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Emily D. Swoboda

The Pulse Returns with Not-So-Surprising Data: Poker Numbers Are Down

13 June 2007

After a long absence, online poker measuring stick PokerPulse is back with new stats for the online poker industry, showing a marked decline between the months of September 2006, when the industry suffered a major breakdown due to the U.S. ban on Internet gambling, and April 2007.

Prior to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), the industry was on a continuous path to wealth. According to PokerPulse data, revenues and the number of total customers grew steadily between January 2003 and March 2006, and declined (although not in direct correlation with one another) steadily after September 2006.

The number of real money players online between September 2006 and April 2007 has shown a sort-of yo-yo effect, with numbers increasing and decreasing on a month to month basis.

On the other hand, after the average daily total value of ring pots peaked in August 2006 at just under US$329 million, it steadily decreased from September on, down to just under $195 million in April.

In addition to tracking the daily and monthly performances of the top online poker sites, PokerPulse tracks estimates for the online poker industry's annual gross revenues. Its latest chart traces the industry from January 2003 to April 2007, also showing a steady decline after the passage of the UIGEA. Estimated annual online poker revenues, which peaked in February 2006 at $3.34 billion, were down to $2.12 billion in April 2007.

Dennis Boyko launched PokerPulse in July 2002 after being laid off from a job building networks and systems for the telecommunications industry. He applied many of the same analytical systems and formulas he used in the telecom industry to gaming applications. PokerPulse stopped providing current tournament and ring game player numbers at the site in July 2005, but never stopped collecting data on poker rooms and networks.

Boyko said PokerPulse bases its data on observations of the real money hands and tournaments played in recent weeks at what appear to be the most popular sites, including PartyPoker, PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Noble Poker, Bodog Poker, Sun Poker (CryptoLogic), Pacific Poker, 888 Poker and UltimateBet.

The Pulse Returns with Not-So-Surprising Data: Poker Numbers Are Down is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda