12/16/09 – An independent online poker information site marked a milestone in online poker this week when it reported that for the first time 60 percent marketshare rests with just two companies – Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker. Both companies accept US players and are based outside America.
But the interesting aspect of the numbers lay in the substantial combined growth of the two monster sites, due mostly to the fact that big online poker bonuses are driving alot of new players so be sure to get your Poker Bonus before you play, which are calculated at 68 percent, suggesting that predictions of the online poker industry's saturation and fading fortunes may be a little premature.
The growth was not confined to the market leaders, either. Other sites increased their traffic by 12 percent, with PartyPoker, Ongame Network, Everest Poker and Bodog all showing growth and the market overall continuing to increase in size.
Full Tilt Poker appears to have been doing some catching up on its long term rival and market dominant PokerStars, especially during the second and third quarters of the year, which have seen its growth rate approach and match that of its main competition.
Market dominance can be a fleeting glory subject to dramatic changes in the market and the growth of rivals, and this is particularly so in the online poker sector, where the elephant in the room remains the US market and the possibility of legalised online poker either nationally or in individual states.
PokerStars and Full Tilt have had things pretty much all their own way since the UIGEA, which triggered the exit of pioneering online giants like Party Poker, and industry consolidation moves such as the predicted merger between Party Gaming and Bwin could add some exciting new competitive dynamics.
PokerScout lists the following as the 20 currently largest sites or networks in its Week 50 assessment. The calculation is based on hourly average number of players in a 24-hour period.
1. PokerStars 28 600
2. Full Tilt Poker 19 200
3. iPoker Network 5 100
4. PartyPoker 4 600
5. Ongame Network 2 900
6. Cereus Network 2 550
7. Everest Poker 2 400
8. IPN (Boss Media) 2 150
9. Microgaming (Total) 2 050
10. CakePoker Network 2 000
11. Entraction Network 1 540
12. Svenska Spel 1 220
13. PacificPoker 1 120
14. Unibet/Ladbrokes exclusive 1 080
15. Microgaming Poker Network 890
16. PKR 860
17. Bodog 850
18. Betfair Poker 510
19. Merge Gaming Network 400
20. win2day 340