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The anonymous player format at Bodog/Bovada continues to be a favorite of online poker players who have flocked to the site in droves since January 1, creating a rise in player traffic of 35%.

The year began with Bodog averaging 1,400 ring game players. About a month and a half later, that average has reached 1,900, according to the latest numbers provided by

The Recreational Poker Model (RPM) employed at Bodog was introduced in late 2011. At first ridiculed, the concept is now seen as containing at least some elements crucial to the growth of online poker.

No Shark Tank

A central theme to RPM is to make the game more enjoyable for casual players. A successful way to do that is by making money last longer at the tables. And that money will last longer when the sharks are no longer circling the fish.

By doing away with rakeback, limiting multi-tabling to a maximum of four, and eliminating bum-hunting and poker-tracking software through anonymous play with seat numbers instead of screen names, Bodog/Bovada has created a haven for recreational players.

It’s not a site where the grinders want to be since player points are good only for free tournament buy-ins – not cashback. Add to that the poker traffic provided by sports bettors who click their way over to the poker tables and you have a very fishy poker site.

Who’s Next?

Other poker rooms have been looking for ways to make online poker more palatable for recreational players. Segregated tables and gamification come to mind, as well as copying the anonymous table concept to some degree.

But no site has seemingly gone the whole nine yards when it comes to duplicating what Bodog/Bovada have done. Perhaps other poker rooms should, considering the success Bodog has found by catering to casual players and making the game fun again.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.