Cash game player traffic fell during the month of February, tumbling 7% worldwide from the high water mark reached in January.
The industry leader was not immune to the decrease, as PokerStars (17,000) lost the 500 players it gained the month before, according to PokerScout.com. That total will increase by 700 come April 1 when sister site Full Tilt merges with ‘Stars. Parent company Amaya announced the migration about 10 days ago.
Other poker rooms and networks among the top ten that saw less players seated at ring game tables in February were the iPoker Network (1,350), PokerStars.fr (800) and Adjarabet (650). Fourth-ranked iPoker dropped 250 cash gamers despite adding Six Plus Hold’em to its offerings, PokerStars.fr still clings to the 10th spot after a 50-player decrease, and Adjarabet (650) got booted out of the top ten following the decline of 200 players on average.
Gainers and Break-Evens
Poker sites that enjoyed an increase in popularity included third-ranked Bodog/Bovada (1,700) and the 6th and 7th slotted Winamax.fr (1,250) and Partypoker (1,200). Bodog added 100 players, while the other two each picked up 50. MPN (800) is the new entry among the industry’s 10 best in cash game traffic.
Online poker rooms that neither lost nor gained players were 888poker (2,400), PokerStars.it (1,300) and PokerStars.es (900). The ring-fenced PokerStars sites are 5th and 8th worldwide, respectively, while 888poker has a solid grip on the no. 2 position. 888poker was recently named the official sponsor of this year’s WSOP and will aim to send even more players to the big dance in 2016 than the ten dozen who won packages last year.
The legal poker sites in the U.S. did not have the best of months for ring game traffic. The Nevada-Delaware interstate pairing saw a drop off of 20 players to 160.
In New Jersey, the WSOP/888poker tandem now averages 10 players less than last month at 190. The BorgataPoker and Partypoker NJ partnership managed to remain stable at 140.
The Garden State will have a new online poker site come March 21 when PokerStars NJ makes its long awaited launch. Opinions are mixed on whether traffic will increase or if PokerStars will merely siphon players from the existing sites. What is known for sure is that a $25,000 freeroll is scheduled for March 27 to celebrate ‘Stars return to the U.S. market. If you’re planning a vacation to Atlantic City, late March looks to be an ideal time.
The Winning Poker Network (750) is in 11th place and just 50 players shy of joining the top ten despite gaining no ring gamers in February. The Chico Poker Network (600) added 25 players, yet is a half-dozen slots away from online poker’s upper echelon.
U.S. players were not gravitating toward the Merge Network (220) in February, as player traffic slipped by 60. The newly-renamed Horizon Network (150), formerly operating as the Revolution Network, also saw less cash game action by a count of 10 players. The Equity Poker Network (100) duplicated January’s player total.