BODOG POKER REVIEW
Started in 2004, Bodog Poker doesn’t have a whole lot of history to look back upon. The three years, though , spent in the service of online poker players around the world, represent a period, the Costa Rica based company can be proud of.
It is currently one of the few online poker rooms that still accept US players.
The casino and sportsbook section of the site started operating in 1995. The 12 years of clean record it can show, is a guarantee that your financial problems will never be treated halfheartedly and that you shall never be disappointed.
Customer service, cashout speed (on average, about 2.52 hours for Neteller), and support are above industry-standard. It does make sense, if you consider, that this is what these guys have basically been doing for the last 12 years.
The cashout options are tailored to satisfy the needs of all players, no matter which corner of the globe they’re from: besides Neteller, Firepay, Click2Pay, and a few other popular e-cash solutions, they also have Moneybookers, which is a welcome break for some. (it works in parts of the world, where Neteller doesn’t)
Bonus-wise Bodog is not the most generous of poker sites. It will give players a 10% match on their first deposit (I know that won’t take your breath away). The max amount of bonus is $8.000, but it depends on your deposit method (the above max is valid for Neteller deposits)
There’s a Bodog Poker points system in place, and you need to earn 3 such points for every $1 of bonus released. Your bonus will be released all at once. The sunny side of the deal is, that your bonus never expires, however, you cannot withdraw any cash until it’s been released.
The most interesting thing in Bodog Poker is, that you can actually earn poker points, playing play-money tables. For every hour spent at the table the system will reward you with 1 poker point. The max amount of money you can earn by playing a table (whether real money or play money) is $166/mo. A very interesting feature, and if you ask me, it more than makes up for the flimsy signup bonus.
The software itself is probably an in-house creation of the Bodog network, I haven’t seen their software used by any other poker room. The quality of the graphics has often been billed as ‘dated’ ‘too simplistic’ or downright ‘ugly’. I have always considered it simple and stylish. It carries the atmosphere created on the Bodog website, through, successfully, and simple yet functional things have always appealed to me.
Custom felt colors, player profiles, notes, and easy multi-tabling are the strong points of the Bodog software. Your hand stays visible after you fold it, and that’s useful too (if for nothing else, to annoy you when you see how you could’ve made your gutshot straight, provided you hadn’t folded). The minuses of the software are mostly linked to graphics simplicity and they won’t really bother a serious player. The multi-tabling, though, is restricted to three tables, and that can indeed get a bit annoying at times. (especially when your only goal is to unlock your bonus as soon as possible)
As far as player traffic is concerned, there’s an interesting phenomenon taking place at Bodog as we speak. In the past it used to be an under-average room when it came to player traffic, nowadays, however, the concentrated marketing campaign they have undertaken, seems to be paying its dividends. Player traffic is better and better. In 2004 they had around 600-700 players online in peak hours (the majority of those were in tournaments), today they have about 20.000, and that is one huge jump by any standard.
Player skill is definitely below average. At Bodog, you can make money using reasonable poker strategy, (play tight, and take that one big bet/hour you’re entitled to). This is, of course, good news for the reasonable player, and I’ve heard it attributed to the fact that there are scores of casino players and sports bettors coming over from Bodog’s Casino and Sportsbook.
Game selection is good (not outstanding but still solid). Limit, No limit and Pot limit Hold’em, whether short handed or full ring, is where you’ll find the majority of players. The flops percentage here, can be as high as 60%, but even at its lowest (about 46%) it’s not a bad bargain. Omaha Hi and Omaha Hi-lo are less popular games. You might just run into trouble finding a table to play Omaha at.
The situation isn’t any better in 7 Card Stud, or 7 Card Stud Hi-lo.
By now you’ve probably reached the same conclusion I have, after having made this short general analysis of Bodog Poker: it is definitely a room worth playing at. The fish-factor alone is a good enough reason, but Bodog will have excellent promotions and freerolls to tickle your taste buds too.
(they have a $500 daily freeroll, where the entry is absolutely free. I mean, you don’t pay action points or anything. You just register and play. There will be around 1.700 players in that freeroll, though).