Online poker traffic rose 0.8% last week, bringing the three-week total gain to about 6.5% as the busier fall season gets underway. Among the top 10 sites and networks, advancers outpaced decliners 8-2.
PokerStars bucked the upward trend, falling 3% as it finished settling to earth after the popular 85 billionth hand promotion. PokerStars still retains a net traffic gain of nearly 10% after the promotion, marking a very positive three-week span for the world's largest poker site.
Microgaming Network booked a massive 33% gain for the week. The reason for the sudden surge is unknown, but it was enough to vault Microgaming back into the top 10 after an eight-week absence.
Bwin.party vowed to return online poker to growth after reporting results from the first half of 2012. As part of the revitalization strategy, PartyPoker plans to launch a totally redesigned and innovative software platform in the next six months.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the presentation was the claim that combining the bwin and Party player pools will increase poker traffic by 30%-50%. The company expects that the integration, which is currently scheduled for the last three months of this year, will give PartyPoker a solid hold on second place in the dot-com rankings. How those expectations translate into reality is something PokerScout will be analyzing in the coming months.
Top 20 Movers
- Microgaming Network's 33% traffic increase vaulted the network from 11th place to eighth, swapping spots with Revolution Gaming.
- PokerStars.es moved up from 10th to ninth, trading places with sister site PokerStars.fr.
- PeoplesNetwork.it climbed from 20th to 18th.
- PartyPoker.fr lost one spot, landing in 19th.
- Everest Poker rejoined the top 20 in 20th place, knocking International.it out of the top 20.
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 14% 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 29%
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 66%
International Poker Network (IPN) 53%
IGT Poker 45%
Everest Poker 26%
Ongame Network 21%
Merge Gaming Network 20%
Small but interesting:
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 200%+