Thursday, March 06, 2008

Withdrawing Online Funds -- WWJD?

Money in the bankWithdrawing funds from online poker sites continues to be a relatively easy procedure -- much simpler (especially for Americans) than is depositing.

The sites with which I have had experience all operate in pretty much the same fashion when it comes to withdrawing funds. You click a button, enter an amount, and a check arrives (usually) in short order. (Have encountered one frustrating exception with Ultimate Bet, but as I no longer play there I am relatively less concerned with their issues.) And so far, thankfully, the bank has yet to object whenever I go to deposit those suckers.

For example, when one withdraws funds from Full Tilt Poker, one selects a method of payment, enters an amount, then lands on a final screen announcing that the withdrawal is in process. All of the screens are text-only until the last one, when one encounters a stylized, darkly-lit image of Chris “Jesus” Ferguson looking back at you:

Was able to withdraw a bit from Full Tilt yesterday and when I reached this screen I found myself momentarily mesmerized by the picture. Had seen it when withdrawing before, though forgot “Jesus” was there waiting for me at the end of my cash-out.

Stare long enough and eventually you realize there’s a ghostly image of Phil Ivey discernable in Ferguson’s sunglasses (his right, our left). I suppose an academic might want to suggest some sort of effort being made here to invite the viewer to identify with Ivey, but doing so requires a leap of abstraction I don’t personally feel inclined to make. (Besides, it is never a good idea -- even when pretending -- to think one is Ivey.)

I’ve decided that image of Ferguson punctuating the withdrawal process is highly appropriate. As we were reminded of repeatedly last weekend when Ferguson took down the NBC Heads-Up Poker Championship, he’s a so-called “math guy” with a Ph.D. in computer science and a formidable knowledge of game theory. And we also all know about Ferguson’s various experiments with and advice regarding bankroll management, such as demonstrated by that “Starting from Zero” challenge he gave himself last spring.

The fact is, the decision to cash out some of of one’s online roll always should be thoughtfully made. You know Ferguson never makes that move without thinking in through carefully ahead of time. I try to be thoughtful there, too -- especially now that depositing has become so arduous.

Perhaps the photographer originally intended to connote themes of intimidation, circumspection, or perhaps just poker celebrity when snapping the shot of Ferguson. I’m reading the photo differently, though. I’ve decided to read it as a salute of sorts from the bankroll master to a potential disciple.

“Cashing out some, eh?” says Ferguson. “Well done.”

Here’s hoping you get to enjoy a glimpse of Ferguson’s photo in the near future.

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Blogger Richard said...

Very nice piece. :)


3/07/2008 3:22 AM  
Blogger OhCaptain said...

I had been thinking about cashing some out as well, but then I realize that money has made it across the to the otherside.

Deposits are getting extremely difficult for me. The money I already have out there is all I'll probably be getting out ther for a while.

I think very hard about taking a withdrawl. Its not always easy to just make more of it and once it leaves poker land, I can't get it back :-(

3/08/2008 3:00 PM  

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