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The new year is not even two weeks old and cash game player traffic among the online poker industry’s top ten sites and networks saw a major shift, punctuated by the ascent of the iPoker Network into 3rd place worldwide.

An increase of 150 ring game players brought iPoker’s seven-day average up to 1,500, allowing the network to take over the position formerly held by Bodog/Bovada. Attaining that 3rd place slot would not have been possible without Bodog experiencing a decrease in player traffic, which it did to the tune of 250 players, as estimated by PokerScout.com. That loss of action dropped Bodog into a 4th place tie with PokerStars.it at 1,450.

The iPoker Network, which features skins such as William Hill, Betfair and Iron Poker, is now the most popular online poker network in the world.

The Top Two

While iPoker gained a new position, the network did not pick up any ground on the poker sites manning the top two spots globally. Both PokerStars (17,500) and 888poker (2,500) also saw cash game traffic rise, 500 players for the former and 200 for the latter since 2016 began.

888Poker UK

The new year kicked off with PokerStars implementing its new player loyalty program, as well as a second player strike in as many months by those most affected by the VIP changes. Once again, it appears that PokerStars players who choose to sit out are not creating the desired effect, at least in terms of player traffic. Whether the protests are making a difference financially is known only by the bean counters at Amaya.

Other Gainers

Also moving up in position was Winamax.fr (1,300), adding 300 players to take over slot no. 6. Partypoker, formerly ranked 6th, did its best to keep up by attracting 100 more ring gamers, but the increase to 1,200 was not enough to keep from falling into 7th place worldwide.

On the comeback trail too were PokerStars.fr (900) and MPN (850), as both made it back into the top ten. PokerStars.fr jumped into 9th place, while the Microgaming Poker Network is currently tied for 10th with Full Tilt. PokerStars’ sister site lost 50 players, but continues to cling to its position in the upper tier of the industry. Adjarabet was booted out of the top ten.

U.S. Regulated Sites

A peek at player traffic in the regulated states in the U.S. finds increases across the board since 2016 began. WSOP.com and 888poker in New Jersey gained 10 players to reach an average of 200. Their competition, Partypoker NJ and BorgataPoker.com, gained twice as many cash game players to now sit at 140.

PokerStars

Topping those increases was the Nevada-Delaware alliance, as the interstate partnership jumped from 160 to 190 players in less than two weeks. All in all, it’s been a good start for online poker in 2016, except for Bodog.

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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.

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