GGPoker is now the most popular poker site in the world after successfully edging out PokerStars to boast the highest cash-game traffic in the world. For years, PokerStars has always been the undisputed leader of online poker but GGPoker has gradually emerged as the one to beat in the last year or so. Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, the online poker landscape has changed dramatically with PokerStars emerging as the undisputed leader in cash game traffic.
Through the years, several contenders have tried aiming for the top spot including Partypoker and 888Poker. PartyPoker even spent a brief moment as the leader in 2006 before the brand dropped its status to the middle of the pack. Full Tilt Poker was also a real candidate but even at its peak, Full Tilt could never manage to overthrow PartyPoker, which is why GGPoker’s victory is quite something to celebrate.
For the first time in more than 15 years, GGPoker, a skin of Natural 8, is now the international leader of cash game traffic. PokerStars and GGPoker have been going head to head with the first real clash of the brands being experienced in the spring of 2020 when the Spring Championship of Online Poker became the largest tournament of all time.
Just a year ago at the height of the ongoing pandemic, most if not all online poker sites received a massive boost in traffic due to stay-at-home orders. As a result, PokerStars climbed while GGPoker followed closely in second place. More than 12 months later, GGPoker now maintains the lead and it doesn’t look like it will let go of this position soon.
And yet, GGPoker has only been around since 2014 when it still went by Good Game Network. At its advent, Good Game Network was still primarily focusing its efforts on the Asian poker market. GGPoker still has a vested interest in the Asian market thanks to Natural8. However, GGPoker’s push has always remained to become the leader of the international online poker market.
What do the numbers look like?
According to data gathered by GameIntel during 7 days, it emerged that GGPoker had 5600 players while PokerStars had 100 less with 5,500 registered players. The gap between the 2 online poker brands was 2%. However, upon closer inspection, it is evident that GGPoker is the market leader.
GGPoker has been making waves in the online poker market since 2 years ago when it signed Daniel Negreanu as its brand ambassador. Negreanu parted ways with PokerStars after enjoying a longstanding partnership with the brand for 12 years. GGPoker did not waste any time signing up Negreanu, which greatly helped to prove the brand’s credibility.
At the beginning of last year, Pokerstars was still the leader. GGPoker was trailing in second place with 1500 concurrent players, 3X less than what PokerStars was pulling. With the pandemic leading to a boom in online poker, GGPoker has emerged to become the online poker brand of choice for many punters.
What has led to GGPoker’s success?
One of the primary reasons GGPoker has experienced a lot of success is as a result of the strategic partnerships that the brand has been making. GGPoker has also become well known for its network promotions which it runs monthly. Some of the promotions it runs are leaderboards for cash games as well as offering new players bonuses and several other incentives. GGPoker is also constantly introducing innovations designed to keep punters engaged and happy such as 5 cards PLO, GGCare Flipouts, as well as the popular Flip & Go.
Negreanu’s standing in the poker world has also greatly helped GGPoker with its brand image and growth. As one of the greatest and most successful poker players today, Negreanu is a Poker Hall of Fame inductee that boasts multiple titles and more than $42 million in live tournament earnings under his belt. As such, GGPoker has been leveraging Negreanu’s image to attract more customers to its online poker platform.
Another component that has contributed to GGPoker’s success has been its record-breaking tournaments. GGPoker currently has a partnership with the World Series of Poker (WSOP) which has further elevated the brand among poker players. In 2020 GGPoker partnered up with WSOP to debut its Online Bracelet Series which garnered the platform a Guinness World Record.
Since last year, GGPoker has managed to maintain an upward trajectory by hosting even more tournaments that offer participants exciting guarantees. Earlier this May, it held its own Spring Tournament designed to compete with Pokerstars’ widely popular Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).
Even though this year’s GGSPring Festival was unable to surpass SCOOP, it still managed to exceed expectations after awarding participants $175 million in total prize money; 9 million short of what was offered as the total prize pool in the 2020 SCOOP. GGPoker’s ability to hit the top spot for cash game traffic is a result of continued effort from the operator, as well as the amazing community of loyal players that the platform has managed to attract.
GGPoker’s capacity to dethrone PokerStars as the leading online poker platform has been long overdue. However, it is an achievement that GGPoker will want to commemorate as no other online poker operator has ever come close to dethroning Pokerstars as the leader in global cash game traffic.
The last time an operator tried to take Pokerstars down was when Full Tilt poker enjoyed a comparable market share between 2010 and 2011. Full Tilt Poker, however, collapsed as a result of Black Friday and Pokerstars has maintained that position ever since, accounting for almost 2 thirds of all the real money cash poker games that are played across the globe.
This has all changed with the rise of GGPoker. At present, GGPoker enjoys access to more market share than PokerStars does. GGPoker has a strong presence in various European markets including licenses in the Isle of Man, the UK, and Malta. GGPoker’s sin OlyBet also has a vibrant presence in Latvia and Estonia.