Online poker super-site Poker Stars has enjoyed a week of setting fresh records, reports the respected independent statistical information website Pokersitescout.com.
 
Among the records set, according to Pokersitescout, were the Giuness World Record for the largest online tournament ever, which saw 35 000 players in action (see previous InfoPowa report).
 
Other records broken included:
 
* Largest sit-and-go tournament: 10 000 players
 
* Most simultaneous real money cash game players (December 26): 32 848 Pokerstars
 
* Most simultaneous real money cash game players (December 27): 33 274
 
* Most simultaneous real money cash game players (December 28): 36 981
 
* Highest seven-day average real money cash game player count: 23 000
 
* Most sponsored pros playing online simultaneously (site record): at least 21
 
* Most players logged on: 250 540
 
It says much for the website's equipment, staff and technology that over two consecutive Sundays, these high levels of activity strained the capacity of Poker Stars only twice, and briefly, when cash game players were at one stage reportedly blocked from joining new tables in order to ease the pressure on the system.
 
Although the Internet's top six poker sites, headed by Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, again remained largely unchanged in the weekly positioning, there was some movement lower down the scale where Merge Gaming Network lost three spots – apparently due to a player tracking problem – and Entraction moved up two notches, besting Microgaming and Pacific Poker.
 
Betfair Poker, Ladbrokes and CryptoLogic Network each moved up one spot from the previous week.
 
Gains and losses over 2008
 
Pokersitescout also took a look at performance and market share throughout 2008, reporting that the worldwide online poker market continued to grow, albeit at a more sedate pace than in recent years. Total cash game traffic is estimated to have increased more than 14 percent in the past year.
 
Pokersitescout stats show that big gainers last year were headed by Poker Stars which reflected a market share growth of 65 percent and Entraction Network which grew by a similar amount, followed by CakePoker Network (52 percent); PKR (43 percent) and Full Tilt Poker (39 percent growth).
 
Faring less well were Bodog with a 34 percent loss of market share, Cereus (Ultimatebet and Absolute Poker) Network  down 30 percent; CryptoLogic Network  -31 percent and Party Poker -26 percent.