with the right approach surely helps in raising your chance of winning. If you are aiming at winning a great deal, it is best that you familiarize on your own with establishing reasonable money management and also techniques. Let's discuss pokies myths. Perhaps you've heard the idea that if you keep playing on one certain equipment and invest a lot of cash there one way or another you will definitely win. Well, sorry to bring an end to your conviction yet this is most definitely not true! There are no premises that would support this concept. As an evidence, there are even instances when a player wins a prize after just two spins while others fail to win also after rotating the entire day. The real concept behind the pokies device is that it follows the complex theory of randomly generating numbers, and also each number stands for a certain combination of the reel. So what's your best technique when playing pokies? To start with it is finance. Before playing, decide on how much you agree to spend. 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In the 1950s, an Australian company called Aristocrat established their very first one-armed bandit called the "Clubman." They modified it 2 years later on with a brand-new as well as better vending machine called the "Clubmaster." Nevertheless the first vending machine was originally created in the USA of America by a man named Charles Fey Free Pokies. It wasn't until the 1900s when the slots lastly struck Australia. In 1956, the NSW Australian government legalized gaming machines in clubs. The next few years provided nothing new in terms of the video game technology. They all had three spinning reels as well as either one, three or five lines. The rewards were by today's standards tiny and also the interactivity was limited to drawing the manage and also waiting for the reels to quit Australia. It was not until the mid 1980's when the very first video ports rolled off the production lines and also were launched to the public. This was the most significant growth in video gaming given that Charles Fey had designed the very first video game. Not only did the video games have 5 reels but the likewise had many more lines as well as provided added means to win such as cost-free spin attributes as well as perk attributes. Nowadays, you are likely to see these slot machines all over you enter Australia; from clubs to gambling establishments. They are just one of the most prominent types of betting and also enjoyment. Pokies is a slang word in Australia for vending machine. There is no recorded day for when the term "Pokies" was first utilized in Australia. Individuals in Australia usually state points like "I'm off to the bar to play some pokies" or "I'm off to have a wager at the pokies." Discover Pokies Online! Pokies are frequently described as port video games. These games are tremendously prominent amongst casino players worldwide. 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Consequently 50 Lions video slot is also being extensively played among several players. It has teams which presents the top having fun lion icon on each of the reels. Wild methods includes a Wild African style with specific icons such as lions, zebras as well as elephants. In A Similar Way Super Bucks are on-line pokies games that supply a chance to pick between cost-free spin choices. Burial place Raider is taken into consideration to be the very first brand that accredited itself to an on-line computer game slot. This video game consists of numerous features and also excellent graphics. It is a 5 reel port game with additional 2 video game bonuses. It likewise includes the function of free spin mode. These unique top quality animated graphics puts it amongst the preferred pokies on-line games. The phenomenon of Australia and casino poker is identified with each other due to the victory of fellow Aussie Joe Hachem at the WSOP in the year 2005. 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First off you get to play all type of games such as various sort of poker as well as complimentary roulette suits. Nevertheless, British gambling establishment players stop working to appreciate their very own variation of the fruit machines. This is due to the fact that most on the internet gambling establishment supplies five duplicates of the Las vega ports that have a great deal of winning lines. This kind of texas hold'em is entirely various to that of the fruit machine Australia. Rather surprisingly, on-line betting would not simply sit down as well as let the needs of bettors pass undetected. Certainly, they would constantly get this sort of opportunity as putting up a gambling enterprise consists of needing to deal with teeth and also neck versus competitors. To do so, they need to satisfy and even go beyond the expectations of their clients. A great deal of pc gaming sites make use of Pub design replicas with the aid of Microgaming software. What this does is it assists boost the experience of playing on-line slot machine. It is capable of providing the ports specifically how a person would certainly see them in land-based gambling establishments. Furthermore, the on-line variation also has additional features such as super hold, pushes, holds, to name a few. Restriction Your Number of Sheds As you have fun with the on the internet variation of the video game, you would certainly notice that the functions very closely appears like that of those located in the fruit machine, the UK variation of poker. Comparable to any various other gambling enterprise video games, it is additionally based a lot on good luck. That is why among the most effective methods that a player might utilize is to stop while he is still has even more wins than losses. He must have the ability to know when to quit especially if he is on a losing streak. 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I'm going to address these "scamming" accusations...
So these accusations are coming from Fujimo55 who I actually recruited into the club. I'm gonna take tackle these one at a time... First he says... ""Well, here is the issues ive seen constantly. When playing at the tables you see the same few players sitting and playing. I know some run long sessions as i have in the past but these few CERTAIN players are on constantly during ALL hours on multiple tables. These same players call huge raises with crap and win a LOT. And they raise preflop nearly every hand to cause folds. From what ive seen it appears these club operators are taking your money then sitting at the table with you only to team up and wipe you clean because they can give themselves all the chips they want to pressure players out of pots. The club i have seen and experienced this in is PLENTY OF FISH and their other club USA. Im not saying all clubs are unfair but these 2 sure seem to be. My response...I'm sorry..what?? So players are raising pre flop? And there are players playing marathon sessions? And there are players winning pots? I don't understand what the scam is here? Can you please explain it to me like I'm five? And you say that these players are either the club owners or are connected to the club owners? Surely you have video proof of all this correct? Surely you wouldn't come onto a forum and make wild accusations without proof. So please, where is your video proof of these players and these plays. And where is your proof that this is connected to the club owner? Then he also says... "Yep. The guy that i spoke with accidentally sent me a screen shot of players buyins and win/losses. It was sad. Only 4 players out of 11shown were winners. The others lost hundreds and thousands. He also went on to say that i was depositing to small of an amount, which was $50, just to test the waters. He said i should at least send a minimum of $2,000 to allow for the swings. No way on earth i would ever do that. Im hoping by putting this info out there that i can save people from being scammed. Thanks for your comment to help keep the thread alive." My response...Ok, lets assume he did send you a screenshot of that. What does that prove? According to ESPN only about 5% of the poker playing population are long term winners. So i'm confused about what your point is here? I myself am a losing poker player over the long run. 95% of poker players are, according to ESPN. So again, I'm confused about your point. Did he tell you to deposit 2 grand? Maybe he did. Maybe he did it in jest after dealing with you. I don't know. Cuz your claims so far are unsubstantiated. Then he says... "And to add one more comment. I was also told that the owner of the club plays on the site as well in the rooms. Now when you are in charge of a club playing for money then you shouldnt be allowed to play. You can give yourself unlimited chips to yourself and your friends to wipe the tables clean. Also call COLLUSION. You dont see casino dealers playing at the tables they deal at because its unethical. If they did the house would always win because they have the money and numbers to beat everyone. And thats basically whats going on, in my beliefs, at these clubs. Am i right? Am i wrong? Who knows, but im entitled to voice my opinion and offer any proof i have to back my accusations." My response... Again, where is your proof of these wild claims? Surely you have proof, right? I myself have recruited about 20 to 30 players to both clubs and all the players so far are happy. We are one of, if not the, largest clubs on pppoker. If there really legit were shady dealings going on, this club wouldn't last. It would shut down. We haven't had any issues with legit players. The only issues we've had are with the scammers. Sad really. I really sincerely am sorry you had a bad experience with us. But that's no reason to go around throwing out unsubstantiated claims. Have a nice day!!
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Opinions A history of Donald Trump’s business dealings in Russia By David Ignatius Opinion writer November 2 President Trump takes questions from reporters before boarding Marine One (Drew AngereGetty Images) MOSCOW — An ice-blue 14-story office tower called Ducat Place III is the building that President Trump might have constructed here, with help from a business friend named Howard Lorber who came with him to scout the market in 1996. But like so many other Trump adventures in Russia, this one proved a tantalizing but futile dead end. Trump is angrily dismissive when questions are raised about his Russian contacts. He calls the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III a “witch hunt” and media reports about his Russia connections “fake news” and “fabrication.” He tweeted in January, shortly before his inauguration: “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” As the Mueller investigation accelerated this week with the indictment of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the plea deal reached with former campaign foreign-policy aide George Papadopoulos, the context of the probe becomes newly important. How did Trump accumulate his network of Russian business contacts in the years before the 2016 campaign? What’s the prehistory of Trump and Russia? Read These Comments The best conversations on The Washington Post The Mueller investigation is still in its opening round, and it’s far too early to make any judgments about Trump’s own actions. A member of Trump’s inner circle told me that he advised the president recently, “This is the most innocent you’ve ever been of any allegation.” But to reach a judgment, you first must understand the history of Trump’s fascination, bordering on obsession, with Russian business deals. The simple truth is that Trump has been hungry for Russia projects for more than three decades. He has repeatedly touted plans for a Moscow mega-development and has courted a steady stream of investors from the former Soviet Union for ventures in New York, South Florida and other locations. Trump has enjoyed playing the “big guy” in Moscow. As he bragged to a New York real-estate publication after a November 2013 dinner with prominent business leaders: “The Russian market is attracted to me.” Trump’s Russia connections helped sow the seeds of Mueller’s investigation. The best example is the now-famous June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower organized by Donald Trump Jr. with Russians who had links with the Kremlin. Mueller is investigating whether that meeting was part of a conspiracy to influence the 2016 election. But any potential criminal issues aside, the gathering embodied the Trump family’s 30-year involvement with wealthy tycoons from the former Soviet Union. What follows is an attempt to explain Trump’s encounter with Russia as a narrative. Most of the details have surfaced before, but it has been hard to see the story whole, as a business saga. With Russia, as with so many other aspects of Trump’s business and political life, he has been more pitchman than builder. What’s clear, reviewing the facts, is that Trump’s claim he had “nothing to do with Russia” over the years is nonsense. 3:06 Inside the plan to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow The Washington Post's Carol Leonnig and Tom Hamburger explain the Trump Organization's efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. (Jenny Starrs, Meg Kelly/The Washington Post) Trump’s business interest in Russia began in 1986. The flashy young tycoon met Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a luncheon and, as he recounted in his 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” the two began “talking about building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin.” With Dubinin’s encouragement, Trump flew to Moscow in July 1987 with his Czech-born first wife, Ivana, to check out potential sites. Trump wrote in his book: “It was an extraordinary experience. . . . We stayed in Lenin’s suite at the National Hotel, and I was impressed with the ambition of the Soviet officials to make a deal.” But Trump was preoccupied with other business projects in the late 1980s, including buying an airline and the Plaza Hotel (which he lost after bankruptcies in 1991 and 1992, respectively), and the Russia hotel deal stalled. Trump explored the Russian market again in 1996, with help from his friend Lorber, who is chief executive of Vector Group, a holding company that back then owned a Russian cigarette company and now owns Douglas Elliman Realty, one of the leading brokerage firms for super-rich Russians seeking property in the United States. Lorber is a fascinating, little-noted member of Trump’s inner circle. Trump described him last year as one of his two closest friends; they’ve helped each other’s children in business, and Lorber introduced Trump to David Friedman, who is now U.S. ambassador to Israel; Friedman’s former partner, Marc Kasowitz, became Trump’s lawyer. Lorber even made a cameo appearance in a 2005 episode of “The Apprentice.” The Trump-Lorber foray in Moscow began with Lorber’s business partner (and close Trump friend) Bennett LeBow, who had acquired the Liggett tobacco company in 1986. One subsidiary, called Liggett-Ducat, marketed the company’s cigarettes in Russia. And Liggett-Ducat had a 98-year lease on a prime development site in central Moscow. With his usual panache, Trump announced plans for a $250 million investment that would include a “Trump International” complex on the Liggett-Ducat site at a November 1996 news conference in Moscow. “We have an understanding we will be doing it,” he said. Trump bragged about his plans in January 1997, when he and Lorber met visiting Russian politician Aleksandr Lebed in New York. A 1997 New Yorker profile of Trump captured their exchange and showed the breadth of Trump’s hopes for Moscow investment and business connections. “We are actually looking at something in Moscow right now, and it would be skyscrapers and hotels, not casinos. Only quality stuff. . . . And we’re working with the local government, the mayor of Moscow, and the mayor’s people. So far, they’ve been very responsive. . . . I always go into the center.” The Moscow mayor Trump cultivated was Yuri Luzhkov. John Beyrle, then U.S. ambassador to Russia, offered this blunt summary of Luzhkov’s approach in a 2010 cable to Washington: “Corruption in Moscow remains pervasive with Mayor Luzhkov at the top of the pyramid. Luzhkov oversees a system in which it appears that almost everyone at every level is involved in some form of corruption or criminal behavior.” Beyrle’s cable was published by WikiLeaks. Whatever inside track Trump thought he had with Luzhkov in 1996, the deal petered out. Trump’s business troubles were mounting at home, and financing may not have been available. Handsome towers were built at sites called Ducat Place II and III, but not by Trump. The Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles. (Angel Valentin/for The Washington Post) The Russian moneymaker for Trump in the 2000s turned out, instead, to be investment in U.S. properties bearing his name. Russians were eager to move their capital into fancy condo apartments in New York and Florida. Here, again, his friend Lorber was well connected. Lorber’s real-estate firm Douglas Elliman, hoping to profit from the Russian market, hired a string of Russian-speaking agents who could help rich clients find high-end properties. “If you didn’t target the Russian billionaires, then you shouldn’t be in the business,” said Dolly Lenz, a former Douglas Elliman broker, in a 2008 article in the New York Observer. Lenz told USA Today last year that she had sold about 65 apartments in Manhattan’s Trump World Tower to Russian buyers. “They all wanted to meet Donald,” she said. One magnet for Russian money was a private resort called Fisher Island in Biscayne Bay, just off Miami. Lorber has been a director of the Oceanside at Fisher Island Condominium Association since 2000 and is currently a director of the Fisher Island Club. Among Fisher Island’s many Soviet-born property owners have been Aras Agalarov, a Russian-Azerbaijani magnate who sponsored Trump’s Miss Universe 2013 pageant and whose pop-singer son Emin organized the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born former adviser to Trump who worked with the Bayrock Group that helped develop the Trump SoHo project in New York. (Lorber declined to comment through Vector’s public-affairs consultant, Emily Claffey of Sard Verbinnen & Co.) Trump’s business deals in South Florida illustrated his blend of panache and caution, his hunger for Russian cash and his ability to skirt disaster. He sold his name to condo projects in an area called Sunny Isles Beach, helped pump up the market there and walked away unscathed when it crashed. “The city has earned the nickname ‘Little Russia’ for its high percentage of Russian-speaking residents,” notes the Douglas Elliman website, pitching high-rises there to prospective buyers. The Miami Herald reported that according to U.S. Census data, nine percent of Sunny Isles Beach households have Russian origins, the largest percentage of Russians in Miami-Dade County. Sunny Isles is a case study in how Trump does business. It was once a decidedly un-chic beachfront north of Miami, “a place where your uncle who lives on Social Security would go on vacation,” says Peter Zalewski, a Florida real-estate consultant. But after it incorporated as a separate jurisdiction within Miami-Dade County, with business-friendly local managers, it became a magnet for investment — and was rebranded as “Florida’s Riviera.” Trump’s name graces a string of sleek buildings along this strip of coast. First was the Trump International Beach Resort, a complex completed in 2004. Then came Trump Palace in 2006; Trump Towers I, II and III, built in 2007, 2008 and 2009; and Trump Royale in 2008. But Trump’s developer friends plunged into Sunny Isles at the wrong time. According to a 2010 article at SouthFloridaCondos.blogspot.com, unit prices at the three Trump Towers buildings dropped nearly 40 percent from the 2005 pre sales period. As the market crashed, the construction loan for Trump Towers had to be restructured. Trump Hollywood, another glitzy project further north, was driven into foreclosure in 2010. Trump deftly distanced himself from the developers’ troubles, telling the Sun-Sentinel that he questioned their “timing.” But the condo market gradually improved, thanks in part to Russian buyers. A Reuters investigation found that 63 people with Russian addresses or passports have purchased $98.4 million of property in Trump-branded condos in South Florida. Trump also had a personal infusion of Russian cash in the liquidity-starved 2008 market. That year he sold for a handsome $95 million a Palm Beach waterfront mansion he bought at auction in 2004 for just $41.35 million — more than doubling his money at a time when much of the South Florida market was underwater. The buyer was Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Dezer Development, the real-estate company that helped attach Trump’s name to six projects in Sunny Isles Beach, saw Trump’s presidential campaign as a promotion opportunity. “It’s a free press release,” Gil Dezer told Bloomberg News in August 2016. Donald Trump Jr. arrives at Trump Tower in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Reuters) Helping build the Trump-Russia pipeline in the fragile 2008 market was Donald Trump Jr. He was a keynote speaker at the June 2008 Russian Real Estate Summit in Moscow, where he touted the Trump Organization’s plans to build condos and hotels in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. At a New York real-estate conference in September 2008, Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business. “In terms of high-end product influx into the U.S., Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets. . . . We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia,” said the young Trump, according to a Sept. 15, 2008, article about the conference. He said he had made a half-dozen trips to Russia during the previous 18 months. A project that had significant financing from former Soviet Union investors was Trump SoHo, a 46-story condo-hotel project in Lower Manhattan that opened in September 2007. One development partner was the Sapir Organization, founded by Tamir Sapir from Georgia. Another partner was Bayrock, founded by Tevfik Arif, a Kazakh-born businessman who brought in Sater. As has been widely reported, Sater went to prison in 1993 after stabbing a man, and later became an FBI informant. For the elder Trump, these ex-Soviet investors were important assets for the future. He said in a deposition in a Trump SoHo lawsuit: “Bayrock knew the people, knew the investors. . . . And this was going to be Trump International Hotel and Tower Moscow, Kiev, Istanbul, etc., Poland, Warsaw.” Trump Jr. continued traveling to Russia and Eastern Europe, prospecting for business. He was interviewed in May 2012 before giving a speech to a real-estate conference in Riga, Latvia. His comments, captured on YouTube, explain why the Trump Organization saw the former Eastern Bloc as crucial: “It’s a part of the world that now you’re starting to see some amazing architecture, some incredible real estate, you’re seeing a real big boom in wealth. . . . We have something that’s very relevant in that sector.” Russian businessman Aras Agalarov, Miss Universe 2013 Gabriela Isler and Donald Trumpat the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, Russia. (Irina BujoAP) The apex of Trump’s personal fascination with Russia may have been 2013, when he brought the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow and talked, yet again, of building a “Trump Tower” there. His business partner in the pageant was Aras Agalarov, president of Crocus Group, a shopping-mall developer. Forbes magazine notes that he has been called “the Trump of Russia” because of his glitzy personal marketing. Trump and Agalarov formed an ebullient partnership over a dinner in Las Vegas on June 15, 2013, captured on the Internet. As Trump began hyping the pageant, he even tried to draw in Russia’s president himself, tweeting on June 18, 2013: “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” The Miss Universe red carpet was rolled out Nov. 9, 2013. Emin Agalarov sang a song, and Miss Venezuela was crowned the winner. A story published that day by RT touted Trump’s latest business plans for Russia, quoting him: “I have plans for the establishment of business in Russia. Now, I am in talks with several Russian companies to establish this skyscraper.” Aras Agalarov was quoted saying he was participating in talks to be Trump’s partner in the project. Agalarov hosted a dinner for Trump at the Moscow branch of Nobu, which he owned. The co-host was Herman Gref, the chief executive of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and a close adviser of President Vladimir Putin. An ebullient Trump saluted Agalarov in a Nov. 11 tweet: “I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next.” The Trump-Agalarov contacts continued. Trump’s daughter Ivanka visited Moscow in February 2014 and toured Crocus City Hall. Emin Agalarov performed at a golf tournament the next month at the Trump National Doral, near the family property at Fisher Island. Like so many seemingly imminent Trump-Moscow deals over the years, the skyscraper plan stalled. 4:17 What we know about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting Here's what we know so far about Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer during his father's presidential campaign in June 2016. (Video: Elyse Samuels, Jenny Starrs/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) And then, finally, came an event that Mueller is said to have examined carefully — the meeting in June 2016 where Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Trump’s inner circle. It helps to recall the long history of Trump’s business dealings with Russia when you read this June 3, 2016, email to Trump Jr. from Rob Goldstone, the publicist for Emin Agalarov: “Emin just called me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Trump — helped along by Aras and Emin.” To which Trump Jr. answered: “I love it.” The meeting took place on June 9 with, among others, Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Manafort and Veselnitskaya, a lawyer with links to the Kremlin. Veselnitskaya says her real goal was to lobby the Trump team to oppose the Magnitsky Act, which she described in a May 31, 2016, memo as “the beginning of a new round of the Cold War,” echoing Putin’s line. As the new president was taking office, the Trump brand sparkled brighter than ever for Russians. The Miami Herald reported on Jan. 30 that in November 2016, Russians topped the list of foreigners looking for homes in the Miami area. Oren Alexander, one of the top brokers at Douglas Elliman, explained the post-election trend to the Herald: “There’s no doubt that Russian buyers think America is a good place to be again.” Among the places that attracted Russian purchasers, he said, were Sunny Isles Beach and Fisher Island. Mueller’s investigation might tell us whether any of these Trump-Russian business connections improperly melded into the 2016 campaign. But at the core of Trump’s interaction with his Russian friends is an insight they have shared ever since Soviet days: Politics may be transitory, but real estate is forever. Twitter: @IgnatiusPost Read more from David Ignatius’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.
Why save & invest? Saving and investing are important. I have said this before, and I will say it again. There are two classes in society, labour and capital. Unless you are a creditor or owner of a company, you are in the labour class. Means your wealth depends solely on the result of your time invested at work. Saving and investing in bonds (creditor) and equity (shareholder), puts you in the capital class. This transition between labour class to capital class is probably more important to us, now than ever, since the gap between both classes are widening at a quick pace, (read: Thomas Piketty) and its expected to worsen. ** Basics of Buying ETFs** Its painfully simple. Exchange traded funds should be in your saving portfolio, because it’s easy to manage, provides instant diversification, and is difficult to screw up. What are ETFs? ETF is a big shopping bag of financial stuffs. The stuff in question can be stocks/bonds/derivatives/other ETFs. Anything with a cash flow and is actively traded in the financial markets can be put in this shopping bag. ETFs usually follow some pre-defined rules in terms of what to put in that bag. It could be stocks only from Russia (RSX), or only gold mining firms (GDX), or only bonds (MINT) etc. The funky letters in the parenthesis tells you the identifying ticker name for these ETFs, in case you are interested in doing some homework before investing. Google the tickers + etf. ETFdb is an ok website to use. Investment motive The first thing I would do is to examine my motives for investing. Are you investing because you want to finance a home in 10 years, or build a retirement nest egg? Maybe even just to try it out and find out why everyone is talking about it. Or perhaps you want to have the thrill of making money speculatively, in pyjamas on a Wednesday afternoon, scratching your balls in your chair? Whatever your motive could be, I shall show you in this article how ETFs can help you achieve your goals and not burn half your money, unlike your divorce. Financing big purchases First, I would set a target date, for when the expected withdrawal needs to happen. Then I would go make myself a cup of tea, because we are in this for the long game. Might as well take a chill pill. Usually, depending on the target date in mind, its good to start off aggressive and slowly tone it down as we get closer to the target date. Retirement income Well, you need a target date again, which will be your target retirement date. As you draw closer to the target date, keep to less volatile holdings and go into capital preservation mode. Its OK to lose half your money when you are 27, not so cool to lose half your money when you’re 72. You know that jumpy financial advisor in that ugly glazed double-breasted gray suit, calling you every other week to recommend you some top-of-the-line investment product when you are in your golden years. Ignore him. He does not have your well-being at heart, he only cares about the commission he will earn from you. Don’t make any exotic, opaque, risky investments in your silver and golden years. If necessary, take the money out from a trading account, and in to a savings or fixed deposit account. Trying it out ETFs are the best for beginners. It’s really hard to lose all your money with ETFs. If you follow the rules below, you’d be fine. Speculation ETFs are not for you. Stop reading and go to the casino. Risk appetite Asking for your risk appetite is a polite way for those pesky financial advisors to ask you, “how much money can you lose before you shit your pants?”. The problem is, those guys asking you the questions don’t manage your money, and those guys managing your money have no clue who you are. The slimy guys at your banks probably direct your money to one of the low cost ETFs, and pocket the difference in commission anyway. Some banks charge a lot for fees, to do something so simple! Investing through your bank increases the risks too, since usually there are two counterparties instead of one. Investing is not rocket science, you can do it yourself. If you want to pay someone to do it, get an actively managed ETF then. If you hate taking risks, that’s fine. Me too. Nothing wrong. All the better. Start constructing a portfolio with a conservative philosophy. If you are a risk taker, that’s fine too. It’s entirely up to you if you choose not to rubber up, when things get hot and heavy with the person you just met at the swingers’ club. Same for how you build a portfolio. At the end of the day, build a portfolio that doesn’t keep you up at night. Remember, we are in for the long game, ain’t nobody gonna be checking the portfolio every 5 minutes. The whole point of investing is to put the money to work, while you work too. Its counter-productive if you have to manage your portfolio and a job. That’s why we define a time-frame, philosophy, strategy and stick to it. Rules There are some rules that are good to follow, since we’re talking about your hard-earned money. Expense ratios and sales charges Keep these as low as you can. Expense ratio is the cost to YOU for owning the ETF. There is strong correlation between low gross expense charges and good long term performance. Most big ETFs from Vanguard & Blackrock have an expense ratio below 0.3%. That means you get charged $30 for every $10,000 invested. Pretty reasonable. Anything more than 0.99% is too much, in my opinion. Some good looking sales bro will call you ever so often and tout that his firm has unlocked the secret to long lasting excess alpha returns, through smart beta, and adhering to some modified, multifactorial index, yada yada yada. The first question you have to ask him is how did he get your phone number. The second is can you take me off your phone list. And lastly, what’s the expense ratio? These are 3 questions which he will try his best to avoid answering. Volume Buy ETFs that are traded. Volume should be 6 digits. Anything less, you’re asking for liquidity troubles. Imagine when the shit hits the fan and you can’t sell your stuff or when you are making sick bucks and you can’t sell your stuff. A good indicator is to glance at the trading volume column. Be sure to check it during trading hours. Another less reliable method is to check the assets under management (AUM). Anything with more than $1 billion is usually traded frequently. Diversify, diversify, diversify This is so important, it has to be said thrice. Your risk appetite will define the way you diversify. You ought to diversify over the following: asset type, geography, size, equity type. Asset type There are ETF for bonds, equities, commodities, derivatives, other ETFs. If you are conservative, put 60–70% of your money in bond ETFs, and the rest in anything that catches your eye; as long as you follow the rules. If you are aggressive, put 60–70% of your money in equities ETFs, and the rest preferably in some bonds ETF; rules apply too. Any allocation in between conservative and aggressive are acceptable too. If you’re interested, go google Asset Allocation Bonds Buying bonds makes you a lender. The borrower is up to you to choose from, it could be a government, a municipality or corporates. Its healthy to have a good mix between the different entities you lend to. You can only lose what you put in. Bonds are safer than equities simply because there is less uncertainty in cash flows. The bonds dictate how much has to be paid out, and the borrowers usually repay it. Especially for governments, since governments usually prefer to print money to repay the bonds than to default and be blocked off the capital markets (Argentine-style!). Do take note that interest rates and exchange rates will affect the valuation of your bonds and cash flow. However, if you cast your net wide enough, and have a long enough investment horizon, there is nothing much to worry about. I recommend governmental bonds and corporate grade bonds. Municipal bonds are tricky. Town councils like to default. Municipal governments can’t print money too. I avoid them. There are different classes of government bonds. Usually they are split between developed economies (AGG, BND) and developing economies (EMB). BND for example, holds 17,301 different bonds in 1 basket. That is more than enough diversification. EMB top 10 holdings includes lending money to Russia, Argentina, Hungary, Poland, Peru, Uruguay. Since holding emerging economies bonds are more dicey than developed markets, they pay more to you for interest. Another cool thing about owning bonds is that you can go to their citizens and say, your country owes me money. Absolutely true! Bonds Duration Bonds are separated through the duration. As usual, when in doubt, diversify through the distinctions. Google “Bond duration” if interested. Equities Means you are a part owner of the company. You can earn money in 2 ways, the value of your stock goes up, or they send money to you in the mail (dividends). Again, you can only lose what you put in. Taxes apply. Geography You want to spread out your purchases across continents and nations. This insulates you from country-specific events. A good rule of thumb is not to have more than 40% of your portfolio based in one continent. North America is an exception. Remember to diversify based on your needs. For example, if your primary residence is in the US, your job pays in USD, and your job is based in USA, then you have more than enough exposure to the United States of America. It would be very pointless in the view of diversification, to invest your savings in Singapore. I act on this. My portfolio has no positions in my employing company, nor in the country where my livelihood is based on. If you are aggressive, go for emerging markets (VWO, EEM, IEMG) and frontier markets (FRN) ETF. These usually experience more volatility. Meaning that the value of your portfolio jumps around a lot, and there is a stronger chance for higher returns. If conservative, go for the developed markets like North America (VTI, SCHB) and Developed Europe (VGK). The mentioned VTI and SCHB have 3723 and 2054 holdings respectively. Meaning to say that by buying VTI, you are purchasing 3723 companies in 1 go. This is recommended because you have instant diversification. Assuming equal weights, if 30 companies go bankrupt, you would have lost less than 1% of your money invested in VTI. Its much better than buying individual stocks. Take note that VTI and SCHB both have very low expense ratios too. You pay $3 for every $10,000 invested, and you gain from such diversification. Size Equities come in more or less three sizes. Large cap, mid cap, small cap. Cap is capitalization, not the thing that cool kids buy to hide their freckled, stunted foreheads. Conservative investors should stick to large cap. Large companies usually have everything in order, have strong market share, good cash flow, and make money in general. There are less surprises with these boys. The more aggressive you are, the more you should include mid and small cap in your portfolio. Note that in a recession, smaller cap companies suffer a lot. Smaller cap companies also experience great jumps and drops in prices. Equity type Other than by size, equities are also split by type: Value, Core, Growth. It’s good to diversify across the 3 types as well, and I feel it’s OK to have a preference if one wishes. Value are stocks that are comparably cheap, considering their earnings. This can be due to their industry, which has little growth prospects, or perhaps the company is domiciled in a country with short-term turmoil, hence a lower price due to the uncertainty. Core stocks are the backbones of the economy, whose stocks are a best representation of the domestic economy. These are usually well known companies and have a strong brand value. IVV which represents the core of the US economy, includes Apple, Microsoft, Exxon, J&J, GE, Berkshire Hathaway, Facebook, Amazon etc. It’s usually good to have some global core in your portfolio. Growth are stocks that are usually comparatively expensive, considering their earnings. This is due to their growth prospect, and the promise of better returns in the future. Typical industries that have growth classification is Tech and Healthcare. In my opinion, the most bubbly valuations can be found here, as it’s hard to quantify future earnings accurately. Personally, I don’t hold too many growth ETFs if I can help it. I understand that managing by geography, size and type can be too troublesome for the retail investors. There are tools like Morningstar X-ray out there, where you can key in your holdings and this pops out. http://imgur.com/4bS59l6 My ETF holdings some time ago (Produced with Morningstar) As you can see, my holdings are mostly in large caps, because I am pretty conservative when it comes to investing. I try to stay away from small cap because those guys are too volatile for me. I have strong preference for value stocks too, which I will explain later why. For now just try to keep the stock style matrix well spread out or top heavy and you will be OK. Sectors Different sectors behave differently, and you will have to diversify likewise accordingly. http://imgur.com/SoJlbLa My ETF holdings some time ago, split by sector (Produced by Morningstar) If you are more conservative, go for utilities, telcos, consumer staples and consumer discretionary. Materials and Industrials somewhat applies too. If you are more aggressive, then hold healthcare, energy and IT stocks. Try not to have more than 20% of your portfolio in one sector, as sector valuations commonly move together. Fund houses Vanguard, Blackrock, Guggenheim, Credit Suisse etc. These are fund houses. You should try to diversify your holdings across fund houses because funds from the same house can have a selection bias. The selection bias may lead to a concentration in your holdings. We want diversification, not concentration. Leveraged ETFs Avoid them. The roll costs are usually too painful. Owning leveraged ETFs is like owning a pet crocodile. It’s all fun and dandy at the start, but if you keep them for too long, it will return to bite you in the ass. Time horizon for keeping leveraged ETFs should be max. a few months. Inverse ETFs Avoid them. Roll costs again. Betting against the market long term, correlates with negative returns. Investment Strategies Here, we shall discuss some of the investment strategies prevalent in today’s markets. Buy and hold Personally, I like to buy and hold. Less transaction charges, which correlates strongly with better long term performance. Set aside some money from your income every month, and put them in pre-defined ETFs. Then just hold them all the way till you need the money or you are convinced your holdings are too overvalued. (For valuation, google either: PE, Shiller PE/CAPE, PB) I believe the market is cyclical. Like the oft quoted phrase, the stock markets short term is a voting machine, and long term a weighing machine. What I do is when I am drinking coffee in the morning and reading the news, I keep an eye out for turmoil. Usually everyone is selling & dumping when turmoil hits, so you just wait and watch the discount grow while the fear mounts. After some time, I invest in that country or sector. Then I forget about it. Since my investment horizon is a few decades, I have time to spare till that sector or country picks up again. Case: At time of writing,
Russia is placed under sanctions and experiencing weak oil prices.
Brazil has political turmoil through a corruption scandal of Rousseff
Malaysia political class is facing corruption allegations, suffering oil prices
Energy sector getting destroyed through low oil prices
Financial sector battered through low interest rates
These are stuff you see on the news all the time. For point 1,2 & 3, you can purchase Russian (RSX), Brazilian (EWZ) or Malaysian (EWM) stocks or their bonds (ELD, EMSH), or both. Usually they are at a discount when crisis hits. For point 3 & 4, you can purchase sector specific ETFs. Energy (VDE, XLE) and financial (VFH, FNCL, XLF)sectors are relatively cheap compared to before. You can make proxy bets too. Ask yourself. If oil is cheap, which countries or sectors would benefit the most? Countries like India (INDA, EPI) and Philippines (EPHE) import a lot of oil as a percentage of GDP. Airlines (JETS, ITA) and transportation (IYT) companies spend the majority of costs on fuel. Cheap oil bodes well for all of them, so you can expect their business outlooks to improve and that they will provide good returns. My strategy is basically bargain hunting. I wait outside the supermarket till something goes on discount, then I saunter in and pick it up. Buy low, sell high, remember? Unfortunately, this strategy is not for everyone. You need to have patience to ride out the market turmoil and cycles. You also have to keep your hands away from the trading platform, which is harder than expected. No matter what, remember to keep your investments diversified. I shall include the other strategies here for discussion sake. I do not necessarily think these are good ideas. Smart Beta Smart beta is the new game in town. Personally I think it’s stupid. Even sad to a point. The idea is so dumb, they put the word Smart in front of it. Its like naming your son Smart, hoping that it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Smart beta is the desperate way asset managers try to remain relevant today. The sorry sad fact is, most asset managers suck sweaty balls. When they outperform, they can’t repeat the fluke. You are better off just indexing. Asset managers realized that, and try to reduce a winning strategy to beat the index, by making an index with simple rules, then following it blindly. The rules are anomalies identified from academic literature. They back-test (also known as lying to themselves) it, then fiddle around to find a formula to deliver the best result they were looking at. The problem is, once an anomaly is discovered in the market, it cannot continue. People will arbitrage the profits away. Well, at least most of these funds are kind of diversified. Momentum These ETFs seek out stocks or sectors that are gaining momentum. They are usually an ETF of ETFs, which results in higher expense ratios. Momentum ETF usually have different geographical focuses. Expect the global ones to incur more expense charges. The high fees are why I avoid them. The most held momentum ETF is First Trust Dorsey Wright Focus 5 ETF (FV), which as of the time of writing includes: First Trust Utilities (FXU) First Trust Consumer discretion (FXD) First Trust Internet (FDN) First Trust Consumer Staples (FXG) First Trust Energy (FXN) This ETF holds 5 different ETFs of the 5 sectors that have the most momentum in trading. Sly mofos double-charging their expense ratios too. One thing to take note is that because the ETF changes its holdings drastically, it could create unexpected concentration risk in your holdings. Long Short Long short can have long and short positions in different assets. Long means you own the stock. Short means you sell a stock you do not currently own, in the hopes that the price drops and so you can conduct the cancelling trade and profit. There may be an underlying objective, where the ETF claims it will be 130/30 for example. This means its 130% long and 30% short. I avoid long shorts because their expense ratio is high, averaging near 1%. Volatility Hedged These ETFs invest in equities and volatilities derivatives. In English, it means that they buy insurance against wild swings in prices. The good thing is the downside is supposedly hedged. The bad thing is that you have to pay for this protection, meaning that the hedge hinders performance. I have not tried their services, and hence can’t recommend them. Merger arbitrage This one is cool. I am not sure though if this strategy provides long term returns. When a company buys another company, the buyer usually has to pay more for the target. Merger arbitrage funds (MNA) will check out the M&A scene and hold positions in the target companies, to earn this premium. Problem is, an ETF like this typically holds only a few stock. Since mergers and acquisitions typically happen in only a few industries where scale pays off, your holdings in a fund like this would be concentrated too. Thirdly, you are not protected against a market sell-off. Worse still, in the event that there is a sell off, the merger would probably not take place and you would not have earned the premium. Momentum, Long-short, Volatility Hedged, Merger arbitrage ETFs are usually actively managed. Means more fees to pay. Conclusion ETFs are really simple to get started, and to put your investments in your hands. Through ETFs, its easy to gain diversification. Decide if you are a risk-taker or risk-averse, define an investment philosophy and hone a strategy, then cast a wide net across geographical, asset types, asset sizes, sectors and fund houses, forget about your investments, until the day you need money to cure the cancer you got from midnight binge on dank memes. Good luck. All views expressed are personal opinions and not of that of the employer. Nothing written here should be construed as advice. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date, but I do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author as of the date of publication and are subject to change.
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