The Cake Poker Network has seen its player numbers plummet in recent weeks, but it is still doing everything it can to bring in more member rooms to get traffic on the upswing again. This week, one of the older rooms of the industry, Intertops, made the move to the Cake Poker Network.
Intertops has been around as a gambling firm since Detlef Train moved from Germany to England in 1983 and used his British bookmaking license to allow customers from his home country to place sports bets over the phone or in person. Thirteen years later, Intertops, at that point based in Austria, accepted the first-ever online sports wager. Intertops was also an innovator in wireless wagering, as it was the first to accept a bet placed with a wireless device using WAP. The Intertops.com poker room opened in 2003.
In moving to the Cake Poker Network, where it will join the likes of DoylesRoom.com, UnabomberPoker.com, PowerPoker.com, and the flagship site, CakePoker.com, Intertops leaves the Microgaming Network. Microgaming does not accept U.S. customers, whereas Cake Poker does. In its early days, the Intertops poker room was a part of the PartyPoker Network, but was absorbed by Party in late 2005 as PartyPoker eliminated its few skins. For 15 months, Intertops was actually turned into an affiliate of PartyPoker, marketing the site to its customers.
The Cake Poker Network is hoping that the established name of Intertops will bring with it some much needed player traffic. Once solidly in the top ten in terms of cash game traffic according to PokerScout.com’s tracking services, the network’s player base has fallen sharply in recent months, largely due to the defection of Sportsbook.com and PlayersOnly.com to the Merge Gaming Network. According to PokerScout.com’s “Weekly Online Poker Traffic Update” for May 2nd, Cake’s cash game traffic has plunged 30 percent since the two sites moved to Merge on April 15th. The Cake Poker Network is now almost out of the top ten, currently tied for 10th in the PokerScout rankings with, coincidentally, Microgaming. In just the past week, the Cake Poker Network has lost 10 percent of its players. On the flip side, the Merge Gaming Network, home to CarbonPoker.com and LockPoker.com amongst others, has grown 166 percent since April 15th. Ranked 17th, it is still a very small network, with just a seven day average of 620 cash game players compared to 1,280 for Cake.
The year-over-year numbers reflect the recent trends, as well. Compared to the same period a year ago, Cake Poker’s cash game traffic has shrunk 17 percent while Merge’s has grown 85 percent. Cake Poker’s cardroom manager, Lee Jones, is confident in the network’s future, however, and has said on multiple occasions that he feels that the network will have more traffic on January 1st, 2011 than it did on January 1st, 2010.

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