The online poker industry experienced a 6% gain in cash game player traffic last week, which is quite typical for this time of year as the winter season begins to take hold.
The top ten poker rooms and networks all showed positive numbers from the previous week. The only position change from last week among those top ten saw MPN creep back into 10th place, knocking PokerStars.fr down to 11th.
MPN’s cash action rose by more than 25%. A somewhat surprising statistic that leads to a certain amount of speculation. Without actually polling the influx of players at the Microgaming network, one can surmise that the Bad Beat Jackpot that pays out 100% of funds and allows players to opt in at their choosing may be the reason for the increase.
That tumble out of the top ten did not sit well with PokerStars.fr, as a new promotion was announced that caters to ring game players who may currently be favoring seventh-ranked Winamax. A January Supernova Blast promo is now underway at PokerStars’ offering in the French market that aims to shorten the lead that Winamax enjoys over its competitor. That lead currently sits at 1,700 to 1,350 players in a seven-day average.
Other highlights last week among top ten poker rooms include Full Tilt rolling out “Adrenaline Rush,” an even quicker-paced fast-fold variant than its Rush Poker offering. Also, second-ranked 888poker announced a “Big Bang Promotion” that can best be described as a leaderboard competition geared toward recreational players that awards points according to hand rankings.
Over in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie had to fire an aide who was responsible for causing traffic backups in Fort Lee N.J. as retribution for that town’s mayor not supporting Christie’s campaign. Online poker traffic backed up last week in New Jersey as well, with all four poker sites losing cash action from the week before. PokerScout reports that it was not particularly a bad week in the Garden State market, but that the previous week was just so much better.
In other U.S. player traffic news, SealsWithClubs continues to gain players. The Bitcoin-friendly site added 20 more cash players, increasing its seven-day average to 140. Cashout speed is of utmost importance to players and SWC gets it done within 12 hours for most withdrawal requests and in 24 hours for the rest.
In U.S. news that could affect future player traffic numbers, Sheldon Adelson has stepped up efforts with regard to his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. The billionaire casino honcho drafted federal anti-online gambling legislation that he hopes will lead to the DoJ’s 2011 ruling that allowed individual states to offer online poker and gambling to be overturned.
Despite the online poker industry gaining 6% overall last week, the global market remains 11% less than this time last year. Let’s hope Adelson’s campaign to wipe out Internet poker and gambling in the U.S. is unsuccessful or the decline in player numbers may be even greater next year.