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Not long ago, poker giants like Pokerstars and Full Tilt Poker chased the once dominant Party Poker in market share. Things were going great for Party Poker and had events not lead to its eventual downward spiral there’s no telling where we’d see the company today. Party Poker owned the global online poker market, plain and simple. Now, almost 2 years later it struggles to regain its status as the number one poker site in the world.

Party Poker’s downward spiral began when they took their company public. Being a public company meant that it had to withdraw its services from the United States market when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in late 2006. Soon after, there were rumors that Pokerstars would be undergoing the same process and also going public. Thankfully this never occurred, and there’s no telling how the future of online gambling may have played out if it had. Part of the only hope United States residents have is the fact that poker rooms like Full Tilt and Pokerstars have continued to conduct business in the U.S. market despite its recent legislation.

The United States is the largest providing country in terms of online poker players. This is precisely the reason Party Poker lost its number one spot. Make no mistake, Party Poker is still a growing force, but its “U.S. offering” competitors are growing at a faster rate and other similar sites who don’t yet allow U.S. players are catching up quick.

According to Pokerscout, the iPoker network has recently passed Party Poker’s network in the number of simultaneous real cash players. It also beats out Party Poker when it comes to its 24 hour peak. If Party Poker’s numbers continue to slump behind while other poker networks grow at a fast rate they’ll continue to fall in the ranks. Once ranking as the number one online poker site in the world, they are now number three, and quite possibly 4th, soon.

Only time will tell what will come of Party Poker. Its popularity is undeniable and it will always have a healthy player base, but the only shot Party Poker has of regaining its throne as number one poker site is reentering the United States market.