Why Is The WSOP Not Developing A Bigger Bump In Online Poker Cash-Game Traffic For Nevada, NJ?

WSOP 2018 online poker trafficWSOP 2018 online poker traffic

The World Series of Poker is the busy season for poker in Las Vegas. The WSOP.com online poker website has also benefited from the seasonal bump the country receives from the thousands of poker players who descend on Las Vegas for the WSOP.

In previous years, cash-game traffic has spiked at the beginning of the WSOP and reaches a crescendo in early July, just before the WSOP Main Event.

In between, internet poker visitors is relatively steady throughout the series — depending on the schedule there are some highs and lows during the six-week WSOP run — before falling back to normal levels once the WSOP finishes.

There was speculation that the recently commissioned multistate poker player-pooling involving New Jersey-Nevada-Delaware would lead to an even larger surge in visitors during the 2018 WSOP. The belief was the increased traffic in Nevada would appeal to New Jersey players, helping both WSOP Nevada and WSOP NJ.

Rather than taking a rest during the WSOP, New Jersey players are now right in the thick of the WSOP action. Furthermore, if you could not make it Nevada for the WSOP, heading to New Jersey to play some of the internet bracelet occasions was the next best thing.

Not much of a bounce from online poker pooling?

But so far, the 2018 WSOP bounce has been minimal, and well below the spikes seen in previous years (day zero is the Beginning of the WSOP):

Here’s a look at what has happened historically:

In 2015,  average cash game traffic moved from around 170 from the run-up to the WSOP to approximately 215 players nearly two weeks into the set. That’s a 26 percent increase.In 2016, traffic rose 19 percent over the same period of time.In 2017, the initial jump was approximately 18 percent.

This year, average cash game traffic has grown by just eight percent.

What’s causing the lower bump in traffic?

There are several likely causes of the year’s sluggish growth.

Beginning from a larger base

With New Jersey added to the mix, the pre-WSOP player base is a lot larger than it has been in previous decades. As such, the effects of each additional player is diminished.

In actuality, the amount of additional players network-wide since the beginning of the WSOP isn’t far off historic averages. The 20-player increase on the WSOP.com / 888 Poker network in 2018 would have resulted in a 12.5 percent traffic increase in previous years.

Tournaments have become king

The World Series of Poker is a tournament series, and though it attracts plenty of cash game players, by and large, the people heading to Las Vegas are there to play tournaments.

In addition to that, WSOP.com is also catering to these players in 2018. The website has increased guarantees for lots of its tournaments — partly due to the WSOP and partly due to the new tri-state network — and is running four online bracelet occasions during the WSOP.

The Look of lottery-style sit-and-go’s

With its newfound liquidity, WSOP.com has also introduced its own version of lottery-style sit-and-go tournaments to the US marketplace: BLAST Poker.

These games are extremely popular with recreational players, and because they’re not tracked as cash games they’re believed to be behind some of the cash game traffic declines in other jurisdictions recently.

It’s possible that players who would normally jump into cash games while in Las Vegas are picking BLAST Poker now that it’s available.

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