Posts Tagged ‘World Championship of Online Poker’

PokerStars, the largest online poker site in the industry, cracked an unofficial record last week for the most players in action simultaneously on cash game tables.

According to PokerScout.com, PokerStars drew in an astounding 105,230 players to its cash game tables on September 22nd. This beat the previous unofficial record, also held by PokerStars, of 103,010 players that was set back in February. In both cases, promotions by PokerStars drove the record numbers.

In February, PokerStars was in the midst of its 40 billionth hand promotion, bringing players out in droves in an attempt to earn some of the riches that the site was giving away to celebrate. Just seven months later, PokerStars was dealing its 50 billionth hand, which was cause for another celebration and another rush to the virtual felts. That the 50 billionth hand came in conjunction with the most recent running of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) at PokerStars and probably only added to the breaking of the record.

PokerStars has been on a tremendous run over the past couple of weeks due to the WCOOP and its 50 billionth hand promotion. PokerScout.com reports that the site has seen a double-digit percentage increase in traffic, driven by the multiple draws, and has been able to siphon off players from competing sites. PokerScout reports that the main room that lost players to PokerStars was the #2 site in the industry, Full Tilt Poker, which saw a 5% decline in the past week.

The new regulations in France regarding the licensing and regulation of online poker seem to be drawing players to the virtual card rooms. Since the new laws took effect in France in June, the country has now passed Italy in terms of the percentage of players participating in online poker. The French market makes up 8% of the online industry, while the Italian market makes up 7%.

The new dedicated French sites have also had their effect on the overall online poker industry. In the short time since their introduction, the dedicated French site PokerStars.fr has moved into the top 10 online poker sites and sits in sixth place in terms of cash game volume, according to PokerScout. This outranks other non-American operations such as the Microgaming Network and the Entraction Poker Network and also outpaces a network that accepts American players, CEREUS. Other dedicated French sites such as Winamax.fr, EverestPoker.fr, and PartyPoker.fr are also outpacing such established online operations as the Cake Poker Network, Merge Gaming Network, and Bodog.

PokerScout reports that the top four players in the online poker industry have remained the same for the past 13 weeks. PokerStars enjoys over a 2-1 edge in cash game players against Full Tilt Poker, while PartyPoker retains a slight edge over the iPoker Network for third and fourth, respectively. The latter two do not accept action from the United States.

For the year, PokerScout states that industry numbers are still on the rise, even though current financial issues around the world continue to play havoc. Player numbers show an annual growth rate of 7%, with the Merge Gaming Network (up 67%), PokerStars (20%), the Entraction Poker Network (6%), and Full Tilt Poker (1%) being the main drivers of growth.

Fresh off another successful cycle of the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), PokerStars made another big announcement on Tuesday. U.K. poker pro Liv Boeree was named the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro a few months after leaving UB.com.

Boeree became one of the game’s hottest commodities after winning the PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo Main Event in April for $1,698,000. Media and fans have become taken by not only her stunning looks, but also her academic background. Boeree earned a degree in astrophysics from the University of Manchester before committing to poker full-time.

Her poker career got started when she was selected as one of five contestants in the reality TV show “Ultimatepoker.com Showdown” and she has since worked as a presenter at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), WSOP Europe, and European Poker Tour (EPT). On the felt, Boeree’s biggest accomplishments aside from her San Remo title include a victory at the 2008 Ladbrokes European Ladies Championships for $30,000 and a 37th place finish at the 2009 World Poker Tour (WPT) Championship.

Boeree represented UB.com at the 2010 WSOP, wearing patches for the majority of the schedule. But, those patches were visibly absent during the Main Event, leaving many wondering if she had left the company looking for greener pastures. Sure enough, Boeree officially parted ways with UB.com in August and it was only a matter of time before one of the major online poker sites grabbed the rising star off the free agent market.

“It’s more of an honor than I can really describe,” Boeree said about joining Team PokerStars Pro. “It’s something I’ve been aspiring towards ever since I learned about the world of poker and I am over the moon to be achieving such a huge personal goal!”

Boeree will make her first appearance as a Team PokerStars Pro at this week’s PokerStars EPT London event, which takes place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel from September 29th to October 4th. She’s had a busy month at the tables already, taking 12th at the English Poker Open and then participating in the WSOP Europe Main Event. Boeree took 184th in the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event for $12,800. She trusts that hard work will help take her career to the next level.

“I hope to grow my game as far as possible by studying and playing as much as I can,” Boeree said. “I’ll also hopefully get to use the wonderful resource of the other Team Pros – some of the greatest poker minds in the game! Hopefully, I’ll use this to produce further results and make the Team proud!”

Boeree joins Vicky Coren, John Duthie, Jude “j.thaddeus” Ainsworth, J.P. Kelly, and Julian Thew as members of Team PokerStars UK and Ireland. All are expected to be on hand for the EPT London festivities.