PokerStars Loses 7% of its Traffic – Here’s Some Possible Reasons Why
Last week I reported on Spin & Go games being introduced to PokerStars; since then, the site has reported a drop in traffic of over 7% (which, with the numbers of players usually logging in to the site, is a lot of people). While many in the industry are keen to point the finger at the Spin & Go games, and the dislike many players feel towards the ‘lottery style’ randomness of them, as the cause of this dip in players, I’d like to suggest another reason that links into two other poker headlines this week – one you may have missed, and on you probably didn’t, but both concerning bonuses.
What has PokerStars’ bonus got to do with it?
Although this piece of news flew under most people’s radars, it’s actually the case that PokerStars recently changed its bonus arrangement. You may be wondering why the site hasn’t been making a bigger deal out of this – after all, there’s usually a whole song and dance when a site changes its bonus deals.
Well, the reason PokerStars probably wanted to keep this one up to wraps is that it actually gives players a slightly rougher deal. While you can still enjoy a 100% bonus of up to £600 when you sign up and make your first deposit, the amount of time you have from making that deposit to using your bonus has been halved; from 120 to just 60.
While this still only means you need to bet £10 per day to use up your bonus, this change to policy can and is being seen as a sign of bad faith. With this on top of the complaints surrounding the Spin & Gos, some are suggesting it’s better to avoid the site than risk the goal post being moved again.
What has Full Tilt’s bonus got to do with it?
Well, if you didn’t know about the Full Tilt Easy Bonus promotion, then I’m afraid you’ve now missed it. The promotion ran from the middle of September up until a few days ago, and offered both new and existing players generous, personalised bonuses. The effect that the Easy Bonus Promotion had on Full Tilt’s Cash Game Tables was ridiculous. Through the period of the promotion, traffic on those tables rose by a hugely impressive 43%, as players were coaxed into playing through their new found bonus money.
And where did those players come from? Well, obviously many of them will have been casual players who got involved ore because of the promotion (poker sites usually see a considerable rise in player numbers during a big promo), but it’s not beyond the bounds of believability to think that many of those payer will also have come from other sites; like, say, PokerStars.
So where does this leave us?
I’m really sorry, I can’t answer that question. I just thought I’d raise these ideas to demonstrate the interconnectedness of poker sites, and how the goings on at one will necessarily affect the running of others. I for one will be keeping a keen eye out over the next few weeks to see how the player numbers recover at PokerStars now that the Easy Bonus promo is over. If they stay at this low figure, perhaps I’ll just have to admit that all that I’ve suggested above is completely wrong… we’ll have to wait and see; keep an eye on our News section for more info.