Anonymous Tables at Bodog

At the Start of December, Bodog started offering anonymous tables for their poker players. This supposedly conceals the player’s identity so as to give all players an equal environment where they could not discern one player from another.

The main purpose for this change was so that beginners could play on a level field where poker pros could not prey on them, as they do not know who they are playing up against. Moreover, it supposedly gives you the same thrilling atmosphere as playing live poker because the names of all your opponents are unknown.

Although the main idea sounds great and the purpose is noble, it does not always work out as expected when they offered it up to the public. Initially, there had been a lot of issues with the new software. It had a lot of glitches and it crashed periodically. A few days later, there were already rumours going around that the software had already been hacked and that there was a sure way to know the real identity of the players behind the anonymous names appearing on screen.

After that, numerous poker websites confirmed that they have broken through the website’s flimsy security protocols. Some even put up videos giving instructions and showing the steps on how they did it.

Even though Bodog keeps on insisting that their site is safe to play in, the traffic to the Bodog website plummeted as players became aware of this major problem in the server’s security software. Apparently, most customers prefer a safe playing environment and shied away at the first signs of security vulnerability. And who would blame them with the past history of cheating cases at Absolute Poker, UB Poker or even at the big sites like Full Tilt Poker.

With a lot of poker websites offering similar gaming services, most websites try to create something unique to offer the player, but it sometimes has the opposite effect unfortunately. It seems that Bodog might have just overextended themselves and we can only hope that they fix this situation sooner than later.

Carbon Poker is back in the USA

Posted by the-ace | poker online | Friday 14 October 2011 10:10 pm Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In a move against the tide, Carbon Poker is back today in the United States.

The poker room is again offering access to real money games to American players (except New York, Kentucky, Washington DC, Maryland, Washington, Missouri and Louisiana), as well as to players from all over the world (except France and Australia).

Since the Black Friday of online poker on April 15th 2011, when the DOJ and FBI shut down the major online poker rooms (pokerstars, full tilt poker, absolute poker, UB Poker and Doyle’s room a few weeks later), online poker has been on a standstill in America with almost no poker room remaining active.

This is the first time that a poker operator reenters the US market and it is clear that Carbon Poker will become instantly the leader in this open field. As a matter of fact they were the leader until they decided to leave the USA in June to take time to recoup, only allowing existing American players to get involved at the real money tables in the interim.

This new development may create some confusion for the players. Is it legal or not to play online poker in the USA? And how come some rooms were closed while others are moving in?

The short answer is that it is perfectly legal to play online poker in the USA. The recent actions by the Government only targeted the poker operators, not the players. Some of these operators are accused of processing financial transaction related to online gambling in an illegal way, according to the UIGEA, the main law regulating online gambling in the USA.

UIGEA is a controversial and poorly understood law that does not prohibit online gambling itself, only the way operator are allowed or not allowed to execute financial transfers related to such activity. In addition online poker is not legally considered online gambling, and various scholars have proved that poker cannot be characterized as gambling as skill plays an important part. This is one argument used by the defense of some of the people indicted in April.

There are only a handful of online poker rooms left in the USA and most players choose to migrate to Carbon Poker after Black Friday. According to poker specialist Paul T. Martin, “Carbon Poker has the most traffic and this is the main aspect to many players given the rarefied playing field. They also have interesting features, such as a bad beat jackpot which is often in the six figures, a sleek software and the ability to multi-table with resizable tables. The room is safe and trustworthy with no history of payment problems whatsoever. They follow gambling laws as they have not been accused of any wrongdoing. They have a VIP program for the most active players.”

The bottom line is that despite the current crackdown, it is legal to play online poker in the United States and there are still a few options available to US players, the best of which being Carbon Poker. This is not expected to change until 2012 or 2013 as online gambling law reforms will take at least a year before they get started.