2014 Bovada Poker Review

Bovada Poker Review 2013

Bovada is a solid option for all of your betting needs. In addition to poker they are also known for their casino and sportsbook, all of which can be accessed using the same account. They’re licensed, regulated and audited regularly, so you can feel safe about placing bets here, too.

The best part about Bovada is that they’re one of the few sites that still accept US players. With the exception of the players from Washington, Maryland, New York and Utah, US players now have a place to participate in large guaranteed tournaments, a variety of games and promotions — including the $1,000 deposit bonus.

Promotions at Bovada

100% Deposit Bonus

Bovada is offering a generous deposit bonus — a 100% match up to $1,000. What this means is that for every $1 you deposit, Bovada will match you $1, for a total bankroll of $2.

The bonus is structured a little different compared to other sites. Instead of releasing the bonus in increments of $5 or $10, Bovada has a top-heavy structure that awards players that play frequently. Here’s what the structure looks like:

Level – Poker Points – Bonus Issued – Total Bonuses

  1. 50 points – $10 – $10
  2. 250 points – $40 – $50
  3. 750 points – $100 – $150
  4. 1,500 points – $150 – $300
  5. 3,000 points – $300 – $600
  6. 5,000 points – $400 – $1,000

Points are earned playing real money games. You’ll receive 3 points for every $1 in tournament fees you pay, and .01 to 1 point depending on the rake and what you contributed to the pot in cash games. The more you play, the more bonus money you’ll earn. Keep in mind that you only have 60 days to complete your bonus.

One thing I like about this bonus is that you can make multiple deposits to take advantage of it, so long as the deposits are made within the same day.

$100k New Player Qualifier

As a new player to Bovada you’ll receive 6 tokens that buy-in to qualifiers to the Sunday $100k. All you need to do is create an account, make a deposit and earn your first point.

What I like about this tournament is that it has a 1,000 player max. So the player pool won’t be so big that it’s a total crapshoot to qualify.

$15k in Monthly Freerolls

Bovada runs $15k worth of free-rolls every month. 25 points will get you into a qualifier or you can buy-in directly for 1,000 points. The freerolls run twice per month and has $7,500 prize pools. The top 20% get paid, with first taking $1,000. This is a good opportunity to jump start your bankroll.

Games Available at Bovada

Lets take a look at the games you can play at Bovada.lv.

Cash Games

The following cash games and stakes are available at Bovada:

  • Holdem / NL, PL, FL / .05 to 60
  • Omaha / PL, FL / .05 to 60
  • Stud / FL / .10 to 10nl

When I last checked the site out (Tuesday 1pm PST) there were players sitting at all the games and limits. The games looked very soft, too.

Tournaments (MTTs)

Bovada hosts several tournament variations including qualifiers, guarantees, knockouts and more. Buy-ins start at a $1 and are as high as $450.

Bovada hosts freerolls, too. In fact, Bovada has $15,000 in freerolls every month, with $1,000 going to first place. They run qualifiers (satellites) for their freerolls, as well as their live events and massive $100k Sunday Guarantee tournament. There were 19+ tournaments running when I last checked, and many more were registering to start within the next hour or two.

Sit n Go’s

Bovada runs single, multi-table and live event (qualifier) SNG tournaments. Buy-ins range from free to $1 to $215. You can find a SNG in any game type (holdem, omaha, stud, etc) and in many variations including turbos, 6-max, heads-up, super turbo, triple-ups, beginners and hyper turbos. There were hardly any games running when I last checked, though.

Bovada Poker Software

We have reviewed the Bovada Poker software and have several opinions on it described below:

Lobby

I think the lobby is simple to use. You’ll find several boxes above the games, each with a list of options to choose from. So you’ll choose your game type, variation, stakes and so on. This is a quick way to filter out the games you want to play.

The one thing I wish I could do is actually choose a specific stake or game, like $3 18-man, or something to that effect. This is a minor complaint, though.

Table

The first thing you’ll notice is that Bovada is different when it comes to their tables.

Bovada Poker SoftwareThe biggest difference is that Bovada doesn’t display the names of each player at the table. So you don’t know who is who. This makes it slightly difficult to quickly tell who the regs are and table select. But it does put everyone on an even level playing field, even if it’s only temporary.

Another difference is their spotlight. This follows the action around the table so you can quickly see whose turn it is. This can be turned off/on in your settings, but I think it’s worth keeping turned on. I can see it helping me if I were playing several tables at once.

Other than that everything else is standard. You can choose between options like auto-muck, 4 colored decks, display pot totals, rabbit card and so on. You can also setup your buy-in preferences too, so that you automatically buy-in and top off for predetermined dollar amounts.

3rd Party Software

Because of the animosity the only type of HUD that will work is Holdem Indicator. You can’t effectively use Holdem Manager or Poker Tracker. You’re much better off taking notes, which we highly recommend anyway.

Bovada Support

Bovada can be contacted through the form on their site or by phone. Here are the numbers:

  • General: 1-888-263-0000
  • Poker: 1-866-909-2237
  • Casino: 1-866-234-1324

Bovada is available 24/7/365.

I’ve contacted their support staff before in the past using their form. They have always been fast to get back to me.

Banking Options

Bovada.lv’s payment options include credit/debit cards, Rapid Transfer and money transfers. Payouts can be made by check or Rapid Transfer and typically just 2-3 weeks to receive for players in the United States.

Many players find fault with Bovada Poker because of the anonymous tables, but that is one reason that separates it from the rest of the pack. They have a unique opportunity to provide a different yet rewarding playing experience to the majority of players that sign up. If you think anonymous tables may not be a positive, well, wait until you play all the fish that are on the tables. The regulars don’t like anonymous tables so typically stay off the site… for your benefit.

Because of the deposit bonus and fast cashout times, in addition to having the most traffic available to US players, we recommend Bovada Poker as one of the best poker rooms available for US poker players.