Anonymous Poker to Expand in U.S.?

Posted on June 26th, 2013 by Todd Wilkins

Anonymous PokerJonas Odman, president of the Bodog Poker Network, has resigned from his post with the intent of expanding anonymous tables throughout the U.S. market.

The architect of Bovada’s Recreational Poker Model that shocked the industry when implemented roughly 18 months ago, Odman aims to start up a new company in California. His new endeavor will provide software to the U.S. online poker market that will include the anonymous table concept for which he is so well known.

For those unaware, Bovada removed screen names of all players on both cash and tournament tables in late 2011. The goal was to level the playing field for recreational players by preventing experienced players from preying on them. As all players are identified only by seat numbers, the sharks can no longer identify and target the weaker players. The concept does away with poker-tracking software used by the pros to study the play of opponents in order to gain an advantage.

The anonymous table concept has been found to be quite popular, with Bovada holding the number one ranking in player traffic among poker rooms and networks that cater to the U.S. market, according to PokerScout. But Bovada actually scoffs at those numbers and has no interest in being ranked. Their concept includes removing full tables from the poker lobby, which actually makes it virtually impossible for PokerScout to get an accurate count of player traffic.

The industry first crticized and ridiculed Bovada for adopting anonymous tables across its entire poker network. But as time moved on, other online poker sites and networks have seen the benefits of the Recreational Poker Model and have copied the concept. Poker rooms used to cater to online pros and grinders. But an industry-wide trend is currently underway that aims to attract the more casual players who seemingly do more depositing than withdrawing.

Odman has chosen a fine time to strike out on his own. The U.S. online poker market is on the verge of exploding as Nevada became the first to offer a regulated site when Ultimate Poker opened its virtual doors on April 30. WSOP.com and others are expected to follow shortly. Delaware and New Jersey are also in line to offer online poker and gambling later this year.

In choosing California as his headquarters, Odman will be in the country’s most populated state. The California legislature is considering several online poker bills that are intended to confine play to within state borders. If the Golden State can ever finally approve online poker legislation, it is highly likely that at least one would follow the success of Bovada and implement the anonymous table concept.

But Odman hopes to spawn his Recreational Poker Model nationwide with his start-up company. He spent three years at Bodog/ Bovada, the first two as vice president and the final year under the title of president. Prior to that, he toiled at the Ongame Network, where he first began envisioning the need to attract more casual players.

Bovada currently offers a massive 100% up to $1,000 deposit bonus for first-time depositors. Those U.S. players who have yet to try anonymous poker would be well-advised to give it a whirl. All the sharks are gone and the site is loaded with recreational players, many of whom are trying their luck at poker after placing bets at the Bovada sportsbook and online casino.

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