Online poker traffic dropped another 3.4% last week amid continued seasonal weakness as the eyes of the poker world began turning toward Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker. Nine of the top 10 sites and networks showed a loss for the week.
Full Tilt Poker ranked among the week's biggest losers once again with a 7% decline in traffic. This marks the fourth consecutive weekly decrease and the third consecutive drop of more than 5%. In the last week, there have been signs, signals and rumors that Full Tilt is gradually getting its financial house in order, but US players continue to wait for definitive word on the fate of their funds.
The latest official word would seem to confirm speculation that the primary obstacle to paying back US customers is a simple lack of funds after the Black Friday seizures. The site says it is currently "raising capital to ensure that the US players are paid out in full as quickly as possible."
Top Of The Charts
iPoker Network pulled ahead of PartyPoker, ending the week in third place for the first time since early January. The two rivals are still locked in a tight race, separated by less than 3%.
Top 20 Movers
The iPoker/PartyPoker rivalry also played out in Italy, as iPoker.it moved ahead of PartyPoker.it. The two sites finished the week in 19th and 20th place, respectively.
Year Over Year
The total worldwide online poker market has been shaken by the events of Black Friday and Blue Monday, but it remains largely intact. According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic (ex-Italy) has decreased by 18% in the last year.
Year-over-year changes for some individual sites and networks are given below. Results are for the main (.com) sites and networks unless stated otherwise. Note that growth rates for some .com sites have been negatively affected by the shifting of French players to separate, French-only networks.
Merge Gaming Network 145%
Cereus Network 96%
Everest Poker 67%
Cake Poker Network 47%
International Poker Network (IPN) 43%
Full Tilt Poker 35%
Microgaming Network 25%
Small but interesting:
Yatahay Network 195%
Action Poker Network 22%