Brown Marlin CEO Jonas Ödman

Former Bodog Exec Jonas Ödman Launches California-based Software Concern

Though the advent of regulated online poker in California is anything but a done deal, and won’t occur until 2015 at the earliest, industry concerns of all flavors continue positioning themselves behind the scenes to explore possible market entry into the new space.  The latest example: the launching of Brown Marlin Gaming Technologies, LLC, by former Bodog exec Jonas Ödman.

Ödman’s latest effort comes amid a highly fluid situation regarding the official regulation of online poker in the largest US state, with new measures slated for introduction early next calendar year.  Odman’s latest venture promises to offer an “anonymous player model,” similar to that employed by Bodog and its US-facing skin, Bovada, which have long operated as gray-market entities regarding the United States market.

Brown Marlin CEO Jonas Ödman

Brown Marlin CEO Jonas Ödman

Ödman, in fact, was one of the primary movers and shakers at Bodog during his time there regarding the development and installation Iof that “anonymous” or “recreational” model, and may have come up with the concept.  in the case of Bodog/Bovada, that included making all players and tables anonymous, to disrupt extensive tracking of players’ betting patterns and statistics by prolific “grinders” on the site.  Other networks, in the couple of years since Bodog’s lead on the topic, have taken other approaches to trying to restore market balance among players with their own “recreational model” changes.  (Last week’s selective rake increases at market leader PokerStars, for example, are widely believed to be another way of addressing some of these core market imbalances.)

The new Brown Marlin poker software platform includes a similar family of games as to those available on Bodog/Bovada, and in advance of this story’s publication, the author received unconfirmed speculation that Ödman may have obtained the source code for and is offering a variant on the Bodog/Bovada platform,  As initially announced — noting that no sample-table screen shots are yet available — Brown Marlin’s poker offerings include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo, 7 Card Stud and 7 Card Stud Hi/Lo, Fast Fold Cash Games, as well as Sit’N’Go and Multi-table tournaments.

The use of the recreational model and anonymous tables is among the primary selling points of the startup.  From the site’s “Our Product” page:

A successful long-term poker model should target net depositing players over more experienced “high volume” players. By utilizing a poker model that maximizes net deposits, your company will notice an increase in revenue over time. Combined with a targeted marketing strategy, operators will easily build loyalty by offering a fair and level poker model geared towards the recreational player.

A successful long-term poker model should target net depositing players over more experienced “high volume” players. By utilizing a poker model that maximizes net deposits, your company will notice an increase in revenue over time. Combined with a targeted marketing strategy, operators will easily build loyalty by offering a fair and level poker model geared towards the recreational player.

Ödman also makes no bones about his past involvement with Bodog, despite this being a California-based concern listed with a Beverly Hills address.  Here’s an excerpt from the site’s “Our Founder” page about Ödman and his development of the recreational model at Bodog, following his earlier stint at Ongame:

… Ödman decided to join Bodog to help revamp their poker product as the Vice President of the Bodog Poker Network.

As the online poker industry began to mature and all operators began to look and feel very similar, Ödman saw an opportunity to differentiate Bodog from its competitors. He believed that poker sites were fundamentally marketing to the wrong type of players, actually damaging their own business. In September 2009 Ödman made a presentation at EiG Copenhagen speaking for the first time about his “Recreational Poker Model” with a focus of attracting and retaining net depositing players as opposed to catering to “high volume” winning players as was industry standard at the time. Ödman had been an advocate for a recreational poker model since his days at Ongame but it was not until his time at Bodog that he got the chance to fully develop and implement the model. It proved to be a great success with Bodog, now one of the biggest online poker rooms in the world (source: and almost every online poker operator has now adjusted their marketing to increasingly cater more to the recreational poker player. …

The announcement of Brown Marlin Gaming as a concept to target the slowly expanding US market isn’t news to anyone at Bodog.  For example, here’s CalvinAyre’s Becky Liggero interviewing Ödman this past July about the launch of his new company.  Ödman also appears to have not been involved in the ugly split which took place late last year between Bodog’s core Calvin Ayre faction and a group based in Philippines led by some other execs of Swedish origin (like Ödman), who are no longer with the company, but for other reasons.

ScreenHunter_27 Nov. 05 12.22What is intriguing, however, is that Ödman has launched his company in California, openly marketing his Bodog background, while Bodog founder Ayre himself remains under an indictment from the Maryland USAO’s office over the site’s activities.  Subjectively, it’s as if Ödman’s flaunting his former Bodog career as, well… bait, in the hopes that this Brown Marlin fishing expedition for possible casino partners is allowed to go forward unimpeded.

That’s highly unlikely to occur, for several reasons.  Major licensed players with interest in California and other US state markets are likely to be up in arms soon over the Ödman offering, if they’re not already.  That would remain true even though persistent — but again, unsubstantiated — rumors have had Bodog in ongoing settlement negotiations with US authorities.  Even though Ödman is no longer with the offshore giant, common sense dictates that his long-term involvement with the firm would have to be resolved in some manner before any US gaming regulatory body would even consider him or his company for approval.


Leave a Comment


2 Responses

  1. drudown

    please post cali address for his online site there is a couple things I would like to personally go over with odman.

    1. It’s right on the website:

      Brown Marlin Gaming Technologies, LLC
      9777 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 704
      Beverly Hills, CA 90212
      Tel: +1 (310) 273-8850
      Fax: +1 (310) 273-8610
      [email protected]


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