Online cash game player traffic took a 3% dive last week even though reports from PokerScout indicate that this time of year has typically been strong with regard to players finding their way to logging on in years past.
The only change toward the upper echelon of poker rooms and networks saw PokerStars.fr creep into the top ten and bump MPN down to 11th. This has been a common scene in recent months as PokerStars’ offering in the French market and Microgaming’s MPN sometimes trade places.
MPN’s player traffic numbers will likely further decline this week when Unibet beta launches its standalone poker site on Feb. 19. During the test period, Unibet will still be available on MPN in addition to its independent offering. But Unibet will be shutting down on MPN once the testing phase has completed its course.
Another poker room shutting down (but not opening elsewhere) come March 1 will be Poker770 on iPoker.es. The announcement was made via Twitter and will likely allow PartyPoker.es to move into third place ahead of iPoker.es in the Spanish market.
Eyeing the top ten is a relatively new European online poker network known as The Hive. In operation since last summer with poker skin PlanetWin365, The Hive’s debut in the worldwide rankings finds the network in 14th place and averaging 850 players over a seven-day span. New skins are expected to join the network shortly, which will likely allow The Hive to move up a couple rungs on the global ladder.
In U.S. regulated online player traffic developments, New Jersey’s poker regime hit new highs the day before Valentine’s Day only to fall to near record lows on the day reserved for lovers. Indications are that tourists were logging on in droves on the 13th, but those same out-of-towners had their minds on romance on the 14th.
In the unregulated U.S. market, the Equity Poker Network uncovered a collusion ring last week and closed the accounts of the players involved. Honest players who may have been victimized by the cheating will see their accounts credited accordingly. The discovery hasn’t affected traffic on EPN, as player numbers remained stable in comparison to the week before.