Online poker traffic fell 0.6% last week, the third straight weekly drop. Among the top 10 sites and networks, decliners led advancers eight to two.
International Poker Network (IPN) recently saw its bad beat jackpot cross the $1 million threshold. As of this writing, the jackpot stands at nearly €775,000, worth just over $1 million at current exchange rates. The prize apparently hasn't boosted traffic to any significant extent, however. IPN's traffic declined 10% for the week.
PokerStars continues to underperform the market. The world's largest poker site has seen its expected post-New Year bounce fizzle this year. In the winter of 2010-2011, the top 5 sites gained an average of 5% between mid-December and the last week of January. Over the same time period this winter, PokerStars' top 5 rivals have seen an 8% increase on average, while PokerStars itself has booked a 5% loss.
The launch of Zoom Poker may help. The long-awaited game, which is expected to offer a similar experience to Full Tilt’s popular Rush Poker, is reportedly set to enter public beta testing in a month or so.
If Full Tilt's experience with Rush Poker is any indicator, PokerStars stands to benefit considerably from Zoom Poker. While Rush Poker accounted for less than 30% of ring game players, the game racked up nearly 50% of all ring game hands dealt. More hands per hour not only creates more excitement for the players, but also means the site collects proportionally more rake.
Top 20 Movers
- PeoplesNetwork.it rose four spots to 11th place, jumping over International.it, iPoker.it, IGT Poker and Bodog/Bovada.
- Svenska Spel gained four notches, ending the week in 16th.
- Sister sites EverestPoker.fr and EverestPoker.com each lost a spot, finishing in 17th and 18th, respectively.
- IPN fell from 18th to 20th.
Year Over Year
The total worldwide online poker market remains under pressure from Black Friday and a global stagnation in poker's popularity. According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic (ex-Italy) has decreased by 32% 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 4%
Merge Gaming Network 93%
Full Tilt Poker 100%
Cereus Network 99%
Entraction Network 51%
International Poker Network (IPN) 48%
Small but interesting:
Chico Poker Network (formerly Action Poker Network) 278%
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay Network) 77%