WSOP Results in Mere 8% Bump for Online Cash Game Traffic

WSOP Creates Mere 8% Bump in Online Poker Cash Game Traffic

The World Series of Poker is currently in full flow in Vegas, with the numerous events that the prestigious tournament series offers drawing impressive crowds all vying for poker glory. In previous years, Nevada’s only viable poker site,, also noted impressive spikes in its cash game traffic, reaching a peak in early July just prior to the start of the $10k WSOP Main Event.

This year, however, analysts have been scratching their heads trying to figure out why the site’s average cash game traffic has grown by just 8%, or less than half the amount recorded between 2015 and 2017. Furthermore, the lackluster figure comes one month after and 888 combined all their online players across the regulated states of New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware as part of their new tri-state online poker network.

Expected Traffic Surge

Originally it was speculated that would experience an even greater spike in its traffic this year, the idea being that larger number of players visiting the Nevada site during the WSOP would in turn entice more New Jersey players to do likewise. An additional boost was further expected from the record four online bracelet events featured at the WSOP this year, which in previous years had been open to just those players physically located in Nevada at the time.

Minimal Bounce

So far, the cash game spike has been minimal compared to previous years, with average cash game traffic rising by a mere 8%. By comparison, cash game traffic in 2015 increased from 170 before the WSOP to 215 a fortnight later, representing a 26% increase. Aimilarly, traffic in 2016 spiked by 19% over the same period of time, and in 2017 by an equally impressive 18%.

Reasons For Sluggish Growth

One factor helping to explain the single digit increase is a more difficult comparison level since New Jersey added its player base to the network. For example, PokerScout is showing as having a 7-Day average of 240 cash players, which is close to historical averages recorded for the site. Last year, however, the 20 or so more players currently on the Poker network would actually have shown up as a 12.5% traffic increase overall.

Another key factor affecting cash game growth is the network’s recent decision to introduce lottery-style sit-and-go tournaments, such as BLAST Poker. Needless to say, these type of games are particularly popular amongst the recreational poker community, but are not tracked as cash games, meaning their increasing popularity is likely to have caused an equivalent decline in cash game traffic.

Tournaments the Major Draw

And then, there’s the fact people traveling to the World Series of Poker are actually there to compete in tournaments. To this end, the WSOP has concentrated its marketing efforts on attracting more players to its online site by boosting the guarantees offered at its many tournaments, in the process providing less of an incentive for players to visit its cash games.

The corresponding funneling of players towards its tournament tables is further highlighted by the turnout for its first online bracelet, Event #10: $365 ONLINE No-Limit Hold’em, which with 2,972 online entries was the largest ever held in Nevada. Interestingly, 565 players of those players were actually logged in from the Garden State.

There are also another three online tournaments waiting to be played, meaning more players will likely be drawn away from the cash tables in the coming weeks as they seek to capture a piece of WSOP hardware. The dates of these bracelet events are as follows, after which the WSOP Main Event is due to take place from July 2-14.

June 22: WSOP Event #47, $565 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed
June 29: WSOP Event #61, $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em
June 30: WSOP Event #63, $3,200 High Roller No-Limit Hold’em