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Global Poker Review - Don't Deposit Real Money w/o Reading This!

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Global Poker Brags

✓ USA acceptedUSA Tiny Flag
✓ $2 free no deposit bonus via snail mail





Global Poker Beats

x Confusing business model
x Possibility of future legal trouble
x Only one payment channel
x Software is basic and contains few frills
x No HUD compatibility
x Pays only USA and CA players
x High cash game rake

 

In February 2017, a new poker room hit the U.S. online scene. Global Poker is a division of VGW Holdings, which also runs Chumba Casino. Global allows you to deposit via PayPal and withdraw your winnings back to your PayPal account. This is very convenient for users, at least in the short term, but there are potential problems lurking in the future that novices might be unaware of. We've prepared this review so that, if you should elect to play at Global, you'll be going in with your eyes fully open and won't be blindsided by anything unexpected. We do recommend that poker players stay away, however, especially newcomers to the game. You can find a list of reputable internet poker rooms that accept Americans and allow real money play in our U.S.A. online poker guide.



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Global Poker Business Model

Most online poker operations have certain similarities in the way they're set up. Users deposit money, play with it at the tables, and then cash out any winnings they're fortunate enough to collect. We feel that this way of doing things goes without saying, and so we don't mention much about it in most of our poker site reviews: It's just a given. Not so in the case of Global Poker.

You see, PayPal does not allow U.S. residents to use its services for internet gambling, so Global has come up with workarounds that it contends makes its games fall outside the category of gambling. You can deposit real money and cash it out like normal at Global, but what happens in between is unique to this poker room.

Unlawful internet gambling notice
Restricted transactions as defined in Federal Reserve Regulation GG are prohibited from being processed through your PayPal account or your relationship with PayPal.  Restricted transactions generally include, but are not limited to, transactions in which credit, electronic fund transfers, checks, or drafts are knowingly accepted by gambling businesses in connection with unlawful Internet gambling [1]

When you fund your Global account, you are really buying practice chips, called “Gold Coins.” These are just like the chips found at Zynga Poker or the play money section of PokerStars. There are play money games running around the clock at Global, both cash games and tournaments, and leaderboards even reward those who display the most acumen in these not-for-real tables.

Additionally, you also get “$weeps Cash” when you buy Gold Coins. There are separate games that demand $weeps Cash buyins, and they're shown in different lobbies than the Gold Coin tables. You can cash out $weeps Cash at a 1:1 exchange rate for U.S. dollars. It's also possible to complete a process of mailing in forms to get a small sum of $weeps Cash for free each month. Global contends that this arrangement makes its poker games a type of sweepstakes, not gambling.

Global states that its lawyers have carefully constructed these plans to ensure that they're in compliance with all relevant statutes. The firm asserts that PayPal has looked over its operations and approves of them. We don't know, however, how closely PayPal has examined what's going on. It may be that PayPal personnel just took a cursory glance at Global before giving it a tentative nod. Perhaps when they find out what's really taking place, i.e., barely disguised real money gaming, PayPal will have a change of heart, leaving the status of players' funds in considerable doubt.

What happens when a Federal judge applies the 80/20 rule?

How "barely disguised" is this real money poker? Some further insight was to be found when Jonas Odman, General Manager of Global Poker, gave a talk on February 9th, 2018 at an industry conference in London, England. When asked what percentage of the site's volume was Gold Coins versus $weeps Cash, he visibly stuttered and then stated "roughly have 20 percent of our tables, Gold Coin play, and 80 percent $weeps play."

Yes, you read that correctly. Only 20% of Global Poker's volume is their proposed purpose, and the remaining 80% of their action is essentially real money gambling hiding in plain sight! You can listen to the relevant segment of Jonas' presentation below:


It's important to note that whenever PayPal detects that something is amiss, it typically cracks down not just on the offenders themselves but also individuals who have engaged in transactions with those parties in the past. If you make a deposit at Global Poker and then it transpires that PayPal takes action against the company, you could be caught up in the dispute too. Your money might be frozen for a long time or even removed from your PayPal account entirely.

Another element to consider is that the money you deposit is used to purchase Gold Chips. The $weeps Cash is just an added bonus granted to you when you buy Gold Chips; it's not considered something of value in its own right. This means that in the event that Global Poker gets shut down, you won't be entitled to a refund of your $weeps balance. It also means that Global's parent company, VGW Holdings, is under no obligation to keep player funds segregated or to maintain enough cash reserves to pay them out.

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Speaking of getting shut down, what happens when this goes to court? When a judge sees this complicated legal trickery and decides to apply the good old 80/20 rule, what do you think is going to happen?

Global Poker Signup Offers

Global doesn't exactly provide a wealth of benefits to new customers. With every registration, the user gets $2 in $weeps and 10,000 Gold Coins. This at least gives newcomers the chance to check out the poker action in both currencies on the house albeit for very small stakes. There's no deposit bonus of any kind.

Global Poker Software and Games

The software used at Global Poker was developed by Cubeia, a Swedish enterprise that focuses on building applications for the online gambling industry. This platform was designed to be fully mobile-compatible, and it uses only HTML5 and Javascript, meaning there's no bulky download to install. This means that it works on virtually every computing device, but there are certain shortcomings. Waiting lists are absent, so if you want to sit at a full table, you'll have to open it up and hope that another player departs soon. There are only a handful of lobby settings, like four color deck and mute sound, as opposed to the dozens of configurable options at mainstream online poker sites. It's not possible to download hand history files. Instead, you can view a listing of the hands you've played within your browser and then select them one at a time to replay. Needless to say, HUD trackers don't work at all on Global Poker.

Global Poker Cash Games

The $weeps ring games run from the equivalent of $0.02/$0.04 up through $10/$20 in NL Texas Hold'em. There are six-max and nine-player tables, but heads-up games are absent. PL Omaha is available at the same blind levels although the action is a bit less bustling than it is in NLHE. Limit Hold'em was added to Global in August 2017, but there's hardly ever anyone playing it.

Cash Game Table at Global Poker$0.50/$1.00 No Limit Texas Hold'em Ring Game at Global Poker

Global Poker Ring Game Rake

The rake in Global Poker ring games is 5% across the board. The maximum possible rake taken varies from $1 to $5.50 depending on the format of the game, the stakes, and the number of players in the hand. Taking 5% for the house is pretty standard across the internet poker industry although there are a few rooms that rake less. The $5.50 cap at the highest stakes is, however, a bit more than at most competing sites, which cap the rake at $3 or $4.

Especially worrisome are the rake amounts for heads-up, three-handed, and four-max play. It's typical for a card room, whether brick and mortar or online, to give users a significant discount on the rake charged when playing shorthanded. This is done because the edges are smaller, the action is faster, and much more rake is charged per player, per hand, and per hour. However in Global Poker's case, these rake caps tend to be only slightly lower when the tables are short than when they're full.

Versus their competition, GP gets a thumbs down in this category. You can learn more about online poker rake and the lowest-raking sites in our comprehensive comparison of the rake charged by leading internet poker organizations.

Rake Charts for Global Poker
Rake Charts for Global Poker Big-Bet and Fixed-Limit Cash Games

Global Poker Sit & Gos

Global's $weeps SNG lobby starts at the low $0.50 + $0.05 level and climbs up to $100 + $10. There are regular-speed, turbo, and hyper-turbo contests, but unfortunately, both regular and turbo games charge a full 10% fee. Hyper turbo players do get a small rake break down to 7%, but this is still higher than at competing sites. For a rundown of sites for sit-and-goes that don't charge such exorbitant fees, look at our list of best SNG sites for Americans.

Global Poker Tournaments

The daily tourney roster at Global has events priced from $2.20 through $55. There are guarantees on many of these MTTs, but they're pretty small. For instance, the $50 + $5 daily tournament guarantees only $2,500, which corresponds to a field of just 50 entrants. On the weekends, the MTT lineup grows and distributes greater amounts of money. However, some of the most interesting events on the schedule aren't open to all – hopeful participants must complete challenges (see below) to gain the opportunity to join these tournaments. The $33 Weekend Gold Coin Challenge $10,000 Guaranteed (2R1A) is one such event. Before being able to pay their $33 and enter, players must see 200 flops in Gold Coin cash games previously during the week.

MTT Lobby at Global Poker

Global Poker Promotions

The majority of the promos at Global Poker come through the challenges system. By completing certain tasks, players can earn rewards. Most of these perks are entry into tournaments whether freerolls or contests that require that a further buyin be paid. The challenges typically reset every day or week, so you have to keep playing to re-earn the same rewards each time you wish to partake in them.

From time to time there are tourney series with added leaderboard prizes, special deals awarding free $weeps, and social media promotions. These promos are short-lived, however, and during most of the year, you'll find only scant opportunities for complimentary rewards at Global Poker.

Global Poker Cashier

Gold Coins Available for Purchase in the Global Cashier

All transactions, deposits and withdrawals, were handled exclusively through PayPal at Global Poker until very recently. Besides the reasons we enumerated before as to why PayPal might not be the best processor to use, there was also the further demerit of trusting in a single third party for payouts. Even without considering the more worrisome aspects of Global's sweepstakes vision, relying upon one and only one partner for cashouts is courting trouble. Payment firms come and go all the time, and even those that endure often change their rules and restrictions from time to time.

We've long felt that the addition of multiple payout channels, perhaps including Bitcoin, would help to insulate Global Poker and its customers from any falling out with PayPal. This would prevent users from being at the mercy of PayPal's decisions regarding their money. We covered the case of Stefan Christopher, a high-stakes pro who has had his money tied up for more than six months because of PayPal's actions. Be aware that if you elect to play at Global, you could be subject to similar misfortunes.

The Worldpay Connection

It seems that Global is aware of the demerits of overreliance on a single payment channel, and therefore, the firm has recently brought Worldpay on board to handle some of its transactions. Worldpay is an experienced payments firm that handles more than $700 billion in transaction value annually. Global added Worldpay credit card deposits and bank transfer withdrawals to its cashier in June 2016. After Global announced the news via email, “GlobalPoker_Joey” said on Twoplustwo:

“GlobalPoker_Joey” Reassures Customers

However, it turned out that the changes at Global were not just confined to expanding the payment options available to users. It turns out that customers could use either the Worldpay-based credit card and bank transfer interface or the old PayPal transactions but not both. Even worse, Global decided for each user which cashier method that person would be able to employ! Individual players had no input in this decision. Check out this email that was sent to the “lucky” users who were selected for Worldpay deposits and cashouts:

Email From Global Poker About WorldpayThe Email Global Poker Sent to Certain Customers
Notice the Troubling Text Highlighted in Red

Some affected users contacted support and asked to be returned to PayPal, but no dice: They were informed that they had been permanently flagged to use Worldpay. This is a problem for people who don't want to receive their withdrawals back to a bank account either because they lack such an account of because they don't wish to commingle the other funds in their account with online poker money. Another issue is that these bank transfers take between three and five business days to be completed whereas Global offers same-day or next-day payments through PayPal. Before making a cashout through bank transfer, players must submit a bank statement showing their banking details, which introduces further delays into the process.

Instead of increasing the number of payment channels from one to two, Global merely switched some users, without their consent, from one to another. Perhaps Global is worried that its PayPal setup is a bit shaky and is attempting to transition over entirely to Worldpay? Whatever the reasons for this adjustment, the way the company went about it was deceptive and shows a lack of concern for customers.

Gold Coins, $weeps, and Other Cashier Details

As we mentioned before, $weeps is basically the equivalent of U.S. dollars while Gold Coins represent play money. Global's cashier interface offers several packages of Gold Coins that one can buy at tiers from $10 to $5,000. For example, for $10, you'll get 50,000 Gold Coins. With your purchase, you'll also receive an amount of $weeps equal to the sum you pay. However, there is one exception to this; the $750 level is a Gold Coin-only package. Whoever selects this option will receive 3,750,000 Gold Coins and 0 $weeps. The inclusion of a non-$weeps Cash selection is likely an attempt to satisfy whoever is watching that the play money games are a viable product even without any $weeps being involved. We feel sorry for whoever inadvertently clicks on the $750 package without carefully reading the description of it and gets only play chips. If management truly felt that it was important to allow people to purchase Gold Coins only, then they could have priced such an option more reasonably, say, at $20 or $50.

The minimum withdrawal amount is $50, and there is no stated maximum, but we have heard from credible sources that payouts of $50,000 at a time are not unknown. Before a cashout will be sent to them, players must enter in their personal info and submit corroborating documents. At most internet poker sites, this is a mere formality, but at Global, it can lead to trouble. Many people have had to send in their paperwork multiple times, often without Global Poker even acknowledging receipt of it. On the upside, once all this identity verification is finally completed, users report getting paid within hours or a couple of days.

ROTW Players Beware

There's something else that's extremely relevant to the topic of Global Poker cashouts, and this is that only people in the United States and Canada can request them.Acutally, there is even some debate on this because Jonas Odman, the room's general manager, has stated publicly (in the video posted above at the 16:07 mark) that $weeps tables are only available to players in the United States. However, other comments from Global staff indicate that Canadians are welcome to play for $weeps and cash out except for residents of Quebec. Perhaps Jonas and his confederates don't think of Canada as a real country? Maybe, as a native of Norway Sweden, Jonas is confused about North American geography? For those of you in Canada, we highly recommend you read our Canadian Online Poker Guide and avoid the ambiguity about whether or not Global will actually pay you if you win or not.

Those from other countries can play at the site, and even make deposits, but they are currently unable to claim any of their winnings. This dubious policy can lead to unhappy situations, like one that was posted on Twoplustwo wherein someone from the United Kingdom deposited a four-figure sum only to find out later on that he could not ever withdraw any of his winnings nor receive a refund of his deposit. Global would probably contend that it allows players from most of the world to purchase Gold Coins for the purpose of enjoying the play money games, but this is a deceptive line of reasoning, and there are probably quite a few people from outside North America who are fooled in this manner.

Global Poker Message Shown to UsersAt Least Global Started Showing Customers a Popup Alerting Them to the Geographic Restrictions on Cashouts

Here at Professional Rakeback we maintain a payout report that is updated monthly and covers a wide range of websites that offer poker, sports betting, and casino games. In this report we also cover Global Poker cashouts, so take a look for yourself if you are curious how we score them, and various other gambling sites.

What Others Are Saying

 

Players

Mixed reviews from players. There are complaints about everything from the RNG to, tough games, to a confusing lobby where people accidentally spend hours playing play money games instead of the real money games they intended to play. On the plus side, players in some regulated states appreciate having another place to play (if only for a while before the regulators notice what is going on).

Tough games abound at Global Poker's reg infested tables
Balance discrepancies exacerbated by lack of hand histories
Many accusations of colluding poker bots as well as illegal and unfair use of hand history converters and heads up displays on Global Poker.
Global Poker's FaceBook offer of a free $20 no deposit offer reneged.

Johnspence at 2+2 forums laments the lack of support options as well as missing money after a Global Poker server crash.
Reddit /r/poker user Jascarn comments on June 2nd 2018 about tough games full of multi-tabling regs.

Twoplustwo User “dieno” Shares His Thoughts on the Worldpay Changes
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Global Poker Customer Support

Users can contact support through email 24 hours a day. There's also an active Global Poker Facebook profile that responds to messages. Global sponsors its own forum at Twoplustwo, but it's not as good as it could be. Sometimes days or weeks go by before the forum reps address player concerns. There is no telephone number that players can call to speak directly with customer service personnel.

Conclusion

Global Poker aspires to provide fully legal online poker to the United States by adhering to a sweepstakes model, but many entities have endeavored to do so in the past, and their efforts have come to naught. Global may be in violation of PayPal rules, which could get it into unenviable predicaments going forward. Its customers would likely see their funds confiscated or at least put on hold for a long time if this occurs.

There are  too many red flags with the Global Poker brand  for us to recommend it to any of our readers at this time. Instead, you may wish to try our top recommended site, Ignition Poker.

Comments

a lot of rig games

This sites algorithms are complete and utter nonsense. Almost all hands are won on the river, many times runner runner. I bought in but will never play it again.

I have played over 1200 tourneys and sngs and very seldom is there a flush with only 3 of that suit.Almost always four to flush and ace rag will win. Stay away. Check my sharkscope to see what happens to a good player who does not advertise for them. The ones that stream all winners who mostly play trash and hope. Good luck if you play there

Hello Jabo14,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to share your experience at Global Poker. We thought we would go ahead and post a link to your SharkScope profile so that others can see for themselves what your financial experience has been when playing on GlobalPoker.com. For those of you who do not want to leave PRB (and who could blame you for that!) here is a screenshot of Jabo14's SNG and MTT results as of May 30th 2018:

The sick swings of Jabo14, a customer at GlobalPoker.com.

There is no doubt in my mind that they have employees play on the tables. It's obvious that they can see your hand and know when to fold, they know when their card is going to hit the river. These hands are pre-planned. You may get AA but the employee knows that his or her 2 3 suit are going to hit the flush on the river.

the rattlesnake 100k tournament is today but guess what? the whole site is offline and now i cant use my tournament ticket! how convenient that they shut offline the games right at the moment this tournament supposed to start. they afraid they do not make the guarantee so they close down games. bullshit liars and scammers!

Several times I have been deep into a high paying tourney, and out of nowhere GP decides to cancel it, or "system error", etc. and never any real reasons as to why, and the worst part is they never refund the damn money you paid to get into it. TOTAL POS site, stay away

Started at Global Jan of 18 and ran my first $100 deposit up to almost 5k. I tried to cash out 1k and Global said my documents were not clear(5 times).Pay Pal accepted the same ones Global would not. After this i went on tilt and lost the !k and now i am down almost 3k. anyway if they will let you cash your shit out and move on to Ignition.

Jabo14,

We find it very odd that PayPal, a globally recognized power house in the payment processing world who deals with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) with over 100 international government regulators would accept your submitted documents. Yet Global Poker, who relies on them as their only payment processor, would reject the very same documents. And nearly half a dozen times at that!

Why do you respond with attitude and rudeness to people?

And you posted someone s SharkScope graph? LOL. No chance in hell I spend money here and now I'm telling everyone I know not to

Hello Anonymous User,

We are not quite sure which of our responses you found to be rude or touting attitude but we can assure you that was not our intent.

With regard to the posting of Jabo14's SharkScope graph, we do not think he would mind. He posted about his good fortune. He also posted about his terrible run of cards afterwards. He also signed his post as "Jabo14(real global poker player)".

Only because he posted his username as such did we act. We took the time to look him up, verify his story, and post his graph for players to see that he was telling the truth about his experience at GP.

If you think this was rude or showing attitude to the degree that you you will never give Professional Rakeback your business, that is of course your right. But we think you have misinterpreted our response as something that it is not. Furthermore, you can not "spend money here" as Professional Rakeback is an information portal and in no way, shape, or form accepts money from its readers.

In conclusion, we would like to apologize to you if we offended you. Please use the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of any page on this website and send us your mailing address. We will send you a gift in order to make amends...

Please accept this token of our appreciation for your words of wisdom.

This advice is 100% true and accurate. I have experienced Global's hesitance to pay out into my PayPal account after accepting Pay Pal transfers into their site without any problems whatsoever. Now they have changed their payment mode in mid-stream and refuse to credit back my PaPal deposits and they do not even acknowledge my several inquires about this matter to their customer service department. They also have again requested my identification documents despite my having sent the documents to them in the past. My total loss amounts to only $87.00, but I assume they have scammed many hundreds of others out of money in a similar manner.

You are correct Ron. Global has forced hundreds of players to provide new banking information and re-verify their accounts.

This is due to their swapping to a different payment processor. They are forcing random players to "beta test" this new service. They have not asked players and will not restore PayPal according to their forum representative on 2+2, Joey.

We have also just updated our review to reflect this new information. Thank you for your commentary, we appreciate our customers interacting with us!

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