With the 45th annual World Series of Poker hitting its stride in Las Vegas, the pro players in town are logging on at WSOP.com in record numbers while not competing on the live poker tournament tables at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.
WSOP.com in Nevada has seen traffic skyrocket to 150 cash game players in a seven-day average, which is the highest number since the site launched on Sept. 19, 2013. WSOP.com’s Nevada offering is currently the top ranked poker site among the three regulated states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
The pros are scheduled to be in town through mid-July, so WSOP.com may enjoy its new status for another month. Its rival in the Silver State, Ultimate Poker, is averaging the same number of players (55) that were logging on when the WSOP kicked off on May 27, PokerScout reported.
While things are looking up in Nevada, the online poker market in New Jersey seems headed in the opposite direction. WSOP.com in NJ remained steady, but the Party Borgata and All American Poker networks both experienced decreases. AAPN is now 65% off its pace of three months ago when an 80% rakeback promo was still attracting grinders.
As 2014 nears the half-way mark, the possibility of new regulated markets emerging in the U.S. this year looks less likely. Despite a new coalition of 13 California tribes that have offered an online poker bill to state lawmakers, the Morongo and PokerStars alliance has vowed to fight such efforts as long as “bad actor” language is included in the proposal.
Pennsylvania is also on the radar as a state where online poker regulations are taking on a more serious tone among lawmakers. A new ipoker bill is set to be introduced later this month, but the prospect of approval taking place this year remains iffy at best.
In the unregulated U.S. market, Lock Poker lost 9% of cash player action as of late. The site has yet to respond to a request made by the Poker Players Alliance in April asking for more transparency with regard to funds owed to its customers. Perhaps more players have taken to heart the PPA recommendation to avoid Lock Poker tables until the site unlocks its bank account.
In online poker player traffic on a global scale, PokerStars lost 1,000 ring game players in the past week. The industry giant went from 20,000 to 19,000 in a seven-day average, a decrease that would leave the poker tables completely empty at every other poker room outside of the top ten.
While many factors are likely attributable to the dip in action at PokerStars, a recently concluded milestone hands promo is certainly one of them. The world’s leading site now has only about nine times as many cash players as second place 888poker, whereas just a couple weeks ago that advantage was 10 to 1.
For the week, the Internet poker industry experienced a 3% decline. The top ten poker rooms and networks all retained their positions from the previous week. Online poker action at the cash tables is 9% less than this time in 2013.