You just knew that eventually the robust growth that online poker has been showing in the last few years would start to slow. Being that Party Poker is the industry leader, it is very interesting to see how they are now dealing with this slowing of growth. Party Poker is clearly starting to fade, and I think the main reason is that online players are becoming more savvy, and other online rooms are starting to market themselves as heavily as Party once did.
How is Party dealing with this slowing of growth? Recently, they instituted a couple of major changes, which may or may not pay off for the company. First off, they integrated their blackjack software with their poker software, so if you want to have a quick game of blackjack, you just click a button and you are playing. The upside of this? More revenue, as people tend to lose when playing blackjack. The downside? Less money for rake when people blow out their accounts playing blackjack.
Also, Party Poker now allows sidebets, meaning, you can bet on what the color of the flop will be like, etc. I don't see this gaining much traction.
Players are becoming much more savvy when it comes to playing online. Who is offering the biggest and best bonuses? Where are the most name pros playing? Who has the best software? Who has the quickest software? These are all questions that players are asking themselves now.
If I were Party, I would take the following steps:
1) Diversify their offerings. Offer stuff such as heads-up SNG's, Turbo SNG's, etc.
2) Sign a couple of big name pros to endorse and play on the site.
3) Increase their bonuses.
4) Re-do their software so it's a bit less cartoonish and faster. Look to Ultimatebet as an example, they have by far the best software around. Slick, clean, and fast.
Party Poker needs to implement some major changes that are beneficial to the user, or else their market share will continue to erode.
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms