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Bovada Poker: A straight forward review from a longtime grinder


I started playing online poker back in early 2004. I started with only one $50 deposit, playing limit poker on Pacific Poker (now 888 poker). I've never looked back from that one deposit, and I've built my entire roll, paid for countless vacations, down payments on houses, bought new luxury cars, all from that one $50 deposit.

 

I've played on all of the major poker sites at one time or another. I think I have enough experience to be able to give a good honest look at how a site handles some of the most important areas that an online poker player looks at, when deciding if they should deposit money on a poker site and actually play there.

 

I started playing on Bovada poker, then Bodog, back in 2006. I was told by lots of poker players live, that it was a great sight to grind on the background because the games were soft, and it was a popular sportsbook. If you have a good sportsbook on a site, you'll get the occasional gambler that will pick up his winnings from the day before, and decide to play a few hands of poker to "double his winnings", only to lose his winnings back to the shark pool. 

 

When black Friday hit, I started playing on Bovada poker again more because obviously poker sites available for U.S. players was being scaled back on a weekly basis at that point. No one really knew how reliable cash outs and withdrawals would be on sites fighting against the U.S. DOJ, so finding sites that has reliable payment processors was a real concern. I in fact got my money stuck on another sites for over 11 months after black Friday, to a point that I thought I had lost another poker bankroll to the DOJ (I lost a lot on Absolute poker when black friday hit).

 

So I wanted to give an honest review from someone who's actually played on Bovada / Bodog a long time, and someone who has played on a lot of sites, and essentially been through it all. I'll rank each of the important areas as I see them with a grade, A - F, A being the best of course. And also give a brief explanation of why.

Bovada Review Grades

 
Grade
Reliability / Trustworthiness B
There's been plenty of people to criticize Bovada ownership over the years, but they've done a good job of making sure players get paid.
Game Selection B
There's enough games running 24/7 on bovada for MTT's, S&G's and cash games no matter what stakes you're playing. 
Fishiness of the site (Quality of games) A
It's still one of the softest sites on the internet, so why wouldn't you want to play against weaker competition?
Cash out / Withdrawl B+
One of the best U.S. poker sites on withdrawals. I have had a couple of checks bounce, but that was more than 1.5 years ago now. Haven't had any issues since. Average time to get a check for me has been 3-6 days.
Security C+
Collusion is a real concern when you have an anonymous online site. And in fact, there's been a recent report that a group did about bovada where they colluded w/o any red flags being raised by Bovada.
Deposit C-
It's hard to get money on Bovada. If you're in the U.S, you'll most likely have to get a pre-paid visa and you can only deposit $500 at a time. So if you're playing higher stakes, it's a bit of a pain.
Bonus / Rakeback D+
There's no rakeback on Bovada, and rake in general is pretty high. They've also cut way back on their bonuses. They used to do regular monthly bonuses, but they haven't been doing them lately. 
Software Dependability B-
The software is ok. Some people have reported crashes. It does the job, but you can only play 4 tables as a cash game player, and 12 MTT's / S&G's. 
 

 

Bovada Poker Software you can use on Bovada and Bodog

Read bovada zone poker strategy here

Bovada Poker Card Catcher Purchase Options


FREE

Trial Version
72 hour trial

72 hour fully functional trial version of the Bovada Card Catcher. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager to allow a HUD on Bovada/Bodog.

$39.99

Cash Games:
No-limit, Limit and PLO

Supports PLO and limit Omaha, and no-limit and limit holdem cash games only. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

$39.99

Tournaments:
No-limit, Limit and PLO

Supports PLO and limit Omaha, and no-limit and limit tournament & S&G games only. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

$59.99

Gold Combo
(Tournaments + Cash)

Supports PLO and limit Omaha + no-limit and limit holdem tournaments AND cash games. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

Bovada Converter Purchase Options


$17.99

Texas Holdem
Cash Games

Supports no-limit, and limit texas holdem cash games only. For easy import into PokerTracker 3/4, Holdem Manager 1/2 or Poker Office.

$17.99

Omaha
Cash Games

Supports Pot-Limit Omaha and Limit Omaha only. PLO8 support for some features, but not full supported. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

$17.99

Tournaments:
Omaha + Holdem

Supports PLO and limit Omaha, and no-limit and limit holdem S&G and MTT Tournaments only. For PokerTracker and Holdem Manager.

$37.99

Gold Combo
(Tournaments + Cash)

DISCOUNT IF YOU PURCHASE ALL 3. Supports PLO and limit Omaha + no-limit and limit holdem tournaments AND cash games. For PT and HM.

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