Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bodog f**ks us all in the ass pardon my French.

What might very well be the most ridiculous software update since Windows Vista, Bodog has succeeded in alienating every skilled poker player, flung open wide an inevitable wave of collusion, and reduced the game of poker to an arcade game in one fell swoop.

If you don't know already, EVERY POKER table on Bodog has gone anonymous - in other words, no more names, just seat numbers. No indication of who is sitting there, which eliminates a HUD's usefulness, or the ability to take any notes. What's more, the update looks and sounds like very little thought had been put into it.

But I see where and why this 'update' has taken place.

Read this statement from Bodog's VP. An abridged version of this article is basically, screw the grinders. On the surface, this whole 'recreational poker model' looks, sounds, and literally reeks of short-sighted judgment. If you read 2+2, players are withdrawing in droves, crying foul at this unannounced plundering of one of the few US-friendly poker sites remaining. Why lose all this business? they will certainly lose mine, as I'll be pulling my substantial bankroll there as fast as their processors will let me. But I think this radical move runs deeper.

Merge has already felt the crunch. They halted accepting US players, and blocked play from 'dangerous' states like New York and Kentucky. Bodog's poker traffic since Black Friday jumped 97%. This 'revolutionary game-changer' that is the Bodog update is not meant to progress - it's meant to eradicate. They know exactly what they are doing - they want the grinders off the site so they don't get in trouble with the DoJ. I highly doubt they even want poker to remain part of their model at all. If they do, they want it to be a game of chance, not of skill - how to do that? Eliminate the edge by making everyone anonymous. What is incredibly frustrating to those of us who enjoyed playing on the site, is that it seems so incredibly asinine to make such a business move - but in the big picture, this is exactly what Bodog needed to do to keep their sportbook and casino intact, and stay viable for the US market in the long term. they'll make more money on all the Super Bowl bets they will take then they would in six months of collecting poker rake -- not to mention that comparatively, poker is 'honorable' in comparison to sports bettors. Words like win rate and BB/100 don't apply to sports and casino bettors...they keep their balances online - fewer withdrawls means less risk, and more $ in the long run for Bodog's coffers.

So, it's sad, but ultimately understandable. I've investigated other options, but Merge is locked for me, and no other site comes close in terms of volume. It looks like my online pay might very well be coming to an end.

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