A 12% increase in cash game player traffic last week has permitted WSOP.com to increase its market share in Nevada to 66%.
The boost in ring game players is likely attributable to a rake race promotion and has left Ultimate Poker with the remaining 1/3 of the market among players who log on from within the Silver State. The state’s third participant in offering an online poker product, Real Gaming, is in the midst of a soft launch since last February that may drag on until August.
Ultimate Poker enjoyed a monopoly on the market for about 4 1/2 months after becoming the first poker site in the nation to launch regulated Internet poker on April 30, 2013. It didn’t take WSOP long to take over dominance in Nevada after rolling out its offering on September 19, 2013.
WSOP may see an increase on its 2/3 market share shortly when players from all over the world flock to Las Vegas for the running of the 45th World Series of Poker that includes a record-breaking Main Event that will see $10 million go to the winner. The festival kicks off in just 11 days on May 27 and offers 65 chances for players to win a WSOP gold bracelet.
It is presumed that players who are itching for more poker action when not seated at the live poker tables at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino will log on to WSOP.com to satisfy their poker fix. While Ultimate Poker will also be accessible to those players and some may log on there, marketing during the live festival will be heavily in favor of WSOP.com and it is expected that player action will reflect that marketing blitz.
Seats to WSOP live events are being offered at the online poker room to players who manage to win satellite tournaments. The marketing campaign during the WSOP includes at least one online satellite tourney each evening in advance of a live tournament scheduled to commence the next day.
The Nevada online poker market will undergo a transformation of sorts when the nation’s first interstate compact agreement goes into effect. Nevada has teamed up with Delaware to combine player pools and the two states are hoping to move forward with that plan later this year.
A definitive time frame has not yet been established for the pairing and indications are that a number of hurdles must be overcome before such a collaboration can take place. Many are hoping that the Nevada-Delaware alliance will be the first of many that will eventually also include other states throughout the country that decide to enact Internet poker legislation.
However, until those mergers take place, WSOP appears to be in fine position in Nevada considering the recent spike in player traffic that has allowed the site to dominate the market in the state. While Ultimate Poker benefited for a time from being first to market, that advantage has since landed in the muck.