While PokerStars retains the industry lead in player traffic by more than doubling the player totals of the four nearest competitors combined, the fight for both second and fourth place is in a dead heat as of this writing.
PokerScout reports that iPoker and Full Tilt Poker are running neck-and-neck for second place with a seven-day average of 2,600 cash game players. Similarly, the fight for fourth place is now deadlocked between PartyPoker and 888 Poker with 2,050 players in the same seven-day span.
888 Poker had inched ahead of PartyPoker for a short spell, marking the first time that has happened in the history of online poker. As many will recall, PartyPoker was the industry leader before passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006. By pulling out of the American market seven years ago, PartyPoker relinquished its crown.
That title has since been taken by PokerStars, who now is beginning to feel the repercussions of its decision to remain in the U.S. marketplace. Bad actor language has been appearing in U.S. legislation, both state and federal, that may keep PokerStars out of the market for a number of years.
In the race for second place, the iPoker Network also slightly overtook Full Tilt earlier in the week before landing in its current tie. That hasn’t happened in two months and is likely the result of a number of rake races being offered by several iPoker skins this month. But Full Tilt’s Rush Week promotion is now underway, which will likely allow the relaunched site to regain its no. 2 status behind sister site PokerStars, for the time being at least.
Overall, the online poker industry is off 5% from last year’s pace. It will be interesting to see if the launches of online poker regimes in both Delaware and New Jersey later this year will have a marked difference in industry player traffic totals.