Cash game player traffic rose 3% last week and much of that gain was attributable to PokerStars‘ $700,000 Milestone Hands promotion.
PokerScout reported that the industry giant experienced an increase of more than 15% in ring game traffic as players were enticed by bonus cash payouts every millionth hand. The promo has concluded but the odds are good that PokerStars will continue offering such promotions whenever they get a hankering to boost traffic that is already tenfold greater than their nearest pursuer, 888poker.
If industry rumors are true, those milestone hand promotions could one day be available to players in regulated U.S. markets. PokerStars is said to be in discussions to merge with Amaya Gaming in an effort to undergo a corporate restructuring that would permit the alleged bad actor to have an easier road toward entering the U.S.
Amaya, which operates the Ongame Network that is 27th in global player traffic with a seven-day average of 280 players, has seen its stock rise over 30% on the basis of those rumors. It’s almost a given that PokerStars will eventually find a way into the U.S. somehow and someday, but don’t bet the farm just yet on that route going through Amaya Gaming.
In player traffic news not pertaining to PokerStars, the Equity Poker Network (EPN) has succumbed to pressure from New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware and has announced that it will no longer service those markets. The U.S.-friendly Winning Poker Network made the same announcement about a week prior than EPN.
EPN lost about 5% of player traffic last week. Just a few weeks ago, the network had peaked at 190 cash players in a seven-day average, but that number is now down to 160. Incidentally, EPN flagship skin Full Flush Poker has absorbed players from fellow skin Integer Poker effective today.
Also taking place today is the start of the 45th annual World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. At the moment, WSOP.com in Nevada has double the amount of online cash players as Ultimate Poker at 110-55. With an influx of poker pros from around the world expected to play online when not navigating live tournament fields, the smart money is on WSOP to put a bit more space between themselves and UP during the course of the festival that runs through mid-July.
Within the top ten online poker rooms and networks, Bodog/Bovada moved back into a tie with PokerStars.it for sixth place worldwide after being tied for seventh with PokerStars.es previously. Bovada may have been buoyed by the recent release of an app for playing fast-fold Zone Poker on mobile devices.
Also within the top ten, Adjarabet climbed to ninth place from 11th with a seven-day average of 1,150 cash players. That gain resulted in Winamax falling to the last slot in the top ten while PokerStars.fr is now in spot no. 11. Perhaps a milestone hand promo for PokerStars’ French-facing site is in the offing.
Comparing this year to last, end of May numbers for 2014 are 9% off the pace. Considering that just last week it was at 12%, the statistics reveal that the Milestone Hands promo at PokerStars provided a substantial boost.