One of the best ways for beginning poker players to build their bankroll is by clearing deposit bonuses. Most poker sites offer a nice bonus for players depositing for the first time. For those with a bigger bankroll, the PokerStars 100% up to $600
initial deposit bonus is tough to beat. This is one of the biggest deposit bonuses found online and one of the easier to clear. Even if you do not have a big bankroll, you can make thee different qualifying deposits with in 90 days of each other up to $600 total. Don't yet have an account at PokerStars
? Use the link to sign up!
Understanding how to clear the PokerStars Deposit Bonus will help you decide if it is the best current option for you and your bankroll. First of all, after depositing $50 or more you will receive a matching bonus credit in your account. Note that it is not real money until the bonus amount is cleared in $10 increments. To view the current status of your bonus visit your Cashier window and click on “Check my Bonus Status”.
Earning the bonus is quite simple. In order to release the bonus you must achieve a certain amount of VIP Player Points, or VPPs. These points are gained by paying rake in real-money cash games or tournaments (both SNGs and Multi-Table Tournaments). It takes 170VPPs to clear $10 (17VPPs per $1) worth of bonus money, meaning the full $600 will take just over 10,000 VPPs.
Earning VPPs is quite simple. Every time you play a hand with at least $.40 raked in a cash game or any tournament with a fee you will earn VPPs (VIP Player Points). Depending on your VIP Level, you will earn anywhere from 1 to 2.5 FPPs per each VPP. Those starting out on PokerStars will begin at the BronzeStar Level. This level has no extra benefits; however, it is quite easy to move from BronzeStar to SilverStar (which gives 2FPPs per 1VPP). FPPs can later be used to purchase products from the VIP store or used to gain even more bonus dollars.
In cash games players will earn 1 VPP for being at a table ($1/$2 stakes and lower) where the rake reached $.40. A second VPP can be earned if the rake reached $2.00 at 6-max tables and $3.00 at all other tables. If the rake reaches $5.00 then a 3rd VPP will be awarded. In tournaments, 5 VPPs are awarded for each $1 in tournament fees. For example, after playing in a $20+$2 tournament a player will be awarded 10 VPPs ($2*5).
Let's look at some examples. Let's say you like playing SnGs or MTTs and you have $100 to deposit. How long would it take you to clear the $100 bonus? Well, since you have $100 as your bankroll, you want to play $5 or lower for bankroll management. Even if you can beat the $10 level, you don't have enough of a cushion to compensate for a downswing. Even the best tournament players can go 15 tournaments in a row without a cash. Let's see our options:
$1 + $.20 - 1 VPP per tournament - 1,700 tournaments
$3 + $.40 - 2 VPP per tournament - 850 tournaments
$5 + $.50 - 3 VPP per tournament - 567 tournaments
It is possible to clear this thing at the $1 level, but it would take a pretty long time. Depending on how many tables you can play at once would account for the length of time. If you can 4 table comfortably and play 8 tournaments per day, then at the $5 level it would take you about 20 days to clear. Of course, you may have a bankroll large enough to play bigger tournaments and to take full advantage of the $600 bonus. (Don't even attempt to clear the full $600 below the $10 level.) Let’s see how fast the $600 bonus clears at mid-stakes SNGs and Tournaments:
$11 + $1 - 5 VPP per tournament - 2,040 tournaments
$25 + $2 - 10 VPP per tournament - 1,020 tournaments
$35 + $3 - 15 VPP per tournament - 680 tournaments
If you play cash games, the amount of VPPs you earn per hand depends on many things such as the table, your playing style, etc. So how long the PokerStars bonus takes to clear will not be exact, but here is a general guideline to clearing $100 (1700VPPs) for lower stakes players
5nl - .01 VPP / hand - 170,000 hands
10nl - .04 VPP / hand – 42,500 hands
25nl - .13 VPP / hand – 13,100 hands
For those able to deposit the full $600 here is a projection for $50nl through $200nl (note these numbers are for Full-Ring):
50nl - .192 VPP / hand - 53,125 hands
100nl - .366 VPP / hand - 28,000 hands
200nl - .431 VPP / hand - 23,700 hands
As you can see, the higher you move up the easier it becomes to clear. It would take a LONG time below 5nl so I don't recommend even trying. However, it's better to adhere to bankroll management then the go busto at too high of levels attempting to clear!
There you have it, earn as little as 850VPPs and $50 will automatically be released into your account. Remember, this is released in increments of $10, so every time you hit 170 VPPs, $10 is yours. It is worth noting that the bonus does have an expiration date, however, it is usually around six months, giving you plenty of time to clear the $50 or $100 even at the lowest of stakes. Be sure to check your bonus status as this information will be readily available to you. Finally, the bonus can be voided if you decide to cash out from PokerStars during the clearing period, therefore make sure you clear the bonus before moving on to another site.