A 2% decline in player traffic last week was half as much as the decrease recorded the week before.
That’s at least one positive way of looking at cash game player traffic results that are a full 14% behind last year’s end of June pace. Another positive is that player numbers could have been a lot worse considering that scores of football fans the world over are focusing their eyes on the 2014 FIFA World Cup instead of logging on to poker sites.
PokerScout reported that when soccer matches involving countries such as Russia and Germany are being played, ring game player traffic tends to drop off dramatically. It is likely that the online poker industry overall will continue to post decreasing player traffic numbers at least through mid-July until the World Cup reaches its conclusion.
Within the industry’s top ten poker rooms and networks, seven sites saw less traffic while three gained. Among the gainers was the iPoker Network, who moved into a second place tie with 888poker at 1,900 cash players in a seven-day average.
Also moving up was Bodog/Bovada, as the all-anonymous site now registers in sixth place with an estimated average of 1,350 players. Right behind in a tie for seventh are two offerings from PokerStars, both just 50 players behind Bodog’s player totals. Before settling into a seventh place tie, PokerStars.es was in sixth in last week’s update while PokerStars.it was eighth.
Another PokerStars site moved in ranking in the past week, as PokerStars.fr fell out of the top ten. As of this writing, Adjarabet and Winamax.fr are deadlocked in a ninth place tie.
MPN, once a mainstay within the top ten before the defections of Ladbrokes and Unibet, now finds itself in 14th place averaging 650 ring game players. The network has been treading on new ground lately by warning players that its Double-Up SitNGos require advanced strategy to be successful, as well as eliminating the long-held rule that all chat must be English-only in an effort to avoid collusion.
Kudos to MPN for thinking outside of the chat box on the latter issue. Online poker is more international than ever before and I would imagine that recreational players enjoy speaking in their native tongues. Players attempting to collude can use other methods such as instant messaging anyway.
With regard to the practically unheard of practice of spotlighting the difficulty of a particular game, hats off to Microgaming on that matter as well. It’s small stuff like that that could go a long way in coaxing players hesitant about depositing to gain more trust toward online poker rooms.
The Party Borgata Network in New Jersey regained top dog status in terms of cash player traffic among regulated poker sites in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. After being tied with WSOP.com in Nevada at 140 players in last week’s update, Party Borgata now clocks in at 150.
The 45th annual WSOP in Las Vegas continues to drive players to WSOP.com when they are not competing at live events. And some are apparently also finding their way to Ultimate Poker. UP-Nevada gained 9% more players than the week before as the curiosity factor likely came into play among the pros in town.
Curiosity may also run rampant at Full Tilt in coming days, where PokerStars’ sister site has unveiled Jackpot SNGs. The concept was made popular by Expresso Poker at Winamax and later copied by Twister Poker at the iPoker Network. The Full Tilt version is offering some random prizes at 2,000 times the buy-in, double the amount at the other two sites. Cash game traffic at Full Tilt may be affected as players check out the new SNG jackpot game.