The month of November saw a new entry among the top ten in cash game player traffic worldwide as the Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) moved up into an 8th place tie with Full Tilt at 850 ring game players.
MPN’s popularity is likely due to its €50,000 Cash Drop promotion that drops €5 into the lap of a random cash game player every five minutes. The promo began Nov. 20 and will continue through Dec. 17 and includes a €10,000 leaderboard race that will pay the top 225 players who receive the most cash drops.
The promo caused both PokerStars.fr and Adjarabet to drop out of the top ten, as both were previously tied for 10th place. That slot has been taken over by PokerStars.es (800), who fell from 9th place after losing 50 players, according to PokerScout.com.
Other sites that experienced a decrease in cash game player traffic include PokerStars.it (1,150) and Partypoker (1,050), as the 5th and 6th ranked poker rooms each lost an average of 50 cash game players in November. But those sites were not the biggest losers over the past 30 days because 3rd place Bodog/Bovada (1,700) dropped 100 and top dog PokerStars (14,500) saw the largest decline at 500 players.
PokerStars announced its new player loyalty program on Nov. 1. Though the new VIP scheme won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2016, it has angered a number of high stakes players – perhaps enough to prompt them to play elsewhere.
Joining MPN in the category of top ten sites that saw player traffic rise were the iPoker Network (1,500), who gained 100 players to remain slotted in 4th, and Full Tilt (850), grabbing 50 more to equal the surging MPN. Two poker rooms experienced no change in average player numbers in November, 2nd ranked 888Poker (2,300), and Winamax.fr (1,050), currently in a dead heat with Partypoker.
Ring game player traffic jumped in New Jersey over the last four weeks. Growth at the WSOP.com and 888Poker NJ partnership (190) measured 18.75%, while the Partypoker NJ and BorgataPoker tandem (140) recorded a 16.66% increase.
Just one week ago, the total at NJ’s top online poker network was even higher with a seven-day average of 220 cash game players. It had increased from 160 at the start of November until landing on the current total of 190.
The Nevada-Delaware partnership didn’t keep pace with the boost in players in New Jersey. Ten less players (160) can be found at the interstate network than 30 days ago.
All of the major unregulated U.S. poker networks not in the top ten either gained players or remained stable during November. WPN saw the largest increase from 575 to 650. That topped Chico, who was also at 575 but increased its average by only 25 to 600.
Merge (240) picked up 20 cash players, while the Revolution Network (120) gained half that. The Equity Poker Network kept an even pace at 110.
Keep in mind that playing online poker at unregulated sites in the U.S. is not recommended, as your funds are not legally protected. That’s the main reason behind the push for ipoker regulation in America.