Global Online Poker Liquidity Down 16 Percent, Year On Year

Online poker traffic decline

Traffic across all sites has taken a dip. In the short-term, the WSOP doesn’t help, but is it more about the weather? (Image: economic voice.com

Online poker traffic across all online poker networks is collectively down 16 percent, year on year, according to industry number crunchers PokerScout.com.

Global poker liquidity fell by 3 percent over the preceding week, the site said, representing the ninth consecutive week of decline.

While week-on-week the pinch has been felt by eight of the top ten market-leading poker sites, there has been no movement in the top ten.

PartyPoker.com, though, once the mightiest of them all, has lost ground of late, and now holds onto its fifth-place in the overall market share with a very tenuous grip, challenged by PokerStars.it, the ring-fenced Italian PokerStars client.

At the time of writing, both sites are showing an identical seven-day average of 1,150 players apiece.

Party, whose parent company bwin.party is in the grip of takeover talks, now accounts for just 60 percent of all bwin.party’s poker traffic, while, somewhat surprisingly, Partypoker France, ranked 15th by PokerScout, now accounts for 27 percent of all cash game traffic across the entirety of bwin.party’s poker operations.

Bwin.party migrated Partypoker France to its new software platform around a year ago, along with all its other French brands, so that they now share the same consolidated player pool.

PartyPoker.com, meanwhile, has fallen 31 percent on the year, according to recent figures.

Amaya Stranglehold

Marginally behind PokerStars.it is PokerStars’ sister company FullTilt, followed by Winamax.fr, PokerStars.es and PokerStars.fr.

In fact, of the top ten performing online poker sites, globally, five are owned by Amaya Inc, illustrating the complete stranglehold the Canadian company now has on the market.

PokerStars.com, of course, remains way out in front with almost seven times the traffic, on average, of its closest competitor, 888.com.

Of the top ten, the only site serving the US gray market is Bodog.com, which refuses to share its data with PokerScout, but has an estimated seven-day average of 1,600 to put it in third place, just in front of the iPoker Network. 

While the World Series of Poker may be good for liquidity at WSOP.com Nevada, PokerScout points out that it sucks for the rest of the world, as online poker’s high volume players descend on Vegas for the world championships, which may explain at least the short-term decline.

Factors at Play

“Last year, cash game traffic among the world’s 10 most popular operators dipped 12 percent from the onset of the Series to its conclusion seven weeks later,” said the site. “Taken at face value, that statistic suggests that the Series is the culprit behind the industry downtrend.”

However, the most likely reason for the dip is probably the weather, speculates the site. While the emergence of warmer weather drives people out into the open and away from their computers, PokerScout notes that liquidity appears to climb upwards again in late summer.

“The weather, not the calendar, may actually be the dominant factor that drives online poker traffic,” it theorized. “Consider that, in 2015, the seven weeks from early April to late May brought a more significant liquidity dip (14 percent) than the seven weeks of the 2014 WSOP.

“Not coincidentally, this period also marks the most significant climate change. It’s conceivable that by July, the oppressive heat begins to draw players to air conditioned rooms, and by extension, back to their computers.”

Philip Conneller
Written by
Philip Conneller
As part of the team that launched Bluff Magazine back in 2004, and then as Editor of Bluff Europe, Philip Conneller has (probably) written thousands of articles about poker and has travelled the globe interviewing the greatest players in the world, not to mention some of the sexiest celebrities known to man in some of the world’s sexiest destinations. The highlight of his career, however, was asking Phil Ivey (as a joke) how to play jacks, and emerging none-the-wiser. Philip once won $20,000 with 7-2 offsuit. He has been told off for unwittingly playing Elton John’s piano on two separate occasions, on different sides of the Atlantic Ocean. He became a writer because he is a lousy pianist. He lives in London where he spends his time agonizing about Arsenal football club, yet in Wenger he trusts.

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