The online poker traffic worldwide rankings at the close of 2013 are tallied, and as expected PokerStars remains the world’s most popular online poker destination. But for the first time in the site’s history, 888 Poker is now the world’s second most popular online poker domain.
888 Poker is a subsidiary of 888 Casino, one of the world’s largest online gambling hubs in the entire world. In the final week of 2013, 888 Poker registered an impressive 2,600 cash players from various locations, ahead of iPoker’s 2,500 and Full Tilt Poker at 2,400.
The second-placed ranking for 888 Poker is remarkable as it dethroned the long-held position of Full Tilt Poker. Prior to the US Black Friday shutdown, Full Tilt Poker was an independent domain that rivaled the popularity of PokerStars. Following Black Friday, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker became sister sites, and implemented an option for players to maneuvre between the two sites.
888 Poker seemingly benefitted from a weeklong milestone hand promotion on PokerStars, which awarded cash to players simply for buying into hands at the online poker tables. This promotion surged the popularity of poker across the online network, and 888 Poker was one of the gaming hubs that benefitted from this surge.
Despite the accomplishment for 888 Poker, global online poker traffic is actually down approximately 2 percent from levels at the close of 2012. This drop in year over year growth is concerning to some members of the poker industry.
However, legalized online poker in the US is expected to grow throughout 2014, which will add millions of new players to the gaming network. PokerStars is already seeking entry into potential new US states, and other domains like 888 Poker are expected to follow suit as legislation is adopted across the country.