Two groups of poker rooms
Top poker rooms try to attract players from all over the world. Differences in time zones lead to traffic peaks at specific periods when most players join the tables after the end of the working day.
These two European and American peaks correspond to late evening hours in Western Europe and the Americas. According to the current data from PokerScout (mid-December 2021) for the six top poker networks, the following picture emerges in terms of the total number of cash games connections (CET+2):
This general data confirms the classical division of poker rooms into two groups: European (PokerStars, iPoker, partypoker) and American (Winning and Chico networks). Although GGNetwork has bigger traffic during late evening hours, its drop by the early morning is not as large as in other poker rooms focused on Europe (40% compared to 50%-55%). It indicates the greater popularity of this network in the Western Hemisphere.
The numbers above are barely helpful to any player. Therefore, we figured out what was hidden behind them and collected the active 6-max Hold 'em cash game tables (NL10$+) data at six poker rooms during the European and American traffic peaks.
European prime time
- PokerStars clearly outperforms its main competitor only at the NL10$ stakes.
- GGPoker is ahead at all other stakes, starting from NL25$. There are active games at up to NL400k$ stakes.
- iPoker is inferior to the two leaders, but at the NL50$-NL600$ stakes, this gap is no more than 30%.
- WPN and Chico Poker Network have fewer active tables across almost all stakes during the European evening hours. There were active tables at up to $25/$50 stakes on WPN but for no more than a couple of hours.
- At partypoker there is only traffic up to NL50.
American prime time
- PokerStars and iPoker confirmed their European focus. The traffic had significantly dropped at our selected 6-max Hold 'em stakes by the morning.
- In terms of the number of active tables at stakes from NL10$ to NL200$, GGNetwork is the most American-oriented network. In addition to Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Canada (a top location for US poker expats), we noticed many players from other Latin American countries there.
- On the other hand, WPN did not show any significant traffic growth in the morning hours, except perhaps for NL25$ and NL400$-600$ stakes. It indicates that the network's traffic is evenly balanced during the night.
- There was a noticeable traffic surge on Chico Poker Network at all stakes, especially at NL10$.
This poker variant has stable traffic at different stakes at only four of these poker rooms (only NL10$ stakes action with 50-80 connections on Chico Poker Network).
- In the evening, PokerStars has an advantage over GGPoker at all stakes. This is the only poker room that can offer a more or less acceptable number of connections at NL500$ stakes but only during the European prime time.
- In the morning hours, GGPoker is ahead of PokerStars at NL25$-100$ stakes.
- At partypoker, only three stakes can actually be called active (NL10$, NL25$, and NL100$), but you can't expect more than a hundred connections even there. In the morning hours (after 6:00), fastforward traffic significantly drops.
- In the American prime time, Blitz traffic (WPN) noticeably grows, but only at NL200$, where the network competes on equal terms with much larger poker rooms.
There is no doubt that PokerStars, GGPoker, and iPoker Network have a clear "European" traffic peak. As well as the fact that there are more active tables in the early morning on the Winning and Chico networks.
At the same time, several points were clarified, including the following ones:
- GGPoker has a leading position in terms of the total number of active regular cash game tables in the morning hours, while they are on par with PokerStars at the fast-fold poker.
- WPN offers high-stakes cash games (several active tables at up to $25/$50) and great traffic at NL200$ fast-fold poker stakes.
- iPoker has decent traffic at NL50$-NL600$ stakes, even compared to the competitors, which occupy higher spots in the PokerScout rankings.
- partypoker became a room to play only NL50-100.
Along with the data from the tables above, all that should be considered by the players working on choosing a poker room and the optimal time of play at the stakes they are used to.
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