The novelty of being the first regulated site to operate in the U.S. may be wearing off as Ultimate Poker has seen its cash game player traffic decline.
The latest figures released by PokerScout reveal that player traffic has sunk down to the same level as in mid-May, which was roughly two weeks after Ultimate Poker launched. In the three months since then, cash game action had been trending upward and peaked in June with a seven-day average of some 225 players.
However, the most recent seven-day average shows that traffic has dipped to around 165 players. While this may not be too alarming considering the small population in the state of about 2.7 million, it will not bode well when an influx of new Nevada online poker sites launch in coming weeks.
UP has enjoyed a monopoly in the Silver State market for the last 3 and 1/2 months. Several promotions have permitted player traffic to rise during that time such as the recent 10 million hands dealt promo and a summer bonanza that gave away $1 million in cash.
A new software rollout is expected at Ultimate Poker soon once state gaming officials give their OK. Critics have hinted that UP may have launched with an inferior product in order to be first in line. But software bugs that need to be fine-tuned can be expected in any new online poker offering.
Players in Nevada hoping to try playing at a site other than UP are awaiting the launch of WSOP.com from Caesars and others. A software snafu that allowed play-money players to deposit real money and play for a short spell on WSOP.com a couple of months ago is believed to be one reason why software testing for the site has been taking so long.
Earlier this month, three poker sites expected to launch in Nevada received six-month extensions of time to roll out their offerings. ACEP Interactive, South Point Poker and Monarch Interactive were all given additional time to complete testing. This was the second such extension for the trio and was allowed by gaming regulators in order to ensure that their licenses remain valid and do not expire.