Bodog CEO comments on new poker model
20 December 2011
LONDON, England -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The uproar caused by the most recent component of the Bodog Poker Recreational Poker Model has seen the most vocal criticism of what we are trying to do and this was to be expected. Let's bear in mind that on top of the fact that over 90% of operators cater directly to the needs of the sharp player there is also a whole subsection of the industry creating tools to make the sharp player stronger. Sharp players, therefore, have a huge choice of rooms they can use. The casual player does not have anything like as many options and hence their entertainment value is decreased.
Most people would agree that this all harms the user experience of the casual player which are so crucial to the eco-system of any poker business.
Equally a poker operator, especially one with an affiliated sportsbook, does not want a poker room where cash is being drained out of their (mainly sports betting) customers by sharp poker players.
What is also not in doubt is that the online poker industry has been, at best, stagnant, for quite some time and I feel strongly that is because the casual players are drifting away because they have a bad experience. In essence they are losing money too quickly and therefore not enjoying much bang for their buck.
With the system we now have in place nobody can know our traffic figures and, yes, we have seen a few sharp players leave us as we expected but have seen very little decrease in traffic since the implementation of the new software.
However, when you strip back all the emotional comments from people with vested interests whether they be players that use HUDs or are datamining companies there is only really one criticism that stands up to scrutiny and that is whether the lack of usernames can increase the opportunity for collusion.
The solution is a relatively simple one but as the concern has been raised we will bring forward its introduction to Q1 of next year, indeed we are now brining it in ahead of having a full Mac solution for the new software.
THE SOLUTION: Players will be able to request their hand history for any game they feel was wrong with the added bonus of having ALL cards from the hand 'open'. Players can then highlight any problems to our team who will delve further into any issues. As the tables are anonymous it is possible for players to view all the cards rather than just their own.
This solution will actually give our system a higher security value than poker rooms with usernames.
THE FUTURE: Already the Recreational Poker Model eliminates the HUD player who is simply playing the odds on multiple tables - he is essentially playing similarly to a bot without actually being one. This is better for the casual player.
We will also introduce a number of fun features like the ability to show just one card when you muck, reintroduce the ability for players to see their folded cards as the hand plays out and also additional graphics on the cards at certain times of a game; when you win, when you lose, when you fold and even when you get a genuine bad beat. All to enhance the entertainment factor for the casual player.
Our previous changes to the rakeback systems that were rewarding winners rather than depositing players are better for the casual player.
Our blocking of other datamining sites is better for the casual player. Having a poker room full of casual players is good for ALL players and ALL operators.