I'm Dutch. And we all know what the world says about the Dutch. We're cheapskates. We'll do anything to save a buck.

Well - save a euro.

And just to make sure I fit the profile, I'm not thrilled with the idea of paying 90 bucks for HoldEm Manager 2. Even though I do like to continue using the program. So then there's a few alternatives available.

The first one of course is browsing the internet for "alternate download locations". This option is one I don't fancy either for the simple reason that most of those alternate download schemes are no more than just that: they dump a load of viruses, trojans or other malicious bits of code into your system. And usually, they still don't get you the software you want. So the software on my box is all legit.

The second alternative is provided by HEM2 itself: sign up to a poker website of your choice using their promotional code, and you get the program for free. Unfortunately, since I already had an account at PokerStars, I couldn't use any promotion there. So I went with one of the other affiliated sites HEM2 offers. Ok, so that means you play at two poker sites. Is that so bad? Probably not.

But wait - you have to make a deposit at that other site too! Correct, but the minimum deposit there was $25. Even if I blow it all, I still save almost $75 on the HEM2 software. So we sign up to this other site, and then we get the nasty surprise we should know was waiting for us there. You don't get the $100 in website dollars to buy the HEM2 software just like that, you have to actually play. Well, we kind of figured that beforehand. So we play. To keep both sites apart, I decided to use PS for SnGs, and the other for cash games. That has the added benefit of not blowing my bankroll on cash games like at Full Tilt before they went the way of the dodo.

Well, seems like I'll be playing two sites for quite awhile. You have to collect 250 bonus points (kinda like VPPs at PokerStars). For every dollar of rake taken you get a point. I assume you can do the math on how long that is going to take playing the 2NL ring games. I 3-tabled for over 2.5 hrs today, and earned myself a whopping 1.9 points. Fortunately they gave me a 50 point bonus today for some reason, but still. Argh.

On the plus side: I did walk away from the tables with a profit $13.10. A good first experience a the microstakes cash games. So I'll be playing the cash games for a while until I earn my 250 bonus points. And after that? Who knows. If I still turn a profit by then, I'll probably start playing the cash games at PokerStars as well. I do like their software better. But only time will tell. For now, I have about roughly 200 hours left to grind at those cash games. If I stay at the 2NL game that is.