Online poker traffic crept upward last week with a gain of 0.1%. The tiny increment barely qualifies as a fourth straight weekly traffic increase. Among the top 10 sites and networks, decliners outpaced advancers 6-4.
PartyPoker eliminated high stakes cash games last week in a bid to improve their "poker ecology." No limit and pot limit games higher than $5/$10 and fixed limit games above $30/$60 were taken off the board.
While the high stakes games had some action going at most hours of the day, the number of players involved was never very large. At peak times, just a few dozen players populated the tables. Overall, the high stakes games constituted just 0.6% of total player counts, so a large impact on traffic was not expected. Unsurprisingly, PartyPoker saw a decline of 0.8% for the week.
Last week PokerScout launched our exclusive coverage of play money poker. Interest in this segment of the market has never been higher as major operators gear up to enter the US after legalization. PokerScout is proud to be the first and only source of play money market data. Currently nine of the most popular sites and networks are covered, a number which will expand over time.
As expected, Facebook poker provider Zynga tops the charts with over 120,000 average concurrent ring game players. To put it in perspective, that's more than twice the size of the total real money poker market, which demonstrates not only the wide reach of play money poker but also the benefits of being associated with Facebook.
PokerStars occupies a distant second place with 24,000 average players, which is still 20% more than the site's real money traffic. PartyPoker and 888 follow with more than 1000 players each, while the remaining networks trail far behind.
Top 20 Movers
- Revolution Gaming surged ahead of PokerStars.fr to take eighth place.
- PartyPoker.fr dropped from 17th out of the top 20.
- IGT Poker moved up a notch to 17th.
- Everest Poker gained two spots, landing in 18th.
- International.it joined the top 20 in 20th place.
Year Over Year
The year-over-year growth rate faced tough comparables this time around. A year ago, PokerStars traffic surged as the site celebrated its 65 billionth hand. The promotion drew hoards of players, and as a result last week's traffic was down 22% compared to the same week 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 36%
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 47%
International Poker Network (IPN) 55%
IGT Poker 45%
Everest Poker 40%
Ongame Network 23%
Merge Gaming Network 6%
Small but interesting:
Chico Poker Network (formerly Action Poker Network) 116%
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 189%
*PokerStars yearly comparison affected by the introduction of Zoom Poker in March 2012.