Cash game player traffic experienced a significant downswing in the month of May as seven of the industry’s top ten poker rooms and networks experienced a decrease in action.
The top online poker sites in the U.S., both regulated and non-regulated, did not fare any better. An increase in players was seen only at Bodog/Bovada (1,400), which also happens to be one of the global top ten poker rooms that gained, according to PokerScout.com.
Third-ranked Bodog’s 100-player increase was the largest during the month of May of poker sites analyzed. It doubled the 50 ring game player boost at PokerStars.es (800), currently tied for the 8th slot with MPN.
888poker (2,200) was the only other top ten site that didn’t lose cash game players from month-to-month, but it didn’t gain any either. Player numbers remained stable for the world’s no. 2 poker room, likely because of 888poker’s status as the official sponsor of the 2016 WSOP and the ongoing promotions that allow players to win seats to WSOP events.
Decreases in Top Ten
PokerStars’ (13,500) seven-day average of ring game players dropped a full 1,000 during the month despite the migration of Full Tilt players on May 17. Liquidity is now shared among the Amaya offerings on the PokerStars platform. Full Tilt sat at 550 cash players before the merger took place, while PokerStars averaged 13,000.
The other biggest decreases among top ten poker rooms were felt at PokerStars.it (850) with 250 less players, the iPoker Network (1,050) at minus 200, and Partypoker (950) with a 150-player decline. Their positions on the global rankings are 7th, 4th, and tied for 5th, respectively. Both fifth-ranked Winamax.fr (950) and MPN (800) lost 100 ring gamers.
Knocked out of the top ten with decreases of 200 and 175 players were PokerStars.fr (600) and Adjarabet (575). Their places were taken by Unibet (650) and the Winning Poker Network (650), the latter managing to keep pace with April player numbers. WPN and Unibet are tied for 10th as of this writing.
Action in U.S.
The Nevada-Delaware partnership kept steady at 160 cash game players, the only regulated and non-regulated U.S. network to do so that has not already been mentioned. With the WSOP kicking off in June, expect player numbers to shoot up considerably at WSOP.com NV in coming weeks.
The New Jersey online poker market fell from an average of 350 players to 300. Both PokerStars NJ (120) and WSOP/888 (110) experienced 20-player declines, while the Partypoker/Borgata (70) tandem lost half that many players.
Among top unregulated sites not named Bovada or WPN, the Chico Network (425) and Merge (150) both suffered decreases of 50 players. The struggling Equity Poker Network (70) dropped 25, with more to follow if a backlog of payouts isn’t tended to.