Online poker traffic climbed 1.7% last week, the second straight weekly increase. Among the top 10 sites and networks, advancers outnumbered decliners 9-1.
It was a very strong week as six of the top 10 gained 5% or more. Based on the trends of previous years, there may be more positive weeks to come between now and mid-August, when a late summer slump often hits before the prime season returns in the fall.
Revolution Gaming saw its traffic rise 8% as it powered past Merge Gaming Network and Microgaming Network to land in ninth place. Merge and Revolution are now mixed up with Microgaming and PokerStars.fr in a fairly close four-way race for eighth to 11th places.
Facebook gaming powerhouse Zynga extended an offer for Ongame Network, a week after the Shuffle Master deal fell through. Ongame's value to bwin.party as a "surplus asset" has been depreciating as the network has lost some 22% of its traffic in the last year.
Meanwhile players are still waiting for news of the rumored PokerStars buyout of Full Tilt Poker. Ray Bitar, Full Tilt's CEO, surrendered to US authorities last week, allegedly to pave the way for the "imminent" deal, but so far the only tangible result has been some legal maneuvering in criminal court.
If the deal does go through and players are paid back, it may boost traffic temporarily as players see their bankrolls expand. The effect is likely to be small, however, as a large part of the funds will go to US players who are no longer playing online.
Top 20 Movers
- Revolution Gaming climbed two notches to ninth, passing Microgaming Network and Merge Gaming Network which fell to 10th and 11th, respectively.
- IGT Poker rose from 17th to 16th.
- PartyPoker.fr gained two spots to 17th.
- PeoplesNetwork.it lost ground, falling from 16th to 18th.
- iPoker.it slid from 18th to 19th.
Year Over Year
The total worldwide online poker market is feeling the effects of what appears to be a global stagnation in poker's popularity. However, annual comparables have eased somewhat now that Black Friday and the Full Tilt shutdown are now more than a year old. According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic (ex-Italy) has decreased by 15% 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.
iPoker Network** n/a
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 29%
Bodog / Bovada 16%
Cereus Network 100%
International Poker Network (IPN) 57%
Everest Poker 41%
Ongame Network 22%
Merge Gaming Network 16%
Small but interesting:
Chico Poker Network (formerly Action Poker Network) 132%
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 200%+
*PokerStars yearly comparison affected by the introduction of Zoom Poker in March 2012.
**Year-over-year data temporarily unavailable due to tracking error.