As more and more hopeful bracelet winners flood the Rio’s casino floor, traffic on WSOP NV continues to soar. The enviously branded site is now averaging 146 cash-game players over the past seven days; good enough for first place in the US regulated market.
This marks the first time WSOP has topped the charts since last December. Back then former champion PartyPoker NJ had the excuse of only being a week old. But after surging to nearly 280 in early-January, traffic on the often criticized network has dropped precipitously, reaching a new five month low of 141 on Sunday.
No excuses anymore.
WSOP NV has fared considerably better, forgoing only approximately 21 % of its cash-game traffic in the two-and-a-half months leading up to the live WSOP. While that doesn’t sound all that impressive, consider that most international networks regularly cede 15 – 20% of their traffic during the spring.
In this week’s Nevada Traffic Report we take a detailed look at how WSOP NV is performing on both the cash-game and tournament fronts, analyze the WSOP effect on the network’s fiercest (and for all intents and purposes only) rival, and do our darnedest to predict traffic trends for the two weeks ahead.
WSOP NV owns the virtual felt
Both cash-game and tournament traffic on WSOP NV is trending sharply upward.
7-day cash-game averages across all Nevada iPoker networks, with two week percentage changes in parenthesis, as follows:
(As an aside, I will no longer report on Real Gaming until they generate something resembling “real” cash-game traffic)
Interestingly, traffic on Ultimate Poker has held relatively steady since the onset of this year’s WSOP. Several factors could be accountable:
- Players are inherently drawn to the site that brandishes the same name as the crown jewel of tournament poker. (I.e. not Ultimate Poker)
- WSOP NV has launched a multi-faceted marketing campaign.
- WSOP NV offers a better promotional schedule.
- Ultimate Poker’s software is not on par with WSOP’s.
#4 and to an extent #1 certainly account for why WSOP NV fares better than Ultimate Poker under normal circumstances. While I’m inclined to believe that a few out-of-state players were drawn to WSOP.com just because it’s spelled W-S-O-P, that’s not the primary reason traffic on the site is excelling. Same goes for the temporarily augmented poker playing population in Nevada (although it’s certainly helping).
#2 and #3 are the more relatable variables, in that they both could explain why WSOP is killing it while UP hasn’t budged.
So which one is the most telling?
The propelling forces behind WSOP NV’s promotional schedule are its 100% match reload bonus up to $1,000 and the currently running WSOP.com Online Championship Series.
However, both of these promos are also running in New Jersey, where traffic has only climbed nominally. So that rules #3 out.
We’re left with #2 – WSOP NV’s marketing roll-out. I’ve already covered the many ways WSOP.com has raised online poker awareness (insert shameless plug here), but suffice it to say, by practically shoving the words “WSOP” and “online poker” down poker players’ throats, I’d be shocked if the Rio’s poker playing guests weren’t fully cognizant of the recent changes to Nevada’s iPoker climate.
And while #2 and #3 work in tandem, if it weren’t for WSOP NV’s marketing campaign, far fewer players would be aware of the network’s promos. Conversely, it’s Ultimate Poker’s distinct lack of a marketing campaign that’s preventing out-of-state players from visiting its site. Whether or not UP is currently running cool promotions becomes a moot point.
In short, carefully constructed and well-timed marketing campaigns work. Are we taking notes New Jersey?
WSOPOC events in Nevada outperform those in NJ
Here’s a quick look at how this weekend’s WSOPOC events fared:
- Event #6: $55 NLHE, $5k Guaranteed – 185 entrants, $9,250 prize pool
- Event #7: $109 R&A NLHE, $20k Guaranteed – 75 entrants, 58 rebuys, 50 add-ons, $1,700 overlay
- Event #8: $530 R&A NLHE, $100k Guaranteed – 101 entrants, 23 rebuys, 71 add-ons, $2,500 overlay
- Event #9: $55 R&A NLHE, $10k Guaranteed – 152 entrants, 123 rebuys, 96 add-ons, $18,550 prize pool
While two of this weekend’s events failed to reach their minimum benchmarks, overall the WSOPOC has outperformed its New Jersey counterpart.
Notably, Event #8 in New Jersey featured an $11,000 overlay – $8,500 more than its equivalent in Nevada. That’s good news for players, bad news for WSOP NJ.
Well, at least they know now what Ultimate Poker NJ feels like on a weekly basis.
Predictions for the two weeks ahead
In so long as players continue to filter into Vegas, traffic on WSOP NV should continue to rise. However, once the Online Championship comes to a close this weekend, I suspect that the large day-to-day increases will become less commonplace.
That being said, most European players are expected to arrive in NV by next week. With the prospect of European degens taking to the virtual felt, there’s an off chance that volume on WSOP.com will surge at an unheard-of rate. Just don’t count on it.
By the time the Main Event reaches its halfway point, traffic will invariably start to stumble. How much it drops is dependent of a few variables, but that’s another article for another time.
To conclude, enjoy the next couple of weeks WSOP NV – it’s going to be a wild ride marked by unprecedented new highs and the biggest guaranteed tournament in your brief history.