As the 45th annual WSOP continues with the Main Event, poker pros in Las Vegas are logging onto WSOP.com while not competing on the live felt.
The heavy online action has resulted in WSOP.com’s Nevada site taking sole possession of first place in player traffic among online poker rooms in the three regulated states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware. The Party Borgata Network in New Jersey has typically been the most heavily-trafficked legal site within the U.S. but has been forced to hand the crown to its highly-recognized brand name competitor across the country.
WSOP.com in Nevada has reached a seven-game average of 160 cash game players, outpacing Party Borgata by 20 players within the same time frame. Just a couple weeks ago, the roles were reversed with Party Borgata leading the way with 150 players to the 140 of WSOP-NV.
A peak at the cash game traffic rankings further reveals that WSOP.com’s New Jersey site has also made strides in attracting players. WSOP-NJ is gaining on the market share of Party Borgata and is averaging only 10 players less at 130.
Online poker player numbers are analyzed in great detail by officials in states that may be contemplating enacting online poker legislation. Spotting trends and possible reasons why players may or may not be logging on and playing poker online within a particular market are of great importance to states that are still sitting on the fence.
Also scrutinized are the marketing efforts employed by the regulated sites and whether or not those attempts at grabbing the lion’s share within a particular market are or have been successful. For instance, WSOP.com has a tremendous advantage over its main competitor in Nevada, Ultimate Poker, by advertising its poker site heavily within the Rio while players have been competing at the more than 60 live events of the WSOP.
But the WSOP is now winding down and as players fail to make deep runs in the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, more and more are expected to be leaving Las Vegas and returning to their homes or other scheduled live events throughout the world. It will undoubtedly cause WSOP-NV player numbers to shrink in coming days and weeks and most likely allow Party Borgata in New Jersey to once again regain the crown of the most popular regulated poker site.
That title may be short-lived, however, if a state with a larger population and player base were to enact online poker legislation. Both California and Pennsylvania have taken steps this year toward regulating online poker and both boast higher numbers of residents than New Jersey. More than 38 million call California home, almost 13 million have Pennsylvania addresses, while New Jersey residents are just shy of nine million.