Bovada initially closed its poker room after selling its poker software to IgnitionPoker just over a year ago. It seemed at the time that Ignition was just a rebranding of Bovada Poker. The sudden return of Bovada Poker last month, however, has left many people confused about the distinction between Bovada and Ignition. To clear this up, @BovadaPoker tweeted on August 23 that Ignition and Bovada, despite sharing the same software and both using the Pai Wang Luo Poker Network, the two companies are “separate entities”.
Bovada Poker won’t available in all US states. The company is withdrawing from New York, Nevada, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, and has informed players playing in those states that their accounts will be terminated by October 2. The reason Bovada is withdrawing from the latter of those three states is likely because players from those states have access to regulated online poker services. Bovada isn’t a regulated online poker service, and its core market strategy is to gain customers from states that don’t have any regulated poker alternatives.
That said, Bovada is now available in most of South America as well as the US, specifically Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. As Ignition is only available in the US, players from these countries will now have a chance to use Bovada’s poker software.
Fans of mobile poker will be pleased to hear Bovada has re-released its poker app for Android and iOS as well as its desktop client. The app is virtually the same as Ignition’s, with a similar lobby and the same in-game interface. You can play No-limit Hold’em and Pot-limit Omaha cash games on the app, as well as Zone Poker, Bovada’s popular fast-fold game type.
It’s hard to say whether or not Bovada Poker will ever be as successful as it once was. Without any sanctions from any official gaming commissions (it used to be licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Comission) and Ignition offering a clone of its software to US players, Bovada is going to have a tough time returning to its former glory. However, despite its one-year hiatus from the poker market, Bovada has maintained strong brand presence in the US due to its casino and sportsbetting services. For this reason, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Bovada recapture a significant chunk of its former market share.