Publish: 2023-03-03 16:15:57
PokerStars has long been heralded as one of the most successful online poker brands in the world. However, in recent years, the equally popular GGPoker brand has been giving it a run for its money, aiming to take the leadership position once and for all. As 2023 starts, we look at where this battle stands and who’s the leading brand in the new year.
In 2021, GGPoker closed the last bit of distance to challenge PokerStars’ position as the most successful poker brand. Looking back at January 2021, when PokerStars was still firmly in the lead, it’s amazing to see the growth GGPoker showed by challenging PokerStars’ position with a neck-and-neck race for the lead position.
However, when the Ukrainian-Russian war started, PokerStars withdrew from the Russian market, which dropped their turnover by around 30%. This withdrawal had a significant impact, whereas GGPoker kept their players and continued growing.
Looking at the statistics now, it’s clear that GGPoker blew PokerStars out of the water with a turnover double that of the previous poker champion’s turnover. GGPoker used popular promotions and tournaments to grow its player base, and this is possibly the perfect example of poker bonuses’ power.
Statistics show that the cash game traffic average grew since its initial drop at the start of the epidemic and the significant 2021 drop when the war started. However, since then it’s been steadily increasing, with the January 2023 turnover exceeding that of January 2022.
GGPoker reported a weekly average of 7,600 concurrent cash game seats in January this year, the highest level it has achieved since its launch. It’s up by 22% from 2022 and is leading PokerStars with a 68% margin.
Not only is GGPoker cementing its significant history as one of the leaders in the iGaming poker market, but it’s also bigger than all other significant dot-com operators combined. Further, it controls over 45% of the international dot-com market.
However, there’s a new rising star in the iGaming poker industry: iPoker. In 2021, it competed with PartyPoker and 888poker, but during 2022 it overtook them in cash game traffic. When PartyPoker withdrew from the Russian market after the Ukrainian-Russian war, this sunk its turnover from previous years. It also left several other markets at the time.
On the other hand, iPoker continued to grow, joining rooms with PokerMatch in 2022 and boosting its turnover. Helping to boost iPoker’s growth are various bonuses and tournaments the brand offers, ensuring it becomes a favourite among poker players.
PokerStars has been leading the online poker market for many years, despite the significant effort of leading brands like GGPoker. GGPoker is the first poker brand to challenge and break that streak since it started. This growth shows a remarkable change in the online poker market and the value of promotions and tournaments. With one leading streak broken, we’re keeping an eye on other brands to see how they develop and who’ll rise next.