Early this week in an attempt to protect their recreational players in the poker eco-system, Bodog Poker announced they had implemented new data blocking features into their software. I had a chance to do a brief interview with the Vice President of Bodog Network, Jonas Odman. We want to give him a chance to further expand on their data blocking announcement. We discuss what data is being blocked, why it’s being blocked and how the changes to will help his company.
Bill Beatty: Can you please explain to our readers what specific data are you blocking?
Jonas Odman: We are hiding full tables from our poker lobby. This means that players can only see tables with open seats. This makes it difficult for sites to report player numbers, and since most tables are hidden it also makes it slightly more difficult for bum hunters and player tracking sites.
BB: As a recreational player, this data isn’t of much interest. Why is it such an advantage for poker pros to see this data?
JO: If we talk about sites reporting player numbers, size and growth are clear indicators of which sites are successful attracting casual players. Sites that aren’t doing that will inevitable shrink as casual players’ bankroll are eaten by more skilled players. Player numbers sites have become high level fish finders, and this goes completely against Bodog’s Recreational Poker Model.
BB: We see famous poker pros touting other poker sites and those sites encourage poker pros to come play at their tables. Contrary to the other operators in the poker industry, Bodog doesn’t make any effort to go after the pros. Can you explain to our readers why poker pros aren’t attractive in Bodog’s recreation poker model?
JO: Money can only leave a poker eco system in two ways: through rake and withdrawals. Winning players are withdrawing players, and as a poker network our revenue will increase the fewer withdrawing players we have. Interestingly, recreational players also gain from this, because they will get more play for their money.
BB: You’ve mentioned that you are blocking full table data but this is just one part of the equation. What other data are the poker pros using as an advantage over the recreational players?
JO: There are player tracker sites which collect statistics of players’ style of play and their weaknesses. That data is then used by winning players to gain an even bigger edge over casual players.
BB: Do you plan to block that data also?
JO: Yes. We are moving to a completely new software in a couple of months, and that software will block all player tracker software. This will create a more level playing field and is a huge step forward for Bodog’s Recreational Poker Model.
BB: Data blocking will discourage the pros but what else can recreation poker players expect from the new Bodog Poker Software?
JO: First of all, it is a solid product with a much better user experience. We will have some new features at launch, including multiple languages, rabbit cam, Omaha tournaments and more. The new platform will also enable us to launch new features much quicker than before and we have a number of improvements planned for the months following the launch.
Thank you Jonas we wish you luck in promoting the recreational player model and we look forward to testing the new Bodog Network software.