An Answer to My Critics

Recently a few people have come out shooting at my previous post about the state of the state of online poker. The point both Dragonystic and It’s Always an Off Deuce dispute is whether or not the online poker market is larger or smaller than it was in the past.

Now, before I get into the numbers, I’ve noticed that they’ve used the entire poker universe of US facing rooms and non-US facing rooms to prove that what I’ve said is wrong. However, I believe this to be an unfair comparison because as I said in my post:

Of course, I’ve always looked at this from US facing perspective so take all of the above I’ve said and run it through that filter. Many non-US facing rooms are doing quite well. Some never had a US presence and are still growing at a good rate while others pulled out of the US market and have begun to stabilize and grow again.

So, I tried to make it very clear that I was speaking about US-facing poker rooms yet they’ve all pulled numbers including both US and non-US rooms to make their case.

So, let’s just look at US only numbers. I’ve taken two time periods and done a three day average of numbers. I used Jan 1, 2, and 3 for the baseline pre-Neteller numbers and May 10, 11, and 12 for the comparison. Now, I did pick the May numbers for a reason. PokerStars’ recent 10 billion hand promotion shot all of their numbers to abnormally high levels. I picked a three day window before the promotion as a more representative example. Seeing as how Stars’ numbers have been drifting back towards their pre-promotion norms I feel this is a fair comparison.

My data is from Poker Site Scout and I used the following poker rooms in my analysis:

Full Tilt Poker
Ultimate Bet
Merge Gaming
World Poker Exchange

Just a side note but Cake and Merge do not have any stats in Poker Site Scout for Jan 1, 2, or 3 so I’ve recorded them as 0 for those dates.

So, here’s the numbers:

Jan Numbers

PokerStars 16380
Full Tilt Poker 7420
Microgaming 2944
Ultimate Bet 3169
Bodog 3376
Absolute 2086
Cake 0
Merge Gaming 0
World Poker Exchange 420

Total of 35795

May Numbers

PokerStars 12475
Full Tilt Poker 7156
Microgaming 2634
Ultimate Bet 2140
Bodog 2375
Absolute 1734
Cake 895
Merge Gaming 408
World Poker Exchange 294

Total of 30111

That’s a difference of 5684 players.

But don’t just believe me, Poker Site Scout has an entire page on their site devoted to the impact of the Neteller pullout and they pretty much confirm everything I’ve said.

Now, Poker Site Scout doesn’t have the pre-Oct 13 numbers on their site anymore but even if we take the numbers being reported by It’s Always an Off Deuce my point is still valid. Because pre-Oct 13 sites like Party, Pacific, etc were US facing. So if we look at all US facing sites pre-UIGEA we have:

PokerStars 8128
PartyPoker 10263
Full Tilt Poker 3334
Ongame 4804
iPoker 5927
Microgaming 3561
Bodog 1763
UB 2013
Crypto 2286
IPN 1707
Absolute 1241
Pacific 1992
Paradise 2917
World Poker Exchange 635

I left out Action and B2B because I can’t remember if they were US facing. Either way, the grand total of peak cash game players on Oct 7th (according to It’s Always an Off Deuce) is 50,571. So, that means US poker players have lost access to 20,460 players since Oct 7.

All my data is from a public source anyone can access and I freely encourage anyone who feels I’ve manipulated the data for my own advantage to present an alternate analysis.

Bill Rini
Bill Rini is currently the Head of Online Poker for WSOP. He has been working in the online poker industry since 2004 and has held management roles at Full Tilt Poker and PartyPoker.