Haley's Poker Blog

No bad beats, but still a poker blog... hence the anguish.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Bodog Site Review Revisited

One of the things I've wanted to do is revisit my review of Bodog. In honesty, I'd have to look back at my original review and say that my very low evaluation was an accident of timing --- I happened to be sampling their wares as they were in the midst of a significant system transition, one that they took live perhaps before it was ready. I never saw their original software system, and the one that I was playing on really did suck --- hence the initial lousy review.

They've done a lot of work at Bodog. Love 'em or hate 'em, whether you wanna give Calvin Ayre a kissie or a noogie, they desire a higher rating than the one I initially awarded.

I've actually played quite a bit at Bodog over the last few months. The games are wild/soft --- especially the smaller buy-in SNGs. The action is fast-paced, and the continual modifications and upgrades to the software have fixed most of the previously mentioned issues. The tournament overlays continue, and they continue to be an attractive incentive to play on this site. And the cashout speed and overall customer service are second to none.

There's still a problem with identifying your exact rank within a larger multi-table field. This oversight is bothersome to more than a few --- I'm far from the only reviewer who's commented on the need to have a better idea of how you stand as a tournament winds toward the final tables. Also, the windows-within-windows version of play works as it's supposed to, but it remains my opinion that it's just not optimal for most players' use.

Fortunately, Bodog has implemented another version that allows for multiple large-table windows to be opened, and this is a much better solution; the only drawback I've found is more of an accident --- if you have your screens overlapping in the wrong manner, your clicks can have unintended consequences, such as opening up new windows into other parts of the Bodog site. The neverending software crashes that marked earlier versions of the software now occur only rarely; they really have been busy improving the Bodog feel and play.

Remaining drawbacks? Only a small handful. Bodog's still pretty much a one-trick pony: if you're into games other than no-limit hold'em, it can sometimes be hard to find anything here. The site remains hyper-infused with 19-year-old Phil Laak wannabes who seem to have no other function than to find ways to circumvent the chat-censor software and tell others just how much of a "fuk--- donkey" they really were, usually with invitations to perform physically impossible acts as well. But let's be honest, too; these punks are a significant part of Ayre's target demographic.

Fortunately, they seldom play that well... and you can always flag the good ones you encounter.

Bodog moves on and up. They've become a strong second-tier player, continue marketing themselves as aggressively as any online-gamblimg entity, and are an increasing force to be reckoned with. Whether this is good or bad news remains to be seen.

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