By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
It’s no surprise to anyone that the number of players playing on the two largest poker sites in the world would drop once they stopped accepting business from players in the United States. We’ve gone over the numbers from the first two weeks, and the drops were there to the surprise of nobody.
Now let’s take a look at how Black Friday has taken effect on the turnout for the PokerStars Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP).
Taking a look at the first two SCOOP events, which carry the exact same format (although the guarantees are lower for 2011), it’s clear that losing U.S. business has lowered the turnout.
In terms of the overall number of participants, 2010 saw nearly 72,000 participants in the first two events of SCOOP (six tournaments in all with the low, medium and high buy-in levels accounted for).
2011 has a total of 57,614 players over the same span of tournaments, for a drop of nearly 20%.
There are two things to consider when digesting these numbers though. First off, PokerStars bumped the start times of all SCOOP tournaments by three hours to better accommodate European players. Secondly, the guarantees for the tournaments was reduced by 50%.
As it turned out, tweaking the guarantees was the right move for PokerStars. While each guarantee was covered this year, five of the six tournaments wouldn’t have come close to the 2010 guarantee amounts.
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