Wednesday August 31,2011 :  Player traffic drops 3 percent..
 
Party Poker's aborted rake structure changes  may have cost the poker operator its second place in the top sites. An independent online poker monitor  reports that the company's traffic declined by 3 percent last week, allowing Playtech's iPoker network to consolidate its second position in the market.
 
"The [rake changes] move drew a firestorm of protest, with players organizing a mass "sit-out" on Wednesday at some of the affected limits," the monitor reports.
 
"The virtual picket line had a profound impact on the targeted games. At $3/$6 no limit hold'em 6-max, for example, the average number of seated players ballooned from 23 to 290, while the average pot plummeted 98 percent from $67.40 to $1.55. The impact at the $5/$10 6-max tables was more limited in scope, but between the hours of 10 am and 9 pm Pacific, player counts more than tripled while average pot sizes fell 87 percent."
 
Among the top 10 sites and networks, gainers and losers were evenly split at five apiece, Pokerscout reports.
 
Although iPoker Network saw a fall of 2 percent in traffic, it still had enough steam to outperform Party Poker and claim second place in the rankings. iPoker currently holds a lead of more than 5 percent over Party Poker.
 
Top 20 movers in a relatively quiet week of internet poker included:
 
• Winamax.fr moving up to eighth place, pushing Microgaming down to ninth.
 
• Svenska Spel climbed two spots to 14th, causing IPN and EverestPoker.fr to move down a notch.
 
• Ongame.fr and PartyPoker.fr traded places in 19th and 20th places, with Ongame.fr coming out on top this week.
 
According to PokerScout's ACES indicator, online poker traffic (ex- Italy) has decreased by 23 percent in the last year, due mainly to Black Friday.
 
Year-over-year changes for some individual sites and networks include:
 
888poker up 126 percent
 
Merge Gaming Network up 74 percent
 
Bodog up 68 percent
 
iPoker Network up 19 percent
 
The losers are predictably lead by Full Tilt Poker at 100 percent down, followed by the Cereus Network, down 97 percent; International Poker Network (IPN)  down 41 percent; Microgaming Poker Network down 24 percent; and Everest Poker down 20 percent.