888Poker: 2019 results
After getting a Portuguese license and electing a new CEO (Itai Pazner), Poker 8 is the principal novelty from 888Poker in 2019. A first version of the all-new software was deployed in the middle of spring, and so far, only a few settings for tables have become available for three months. Although, this conservative scheme is probably better than the WPN approach that keeps struggling to roll out a significant software update.
Poker 8 development was announced right after some disappointing preliminary results in 2018, and it was launched in March 2019, when the full report was released. Now it can be concluded that improving the table appearance was not enough to reverse the tendency. Therefore, it was entirely predictable that during the first months of 2019, the poker room continued decreasing the profit. Last year profit loss was 37%, and this year is "only" 29%. Although the poker business accounts only 9% of 888 Holdings, such a collapse should force the board of directors to take drastic measures, which are not known yet.
The only poker division of 888 Holdings which is in green numbers is the Europe and USA reservations. The US results are in line with the purchase of All American Network last year:
In conclusion, 888Poker is only celebrating with Americans, Italians, and Portuguese players.
888Poker: traffic and prospects for the future
As for the global 888Poker pool, in the absence of innovation, the decrease in traffic continues in 2019. In 2016 the vast majority of regulars left the room after the 888Poker Club introduction (a rakeback slash), and now the amateur players have exciting new options every day from dynamic networks like GG.
According to PokerScout, the cash games traffic has decreased by 26% in 2019, which is a severe problem even considering the seasonal declines in January and June. Of course, 888Poker still has a very good player base, and several tables are still played on the network, especially in a 9-max format where it has a few competitors:
* The relative low popularity of NL50 can be explained with good traffic in fast poker at the same stake (but without HUD), where the total number of connections reaches 100. Snap Poker also features action at NL10.
The highest stake played at 888Poker is NL1k, although sometimes more top tables are visible during weekends:
About 9-max tables, the games rarely exceed NL100-200, and during peak time the number of tables is the following one:
- NL10 – 10-15;
- NL20-30 – 5-10;
- NL50 – 3-5.
Comparing the data with the spring traffic, the main change belongs to NL100-NL200 in full-ring tables. At other stakes, the traffic is very similar. At the moment Omaha is not played regularly at 888Poker.
Curiously, the main opportunities for 888Poker came from external events: on June 17th, partypoker banned all third-party tracking tools, including HUDs, and hundreds of regular players will be looking for a new home. Therefore, 888 can take advantage of this opportunity and promote its site as a HUD-friendly one. Also, the MTT grid is being expanded right now.
Despite the traffic decrease, 888Poker remains as one of the leading poker rooms on the market, with a strong focus on recreational players for the last year and a half; but, if the poker room wants to stay on the top, it needs to reinvent and fix several current issues:
- Slow withdrawals
- Non-attentive customer support
- Low rakeback
- Unfinished poker client upgrade
After all, with Poker 8, all of these issues can be fixed, and HUD can be promoted as a significant feature to catch the regs' eyes, as recreational players are already playing at the room.
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