There is nothing like a sense of community. Sadly, it isn’t happening on my street. One place I did find community, strangely enough, was when I started playing poker. I started at PokerRoom and they had an active forum and chat active on the game choice screen. In this day of tweets and Facebooking, I still think a forum is the more traditional community.
For poker players there are a lot of them around. There is the over-moderation at 2+2. There is the free-for-all version at any number of trolling forums. If you look hard enough you can find a few that fall somewhere in the middle.
I just took a look at one that seems a decent blend of old style chatting capability without the name calling and nastiness of some. You can ask about a hand or comment on a situation and get some good feedback from the members. There is a hand converter to help display the old hand history that makes it more readable. I looked around at their various forum topics and then joined.
Cardschat.com looks like a decent place where you can find that sense of community.
Online poker forums are one of many types of affiliate sites. There are a number of them to choose from. I worked for one of them for several years. For many casual poker players, they are a solid choice and a good value. The good ones provide various freerolls and added value games. This site has a nice selection of them. You can play a $5.50 buy-in with a normal prize distribution – and they either add money or throw in a ticket for one of the site’s major tournaments. That’s a nice risk:reward chance to freeroll to a 5-6 figure payday.
A lot of online poker players think that you should only consider rakeback when considering where to sign up for the various poker sites. That isn’t always the case. At the recreational level the return is minimal. In fact, the month’s return might not get you out of Starbucks — paid in full. If you sign up through a forum you trade the pittance for some nice freerolls and perks that others who don’t belong can’t get in. On various sites at various times, it was another profit center I could exploit. Not many of us can grind 30 tables and benefit better in a different framework.
Among the poker forums, CardChat.com has an attractive mix of features and perks. And, if you are a motor mouth (semi really) you can even pick up extra rewards for being an active poster in the forum. Such a deal.