Decline Graph

PokerScout Report: Cash Game Traffic Keeps Sinking, WPN Jackpot Poker Takes Over

It was another bad week for online poker traffic, a trend that is not so much a trend as it is just the norm nowadays. According to internet poker cash game traffic monitoring site in its Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update, traffic dipped one percent last week, the second straight weekly drop. Of the top ten sites, just three had positive weeks.

It is not unusual in the slightest for liquidity to fall as the weather warms up, as poker players start spending more time outdoors and less time in front of their computers. The problem right now is that compared to the same week a year ago, traffic is eight percent lower. So while it is not odd that cash game traffic is declining at this time of year, it is not a particularly positive sign that 2014 was significantly better. PokerScout believes that the market may be near a bottom.

PokerStars, as always, remains the top dog in the industry, currently averaging 17,500 cash players over the past seven days. 888poker is next with 2,200, while iPoker unseated Bodog for third place, averaging 1,700 cash game players. Bodog is now in fourth with 1,600 players and rounds out the top five with 1,350 cash game players.

Of particular note last week in PokerScout’s report was the introduction of Jackpot Poker on the Winning Poker Network (WPN). Jackpot Poker is WPN’s version of the Lottery Sit-and-Go: the three-handed, hyper-turbo, short-stacked single-table tourneys that have become so popular at a number of online poker rooms. And according to PokerScout, they are REALLY popular on the Winning Poker Network. On the first full day, April 15th (there was a trial run on April 14th), 86 percent of all Sit-and-Go’s played on the network were Jackpot Poker games. That’s pretty insane. Since then, a period which includes the week of the PokerScout report, those numbers have not declined much, so if you play on the Winning Poker Network and like regular Sit-and-Go’s, this has not been too happy of a time for you.

Even more interesting is that WPN’s cash game traffic has not really been affected by the presence of Jackpot Poker. Normally what has happened at networks and sites that have introduced Lottery Sit-and-Go’s is that the new games have sucked away liquidity from cash games. Not so in this case. PokerScout speculates that Jackpot Poker may have sparked a renewed interest in online poker in U.S. players, who are still accepted by the poker rooms on the network. A decline in cash game traffic may be offset by a higher overall number of players deciding to give the Winning Poker Network and Jackpot Poker a try.

winning-poker-network-logoThe Winning Poker Network is currently sitting at 18th in Pokerscout’s cash game rankings (technically, tied for 17th with Unibet) with a seven-day average of 500 cash game players. There are a dozen poker rooms on the network, headlined by and (am I the only one who is amused by “America’s” card room having a dot eu address?).

Jackpot Poker works very similarly to how other Lottery Sit-and-Go offerings work on other sites. Players choose one of three buy-ins – $2, $10, or $40 – decide how many tables they want to play, and away they go. Once all three players are registered, the prize pool will be announced, anywhere from 2 to 2,500 times the buy-in.

Here is the breakdown of possible prize pool multipliers and the frequency of occurrence:

2,500x: 1 in 100,000
200x: 5 in 100,000
100x: 10 in 100,000
20x: 100 in 100,000
8x: 500 in 100,000
6x: 7,500 in 100,000
4x: 21,366 in 100,000
2x: 70,518 in 100,000

In tournaments with prize pool multipliers of 20x and below, the winner takes all. For the top three prize pool multipliers, first place gets 75 percent, second place gets 15 percent, and third place gets 10 percent. Interestingly, there is also another distribution option that all three players must approve: 40 percent to first place and 30 percent to each of the other two places.

Lottery Sit-and-Go’s have proven popular because of their speed, simplicity, and the possibility for winning big. Recreational players like them because of the chance for a quick score, plus the hyper-turbo structure combined with tiny starting stacks can mitigate the skill differences between players. Highly skilled players often enjoy them because there are so many weak players at the tables; even though big moves need to be made much earlier than in normal Sit-and-Go tournaments, the best players still have an edge and can take advantage of the weaker players that are flooding the Lottery Sit-and-Go’s in hopes of a jackpot.


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