3 – 10 business days
Ignition Casino has a brand new poker room. Sort of.
Here’s what happened.
Ignition bought their poker room – the proprietary software, assets, player base, etc. – from Bovada on August 9th, 2016. You can read about the sale here.
Bovada plans to exit the US market following the sale. Their existing players will have until September 30th to transition from Bovada to Ignition. To encourage players to make the move, Ignition is offering a:
This offer is available to new players, too. Our review will tell you more about it – including what we don’t like about the offer.
As you read our review you’ll notice that most things about Bovada’s poker room will stay the same after it’s transferred to Ignition.
Most things. Not all of them. A few things will change following their cutoff date. We’re not fans of most of them.
Be sure to stick around and read our review to learn what those changes are. And, ultimately, to decide if you want to stick around following the sale or to decide if Ignition’s poker room is the right one for you.
You’ll notice Ignition is pushing you to download their software from their site. This led me to wonder if they even offered a Mac option, likely a no download.
They don’t. Not yet, anyway.
That said, you can play from your phone or tablet. You’ll have full access to their cash and zone poker games.
The games Ignition offers are:
If you’re a cash game player, you’ll be able to join heads-up, 6-max and 9-handed tables. Stakes start at .01/.02 per hand and peak at 300/600. It depends on the game, betting type and variant you choose to play.
If you’re a tournament player, you’ll have a TON to choose from. Let’s start with their SNGs.
The games you can play are holdem and omaha. I’m sure some people would like more options. But other games – especially in the SNG format – don’t fire enough to make them worth having.
Here are the SNG variations you can choose from:
Buy-ins vary from $1.10 to $215. It looks like their table sizes range from heads-up to 45-mans.
If you prefer to play large MTTs, Ignition offers a large selection of those, too.
For example, one tournament series they run is called Mad Mondays. They don’t explain what this is, but from looking at the next start date, August 22nd, 2016, I’m thinking this is a small tournament series.
The entire series guarantees $200-$300,000+. And with many buy-ins over the $20 level, I’d expect them to run satellites to these tourneys, too.
Here are some of the tournaments running in that series:
|Mad Monday – August 22nd|
|ET||Tournament Name||Guaranteed Prize Pool||Buy-in|
|3:04 PM||Mad Monday Event #1 – $15,000 Gtd (10K Chips)||$15,000||$20 + $2|
|4:04 PM||Mad Monday Event #2 – $10,000 Gtd (50/50)||$10,000||$75 + $7|
|5:04 PM||Mad Monday Event #3 – $11,000 Gtd (10K Chips)||$11,000||$10 + $1|
|6:04 PM||Mad Monday Event #4 – $12,000 Gtd (Extra Play)||$12,000||$50 + $5|
|7:04 PM||Mad Monday Event #5 – $40,000 Gtd (10K Chips)||$40,000||$100 + $9|
There are 13 events total – a heads-up event, two main events and 10 regular events.
Ignition runs a “Nightly Majors” series every day. Here are the tournaments you can play:
|Nightly Major Tournaments|
|Time (ET)||Tournament Name||Guaranteed Prize Pool||Buy-in||Starting Chips|
|8:00 PM||$25,000 Guaranteed SS******||$25,000||$55||5,000|
|8:30 PM||$8,000 Guaranteed DS *||$8,000||$11||2,500|
|8:55 PM||$12,000 Guaranteed**||$12,000||$109||2,500|
|9:00 PM||$10,000 Guaranteed SS ***||$10,000||$22||5,000|
|9:15 PM||$15,000 Guaranteed*****||$15,000||$55||10,000|
|10:00 PM||$10,000 Guaranteed Turbo SS****||$10,000||$109||5,000|
|10:15 PM||$10,000 Guaranteed (10K Chips)||$10,000||$11||10,000|
|11:00 PM||$5,000 Guaranteed Turbo SS||$5,000||$33||5,000|
When you factor in their Sunday majors schedule – which includes their flagship $162 buy-in, $100,000 guaranteed tourney and $462,000 guaranteed overall – they guarantee more than $2 million in tournament prize pools every week.
That might not seem like much when you see PokerStars’ Sunday Million tournament, or how they guarantee multiples of what Ignition does each week.
But remember, Ignition is the 3rd largest poker site in the world with a 24-hour average of 2,300 players and 7-day average of 1,350 players. PokerStars has literally 10x that (as of the stats today) and as many as 150,000+ players at any given time. They’re just so much bigger.
So, the fact that Ignition guarantees $2 million every week is impressive.
There are a few things to know about their software. Especially if you’re a pro.
The most important, I think, is this:
This means you cannot tag players or take permanent notes on them. Doing so would be counterproductive to their goal.
Ignition Poker does this to encourage a safe playing environment. One where recreational and/or weaker players aren’t targeted by sharks.
This approach also means they don’t allow players to use HUDs (heads up displays), data mining or any other popular poker software program used by players today.
They also limit how many tables you can play at once. It used to be 4 – which I confirmed with other review sites. But it looks like Bovada’s changed this recently to 15. At Ignition it’ll be 20.
20 tables are more than enough for most players. But there are some players who mass table. You won’t be able to do that here.
Other software features you might want to know about include:
Most, if not all of these features are on par with other poker sites. Nothing major or overly exciting.
Most of the offers Bovada was running Ignition Casino will run too. There are a few notable differences, though, including bonus size and (VIP) points exchange rates.
Let’s talk about their welcome bonus first.
This is a 2-part bonus. The first part is a 100% match poker bonus up to $1,000.
The casino bonus has a 25x play through. Games outside of slots will be more. You’ll need to wager 40% more for most table and video poker games to clear the same offer. And bets on Baccarat, Single Deck & Double Deck Blackjack, Sic Bo, Craps, Roulette won’t count at all. This also applies to the $10 bonus.
The second part is a 100% match poker bonus up to $1,000. There’s no rollover. Instead you unlock the bonus by playing and earning points. The bonus is released to you in 4 steps as shown below:
|Level||Poker Points||Bonus Issued||Total Bonuses|
You also get a $10 cash bonus when you sign up.
Overall, this bonus is sort of disappointing since Bovada’s poker offer is a 100% bonus up to $1,000. You get more here, but not by much, and only $100 of it can be used for poker. Here’s hoping that changes since not all poker players want to play casino games.
Get 200% of your friends first deposit up to $100. You can refer as many friends as you want. The play through is the same for casino games (mentioned above). Poker players will need to earn 3x poker points per bonus dollar.
Here’s how poker points are awarded:
If you have aces full of kings, or better, and a better hand beats you, you’ll collect a bad beat bonus of 100x the big blind, up to $1,000. There are some rules:
This bonus has no rollover requirements.
Make a royal flush and you’ll receive a payout of 50x the big blind up to $200. This has the same rules as above EXCEPT your hand doesn’t have to go to showdown. There’s no rollover.
Convert your poker points to tournament entries or bonuses. You can convert your points as often as you want. The max you can convert is 5 million points per month. The exchange rate is 200 points per $1. So, a $10+$1 tournament would cost you 2200 poker points.
One difference I see at Ignition is the exchange rate – it’s 2x worse than Bovada’s. Ignition’s 200 points per $1, but Bovada’s 100 points per $1. That may seem minor, but that means twice the work for you to earn the same stuff. On the bright side the rollovers for the bonus offers look the same.
It looks like the banking options at Ignition are identical to those at Bovada. Until you dig into the details. More on that in a second.
You can make a deposit to Ignition Casino Poker using:
Deposit limits are $20 to $1,000 for credit cards and $20 to $5,000 for bitcoin. There’s nothing listed for Rapid Transfer, but if they’re the same as Bovada you can expect the limits to be $10 and $800. However, their other (bitcoin / credit card) limits are NOT the same, so take this with a grain of salt.
Right now all deposits are fee-free. However, they’re changing that after October 1st, 2016 probably to coincide with the first full day they’ll be in business (the day after Bovada closes their doors).
Here are the fees you’ll pay:
This is ridiculous. Expensive, too. And it doesn’t include any fees you might have to pay to your bank or the cash transfer store.
For cash outs you can use:
You’re limited to one cash out per method every 7 days. Bitcoin cash outs are processed once every 3 days.
Between the processing times and low max deposit/cash out, bitcoin doesn’t look nearly as good an option as it does on other sites. At least until it sinks in you’ll have to pay $50 to $75 for the other options. Bitcoin looks mighty good then.
And paying upwards of $300 per month to get a max of $12,000 is crazy. A bit too expensive for my tastes. You do get one free cash out once every 4 months (starting October 1st, 2016). But that doesn’t make it much better unless you don’t mind waiting and don’t have more than the max to cash out.
The short version – we recommended Bovada – their sportsbook, casino and poker room – and we recommend Ignition Casino – so it only makes sense to recommend Ignition Casino’s poker room, too.
Most things are going to stay the same. That includes their software, games and tournaments. We have no problems there.
As far as we know things will stay the same. But that can always change once the transfer is done. Everyone will know more October 1st, 2016.)
The things that are changing, like the deposit bonus (only $100 for poker players), the lower poker points exchange rate and the ridiculously overpriced deposit and cash out fees …well, those are things we don’t like.
The problem is you’ll pay fees at all the legit, US-friendly poker sites. Maybe not on deposits, but definitely on withdrawals. However, these sites simply don’t have the traffic Ignition does.
You have to decide what’s important to you. If you don’t play very often, it might make sense to go to BetOnline or some other site and save a few bucks on your deposit.
I don’t like it, but I’d rather have a solid selection of games and tournaments. Which means I’d just grit my teeth and put up with Ignition’s new fees.
I suggest you do the same …and take advantage of their bonus offer now while it lasts.