Ongame is a large online poker network on which poker rooms such as TowerGaming, RedKings, Bwin Poker, Hollywood Poker and many more share their player base. This network has established a reputation of offering very good bonuses to its players as well as being the place to find extremely soft competition. Ongame stopped accepting US players after the introduction of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in the United States legislation in 2006. Ever since, this network became the symbol of post UIGEA European (non-US) online poker player's luxury. Good bonuses, soft competition: what more could an online poker player wish for?
Well, there was one other thing Ongame often times was associated with. Their software wasn't quite up to par with that of other rooms or networks. Most notable in this regard was the resource intensive nature of it: a CPU usage of 100% was totally normal when playing at Ongame. As I was also attracted by the bonuses and soft competition myself, I even bought a new quadcore computer at one point in the hopes of being able to play more tables at the same time. I was and still am very happy with this computer, but Ongame kept being the insanely resource intensive, buggy beast it was before and I still wasn't able to play the maximum of 12 tables. Other unique features that this software had to offer at that time included mysterious blackening of parts of the poker tables, hard drive torturing and regular crashes.
Surprisingly, those were the good times now Ongame has launched its new 'P5 engine' software about three months ago. Many players looked forward to the launch of this software with high expectations. Many players however, were also very disappointed from the first session they played on it. It is still a very resource intensive beast, I haven't managed to play the maximum of 12 tables without the software crashing on me and the looks are only 'so so'. Some miss the waiting lists, others the 3- or 4-handed tables. While all this is a matter of personal taste and most of it is surmountable as long as the bonuses and soft competition are still there, the fact that with the new software money at the table is disappearing from players accounts after software crashes certainly isn't.
What is even more astounding in my opinion is the fact that judging from reactions on poker forums Ongame skins do not seem to take their players serious when they complain about the missing funds. Further more, judging from the Ongame reviews you can find on the internet, most if not all of the reviewers clearly don't have any sense of the harsh reality and don't do much good to the reputation of online poker. Any review reporting about the software in terms of 'top-notch', 'extremely stable and well functioning' or any other superlatives are just plain misleading.
Be advised. At Ongame there is a new dimension added to the bad beat. If you are attracted by the stories of soft competition and bonuses and you would like to try the software out yourself anyway despite this negative review, then don't deposit too much of your bankroll on there. In that case you could clear a kickback bonus through PokerSavvy or PokerSource. That's where a post UIGEA European poker player's luxury is in.