03/13/2012 : MERGE POKER CONTINUES TO FORGE AHEAD
Network is now the largest US-facing online poker provider
The latest weekly report by the independent online poker monitor Pokerscout shows that the Merge Poker Network continues to forge ahead and is now the largest US-facing internet poker network out there.
Merge is up 84 percent year-over-year, and is dominating the American field, sadly depleted with the departure of giants like Pokerstars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus in the wake of Black Friday. Best Merge Room Is Lock Poker.
Online poker traffic fell 1.1 percent last week, the fifth consecutive weekly drop, Pokerscout reports. Among the top 10 sites and networks, decliners outpaced advancers eight to two.
Bodog reportedly lost another 9 percent last week, and is now down 13 percent since the recent action in which US authorities seized the Bodog.com domain and indicted founder Calvin Ayre . However, according to Pokerscout, Bodog remains up 39 percent year-over-year in a market that still offers plenty of action for audacious and risk-ready operators.
Among the smaller but growing networks doing well are the Chico Poker Network (up 293 percent), Cake Poker Network (up 25 percent) and Winning Poker Network (up 24 percent).
Pokerscout's overview of the market since Black Friday shows a decline of 30 percent year-on-year.
Pokerstars continues to dominate globally and is 17 percent up, followed by Party Poker (up 13 percent) and the iPoker Network (up 8 percent). Further down the list, 888Poker is up 74 percent, and French site Winamax up 40 percent.
Other than the obviously crippled FTP and Cereus, GTechG2's International Poker Network appears to be battling – down 43 percent.