Who Let The Bodogs Out?


Dormant account
Apr 7, 2005
West Coast USA
Its not my mien to complain publicly about a website, unless truly egregious behavior has occurred. However, I feel compelled to share my tale of woe with you regarding Bodog, because one can only deal with so much abuse.

Speaking of abuse, Bodog tagged me as a bonus abuser several months ago. While I feel I really didnt do anything wrong, a short discussion is in order. As everyone here likely knows, for close to a year, Bodog was offering unlimited 20% deposit bonuses on all deposits. This is a fairly standard deal with sportsbooks whose customers lay 110 on sides. However, this promo was offered for all parts in the casino, including poker and in the casino. I played usually at 25-30x (their requirement was 20x), and cashed out. After a couple of these, I got a warning (a strike in their parlance). Upon making an inquiry, I was told by a manager that as long as you dont redeposit within 24 hours, youre fine (their version differs from mine, but I think any ambiguity, and theres plenty here, should be construed against them). So, relying on this, I deposited, and cashed out a few times more, usually waiting a few days and got a second strike. Upon inquiring why with a different manager, he informed me that the deposits are really for new money only. This, of course, is a total contradiction to the unlimited policy that Bodog has. Now, after playing though this deposit (which 40x was required), losing the deposit, the bonus, and $1500 on top of that, I was summarily given a third strike on withdrawal, which meant that I would be eligible for no more bonuses. Thats right, deposit $5000, lose $7500, and get a second and third strike at the same time. Good business practice, eh? Especially since I zeroed out my account, which I think would imply that I wasnt planning on returning for a while. Blaming the customer for taking advantage of a bad deal when a multi-million dollar sportsbook puts out promotions that a third-grader can figure out are bad for the house is unacceptable. But unaccountability appears to be the Bodog way.

Along the way, the casino manager was e-mailed and two messages were left for him at their 800 number. After my third strike, four pages of very detailed flame (mostly a reprise of what youre reading here) was sent to CEO Calvin Ayre in Costa Rica. I am a perfect 0-4 on responses. Calling customer service in Vancouver is very much like calling a black hole. So much for that fantastic customer service theory of theirs. Judging from Bodogs website, Mr Ayre absolutely has his priorities in order, looking very GQ and cavorting with Playboy models, as opposed to actually responding to complaints from loyal customers and trying to run a profitable business.

To my mind, a lot of this is par for the course. The real complaint begins here. As explained to management as nauseum, such a deposit bonus structure for poker is flawed-it rewards bad players, and punishes skilled players. It creates an inverse effect, where a weak player can redeposit at will, knowing if he goes broke, he can redeposit again without penalty, even though he has paid significantly less collections than a skilled player, who will be in the room several hours every day. If you want to see some real bonus abuse, let someone buy in for $10K, and dump off $12K to his partners playing $5-$10 no-limit. He looks like a total sucker. Thats just one, about a half-dozen ideas come immediately to mind. But theyre the experts, not moi.

I should also point out that 75% of my play was in the poker room, where I frequently started games and kept them going. Players like me are usually considered to be gold by the poker room, not vermin. Considering that I could have cut myself a much better deal either by affiliating myself, by taking a prop job on the site, or by using a rakeback service, my deposit/withdrawal history shouldnt be at issue. Although a new client is forthcoming, and it looks like a vast improvement, their customer service tried to tell me their client, which is the old, clunky, and extremely buggy Poker.com client, was SOA.

Even though Im backed off from bonuses, I still receive mail. One e-mail I received let me trade poker points for cash, subject to playthrough limitations. When I called to get the bonus, they told me I was ineligible for this promotion, and got lectured on a number of items. My conversation with a poker manager was nothing short of remarkable. He was focused on my results, which should really trouble the reader. I ran really well playing VP on the site, but I wasnt exactly pounding away at them, until I had to play 40x, and I think they would welcome my action then. Somehow, the management cannot differentiate luck from skill and have very little understanding of basic principles of statistics as applied to gambling.

I usually played VP when there was no sit and go to play. The gentle reader might inquire why a poker room manager might be concerned with my results. The poker room, in theory, is a disinterested party in the outcome of the game. Either the young man was either too clueless to realize this, or theres something sinister going on in the poker room. Non-random shuffle? House-sponsored bot play? So, they took my 8000 poker points, and not only didnt give me the $200 (which I would pay $400 or so collections on), and forgot to redeposit the 8000 points in my account. I also asked to be no-mailed, but still receive e-mails. The whole thing is a total joke, and if I didnt know better, Id swear I was dealing with Bodog in a parallel universe. Its just one lose/lose deal after another, and I think its time they got called on it.

It makes me wonder how Bodog can have such poorly trained, incompetent help, and still make enough money to afford those very expensive 4-page 4-color ads in virtually every major mens magazine. Im guessing between the ads and the promo, Bodog burned several million. Must be nice. For all the dough they spent promoting the poker room, they really Bodogged it being 12th according to pokerpulse.com.

In spite of all of the aggravation, I really enjoyed playing poker there. The games were good, and the regulars in the bigger sit and gos are all gentlemen and seem like good guys.

Anyone here think I dont deserve an apology (if not my 8000 points back)?
Hi wecoyote,

Well, given that what all you state is true - yes I believe that Bodog not only owes you an apology but also any points/money that they confiscated. Any apology bonus wouldn't hurt their image either.

I would PM Bodog's Casino Manager if I were you and ask him/her to respond publicly here to this message. This way we can all see his/her response in an open public discussion.

Given that they have a listing for a Registered Casino Representative here (see link in my signature below) and that they are listed by CM as an accredited casino they should respond here in a reasonable timeframe if only to maintain respectability.

If they fail to respond then they should be censured with regards to their accredited status on this site.

Without consequences there can be no cure.

At some point, I will probably get the 8000 points back, it takes one phone call.

I'm not going to PM management. They've had more than ample opportunity to resolve the situation. They are what they are, and know what they know, and that's about it. It's pretty obvious that they're overmatched when handling non-sportsbook issues.

I would characterize the situation more of one of misfeasance than malfeasance. Why a poker manager would care about my results in the poker room is simply amazing. It tells you all you need to know, IMHO. The games are good there, but there is only so much aggravation and ignorance one can stand. They got a lot of room from me ONLY because the games were good. At least Party has the excuse of their tech support a) not speaking English as a first language, and b) barely knowing a flush beats a straight.

I really think I should go into more detail about the bonus abuse story, but I'll show some restraint here.
Dear Wecoyote,

I would like to begin by apologizing for what has obviously been an extremely frustrating experience for you. My name is Stewart and I am the Bodog Casino Manager. I can guarantee that we at Bodog take concerns such as youre very seriously and we will work together to resolve your issues and hopefully come to a mutually-agreed conclusion.

Your first area of concern is with our Bonus program and your subsequent loss of your Bonus privileges. In addition you have identified a Poker Points issue, specifically your ability to convert these points into cash. The final issue in your email, which I find most disturbing, is the less than satisfactory customer service that you received. As you stated in your email, we at Bodog do consider ourselves to be the very best in our industry when it comes to Customer Service. Obviously not receiving a response to an email is very frustrating in any situation but even more so when you are attempting to resolve an issue such as this.

From your post and your public profile, Im unable to determine your account number to review your personal experience in detail. I would appreciate the opportunity to not only resolve the issues that you have experienced but I would also like to determine why you were not responded to in a timely fashion. Therefore if I could kindly request that you contact myself, Stewart, at casino@bodog.com with the subject line Attention Stewart I offer my personal guarantee that I will do my best to resolve all of your issues.

Thank you for the opportunity to converse with you on behalf of Bodog Casino and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Casino Manager
Bodog Casino

Users who are viewing this thread

Meister Ratings