Bovada to Stop Providing Online Poker at End of September

BovadaThe US-friendly online gambling site- Bovada – has told players to transfer their poker balances to a partner site – Ignition – by the end of next month.

Yesterday morning, Bovada released a statement announcing that its online poker product had been “acquired by Ignition Casino”. The statement advised players that online poker would not be available at Bovada from September 30th, and instructed them to create an account with Ignition and transfer their balances.

The news was received with alarm by many players concerned about moving their action from an established online poker site to one that only that only recently came into existence. However, it was soon realised that Bovada and Ignition are practically the same company and the playing experience would be identical.

So, Who Is Ignition?

Ignition Casino was launched in March this year using the same Rival and Realtime gambling software as the Bovada Casino and another of Bovada´s casino skins – slots.lv. In recent weeks, the site has added an online poker product that is identical to Bovada Poker (except in name) and shares its player database with the Bovada/Bodog Poker network.

To all intents and purposes, Ignition Poker is Bovada Poker. Both sites use the Betting Partners affiliate program – basically Bodog´s marketing company – and both sites have the same anonymous tables, Zone Poker games and a weekly $100K feature tournament. Players who transfer their balances prior to the September 30th deadline will be playing in the same player pool, and player points earned at Ignition Casino can be exchanged for the same casino bonuses and tournament entry tickets.

Effectively, Bovada is separating its sports bettors from its poker players and migrating its poker players to another site. No reason has been given for this, or why players have to transfer their funds manually – whereas when Bodog Poker migrated its US players to Bovada Poker in December 2011 the migration process was automatic.

Do I Have to Transfer My Funds Now?

Players at are advised to take advantage of the opportunity to “drip-feed” funds from their Bovada Poker account to Ignition Poker. This is because all accounts at Ignition Poker have to be verified before players are allowed to play at the new site, and this might take a couple of days depending on the volume of verification requests the new site receives.

Certainly it is recommended that players start the migration process before the September 30th deadline. Bovada Poker and Ignition Poker will continue to operate simultaneously until the deadline and players will be allowed to have active accounts with both sites. Security mechanisms have been activated to prevent players with accounts at both sites from logging in at the same time.

Promotions to Encourage Players to Transfer Early

In order to prevent a last-minute migration pile-up, Ignition Casino is offering players several promotions to encourage them to transfer their funds (or at least some of them) as soon as possible. Once the initial transfer has been completed, players will receive a $10.00 cash bonus immediately. A further 100% “redeemable” bonus up to $100.00 is being offered to players who make an independent deposit into their Ignition Poker accounts (i.e. not a transfer from their Bovada Poker account).

Ignition Casino will also be hosting a series of five freeroll tournaments exclusively for players who make a transfer from Bovada Casino. The prize pools for these freeroll tournaments decrease as the migration deadline approaches and, although each player will only be issued with one freeroll ticket, it makes sense to enter the earlier events as there will likely be fewer players in each tournament. The dates for the freeroll tournaments and prize pools are:

  • Wednesday August 17th – $15,000 freeroll.
  • Thursday August 25th – $15,000 freeroll.
  • Tuesday September 6th – $10,000 freeroll.
  • Monday September 12th – $5,000 freeroll.
  • Thursday September 22nd – $5,000 freeroll.

Players will be awarded their freeroll ticket the day after a successful account transfer and verification has taken place. Players will receive any unused “regular” Bovada Poker tournament tickets within the first couple of days of October, but should be aware that their Bovada Points balances will not be transferred. Bovada Poker has released details on its website about how Bovada Points can be transferred to casino bonuses or “regular” tournament tickets before September 30th.

Bovada Poker has also announced the site is not accepting any new registrations from August 9th (yesterday).