Although online poker suffered its third straight week of declining player traffic, the pace was a mere 0.4% less than that of a week ago.
Sit-N-Go action at the Twister Poker tables on the iPoker Network has finally pulled players away from the cash tables at the world’s top online poker network. iPoker maintains its third place ranking by only 100 players over fourth place Full Tilt.
A Build Your Bonus promotion or some other ring game promo at Full Tilt at this time would likely catapult PokerStars’ sister site into third place while iPoker promotes its jackpot-style Winamax Expresso knock-off. Cash traffic at iPoker was down 9% last week, PokerScout reported.
No poker rooms or networks among the top ten changed positions from the previous week. However, sixth place PokerStars.it has crept into a tie with fifth place PartyPoker as of this writing with a seven-day average of 2,100 cash players. Ditto for ninth place Winamax, who tied eighth place Bodog at 1,500.
Winamax and PokerStars.fr may see increased action at the tables in coming weeks following a recent campaign by the French regulating body ARJEL warning players in France to avoid unregulated poker sites. This is the second such awareness initiative put forth by ARJEL and the advertisements are likely to sway at least a few players.
Speaking of unregulated markets, in the U.S., the Equity Poker Network (EPN) continues its ascent up the ladder of popular poker rooms and networks not servicing Delaware, Nevada or New Jersey. Still trailing Bovada, WPN, Merge, Chico, SealsWithClubs, and Revolution, respectively, EPN is aiming to be among the top five U.S.-friendly poker rooms by its six-month anniversary in May.
SealsWithClubs (SWC), however, may not relinquish fifth place without a fight. The Bitcoin-friendly poker site is back on track after a DDoS attack late last month halted play for a couple days. SWC is currently tied with the Revolution Gaming Network with 130 cash players in a seven-day average, 30 ahead of upstart EPN.
In New Jersey, online poker play decreased a bit as the Garden State hosted the NFL Super Bowl on Sunday. A recent survey indicates that more New Jersey residents favor marijuana legalization than those who support online gambling.
The first month of the new year is in the books and with it went a 6% increase in player traffic over December, 2013. That’s been a typical trend over the years, as the Christmas holidays pull grinders away from their work for a short time. That decrease in action is likely a much-needed break for many players who navigate multiple tables on computer screens for hours on end.
The global online poker market remains at a 10% deficit from the number of players who were logging on and playing at this time last year. The effects of Black Friday 34 months ago still linger.
About 30,000 U.S. Full Tilt players will be receiving some $82 million in reimbursement by the end of this month. That’s a huge infusion of cash, some of which may land at the tables of unregulated U.S. poker rooms. It will be interesting to see if action on the virtual felt rises following the disbursement of funds via ACH to former U.S. Full Tilt players in three weeks or so.