Bodog Launching Satellites for Anonymous Poker Series
The Bodog Poker Network announced this week that it is launching qualifiers for its Anonymous Poker Series (APS) Live Invitational Finale, which will be held in Manila, Philippines in January 2014.
The Anonymous Poker Series was created in December as a sort of hybrid live/online tournament series to highlight the network’s unique software that features anonymous tables. One complaint that casual players have had over the years with online poker is that the regulars, beyond their skill advantage, have an even greater edge through the use of player tracking software such as PokerTracker or Hold’em Manager. This kind of software saves hand information to a database, allowing users to not only analyze their play, but also display the tendencies of their opponents right on the screen through Heads-Up Displays (HUDs).
In late 2011, Bodog took the bold step to make its tables anonymous. Rather than being identified by a screen name at the tables, players are now labeled simply with a number that changes every session. Therefore, player tracking software users cannot associate hands with individual players. Nobody will know if you are a total nit or see-every-flop type of player as soon as you sit down; they will have to watch you play to figure it out.
The change hasn’t gone without criticism, as cynics believe that through anonymity, it will be easier for players to cheat through collusion and other cheaters like botters, chip dumpers, and possible super-users will be harder to detect since there will be no consistent records on anybody, at least on the player side (the network still knows who’s who).
When the Anonymous Poker Series was announced, Bodog Poker Network Vice President Jonas Odman explained some of the thinking behind the Series:
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.
The Bodog Poker Network will host eight Anonymous Poker Series satellite tournaments throughout 2013 with three $6,600 prize packages to the APS Finale guaranteed to be awarded in each. Qualifiers will run March 25 through May 10 and then again from June 24 through October 13. The first APS Satellite will be held April 1 at 9:22pm ET and will cost $300 + $25 to enter directly.
There are ways to win a seat to the satellites on the cheap, though. There are a number of qualifiers each day with buy-ins as low as $0.60 + $0.06. Those “Cheap Seat” qualifiers (which also cost $1 + $0.10, depending on the time) guarantee at least four seats to the APS Quarter-Final Qualifiers.
The Quarter-Finals cost either $3 + $0.30 or $7 + $0.70 and, depending on the tournament, award at least one or two seats into the APS Semi-Final Qualifiers. The Semi-Finals also have two different buy-in levels – $20 + $2 and $44 + $4 – and guarantee at least one seat in the $325 APS Satellite.
The $6,600 APS prize packages include the $2,000 buy-in for the APS Live Finale, $700 in spending money, flights and accommodations for two, a Bovada (Bodog) “swag bag,” and an invitation to the exclusive APS party.
The APS Live Finale features a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool with the top five players making the money. The winner will take home a check for $45,000.
The Bodog Poker Network is one of the last places Americans can play online poker. It is currently the most trafficked U.S.-friendly network, with a seven-day average of 1,180 cash game players, according to PokerScout.com.
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