Online poker traffic fell 0.4% last week, with the first full week of Full Tilt Poker statistics providing a boost that masked a larger decline. Among the top 10 sites and networks, decliners outnumbered advancers 8-2.
Full Tilt Poker traffic has continued to fall since the relaunch nearly two weeks ago. The first full day of real money play saw an average of 8900 cash game players, which slid to 8000 by the end of the first week and kept dropping. In the last few days the site seems to have hit a plateau around 6400 players. Whether that average will hold or decline further is an open question. In previous cases of heightened player interest around a new product launch, the phase of settling down to a new normal has often been completed in three to four weeks, so Full Tilt should be approaching its long-term liquidity level.
iPoker Network may also be losing some momentum gained from the acquisition of Everest Poker. After hitting a high of nearly 3000 average players, iPoker lost 7% last week to become the biggest percentage decliner among the top 10. The network now holds a lead of just 3% over PartyPoker, which is looking forward to its own merger with bwin by year-end.
Although iPoker saw the sharpest decline, the other top five sites (excluding Full Tilt Poker) also experienced lower traffic. This may be a result of Full Tilt continuing to draw players away from competitors. PokerStars, which saw the steepest initial drop, fell only 2% last week while 888 and PartyPoker declined 4% and 6%, respectively.
IGT lost half its traffic again last week. Only a small remnant of the player base remains as IGT prepares to close the network in favor of alternative strategies.
Top 20 Movers
- iPoker.it moved ahead of Svenska Spel to take 15th place.
- PeoplesNetwork.it rejoined the top 20 in 19th, taking the place of PartyPoker.fr which fell out of the top 20.
Year Over Year
The relaunch of Full Tilt Poker has brought many players back into the online poker market. Nevertheless, the total worldwide 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 reducing player counts for the same amount of play volume. According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic has decreased by 2% 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 33%
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 49%
IGT Poker 96%
International Poker Network (IPN) 51%
Merge Gaming Network 47%
Ongame Network 27%
Small but interesting:
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 200%+
Enet Poker Network 59%
Everleaf Gaming Network 50%