Bodog isn’t a gambling firm without controversy. Just a year ago they made the decision to get rid of the data mining services by blocking them from the site. While it hasn’t completely taken care of the problem, things have definitely been shaken up in a major way. They have decided to launch what they call the “Anonymous Poker Series”, a hybrid live/online poker tournament series centered around the Bodog Poker Network’s presence in Asia.
However, it goes a little deeper than that. You’re looking at a company that is very concerned with making it a fair game for casual players. This is actually where the money is in casino gambling, since professional players tend not to redeposit money as much as other players do. It would actually be interesting to see a tournament being played by completely anonymous players. You aren’t going to know who the sharks and fish are, but Bodog says that that’s the point:
“We believe that introducing these features makes the Bodog Recreational Poker Model a pioneer in the online poker world and offers all players of all abilities the fairest place to play. We have shown before that we are not afraid of controversy by changing the way rakeback was viewed and starting to block data mining sites earlier this year and these new features now give players a less biased ‘pure poker’ experience. To my mind, the software and Bodog’s Recreational Poker Model is a genuine game changer.”
There’s the removal of screen names completely, which we think is actually a mixed blessing. For example, you can have players feel safe, but you will also run the risk of other players cheating. This is done very easily, and it’s something that the site will have to manage internally.
Hand analysis is something we support as a way to make your game better, and we think that it’s something that others should have as third parties to make sure that cheating is kept to a minimum. Cheating hurts the entire poker world, and everyone should be willing to call out cheaters. If everyone is just listed by “screen number”, does it really have the same effect?
The Anonymous Poker Series is going to be a mix of live and online events, leading up to a $100,000 Grand Final in Manila in January 2014. Yes, this means that this is going to be a very long poker tournament.
There’s still going to be the presence of some poker heroes who are going to be specially invited to the tournament. Gotta keep it interesting, you know.
Consider the other statement that Jonas Odman made:
“This series will help highlight exactly how and why we feel our network is the best and safest place for both recreational poker players and operators alike. Operators who service sports bettors and casino players do not want their customers leaking money to non-depositing poker pros who are using sophisticated software in order to win. Our anonymous tables take this unfairness out of the equation, creating a much better experience for the leisure player.
This model has been specifically designed to appeal to the Asian market where the ‘trust-factor’ is the single most important reason for choosing one operator over another. In the Asian market we believe our product — in the same way Live Dealer casinos are viewed above RNG operators — will be the preferred option in poker.”
That’s a pretty bold outlook, and it will be very interesting to see what actually happens from here on out.
So: are you going to try to check out this tournament on Bodog, or are you going to be sitting out? We’re curious to see what will actually happen from here. According to Bodog, final details of the live events and qualifiers will be released in early 2013. Check it out — we sure will!