The last week of August was not particularly kind to WSOP NV, nor was it to the iPoker industry in general. But with the days getting shorter and the nights cooler, players have begun migrating back to their online poker sites.
As we saw back in June, when the presence of the live WSOP caused a tremendous spike in cash-game traffic, Nevada’s traffic trends don’t always mimic those of the global market. So while its certainly possible that the change of season and the slew of new promotions that typically come with it will be enough to generate renewed interest in the state’s nascent iPoker market, Nevada has bucked seasonal trends before, and it may yet again.
But until I’m given a reason to think otherwise, I’ll stand by last month’s prediction that WSOP’s cash-game traffic will slowly trend towards and above the 100 benchmark. Thus far, it has – although its gains have come largely at the expense of its biggest rival, Ultimate Poker.
Cash-game traffic on WSOP NV shows signs of life
- WSOP NV: 98 (96)
- Ultimate Poker: 69 (61)
- Real Gaming: 0 (0)
While Real Gaming has yet to record any meaningful 7-day averages, the site is generating a bit of traffic – if a 24 hour peak of 5 can be considered “a bit.”
After trailing off from last month’s high water mark of 113 on August 9th, WSOP NV appears to be in the midst of a modest recovery. Although ring game volume was only up 2 percent over the past two weeks, that proved more than enough to outperform the global market, where traffic levels remained relatively flat.
Ultimate Poker, on the other hand, lost an alarming 11.6 percent of its player base, although some of this can be attributed to its stellar Triple Play promo coming to an end. Nevada’s second place network has yet to announce a September promotion. I might suggest that they get on that.
WSOP NV too, hasn’t exactly impressed with its promotional schedule. That being said, after conversing with WSOP Head of Online Poker Bill Rini over Twitter, I was informed that some of WSOP NJ’s promos will be making their way to the Silver State. The possibility of promos exclusive to Nevada players also exist, although nothing has been confirmed.
For reference, here’s a sneak peak at what’s going to be happening at WSOP NJ:
- App Leader Board: From Sept. 7 – 20, players who accumulate the most weekly loyalty points will receive a share of $5,000 in prize money.
- Poker-Palooza: Players that participate in ring games will be eligible to receive everything from tournament tickets, to cash prizes and instant bonuses. Runs from Sept. 7th through the 21st.
- September Reload Bonus: Enjoy a 100% match bonus, up to $400 when you reload your account using the promo code FALL2014 between September 19th and the 28th.
Both WSOP NV and NJ are currently offering Sit & Go grinders who place high on the September Sit & Go Leader Boards with weekly cash prizes totaling $7,500 in New Jersey and $4,500 in Nevada.
I’d argue that WSOP’s SNG leader boards are among the most popular promos ever launched in the regulated market. Problem is, while they do an admirable job of increasing cash liquidity, given their nature, they may actually have a negative effect on ring game turnout.
Case in point: since the promotion launched in New Jersey, cash game liquidity on WSOP is down 2.5 percent.
Labor Day weekend negatively impacts tournament turnouts
With few exceptions, week-over-week tournament traffic on Nevada’s online poker sites was measurably down. This all but confirms that Holidays have the same negative effects on online poker MTT traffic in Nevada that they do on the ROW.
Listed below are turnout figures for last weekend’s Nevada majors:
- WSOP’s $15k Guarantee: Drew 96 runners in creating a $19,200 prize pool, up 6 entrants (6.7 percent) over August 24th.
- WSOP’s Weekend Warm-Up ($55 R&A): Attracted 39 players, 33 rebuys and 24 add-ons, amounting to a $200 overlay. Last week’s event smashed its guarantee by $1,400.
- WSOP’s $27.50,$3k Guarantee: Generated a prize pool of $3,200 – $2,100 less than the week prior.
- WSOP’s $55 Freezeout, $1k Gurantee: 44 entrants would sign up, amounting to a $2,200 prize pool. While that may initially seem impressive, consider that last week’s foray drew 62 runners.
- Ultimate Poker’s $10,000 Sunday: 91 runners (4 more than last week) showed up for this week’s event, creating an overlay of $1,719.
Tournament trends in Nevada all but mimicked those of New Jersey, where virtual tumbleweeds could be seen blowing across online tournament lobbies.
For more tournament turnout figures and results, check out PocketFives’ Nevada Weekend Tournament Review.