Aug 6 2010

Bwin and Party Poker to Take on PokerStars

written by: Will under News Comments: 2

The July 30th merger of Bwin Poker and Party Poker has caused some shudders in the poker community – although the merger was completely expected through rumors as far back as early this year. However, many online poker analysts are speculating about the power of the new network to take on online poker giants like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. Before the merger, Bwin Poker and Party Poker took up the number 3 and 5 spots as far as site traffic was concerned. However powerful the new network might be, the site traffic is still far behind that of Full Tilt and PokerStars, however. Some analysts are still optimistic as to the growing power of Bwin and Party Poker over the remainder of the year.

The two companies combined host a net value of about $3 billion. However, Bwin and Party Poker have made their mark in different ways. While Bwin has been popular for football betting in Europe and limited online poker play, Party Poker has long been a big name in the online poker world. In some ways, the merger could have a potential to allow the two companies to begin tapping into markets that they have previously been less successful in – bingo and casino games. The combination of Bwin’s large sports betting market and Party Poker’s coverage of all markets in addition to their powerful poker traffic could give the combined companies the hold they need to dominate the online gambling world.

Current estimates of the combined site traffic still show a limited potential for competition between Party Poker/Bwin and larger sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt. For example, the average combined site traffic will be 5,900 after the merger. However, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker regularly post average site traffic numbers of more than 10,000 (Full Tilt with 13,000 and PokerStars with 25,000).

However, a return of many poker sites to the United States market seems almost imminent and Party Poker could bring a substantial amount of players into the merger with the additional of the American market. This merger seeks to take advantage of the possibility of United States players on their site by doubling their traffic base.

Clearly, the US market is necessary for a web site to begin challenging poker giants like PokerStars and Full Tilt. If Bwin and Party Poker are allowed back in the US, it is possible that they could begin to overtake the long time US friendly sites at the top of the traffic ladder. However, until then, the two companies will likely not even be able to touch the top poker sites – even with a traffic boost that could entice new players to the companies.

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