Is an Asian Network Taking Over the Number One Spot?
Publish: 2017-08-11 13:00:24
While the current industry leader, PokerStars has seen a steady decline in player traffic, losing one third of their cash game players in six months, the Asian poker network IDNPoker keeps gaining action at their cash game tables.
PokerStars has received heavy criticism online for the changes they implemented that affect badly the high-volume winning regulars: things like cutting back on rakeback and introducing new, more chance-based games such as the freshly released Spin&Go Max or Beat the Clock earlier. Most recently, they decided to hide the tournament fees from the buy-ins in the lobby - they switched to displaying only the total sum from the classic "prize pool money + fee" formula. And the backlash does not only manifest itself on forums: many regulars have left the room, as you can tell by the PokerScout graph below.
Stars went from 15,000 players at their cash game tables on average to 10,000. Although they still lead the industry in cash game player traffic if this trend continues that may very well change.
Although partypoker has great ambitions - they outright proclaim they're going for the number 1 spot - the more likely candidate for PokerStars' place is an Asian network, IDNPoker. IDN is still far behind Stars at the moment but their cash game traffic has been increasing, unlike Stars'. Last week on average 4,400 players were playing cash at the same time on IDN rooms.
It should be noted that IDN only allows players from the Asian market to play on their servers. If they open up to the global market - and some of their sites are planning on doing just that - Stars can start worrying about their number one spot.
IDN's user rating is not the highest on PokerScout, it's only 5.6 out of 10 but that is largely due to the fact players from around the world who are not allowed there tend to downrate them to show their frustration. Users who actually play on the sites tend to have very favorable views of the network, here are some of the review comments they left:
"Great site loads fast no any other technical issues either. I specially like fast games (have half the time to think about what you do) that would make fast and better games. Great site loads fast no any other technical issues either. I especially like fast games (have half the time to think about what you do) that makes fast and better games. The games have good action, players are not just waiting for good cards they are playing."
"Unfortunately is not ready for western people but i went Indonesia to visit my friend, I can only say good things about this poker site. #CatchUpAmaya"
The network currently occupying the 3rd place in player traffic, 888 is also on a declining trend, they're down from 2,000 players average to 1,450 in the last six months. Partypoker, however, currently in 4th place has seen a little uptick in their traffic over the course of the same period of time, they went from 950 to 1,250. The increase is likely due to their new and popular VIP program.