After two weeks of gains, the online poker industry experienced a decrease of 3% in cash game action last week.
Nine of the top ten poker rooms and networks declined. The only movement among the top ten saw Bodog/Bovada fall into a seventh place tie with PokerStars.es after being tied with PokerStars.it for sixth place in the previous player traffic update.
Holding down second place globally is 888poker, who continues to ride a wave of popularity thanks to its Snap Poker promotion. PokerScout reported that 888 experienced an all-time record in fast-fold player participation last Saturday. The promo concludes today but 888 may have snapped up some new loyal fast-fold customers.
888 is apparently shedding other customers, those from the U.S. who moved to Canada and Mexico in order to play online poker. Reports from 2 + 2 posters indicate that 888 has closed the accounts of a number of online poker refugees without providing an adequate reason as to why.
Also instituting a ban on players last week was the U.S.-facing Winning Poker Network. WPN announced that players in the regulated states of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey will no longer be allowed access to network skins. As of yet, there has been no decline in ring game player traffic at WPN.
Perhaps traffic at WPN remained stable because a number of players in Nevada and New Jersey reported on online poker forums that WPN representatives told them to change their addresses to unregulated states in order to continue playing at the likes of Americas Cardroom and True Poker. WPN is currently third among U.S.-friendly sites behind Bovada and Merge.
California online poker players may not have to patronize unregulated sites much longer. Recent reports indicate that native tribes in the Golden State have found common ground and are drafting an online poker bill to reflect their new-found alliance.
While the Morongo Band of Mission Indians and their partnership with the state’s largest card rooms and PokerStars is not directly tied in with that alliance, rumors indicate that a compromise may be made to alleged “bad actors.” Online poker player traffic numbers will look completely different if and when California approves regulations.
Also expected to look different is player traffic in Nevada once the 45th annual WSOP kicks off next Tuesday. Players from throughout the globe are expected to log on at WSOP.com in Nevada while not concentrating on making deep runs during live poker tournaments at the Rio in Las Vegas.
Over in New Jersey, online poker revenue dropped about 19% in April in comparison to March tallies. May is not looking much better, especially at the All American Poker Network (AAPN), where liquidity for this month has decreased 30% thus far. PokerScout surmised that one reason for the steep loss in action may be the conclusion of the site’s long running 80% rakeback promo.
The Party Borgata Network is apparently taking aim at corralling those grinders who recently left AAPN. A recent software update allows players greater control over table selection, which is much more crucial to pros than it is to the casual crowd.
The global online poker market is 12% off the pace from last year. A decent-sized portion of that 12% could eventually be chipped away if California were to regulate online poker during this legislative session as recent rumors suggest.