Party Poker has given a little over a week´s notice the site will leave the Australian market next Thursday – just days before its PowerFest series begins.
The departure of Party Poker from the Australian market is not unexpected news. Following the passage of Australia´s Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill a couple of weeks ago, it was widely anticipated Party Poker would follow in the footsteps of PokerStars and 888 Poker and stop providing a service for the country´s online poker players. The only question was “when?” Well now we know.
However, unlike PokerStars – who announced a “mid-September” departure date in order to give players a chance to play in the first week of its WCOOP tournament series – Party Poker is denying Australian players the opportunity to play in the early stages of its forthcoming PowerFest series which starts on Sunday September 3rd. This is likely due to the phased structure of several PowerFest events.
“We Regret That This Day Has Come”
The announcement of Party Poker´s forthcoming departure included a message from Tom Waters – the site´s managing director. Waters said:
We regret this day has come as Australia is a strong poker market.
Waters added the company would continue to work with the Australian Online Poker Alliance with the aim of introducing regulated online poker in Australia at some time in the future.
The loss of the Australian market comes at a time when Party Poker has only just moved back into the top five sites in the world for cash game traffic according to the traffic monitoring site PokerScout. Following the introduction of its cashback-based rewards program in May, Party Poker has seen its cash game traffic soar at the main expense of its two major market rivals, PokerStars and 888 Poker.
Although not unexpected, the loss of the Australian market will also have implications for the profitability of the site´s forthcoming PowerFest series. The last PowerFest series cost Party Poker hundreds of thousands of dollars in overlays and even though more overlays are expected in next month´s series, they could be larger and more expensive for the company than ever before.
Mixed News for the Rest of the World
Party Poker´s loss is good news for the rest of the world in relation to the PowerFest series. Australian online poker players are a fairly strong bunch, so not only will the PowerFest events be more likely to have bigger overlays due to their absence, they will be easier to cash in as well. This also applies to the satellite qualifiers for PowerFest events currently underway at Party Poker.
However, players attempting to qualify for the early events in PokerStars´ World Cup of Online Poker and Americas Cardroom´s Online Super Series (starts tomorrow) will likely find the competition for seats getting much tougher. Undoubtedly Australian players with an account at PokerStars will focus all their attention on their last chance for a big score at the site, while Americas Cardroom has not indicated it will leave the Australian market and looks to be the major beneficiary of the new law.
Is Americas Cardroom the New Home for Australian Players?
It certainly seems that way. Despite the site being geared towards USA players, there has been a sudden uptick in player numbers at the site. This could be a coincidence due to qualifiers starting for the Online Super Series and the Million Dollar Sunday event scheduled for Sunday September 3rd; however, Americas Cardroom offers a healthy 100% welcome bonus up to $1,000, two non-contributory rake races paying out nearly $100,000 each week, and the best player rewards program on the planet.
You can find out more about Americas Cardroom and the benefits it offers players – not only from Australia, but from all over the world – by reading our Americas Cardroom review. Please note the site is currently running a “Twenty Days of Free Poker” promotion (actually up to $50.00 in free poker money over the first twenty days of signing up). In order to take advantage of this promotion, you should use the Americas Cardroom bonus code “THPOBONUS” when creating your account.