The online poker industry saw a 2% rise in cash game player traffic last week, following a decline of 1% from the week before.
PokerScout attributes much of the increase to PokerStars, who experienced a rise of 3% on its cash tables due to the conclusion of the Carnival of Tournaments promotion. Those who typically frequent ring games made a temporary transition to tournament action during the promo, but apparently have found their way back to cash games.
While PokerStars continues to dominate the industry, all eyes remain on New Jersey to see if that dominance will extend to the U.S. market. With the Garden State’s online gambling launch less than a month away, we should know shortly if state gaming regulators will approve PokerStars as a licensee in conjunction with its partnership with Resorts Casino.
Among the top ten poker rooms and networks, the only change from the previous week was a flip-flop of positioning between Full Tilt and PartyPoker. The sister site of PokerStars moved up to fourth place, while PartyPoker tumbled to fifth.
That tumble at PartyPoker is due to the disillusionment of a number of players regarding various concerns at the bwin.party site. As chronicled at PokerUpdate yesterday, those complaints include a hefty fee on withdrawals via Skrill, a player segregation policy that some are exploiting, reduction of benefits in the VIP program, and customer service that will not win any awards in excellence.
PartyPoker cash traffic had been climbing in recent weeks following software updates that were necessitated after glitches were discovered in a major site revamp in early September. But that rise was short-lived and a threatened massive player sit-out on November 1 has PartyPoker honchos promising an explanation on Oct. 31.
In other news among top ten poker rooms, the PokerStars’ site servicing Spain dealt its one billionth hand on Sunday. Traffic on PokerStars.es shot up about 40% around the time of the mega-milestone hand, as Spaniards were hoping to take advantage of the cash bonus promotion.
PokerStars.es saw its cash game action reach a high of 5,871 players during the bonanza, second most in its history. The site is entrenched in 6th place in PokerScout’s independent rankings, ahead of PokerStars’ offering in Italy that holds down the 7th spot. Winamax, Bodog and MPN round out the top ten, respectively.
The iPoker Network continues to hold down the no. 2 spot globally. This despite a recent Q3 report issued by Playtech that saw poker revenue dip in the range of 20%. 888poker remains in third place worldwide and is slowly releasing its fast-fold version of SNAP Poker to more players.
Over in the USA, the addition of Pot-Limit Omaha at Ultimate Poker was met with much excitement by those residing in or visiting Nevada. Action at the site on Sunday saw 33% of players looking at four hole cards instead of two. The industry’s average for Omaha hovers around 10% and PokerScout predicts that 23% of UP cash players will eventually return to Texas Hold’em.
Ultimate Poker continues to outpace WSOP.com in Nevada’s regulated market. But the online offering from Caesars is making strides to close the gap and take the lead. WSOP.com is just a couple of handfuls of players away from doing so based on seven-day averages.