Player traffic on the ring game tables of the industry’s top online poker sites took a fall during the month of April, punctuated by a 14.7% decline at PokerStars.
A 4% rake increase went into effect at ‘Stars on March 28, perhaps contributing to the decrease in action that saw player traffic drop from 17,000 one month ago to 14,500 as of this writing. Six of the other top ten poker rooms and networks joined PokerStars in the category of dwindling cash game traffic, while two poker sites gained and one remained stable.
A gain of 50 players was seen at Bodog/Bovada (1,300), while ninth-ranked PokerStars.fr (800) picked up 100 more cash gamers, according to PokerScout.com. The increases allowed both to move up a notch in the worldwide rankings, with Bodog back in its familiar no. 3 slot. Two places behind is PokerStars.it (1,100), the lone poker room to show consistency from month-to-month.
Declines of 50 players were felt at Partypoker (1,100) and Winamax.fr (1,050), the former currently tied for 5th worldwide with PokerStars.it while Winamax holds down spot no. 7. Decreases of 100 ring game players were recorded at second-ranked 888poker (2,200), no. 8 slotted MPN (900), and PokerStars.es (750), the latter in a dead heat with Adjarabet for 10th place.
An even bigger decline in cash game action of 150 players was experienced by the iPoker Network (1,250), resulting in a tumble from third to fourth worldwide. The decrease at iPoker came on the heels of a player increase in March, one of only two networks to show a gain in the previous month.
The excitement in New Jersey following the arrival of PokerStars NJ (140) in March has begun to wane. The red spade’s Garden State offering lost an average of 20 cash game players and now leads the WSOP.com/888poker NJ (130) partnership by only 10 players. Ten, coincidentally, is also the player decrease felt by WSOP and 888 in April.
The Partypoker NJ and BorgataPoker tandem experienced a 15-player decline and now host cash games for 80 players. The entire New Jersey online poker market decreased 11.4% month-over-month, from 395 to 350 players.
While New Jersey player traffic went south, WSOP NV and Delaware enjoyed a mild increase. The interstate network picked up 10 ring gamers to weigh in with 160.
The Winning Poker Network (650) dropped 100 players and fell out of the top ten worldwide. But on the bright side, WPN made history by surpassing a $1 million tournament guarantee for the first time after a handful of tries that resulted in overlays.
Also recording a decrease in players among the U.S.-friendly non-regulated poker networks were Chico (475) and Merge (200). Chico experienced a 50-player decline and Merge slightly more with 60.
Surprisingly, cash game traffic went up from 80 to 95 players at the Equity Poker Network. A restructuring of tournament payouts that neglects a decent percentage of the field has likely prompted tourney players to shift to ring game action.