The Bodog Poker network grew from the existing sports book and casino operations of Bodog.com which was originally established in 1995. The poker room was launched in 2004, and grew rapidly due to an aggressive marketing approach. Subsequent events have seen a Bodog sponsored player win the WSOP Main Event (Jamie Gold – 2006), the site accepting USA based players – despite UIEGA (Bodog Poker is based in Antigua), an increase in the amount of initial bonus offered by the site and even more aggressive marketing. These days, Bodog Poker is safely within the top 20 poker sites with an average of 750 players onsite at any one time and two major peak times (around 10.00pm in Central Europe and 10.00pm Eastern Time) when the site may see as many as 4.500 visitors.
The Bodog software is unique and Bodog Poker is the only skin using the “network”. The nonagon and hexagonal shaped playing “arenas” (rather than tables) take a little bit of getting used to, but playing on the site is a pleasure – with smooth graphics, easy to navigate lobby areas, detachable windows for notes, chat, stats and game details, plus the ability to change the background to one of 16 different colours schemes. There are many options to suit a players´ sound and vision preferences plus “Quickseat” and “Advanced Filter” functions. Bodog Poker is available as a download for both the Windows and Mac user, and accessible through Internet Explorer in its Flash version. There is also a mobile application available for the site for players who want to access the site from their mobile phones.
Bodog has acquired its popularity due to the large initial deposit bonuses that it advertises, and therefore, many of its active ring “tables” are filled with inexperienced players trying to clear their bonuses. The site caters for Omaha, 7 Card Stud and 5 Card Draw, however these games are not well supported by the players who use the site, and getting a game on these “tables” may involve a long wait. Despite the light weight of use on a computer´s RAM, multi-tabling is limited to only four windows at a time. This is one of the major drawbacks for players wishing to compete in a number of events at the same time to help clear their bonuses, but is compensated by the value that is available through playing Bodog tournaments at off-peak times. The major multi-table tournaments are mostly geared to the American market, with little comparative action available before the early morning hours in Europe. This allows the opportunity for some incredible value in guaranteed pot games and qualifiers, which are vastly undersubscribed between the (GMT) hours of 5.00am and 19.00pm.
The web site is very user friendly in general and includes some unique action for beginners; including an exclusive freeroll program, selected Sit ´n´ Go “tables” paying a sliding scale bubble down to 5 places and multi-table tournaments specifically for “beginner” and “beginner +” rated players. As mentioned above, there are a number of guaranteed tournaments and qualifiers which are significantly undersubscribed outside of peak periods, and these add value to the ultimate weekly tournament – the $100K freezeout.
Bodog also offer routes into live events such as the WSOP, European Main Event and Asia Poker Tour as well as hosting their own Bodog Open Series each November.