Ignition Poker Review
Ignition Poker is the newest U.S. friendly online poker room on the Internet. Because of a strategic partnership with Bovada, Ignition Casino has been allowed to take over Bovada's poker room. If you're familiar with how the software and games at Bovada work, you'll easily be able to adjust to the new playing experience at Ignition.
Ignition Casino is, itself, a relatively new player in online gaming. They launched their casino product in 2016, too, but since then, they've made a good reputation for themselves. Searches for "Ignition Casino complaints" bear little fruit in the search engines, which is always a good sign.
Ignition Poker focuses on the United States market and prefers BitCoin as a deposit and withdrawal option.
The Poker Experience
You'll find plenty of new players and "fish" at Ignition Poker. Part of that is because it's an online poker room that caters to United States players—that's just the kind of customer base that such a site is going to have. The other part of that is because of the site's nature as being primarily a casino. A percentage of players there got bored playing slot machines and decided to give poker a shot.
They have a larger player base than you might expect, although it doesn't compare to the volume of players you're used to if you were playing at Full Tilt or at PokerStars prior to Black Friday. That's because they migrated most of the player base from Bovada Poker in the summer of 2016. This wasn't the largest player base in the world, but since they're one of the only legitimate online cardroom catering to U.S. players, it's still a significant player pool.
Don't be misled into thinking that all the players at Ignition Poker are unskilled, either. If you want to find sharks, look where the fish are. That's the nature of the game. You'll still need to pay attention to the other players' tendencies to discern which ones are soft competitors and which ones are more skilled. You will find a reasonable volume of players regardless of what time of day you're logging into the site. Poker players keep odd hours, even when they play online.
Probably the most distinctive and popular feature offered by Ignition Poker is called "Zone Poker". This was also a feature at Bovada's poker room.
Here's How Zone Poker Works:
It's an online playing style that feeds into a gambler's desire for adrenaline by speeding up the action of a normal online poker game. (Keep in mind that online poker is already twice as fast as traditional brick and mortar poker, by the way.) By increasing the number of hands you're able to play per hour, Ignition has made poker into a game that plays almost as fast as a slot machine or video poker game.
When you fold in a "Zone Poker" game, you're immediately moved to another table. You have new cards and a new set of opponents. Contrast this with what normally happens during poker. You fold. Then you wait for the rest of the hand to play out. This makes for an almost totally different experience.
You have a "check/fold now" and a "fold now" button available on your computer screen. This makes the action even faster for you, because as soon as it's your turn to act, your move is resolved almost instantly. This allows you to see more hands and cards per hour.
It's not as confusing as it sounds, either. There's an on-screen animation of a table sliding which signals your movement to a new poker table. Each game begins as soon as the table fills up, which doesn't take a lot of time at all in this format.
The site's frequent player points system works exactly the same when you're playing Zone Poker as it would when playing regular poker. The main difference is that you'll earn more points per hour because you're able to play more hands per hour.
The blinds work differently because players are shifting from table to table. Normally the blinds move around the table along with the button, but Zone Poker uses a prioritization system. If you haven't paid a big blind yet, or if you're playing your first hand, you're at the top of the list for playing a blind. The next player on the priority list is the one who has gone the longest time without having to play a blind—they measure this by number of hands rather than seconds or minutes.
Sometimes multiple players will fit into one of those categories. In that case, the computer randomly assigns the big blind to one of those players.
In a normal cash game, you have 30 seconds to decide what you're going to do. Zone Poker cuts that amount of time in half—to 15 seconds. 30 seconds doesn't sound like a long time, but if you're playing at a full table with 9 players, it's longer than you think. Cutting the time in half speeds up the game even further.
The same games (Texas holdem, Omaha, etc.) are available in Zone Poker that are available in the regular cash game format. You're even allowed to multi-table in this format, although you are limited to just 2 tables. There is no downgrade in quality when it comes to sound effects or graphics in this format.
Screenshot of No Limit Hold'em at Ignition Poker
But Zone Poker isn't the only format available at Ignition. You can still play regular cash games and tournaments if you prefer that format (and many players do).
Which Poker Site Network is Ignition On?
Ignition Poker is part of the Bodog Poker Network. It's a relatively large network of poker rooms that averages between 1000 and 3000 players at any given time. It's also one of the largest poker networks online, although it doesn't even come close to having the volume of players available as competitors that PokerStars has. But their player volume is comparable to most of the other top networks in the world, including 888Poker and Party Poker.
What Special Features Do They Offer?
The most unusual feature at Ignition Poker is their use of anonymous tables. At most poker sites, players use a handle and sometimes a unique image to identify themselves. These sites usually have note-taking functions, too, so if you've played with someone before, you can consult your notes from last time you played. This has useful implications for your playing strategies.
But it's a two-edged sword. Other players are also able to make note of your tendencies. If you decide you're not interested in taking notes, you're putting yourself at a distinct disadvantage to the players who do take notes—especially the ones who have taken notes about how you play.
The anonymous poker feature at Bovada eliminates this. You're given a number when you're seated—player 1, player 2, player 3, etc. That number changes when you change tables. You're able to take notes about a particular player while you're at the table, but once they move—or once you move to a new table—those notes disappear.
In effect, you and all your competitors start each game with a clean slate. No one has an advantage over the other players based on any kind of data they've collected.
When you and other players go "all-in", the games at Ignition have a "percentage feature". This is similar to the graphic you see on television during the World Poker Tour, where the percentage chance that each player's hand will win is displayed on the screen. It has little practical advantage, but it's a fun feature that adds to the entertainment value of the game. (Actually, if you're a new player with little knowledge, it does have a practical advantage for you, because you'll star to learn how the percentage chance of winning works.)
You also have the option of changing the look and feel of the cards and the poker table. Some players might enjoy the look and feel option of having animated flaming playing cards. Others prefer a more stripped-down interface. Both are available at Ignition Poker.
Ignition Poker offers over $2 million a week in tournament prize pools. These tournaments are scheduled throughout the afternoon and evenings.
Daily tournaments are scheduled from 2pm to midnight. The prize pools for these vary from $3000 to $12,000. You can buy into these daily tournaments for as little as $11.
Nightly tournaments are similar. They're scheduled between 8pm and 11pm. They have buy-ins ranging between $55 and $109 and prize pools ranging from $5000 to $30,000.
Turbo tournaments are offered between 2:30pm and midnight. These are smaller tournaments with lower buy-ins, starting as low as $2.20. The prize pools for these tend to run lower than $5000, but they do have a nightly tournament with a $10,000 prize pool at 10pm every night.
Sit n Go tournaments are also popular at Ignition Poker. These are tournaments which start as soon as the requisite number of players have signed up. These are available in the following games:
- 7 Card Stud
- Texas Holdem
Some sit n go tournaments are single table tournaments which start as soon as that table fills up. Other sit n go tournaments are multi-table tournaments. All of them are clearly labeled in the lobby so you can choose the tournament format you prefer.
You can make deposits at Ignition Poker in multiple ways, but the company is heavily invested in using BitCoin as a deposit and withdrawal option. If you haven't tried BitCoin, you can expect the site and the customer service department at Ignition to encourage you to try it.
You can also make deposits using a Visa or MasterCard, although some players report difficulty with their cards accepting a transaction with an online gaming site. We recommend trying this option if it's one that you prefer, but have a backup plan in place in case the transaction won't go through. The minimum deposit using this method is $20, and the maximum is $1000.
The poker room at Ignition Poker offers a $2,000 bonus on your first deposit of $2,000. That's a 100% matching bonus. This is not an impressively sized bonus, but we're not going to turn it down, either. In an Internet poker environment where United States players have limited options, the size of a sign-up bonus is icing on the cake. We're just glad to be able to find a place at which to play for real money with other American players.
As with most sites, you have to "clear" this bonus by earning the funds via "poker points". Your bonus is released based on the following schedule:
You earn points by playing in tournaments and by playing in cash games. You get 3 points for every dollar you spend in tournament fees. You also earn points based on how much money you've contributed to the rake, as follows:
- 0.05 points for $0.01 to $0.04 in rake
- 0.1 points for $0.05 to $0.24 in rake
- 0.25 points for $0.25 to $0.49 in rake
- 0.5 points for $0.50 to $0.99 in rake
- 1 point for $1.00 to $3.00 in rake
So as soon as you've earned enough points, the amount of the bonus is released automatically into your account.
What About Wagering Requirements?
Unlike a casino signup bonus, you don't have a "wagering requirement" per se. The requirements to earn points before the bonus is released is the poker room version of wagering requirements. But once you've earned the bonus, you're allowed to withdraw it or use it to play poker or even use it to play casino games.
During cash games at Ignition Poker, you can earn a bonus for hitting a royal flush. This is called, aptly enough, the "Royal Flush Bonus".
Royal Flush Bonus up to $200
Here's How It Works:
When you get a royal flush, you get a bonus payout of 50X the game's big blind with a maximum bonus of $200. You have to use both hole cards in order to be eligible for the bonus payout. There also have to be at least 3 players in the hand.
This bonus is only available in Texas holdem cash games. You're also required to request this bonus within 48 hours. You request the bonus payout by submitting your hand number and table number to the site via email or by calling their toll free number.
This is a straight bonus payout, too—you don't have to fulfill any kind of wagering or rollover requirements, and you don't have to unlock the bonus by earning poker points, either.
The bad beat bonus has similar requirements to the royal flush bonus. There have to be at least 3 players, and in this case, you have to be involved in a showdown. (The royal flush bonus doesn't require a showdown). You also have to use both your hole cards.
You're ineligible for the bad beat bonus if you tell the other players what's in your hand. You'll also make yourself ineligible if you tell the other players how to play their hands.
The bad beat bonus is only available in Texas holdem cash games. There is no bad beat bonus in other game types or in tournament situations.
As with the royal flush bonus, you have to submit your hand number and table number to the site and request the bonus. Like the royal flush bonus, you don't have to fulfill any kind of wagering requirements with this bonus.
Poker Points at Ignition are used for more than just clearing bonus requirements, too. They can be converted at any time into money you can use to play with. The exchange rate is 200 points for a dollar. You can then use those funds to enter tournaments at the site.
You can also use these funds to play in the casino, but there are 20X rollover requirements if you do so. These points expire on June 1 of each year, so don't forget about them.
We're unabashed fans of Ignition Poker, just like we were of Bovada Poker before the acquisition. Ignition has all the selling points we look for in an Internet cardroom. The company has an excellent reputation. There are plenty of opponents of varying levels of skill at the tables. And you can find all of the most common poker games (along with some more unusual games, like 5 card stud).
United States players have a limited number of options when looking for a real money poker site at which to play. Ignition is probably the best of the bunch. We'd prefer to see a larger signup bonus than $100, but the good news is that such a small bonus is easier to clear than a larger bonus.
The game selection and opponents' skill levels are equal to or better than the game selection and opponents' skill levels at Ignition's competitors in the U.S. real money online poker market. With between 1000 and 3000 players online at any given time, it's hard to say that you'll have trouble finding a game that suits your needs.
The tournament selection is also excellent, especially because of the $2 million in prize pools available each week. There are buy-ins at every imaginable level, too, with the exception of extreme microstakes. But anyone who can't afford $2.20 to buy into a poker tournament might need to be doing something other than playing in a poker tournament. (We're just sayin'.)
Zone Poker is a fun option, too. We're also fans of the anonymous nature of the poker play, there. We're not as serious as some of the players who keep extensive records on every opponent they've ever faced. So we prefer playing in an environment that doesn't punish us for this.
We're also impressed with the deposit and withdrawal methods available here. We were skeptical about BitCoin at first, but it has quickly become our favorite banking method in the online gaming space. Before that, we were happy to use the "Rapid Transfer" option with Moneygram.
At any rate,