Last week, cash game player traffic fell a collective 1% following two straight weeks of positive gains. The loss was experienced despite industry giant PokerStars gaining 1.3% and reaching an average of 20,000 players after falling below that threshold in recent weeks.
PokerScout believes that PokerStars’ Summer Daily Challenge promotion may be behind the uptick in traffic on the site. The promo requires missions to be completed and is set to give away a total of $500,000 upon its conclusion.
Traffic down in New Jersey and PokerStars’ entry blasted
While PokerStars’ players are being challenged on the cash tables, PokerStars’ entry into the New Jersey market is being challenged by a state lawmaker. A scathing op-ed published by Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo shows that PokerStars continues to have its detractors despite the overwhelming likelihood that state gaming regulators have already moistened the ink pad and purchased a new ‘PokerStars Approved’ stamp.
The New Jersey online poker market lost players last week, as the All American Poker Network and Party Borgata saw less action on the cash tables. WSOP.com showed a gain and now averages 130 players, but it wasn’t big enough to offset the losses at the other New Jersey poker sites. Many expect big gains to be realized when PokerStars makes its entry, while others have opined that the industry giant may not be a dominant force considering that the other sites have already established customers to a certain degree.
Ultimate Poker, EPN and Seals With Clubs see gains
At poker sites within the Nevada market, Ultimate Poker has been closing the gap on WSOP.com. Just a few months ago prior to the start of the 45th annual World Series of Poker, WSOP.com doubled UP’s traffic by averaging 110 players to the 55 of its rival. At present, the divide is 95 to 65.
While UP is gaining ground in Nevada, other upward movers in the global market include Seals With Clubs and the Equity Poker Network (EPN). The Bitcoin-friendly SWC is back up over 100 players after spending quite some time below the three-figure threshold, now averaging 110 ring game players.
EPN has reached an all-time high of 200 cash players in a seven-day average. The network launched in November at roughly the same time that New Jersey and Delaware poker sites began accepting real-money wagers. EPN has its eye on catching the nearest non-regulated U.S.-friendly network, the Winning Poker Network.
PrivateTable.com to launch in California next week
Player traffic may see a boost next week when PrivateTable.com is expected to launch for real-money in California. Despite Internet poker legislative efforts falling short again in the Golden State this year, the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel are of the mind that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) allows them to proceed.
PrivateTable.com will be the first real-money offering among California poker sites. However, don’t be surprised if the state’s other gaming interests seek to block the launch with a temporary restraining order in a court of law. With billions of dollars at stake in a regulated market, odds are that a legal challenge is on the horizon.
Full Tilt gains among top ten while 2014 market still trails 2013
Jostling among the top ten poker rooms and networks finds Full Tilt in a tie for 6th place with Bodog/Bovada at 1,450 cash players. That’s a mild improvement from one week ago when Full Tilt occupied 7th place with 1,400 players.
The global Internet poker market remains 7% off the pace set at this time in 2013. The decrease would have been substantially greater if the launches in New Jersey and at EPN had not been added to the mix last November.