Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Review of Bodog & IdleMiner

Following up on my min cash at the Bodog 100K guarantee on Sunday, after putting in my 200 points at Full Tilt, I decided to open up a Bodog client and put in a little volume.  The kind folks at Bodog are running a $2500 Freeroll for putting in 150 points between July 15th and August 15th.  Freeroll notwithstanding, I wanted to get a better feel for the cash games on that site.

As a quick background, the Bodog hand history log is non-existent.  In other words, HEM cannot read Bodog hand histories.  If you want to use a HUD such as HEM, you must get third party software.  In my case, the good folks at IdleMiner were able to walk me through setup of their software, which was as simple as could be.  Upon downloading the software and double-clicking it, the install process was painless through the install wizard.  Next, I had to point HEM to the output directory where Bodog Hand Grabber would output the hand histories.  Once running, all I had to click was "On" to turn it on and begin processing.

Typical Bodog Hand Grabber screenshot
Anyway, as I was greeted by the lobby upon logging in, I realized that the lobby is not nearly as user-friendly as PokerStars or Full Tilt.  Clearly, this is not a top tier site, although the lobby is usable.  It displays all cash games available, from all stakes and game types.  I can filter on Holdem, Omaha, etc., but while filtered on Holdem, I can see HU, 6 max, and my standard Full Ring (9 person) tables.  Not cool; all I want to play is $25NL given my [smallish] bankroll.  After finding the 25NL tables, I was able to find an open seat and sit down immediately.

Quick FYI: There were approx. 8 tables running with varying amounts of players for this past Monday night.  The 50NL tables, all 4 of them, were full for the majority of the night.  Clearly, this site does not have the volume of a larger network, which, in all likelihood, is fine.

After sitting down, I was forced, once again, to resize my table to an appropriate size.  Apparently, the Bodog client has no memory of prior window size settings.  Another note of interest is the fact that the Bodog client does not remember that I chose to "Wait for Big Blind" last time I played, so for the casual player, he will be automatically bought into the next hand by posting his blind out of turn from all positions.  I quickly caught this issue and checked the box to wait until the BB position, while opening up other tables.

Quick FYI: Apparently, the Bodog software only allows a maximum 4 tables to be open at any given time.  I called the Bodog support team twice last night, to be given the same answer: *ALL* users can open no more than 4 windows.  This is a limitation imposed by Bodog due to prior complaints of their customers.  WTF?  So they don't want me to put in more volume AND fill seats at more tables?!??!?!  I am more than comfortable with 9 tables!  Let me open more tables than a pedestrian 4!

One by one, as I opened up my 4 tables and resized them to fit my needs (there is no auto-tile or auto-cascade function), I realized that my HUD was popping up on all of the tables, even prior to being dealt into a hand.  I realized that the IdleMiner Bodog Hand Grabber was already doing what it does best; grab hands.  Apparently, I don't need to be dealt into hands in order to use the software, unlike the big sites!  Basically, my client could act as a PTR and grab hands all day, spying on my opponents' tendencies when I'm not physically present at the tables!  How cool is that?

The play
Holy cow! I had a brief time to play at the 50NL tables on Sunday night, and was card dead, so I did not get a real feel for the player base.  However, I gave it a real shot last night and was pleasantly surprised at the level of donkishness.  There were 3+ people at my tables, running a 60/10 style play who *LOVED* to see flops and fold to cbets.  Any PF 3bets were met with INSTAFOLDS.  It was as if I was taken to a place where I knew the future and these players had no idea what a 3bet or steal was!  For the most part, in my 200+ hands last night, I *RAN* over the table, backed up the car, and ran it over again.

These players were loose PF, and totally scared money post flop!  It was amazing.  And when they called, I knew my bottom pair was no good, so I check down to see their TPTK, sets, etc.  If they got aggressive, folding was really easy.  Talk about readable players.  I simply could not believe how behind-the-times these players were.  No clue about board textures.  No clue about hand strengths.  No clue about appropriate spots to bluff.

In all of the hands I played, I was taken for an extra $6.50 when I bet my flopped TP into a 2 spade board and got a call.  The turn was another spade which was checked through, and I finally led the non-spade river and was min check-raised for my $3.25 bet to be shown the turned flush.  Fancy play, pal!

All told, I took more than a buy-in in a very small sampling of hands.  I was poking around and took a look at their weekday guarantee tournaments... it seems that they perpetually run an overlay on everything!  As I build my bankroll, I *WILL* be taking shots at the larger tourneys.  Too bad that they don't have satellites to qualify for those tourneys - or at least I couldn't figure out how to see the satellites...

Anyway, for those interested, definitely check out IdleMiner for the hand grabber support, download the Bodog client, and attempt to make a deposit - which is likely the hardest part.  If you're successful, you likely won't regret it.

Good luck!

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