Bodog adds new feature to offset Anonymous Tables

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Dec 16, 2011 Posted in Online Poker News, Poker Room News | No Comments »

One of the biggest questions Bodog faced when it announced it would be switching all of its poker tables to Anonymous Tables (where players are identified only by a random ID) was how the site would police colluders. In an earlier post I stated that for Bodog (or any other network for that matter) to make Anonymous Tables work they would need to alleviate the fears of the poker community, and prove that they were capable of catching colluders.

Well, on Thursday we got our answer to this problem, as Bodog UK CEO Patrik Sellin told CalvinAyre.com that the site would now make any hand history available to a player with ALL of the cards exposed! In an interview with Bill Beatty, Sellin explained how the Anonymous Tables allows the site to divulge a player’s hole cards without consequence to the player –as well as giving poker players the best tool for uncovering suspected collusion. Here is the pertinent part of the exchange:

BB – OK about the players saying they are quitting or taking their business elsewhere, I get that some are just emotional people or have a vested interest in a non-anonymous poker table but a few have raised some genuine concerns about bots and collusion. The poker community works hard to police themselves, having an anonymous table makes this self-policing tougher.

Selin – When you strip back all of the emotional comments from people with vested interests, whether they be players that use HUDs or are data-mining companies, there is only really one criticism that stands up to scrutiny and that is whether the lack of usernames can increase the opportunity for collusion. The solution is relatively simple and as the concern has been raised, we will introduce our solution in Q1 of 2012. We are now bringing it in ahead of having a full Mac solution for the new software.

BB – And that solution?

Selin – Players will be able to request their hand history for any game they feel was wrong with the added bonus of having ALL cards from the hand ‘open’. Players can then highlight any problems to our team who will delve further into any issues. As the tables are anonymous, it is possible for players to view all the cards rather than just their own.

This solution will actually give our system a higher security value than poker rooms with usernames.

Anonymous Tables would appear to be the next logical step in the evolution of poker, it places every player on equal footing (given that experienced players are not using data casual players are not privy to) and also allows the sites to implement a far better security feature by releasing hand histories with all pre-flop cards “open”.

That said: Since implementing the new Anonymous Tables Bodog’s traffic has dropped according to PokerScout.com, but it’s unknown if the decrease PokerScout is reporting is from players leaving the site, or simply Bodog’s new anonymity thwarting their efforts to compile accurate data.

There is also the still unanswered question of poker bots, and how a site utilizing Anonymous Tables will be able to counteract them. For the most part Bot users have been caught by players who notice suspicious patterns in their play over large samples, or from seeing the same player sitting for marathon sessions day after day.

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