Online poker traffic fell 0.6% last week, which despite appearances was a generally positive week. Among the top 10 sites and networks, advancers led decliners 7-2 with one site breaking even.
PokerStars fared better than expected after its 85 billionth hand promotion ended last Monday. The site's traffic increased by more than 17% during the promotion, and has shed just 13% in the days since. The net gain is generally in line with the market, as several other top 10 sites and networks saw traffic rise between 3% and 7%.
Everest Poker announced that it will join the iPoker Network and cease operating an independent poker room. Everest was the sixth-largest operator in the world as recently as 2009, but the site depended heavily on French players. The regulation of poker in France forced Everest to open a separate French site, splitting its player base in two and accelerating the site's decline.
Still, EverestPoker.com averages nearly 600 real money ring game players, which could boost iPoker's average by more than 20%. That would give iPoker an even firmer grip on second place after vying for the spot with PartyPoker for more than a year.
There is no word yet on the fate of Everest's French poker site, which outranks the dot-com site and is currently the third-largest in France. EverestPoker.fr boasts more than 20 times as many players as the struggling iPoker.fr network, making for a very lopsided merger if one were to occur.
The first legally sanctioned online poker in the US continues to draw nearer as Nevada moves ahead with its licensing process. South Point Casino received its license last week and could launch an intrastate online poker site as early as October.
Top 20 Movers
- iPoker.it jumped back into the top 20 in 16th place.
- IGT Poker climbed three spots to 17th.
- PartyPoker.fr moved up a notch to 18th.
- International.it slid from 16th to 19th.
- PeoplesNetwork.it rejoined the top 20 in 20th place.
- Ongame.it and Dollaro Poker dropped out of the top 20, falling from 17th and 18th place, respectively.
Year Over Year
The total worldwide online poker market continues to feel the effects of a tough regulatory environment and a global stagnation in poker's popularity. The introduction of fast-fold poker in the last 12 months has also had the effect of decreasing player counts for the same amount of play volume. According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic 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 30%
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 62%
International Poker Network (IPN) 52%
IGT Poker 46%
Everest Poker 34%
Merge Gaming Network 22%
Small but interesting:
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 188%