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Online poker Effects Of Black Friday
ONLINE POKER - THE AFTERMATH OF BLACK FRIDAY
Drastic declines in traffic followed DoJ action in the United States
An independent online poker monitor produced one of the more interesting articles on internet poker's Black Friday amidst a blizzard of publicity on Sunday's first anniversary of the US Department of Justice's decimation of the American industry.
In it, Pokerscout reveals that during the first 10 days after April 15, 2011, Full Tilt Poker lost 41 percent of its traffic and Cereus Network dropped 53 percent.
"Market leader PokerStars fared slightly better with its more geographically diverse player base, shedding only 28 percent," the monitor observes. "In all, the sites lost a combined one-third of their traffic."
Post-Black Friday, only five internet poker networks of significance remain in the US market: Merge Gaming Network, Bovada (formerly Bodog branded), Cake Poker Network, Chico (formerly Action) Poker Network and Winning Poker Network (formerly Yatahay).
"All five have gained traffic in the year since Black Friday, but the total increase amounts to just 9 percent of the traffic lost due to Black Friday, Pokerscout reports, adding perhaps more alarmingly that approximately 90 percent of US players knocked offline by Black Friday remain offline one year later.
When Full Tilt imploded shortly after, due to "enormous risk-taking, incompetent management and/or criminal behavior on the part of its owners", and the loss of its Alderney licence, as many as a million players were thrown on to the market and targeted by FTP's rivals, who "scooped up" about 50 percent of them. However, the rest remained unaccounted for, shrinking the market.
PokerScout estimates that the worldwide online poker market may be contracting at roughly a 10 percent annual rate regardless of Black Friday. The true figure will be known in July 2012, when the full impact of FTP's losses will become clearer. In addition, by that time, attendance figures at the World Series of Poker will indicate whether there is any weakening in the popularity of land-based tournament poker.
Returning to its weekly report, Pokerscout advises that online poker traffic, having previously risen two weeks back, was again in decline by 1.8 percent last week
The top sites remained Pokerstars (down 13 percent), iPoker (up 4 percent) and Party Poker (down 4 percent), whilst elsewhere:
• International.it edged out Microgaming Network to take 10th place.
• iPoker.it moved up to 13th and IGT Poker fell to 15th.
• Everest Poker dropped two spots to 20th, whilst PartyPoker.fr and IPN rose to 18th and 19th, respectively.
Year-on-year, traffic overall has declined 32 percent since the last week before Black Friday, with the
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