Online Poker Traffic Continues to Show Worrying Drops

Online Poker TrafficOnline poker traffic is worryingly displaying a distinct downward trend after tracking website PokerScout revealed there has been a third successive weekly drop.

This latest weekly report showed an overall fall of 2.9% to mark the third week of declining visitor numbers to poker rooms – although there were some notable exceptions, with the Merge Gaming Network showing a 0.4% increase.

Amazingly, that tiny gain moved Merge, which includes PokerView and Carbon Poker – as well as, until yesterday, Lock Poker – among their clients, into seventh spot for their highest ever ranking.

The fallout from Black Friday on April 15 last year handed Merge a huge boost, but things have leveled out since then with the network showing a decrease of 2% in traffic, although that decline is actually relatively good in comparison to most of their competitors.

Hope For The Future

However, while PokerScout believe this month is poised to provide a breath of fresh air to the poker world, just three of the top 10 poker sites showed increased numbers.

Merge, of course, climbed into seventh place, replacing Winamax.fr (eighth), while Bodog (12th) and International.it (13th) moved up as iPoker.it fell two spots to 14th. Additionally, PartyPoker.fr replaced Svenska Spel in 17th and International Poker Network (IPN) fell out of the leading 20 to be replaced by Ongame.fr.

PokerScout reckon the World Series of Poker (WSOP) – which began on Sunday in Las Vegas – should boost player numbers, while they are also optimistic that the newly regulated market in Spain will prove to be a boon, too.

Revolution Gaming Network Launches

Most significant, though, could be Lock Poker’s rebranding of the Cake Network as Revolution Gaming Network. This changeover took place today with all the fanfare associated with a relaunch, so expect player numbers to show a notable increase.

However, there still isn’t that much to celebrate as year-on-year traffic fares even worse than weekly figures – showing a worldwide drop of 19% since last year – with poker rooms struggling to maintain customers following the dark days of Black Friday when Full Tilt Poker and the Cereus Poker Network’s Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet were shut down.

PokerStars Still Leading The Way

But, as always, PokerStars – whose yearly comparison will have been affected following the launch of Zoom Poker back in March – buck the overall trend by showing a 9% increase, while their nearest rivals, iPoker Network and PartyPoker, each posted 14% declines.

Of course, Full Tilt are down 100%, while the Cereus Network fell 98%, IPN dropped 51% and the Ongame Network slumped 14%.

There are other success stories, though, with 888poker up 37% and Winamax.fr increasing traffic by 22%. The little known Chico Poker Network – which was previously named Action Poker Network – zoomed up 262%, while Everleaf Gaming Network also posted impressive numbers by upping their traffic by 49%.