Donkin's Blog’s Tricks of the Trade Promo 2017’s Tricks of the Trade Promo

I woke up today to a new email from with an interesting promo and I thought I’d share my thoughts on it.


First though, I’d like to get one gripe out of the way. All casino promos should provide more than one day’s notice. I received the email on February 11 and the promo starts on February 12. If I wanted to reschedule some other events in my life to play it, that doesn’t leave me much time.

Ok, and now to point out the complexity of this promo. I feel I’m very experienced in dissecting casino promos, but this one, I had to read twice and then read the fine print twice. Complex promos are great for Professional Grinders, but maybe not so much for novice players. Either way, any player who cannot spend a decent amount of time playing each week will have trouble taking advantage of this promo.

I’ve tried to breakdown this promo into a more understandable format with the important parts first. While the promotional material focuses more on the Academy, I’ll focus more on where the money is.

Reload Bonus Introductory Offer

$500 Intro Bonus for everyone. This is very simple, if you got the email for the promo, you have a reload bonus and only 30 days to deposit. Make your deposit, keeping in mind doesn’t have a penalty for withdrawing afterwards.

This reload bonus provide 90 days to clear it.

Reload Bonuses: A Plethora

Reload Bonuses for your play on is what this promo is really all about. With $100 in reload bonuses available to earn every week as well as a $500 introductory bonus, is offering $1400 in bonuses for play from Feb 12 to Apr 9.

To qualify for the reload bonuses, you simply must be in the top 50 of your team each week, whether your team is competing that week or not. Depending on how the teams are split up (I assume randomly), it should be easy for any player of $50NL or higher to make the top 50 each week with only casual play and any player less than $50NL can still make the top50 by putting in a decent amount of time.

Though I could not find the expiration time for these reload bonuses in the promo material, I’d assume they carry the same 30-day window to deposit as the introductory bonus.

SolveForWhy Academy

Billed as the reason for this promotion, players from each team will have two chances to win a seat in an Academy from Solve-For-Why. I don’t know who these guys are, but I’m impressed they were able to obtain such a high-profile partnership as That said, I consider this of little value. Classes, camps, etc are in general no better than books and videos. They are all lumped into the same level of learning for poker. The only step up from there is a one-on-one coaching session.

The real value to winning a seat:

  • 20% rakeback in the following 9 weeks, though capped at 35% rakeback total (if you are Elite already, I guess it’s only worth 15% rakeback)
  • Entry to a leaderboard of the 9 winning players for a shot at a $1000 online bracelet tournament.

To win a seat in the academy, you must either win one of the two leaderboard weeks or win one of three drawings. Even I don’t expect to be able to win one of the leaderboards, these are mostly reserved for young grinders who don’t mind playing subpar poker for hours on end. Though the 20% rakeback is huge and I will give it a shot, I rarely expect promos to make up for playing C-game poker for hours and hours.

image of leaderboards

Tricks of the Trade leaderboard weeks. Check your email for your weeks.

One-on-One Coaching Session

This would be a valuable perk of this promo if you could win it, but winning it means you have trounced the leaderboard of leaderboards in the final 9 weeks of the promo (and won yourself the online bracelet seat as well). However, even a player of that caliber can likely benefit from a one-on-one coaching session.


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