Some big changes in the size of online poker sites to report today, including the shocking news that Full Tilt Poker have slipped down to 4th in the international cash game rankings – with 888 Poker powering up into that spot. I am also going to tackle the question of the big differences between cash game traffic and the overall player numbers online here…
Poker Site Traffic September 2013 – Top 5
#2: The iPoker Network
#3: 888 Poker
#4: Full Tilt Poker
#5: Party Poker
Summary: PokerStars remain the dominating giant of online poker, with 5 times as many cash game players and 3 times the number of players overall than their closest rivals. iPoker seem to be consolidating 2nd place, their battle with Party seems to have been helped recently by Party pulling out of a lot of markets, and some glitches with the new software client.
The big surprise is the rise of 888 Poker, who are going against the industry trend of flat to declining player numbers with a solid rise. A new push to get more players on Mobile devices (including a $30k tournament for those switching over) seems to have done the trick. Longer term, it really feels like the 888 focus on recreational players, rather than the ‘pro grinders’ other sites look out for, have done the trick… proving that there is still an audience out there for online poker games, it is just that the audience is not as ‘serious’ as it used to be.
Full Tilt slip down the cash game rankings, though when it comes to tournaments they are still doing well, 8k+ fields in some of the Mini-FTOPS events are proof of this if it were ever needed!
Poker Site Rankings For US Sites – Top 3
#2: Merge Network
#3: Revolution Network
Bovada (who are the US friendly part of the Bodog brand), maintain the number one spot. Again the focus on recreational players paying off in 2013. Bovada have anonymous games and a cap on 4 tables for their cash games and Sit N Goes – which tend to keep those grinders away.
Merge (via their cool flagship Carbon Poker) have just run Poker Maximus, which is growing in popularity and prize pools every time it is run. Lock seem to have their payment issues behind them, and their revolution network chugs along in 3rd place. The winner network come next, though their player numbers are relatively small.
Why Are Cash Game Numbers Low When There Are So Many Players Online
Cash game players tend to make up around 10% to 15% of a poker site’s traffic. These are lucrative players for the poker sites, as their rake adds up fast. By comparison tournament players may play for many hours on one buy-in, and so are worth less in the short term.
The vast majority of poker players can be found playing tournaments or sit n goes. Newer players are well served by these games – they are not aware of the tracking software and armies of multi-tabling ‘regs’ at the cash game tables at most sites… and often not aware of bankroll management too – wandering into a $200 NL game in 2013 without strong poker skills is just asking to be relieved of your bankroll!
What this emphasizes is just why sites who focus on the recreational types are growing so fast, the ‘fleece ‘em’ attitude of some poker sites to newer players is not a sustainable way to run a poker room any longer – and more and more players are wising up.
I recommend 888 Poker – and their player numbers are proving me right!