Online poker traffic fell 1.3% last week, marking the fourth losing week out of the last five. Among the top 10 sites and networks, decliners outnumbered advancers 6-4.
Full Tilt Poker was largely to blame for the loss. Player counts fell 13%, the fourth consecutive week of double-digit declines after the November relaunch. Full Tilt is now down 56% from the highs.
PartyPoker also contributed to the downward movement. After a strong lift from the Advent Calendar promotion early in December, the excitement seems to have worn off. Player counts sagged by 4% last week.
However, Party may be getting an even bigger boost in the days ahead when bwin finally joins the player pool. Bwin’s poker site has been down for maintenance since yesterday, with a notice claiming that players will soon see all-new software and a player pool double the previous size.
Ongame Network is naturally seeing decreased traffic with the departure of bwin. It’s too early to judge the impact with any accuracy, but Ongame’s peak traffic today was down by one-third compared to the last two Mondays.
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This will be the last Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update for the year as we take a break for the holidays. Some low player counts can be expected during the off-weeks. The Christmas and New Year holidays typically bring the lowest traffic days of the year.
Top 20 Movers
- MPN (formerly Microgaming pulled ahead of Ongame Network to take over ninth place.
- International.it climbed from 19th to 18th.
- PeoplesNetwork.it moved back into the top 20 in 19th place. However, it should be noted that this is based on the last known good traffic data. We have not had accurate numbers for this network for nearly a month.
- PartyPoker.fr fell from 18th out of the top 20.
Year Over Year
The relaunch of Full Tilt Poker has brought a significant number of 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 (or increasing the rate of hands dealt for a given number of players). According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker player counts have decreased by 8% 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.
Full Tilt Poker (from 0)
iPoker Network 28%
Revolution Gaming (formerly Cake Poker Network) 56%
Merge Gaming Network 55%
International Poker Network (IPN) 48%
Ongame Network 32%
Small but interesting:
Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay) 219%
Enet Poker Network 40%
Everleaf Gaming Network 51%