US Online Poker Traffic Two Weeks After Black Friday

I stopped posting daily updates on traffic because it was basically the same percentage decline every day for PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Cereus and the same percentage increase for Merge Gaming, Cake Poker and Bodog Poker.  Now that two weeks have passed since Black Friday I wanted to do a comparison over what is a bigger time frame.  I based the comparison on the traffic of Thursday, April 14 to Thursday, April 28.  The online poker room traffic stats are publicly available on  I use the daily peak traffic stats.

The losers are the online poker rooms that left the U.S. market after Black Friday.  PokerStars is down 15% with a loss of 6902 players.  Full Tilt Poker is down 24% with a loss of 6439 players.  Cereus, consisting of Absolute Poker and, has completely collapsed.  They are down 74% with a loss of 2304 players.

The winners are Merge Gaming, Cake Poker and Bodog.  Merge Gaming is now a top 10 online poker network.  They have grown 95% and have added 1246 players.  The Cake Poker Network has grown 38% and added 231 players.  Bodog has grown 32% and has added 370 players.

The former Big 3 U.S. friendly online poker rooms have lost a combined 15,645 players during this time period.  The three biggest U.S. friendly poker rooms have only gained 1847 players.  This means about 14,000 U.S. online poker players are no longer playing.  Some of these players may have been outside the U.S. and moved to European poker networks and some of the U.S. players could have moved to Everleaf or True Poker but that number is at least close.

It will be interesting to see where the numbers go from here.  I will post again about the online poker traffic in a couple of weeks.  With PlayersOnly and no longer taking new U.S. players and the processing issues that the U.S. facing poker rooms will have I have to wonder how much bigger the U.S. facing brands can grow and still be able to process payments.

2 thoughts on “US Online Poker Traffic Two Weeks After Black Friday

  1. I just wanted to write and tell you how grateful I am as a poker “junkie” to read your blogs and get my fix. I, like so many Americans, was put out of work April 15, I played on Pokerstars and had actually played in the 60k rebuy that day, suffered one of their famous bad beats (Pocket K’s ran into 67), and thought nothing of jumping on the dollar rebuy at 8 p.m. I was greeted with what I thought was a late April fools joke. The timing couldn’t have been worse.
    I got engaged to my wonderful fiance November of last year, around the same time I had started making real headway with my online game after many years of having to stop playing after my one $50 deposit would run out. I was able to pay for her ring with a couple of strong finishes in tournaments, and at the end of the year I won $3,200 placing first in the dollar rebuy. I, unfortunately, am a convicted felon, and it is very difficult to find what I would consider a decent job, so I have never been able to be a high stakes player, always playing within my means, making a little extra to put money in the bank. After the Super Bowl, I decided to take the biggest gamble of all and quit my minimum wage job flipping burgers and live the poker dream. My timing could not have been worse.
    At this point, if we’re going to have to wait for what looks like years to be able to play online again, I think we need to also demand better technology used on these sights. I’m sure as a Pokerstars player, you saw more than your share of bad beats like myself. The RCG seemed more like a RHG, hands just circulated instead of cards. Can we see a day where we can have a truer to random deck? I understand the concept of getting the average joe to play, but now that all this has happened, I’m more worried about the above average joe. Not to give new players a disadvantage, but for there to be NO advantage.
    I know I jumped all over the place here, but it’s just nice to see people as nuts about poker as myself. I hate the fact something I have loved for so long was yanked from under us. People like yourself catch me up to the fact that maybe this was a long time coming. Thank you again and I’ll keep looking for your posts.

    • Thank you for the kind words Kenny. It is nice to know there is an audience that appreciates the blog. Hopefully you were able to get your money from Stars. I got mine a few days ago. Have you tried Merge? The action there grows daily. Of course it is only 10% the size of PokerStars though. Good luck and hopefully you can find something to do for yourself until poker comes back around.

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