The gains online poker made a couple weeks ago, however slight, were short-lived, according to the latest Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update from PokerScout.com. During the first full week of February, cash game traffic at online poker rooms increased one percent, breaking three-week losing streak. But last week, the downward trend resumed, as traffic dropped three percent, more concerning because this is typically, according to PokerScout, online poker’s yearly high point.
As usual, most of the poker world’s eyeballs were on New Jersey, which has had its internet gaming industry up and running for about two and a half months. Because of the way the calendar setup, an interesting traffic pattern emerged in the Garden State. As Atlantic City is a popular tourist destination (though not nearly as popular as it used to be), many couples travelled to the east coast gambling center for Valentine’s Day weekend. Valentine’s Day was last Friday, and as a result, cash game traffic on the New Jersey poker sites rose Thursday night as people arrived at their hotels. Many obviously booted up their laptops after they settled in. On Friday, people kept their computers off, celebrating the romantic occasion with their significant others. As a result, PokerScout reported that New Jersey online poker traffic had its second-slowest day of the year. The jump on Thursday and sharp drop on Friday produced the largest day-to-day change in New Jersey’s brief internet gaming history.
It also appears that New Jersey’s traffic has plateaued. In last week’s report, the numbers showed that the combined traffic of the New Jersey poker rooms (WSOP.com, the Party Borgata Network, the All American Poker Network, and Ultimate Poker) had settled into the middle of a range of 500-600 players on average. This past week, there was almost no movement. WSOP.com stayed flat and Party Borgata, the largest New Jersey poker network, actually lost one percent. According to PokerScout, Party Borgata is right about where it was two months ago, while WSOP has stayed pretty much the same for a month.
PokerScout also provided an update on the iPoker Network’s progress since launching Twister Poker, a three-handed, winner-take-all, randomly-multiplied prize pool Sit-and-Go variant. It was thought that this new game would syphon players away from the cash game tables and this was certainly the case. Three weeks ago, cash game traffic dropped nine percent on the network, but it ticked up slightly two weeks ago. The network lost two percent last week, but considering the entire market fell three percent, that wasn’t bad at all. People do seem to be slowly heading back to cash games faster than they did at Winamax.fr, which launched the same product, called Expresso, last summer.