PokerScout: Online Poker Traffic Declines Yet Again
It was another down week for internet poker, as PokerScout.com reported on Saturday that online poker cash game traffic fell another two percent, the fifth straight week of declines. All but one of the top ten sites and networks lost players.
In its Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update, PokerScout highlighted a poker room I have written about on multiple occasions, Adjarabet. Located in the Republic of Georgia, Adjarabet was a little-known site not long ago, but thanks to player-friendly promotions, it has rocketed up the charts, climbing into PokerScout’s top five at one point. As I noted last time I wrote about it, though, Adjarabet has seen its player counts diminish without promotions with which to attract players. PokerScout says that when the Magic Hand promo ended, the site’s liquidity fell by almost 50 percent, to some of its lowest levels in a year and a half.
Things have gotten a bit better in the last couple weeks, though. Since March 1st, PokerScout reports, Adjarabet’s seven day average cash game traffic is up 15 percent. Since March 5th, the last time I looked at the site’s traffic, it is even better. On that date, Adjarabet’s seven day average was 700 cash game players. Today, March 18th, it is at 850 cash game players, an increase of over 21 percent.
And now Adjarabet has a new cash game promotion going on which may very well boost its traffic again. As I have written before, the thing about the poker site’s promotions that have helped it so much is that they appeal so much to casual players. The goals are simple to understand and generally easy to hit and the rewards, while rarely extraordinarily lucrative, are good enough to recreational, low stakes players. The promos hit a much wider swath of Adjarabet’s customer base than do promos at other sites. They also encourage frequent play without making it a requirement.
In the promo “Cash Game Marathon,” which lasts until April 5th, players earn points for hitting certain hands. For instance, three of a kind is worth 10 point, a straight is worth 20 points, and so on and so forth up to a royal flush, which is worth 50,000 points. As players make hands in Hold’em cash games (the hands must not be folded in order to count), their points accumulate and players are ranked on a leaderboard based on game stakes. The low leaderboard is for games from 0.02 GEL / 0.05 GEL to 0.05 GEL to 0.10 GEL blinds (1 GEL is currently worth USD $0.45), the mid leaderboard is for tables with 0.10 GEL / 0.20 GEL to 0.25 GEL / 0.50 GEL blinds, and the high leaderboard is for all games higher than those.
The highest points earners on each leaderboard will win a share of 100,000 GEL (so 300,000 GEL in total). The promotion will be divided into three weeks, which therefore means each week is worth 33,333 GEL for each leaderboard.
I swear I have no connection to Adjarabet, aside from the fact I live in the state of Georgia in the United States and the poker site is in the Republic of Georgia. I just find its strategy and climb in the ranks interesting.
And then there is PokerDom, based in Curacao, but which caters to Russians, primarily using the Russian ruble at its tables. PokerScout notes that the young site has nearly cracked the top 30 already, currently sitting in the 31st spot with a seven day average of 220 cash game players. In January alone, PokerDom saw its traffic grow by 61 percent.
It looks like PokerDom is trying to follow Adjarabet’s lead and attract players with simple promotions. Its current promotion, “Best Daily Hand,” is similar to Adjarabet’s, though it started a week earlier. It is a little difficult to understand because of English translation issues on PokerDom’s site, but it appears that players will earn points for making a full house or better in cash games. One difference is that, as the name would imply, the points are accumulated daily rather than weekly. Additionally, each day is actually split into a day and a night session, with separate leaderboards for each. There are four leaderboards based on stakes: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. The top five points earners on each leaderboard at the end of every half day will win anywhere from 100 rubles to 3,000 rubles, depending on leaderboard and order of finish (one ruble current equals USD $0.017). PokerDom’s Best Daily Hand promotion ends April 6th.
As usual, PokerStars tops PokerScout’s cash game rankings with a seven day average of 18,500 cash game players. 888poker is next with 2,500, followed by iPoker (1,800), Bodog (1,800), and PokerStars.it (1,500).