Poker Sites for High Rollers
During the poker boom years, high stakes action meant watching poker celebrities battle in pots measured in 6 or even 7 figures. The likes of Phil Ivey, Gus Hansen, Tom ‘Durrrr’ Dwan and Patrik Antonius were regulars in online games which came to be known as ‘nosebleed stakes’. While Black Friday and the temporary closure of Full Tilt Poker saw the highest stakes games take a hit, there are still big money poker games online today.
Instead of blinds in the $1000’s, you will now find the high stakes action capping out at $50 / $100 at most sites. When you consider average buy-ins for these games are $10,000, this is still very high stakes for most of us. While the roster of pros regularly changes, with new faces coming through all the time – there is still plenty to learn from ‘railing’ these games.
This page shows you where to find the high stakes action, for both US and international players.
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High Stakes Poker Action for International Players
PokerStars bought out Full Tilt Poker, which used to be their fiercest rival – and have since merged the games of the two sites. As the biggest poker site by a considerable margin, you’ll find the most higher stakes players here. There are plenty of real-money games at the mid to high level, with buy-ins ranging from $1000 and up. You will find the biggest names at tables with blinds of up to $100 / $200. These include sponsored pros such as Daniel Negreanu.
The high stakes poker action is not limited to NL Holdem cash games. You will find Pot Limit Omaha, and Zoom Poker (a fast-fold poker variant) and mixed games tables on offer. High buy-in tournaments can also be found. The biggest of these have a buy-in of $10,000+, and run during events such as the World Championship of Online Poker.
There are plenty of reasons beyond the biggest buy-in games to play at PokerStars. These include industry leading software, an excellent player rewards scheme and the biggest prize regular tournament in the form of the ‘Sunday Million’.
High Stakes Poker for US Players
Banking restrictions mean that online poker sites welcoming US players are based offshore. Ignition Poker is the biggest of the offshore poker sites – and has built up significant traffic. You can play reasonably high stake poker games here, though as you will see this site is not the best place to watch these games to learn from the pros.
NL Holdem games can be found with blinds up to $10 / $20 – with a buy-in of $2000. You will find that all the games at Ignition Poker are played without permanent screen names. These anonymous games are used to discourage the use of 3rd party tracking tools, keeping the games softer for recreational players. While this makes it difficult to know who is playing in the high buy-in games – it does not stop the action being intense in those games.
Playing high stakes games at a US friendly site involves getting your money on board. Deposit options at Ignition Poker include credit cards, money transfer services and Bitcoin. You’ll be able to withdraw from this site via paper checks.
Reasons to Check Out High Stakes Poker Games
Nobody would argue that watching the highest buy-in poker games is entertaining. It can also be educational. When you see a showdown, you can backtrack through the hand and get a real insight into the thinking processes of players that have mastered the game. It is often difficult not to be impressed by their fearless style of play – especially if you are used to the loose / passive limping of small stake players.
Watching the biggest games can also be motivational. All the players you are watching swap pots of $10,000 or more will have started off in the smaller stakes games.
You will also have the opportunity to take a shot at high stakes tournaments – via satellite qualifiers. Buy-ins which are outside of your normal bankroll level will usually have a series of qualifier tournaments. These often work in stages, giving players a shot at a ticket for a $500 buy-in game for an outlay of just a few dollars.
The road to the high stakes tables starts off with building a poker bankroll. Choosing sites with the best reward programs or cash-back offers can help boost your returns. Selecting the fishiest games will also help to increase your hourly rate.
More About High Roller Poker Sites
High stakes poker sites are fun to play at because they give you a chance to watch the high stakes pros battle it out with $100,000+ stacks in real time action. It’s also cool to know that if you grow your bankroll large enough, you’ll be able to join the high stakes tables one day yourself.
If you’re planning on making a large deposit at any of these online poker sites, it’s recommended that you contact their customer support team first. Most deposit methods have limits on the amount of money that can be deposited in a single day, week and month. With the help of the customer support team, you can increase your deposit limits and talk about alternative deposit methods.
Withdrawals are handled in much the same manner for high stakes players. A popular withdrawal method for large sums is the wire transfer straight from Full Tilt Poker to your bank account. Some high roller poker sites may ask for proof of your identity, but that’s completely understandable given the large sums of money.
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