In this week’s Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update, PokerScout.com reported that online poker traffic (cash games only) increased a scant one percent last week, though that did snap a three-week losing streak, so that’s something. Overall, though, traffic is down sharply from the same time last year: 13 percent.
Since the launch of its online poker industry at the end of November, New Jersey has been a focal point of the internet gaming world. With nearly 9 million residents, people have been interested to see how successful the Garden State could be in pulling in customers to its online poker rooms and casinos. PokerScout believes that that New Jersey may have peaked after a nine week period of growth. According to PokerScout’s figures, all of the New Jersey online poker sites combined (WSOP.com, the Party Borgata Network, the All American Poker Network, and Ultimate Poker) have a seven-day average of 554 cash game players, around the middle of the recent daily range. PokerScout expected something like this, having estimated a peak of 600 players based on the state’s population. Nevada, though much smaller than New Jersey and therefore not able to approach Jersey’s total numbers, plateaued twice as quickly. After topping out, Nevada’s cash game traffic has gradually dropped by about 20 percent; it remains to be seen what will happen with New Jersey.
The iPoker Network currently stands in third place in PokerScout’s rankings with a seven-day average of 2,400 cash game players, 300 behind 888poker and 200 ahead of Full Tilt Poker. The network could be closer to the second spot, though, were it not for a new game offering called Twister Poker.
Twister Poker games, launched on the network in a gradual rollout about three weeks ago, are three-handed, turbo Sit-and-Go tournaments with buy-ins of $1, $2, $5, or $10 and a winner-take-all prize pool. That prize pool, however, is unknown to the players until the tournament begins. Once the game begins, a prize wheel is spun to randomly determine the prize for which the entrants will be playing. Most of the time (76 percent), the winner will receive two times the buy-in. And while that is lower than what the prize would be in normal three-handed tourney (though three-handed Sit-and-Go’s aren’t normally seen, a typical winner-take-all prize would be three times the buy-in), there are occasions when the winner will receive more than all the buy-ins put together. Those other instances will most often be four or six times the buy-in (23 percent of the time combined), but on very rare occasions, the winner will bank ten times, twenty times, and even as much as 1,000 times the buy-in.
Twister Poker is a direct knock-off of Winamax’s Expresso, which resulted in Winamax losing scads of cash game players who were attracted to the new game’s tables. The expectation was that the iPoker Network would experience the same phenomenon and that did come to fruition, but it wasn’t too drastic. According to PokerScout, the iPoker Network saw a nine percent drop in cash game traffic two weeks ago, but last week, the traffic already ticked back up a notch.