As most avid poker players have likely read over and over, WSOP.com launched its real-money online poker site in Nevada on Thursday, making it the second such service to operate in that state.
There were, and still are, optimistic expectations for the new service following the launch, mainly due to the famous WSOP brand and the marketing campaign that surrounded the launch. However, if traffic statistics are anything to go by, Nevada’s newest online poker site has a lot of work to do if it is to catch up to its only other rival.
WSOP’s real money site attracted a peak of 113 cash players in its first 24 hours after being launched. That was 23 less than its rival, Ultimate Poker, had on its first day of operation. According to PokerScout, WSOP.com currently has a seven-day average of 47 players, which is well below the 169 player average for Ultimate Poker.
Despite the less than stellar numbers, there is hope that they may only be minor teething problems for the newly launched site. PokerScout’s statistics also show that WSOP.com’s 24-hour peak currently stands at 416; not bad considering the site has only been around for a few days. That figure is over 100 more than Ultimate Poker’s 24-hour peak of 308 players.
While the figures may be seen as a little underwhelming, there is certainly huge potential for the site to succeed and attract a large and loyal base of online players. WSOP’s online poker service will likely also benefit when the final table of the live WSOP Main Event gets underway in Las Vegas in November.
The poker world’s eyes will be on Nevada and the WSOP brand, and it is likely that many professional poker players will arrive in Las Vegas to see the action unfold. That should lead to more players logging onto the site during that time, something WSOP’s owners, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, surely hope will last beyond the Main Event festivities.
The real test for the new site will be when other companies eventually launch their own online poker services in the state. While Nevada is known as a major gaming state in the US, its small population (current laws stipulate that players on Nevada online poker services must physically be in Nevada) means the potential player base is small.
When online poker players in Nevada get more variety in the growing online poker market, it will likely show a major gap in services with high traffic and those with low traffic. Caesars surely hopes its WSOP service will be one of the former.