Pot sizes bulging across online poker

The Prize Money
More easy money kicking around online...?

There's always money to be made in online poker for a skilled player. Always. But if early returns in 2008 are any indication, there might be a bit more "easy" money kicking around online these days.

How to tell? Growing average pot sizes across the board, with no less than seven of the top online poker rooms showing increases over the last four months, based on stats from the PokerListings.com MarketPulse section.

Analyzing over 20 million online poker hands each month, MarketPulse is the most comprehensive, real-time statistical snapshot of online poker on the Web, and an unmatched overview of what's going on in the industry at any one time.

And the numbers look good for skilled players. As a general rule, the larger the average pot size, the looser or more passive the games tend to be - so with seven of the biggest online poker rooms showing pot sizes on the rise, things are looking profitable virtually everywhere.

Four poker rooms in particular are showing strong upward trends, with Pacific Poker leading the way overall. Average pot size at Pacific in April hit a solid $44.80 - up from $41.30 just last December.

Following close behind, all with strong increases over the last few months: Full Tilt Poker, up 5% to $36.50; Titan Poker, up 15% already this month and growing from $26.10 to $31.70 overall this year; and Everest Poker, up an astounding 22% to $24.70 this month - double what it was in December of last year.

Also showing modest increases: UltimateBet, Mansion Poker, Party Poker and Absolute Poker. To see the full list, check out the Average Pot Size page.

More online poker numbers of note from the last month:

Cash game traffic at PokerStars was up slightly again in March, averaging 14,599 players over each 24-hour period. More dramatic, however, is comparing those numbers to last May, with an overall increase of close to 6,000 players.

Peak traffic at PokerStars is now an overwhelming 23,395 players, giving it a dominating 32% market share of all cash-game traffic.

Also growing traffic-wise were Titan Poker, up 6% to an average of 5,440 players in March with peak traffic of 10,530 players, and Mansion Poker, jumping a strong 9% already in April with an average of 4,490 players and peak traffic of 9,577 real-money players.

Tom Dwan
Tom "durrrr" Dwan: One of the most active high-stakes players online and all over the Top 100 biggest pots list.

If you're looking for the golden action hours, they're still decidedly between 2-7 p.m. (EST), with traffic across the top poker rooms peaking at around 70,000 players every day at 5 p.m. (EST).

For the full online poker traffic report, visit the online traffic page here.

Biggest Hold'em pots won online last month were fairly steady, varying between $50,000 and $150,000. The biggest pot overall in March was a $163,997 pot between high-stakes regulars Di "Urindanger" Dang and "guaranteed376" - paling in comparison to the $385,000 pot Phil Ivey won in February, but hefty nonetheless.

Read about some of the biggest Hold'em pots over the last month here and here, or visit the biggest pots section for a look at the Top 100 pots online over the last day, week, month and year.

More general numbers to report:

The most popular game variation? A resounding vote for Texas Hold'em, with all variations of Hold'em still hogging 90.9% of all online action. Next most popular are Omaha at 5.4%, Omaha Hi-Lo at 3.4% and Stud at 1.1%.

Table structure is split pretty evenly, with 51.1% of players preferring short-handed tables and 48.8% preferring full-ring games. Heads-up games account for just 2.3% of the action.

To see the latest overall stats, visit the general stats page here.

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