The poker industry is developing its customer base and has actually grown an estimated 30 percent compared to a year ago at this time.  The poker research group estimates that the total amount of poker buy-in dollars is on the rise too, with over $98 million deposited. The total amount of money generated from buy-ins has risen over 55 percent.

“The Entrants Index continues to show a strong pattern of growth, showing tournament entries up 15 percent versus last year at 115,” explained Mark Napolitano. “Industry growth is also being helped out by a rising average buy-in per entry. The Average Buy-in per Entry Index for the quarter is 113, showing a growth of 13 percent versus the same quarter last year, with an average buy-in of $1,207 per entry. This also represents a trend with four consecutive months over $1,000.”

As successful as the year has been, there were still some times where business was not as great. Page Pages estimates the month of March had very marginal growth with $33.9 million generated.

“With the slowed growth in March it will be important to monitor April, May and June, leading up to the World Series of Poker, to help us determine the overall pace for 2006,” said Napolitano. “Look for the industry to have a strong month in April with the introduction of a new World Poker Tour Event at the Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, as well as their $25,000 championship event later in the month at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Also, watch out for the newly formed International Poker Association's Tour to make a quick impact with its inaugural event in May.”

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