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The Rich History of Poker – From Cowboy Card Games to the Best Online Casinos and Mobile Poker Apps

The days of cowboys playing cards in the fields, smoking and sipping whiskey are long gone. Card games have remained a favorite pastime for centuries, being invented in China before the year 1000 and making their way to Europe in 1360. With the creation of the 52-card deck, games like Solitaire , Blackjack, Teenpatti and Poker have become mainstream, and Poker has become a champion in terms of popularity. He started in 1829 in New Orleans by French settlers, when four players bet on the most valuable hand.

Bringing poker to the internet ignited a nearly empty online gaming arena with music, and suddenly everyone wanted to join in the fun. Online poker has a humble beginning. The first human-to-human poker game was text-based Internet Relay Chat (IRC) poker, which was played in 1994.

The first real money games

The first real money games with dedicated software were introduced by Planet Poker in 1998. [3] The first hands of online poker were $3/$6 Limit Hold’em games. Planet Poker has set the industry standard rake for crash games at 5% and a maximum rake cap of $3.

Crashes and software glitches were common in the early years, but the player base continued for Planet Poker as it was the only game in town! Paradise Poker was launched in 1999 with more stable software and great graphics, and quickly overtook Planet Poker. Paradise Poker has established its operations out of Costa Rica, offering Seven Card Stud and Omaha, in addition to Hold’em. It was then sold to SportingBet Plc.

Significant events have occurred in the history of online poker and online casino games in the early 2000s with the launch of the third major poker room UltimateBet which began playing for real money in 2000. Another milestone of 2000 that is often overlooked was Poker Spot, which offered the first poker room for online tournaments. Launched by poker pro Dutch Boyd, it was the first online poker room to offer tournaments. The reason Poker Spot was forgotten is that it only lasted about a year, due to players stopping paying.

Moment of celebration for operators and players

There was healthy competition and choice for players in early 2000, with governments largely leaving things alone. Celebrities saw the opportunity to become ambassadors at online poker sites, creating a storm in the industry. The following year, 2001, saw the launch of PartyPoker and PokerStars with Party Poker having the largest online poker room in 2002. PartyPoker adopted aggressive advertising on the televised World Poker Tour and offered the first poker tournament online guaranteed million dollar in 2002. PartyPoker maintained its leading position in the market until 2006.

The turning point in online poker history

2003 marked a turning point in the history of online poker when PokerStars began offering satellite tournaments in which players could win their place in the $10,000 Main Event (ME) of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). One of the 37 participating players, Chris Moneymaker, was lucky enough to win the ME of the WSOP tournament for his entry from a buy-in of $40. He went home with $2.5 million in prize money and internet poker exploded in a big way. The biggest poker win to date was won by Antonia Esfandiari, who entered the 2012 WSOP Big One for a $1 buy-in and walked away with a record $18.3 million.

Never before has an amateur player won the competition, let alone through an online poker event. The Main Event was broadcast live on ESPN with millions watching Moneymaker battle their way to victory against several professional poker players. In 2004, another amateur player, Greg Raymer, won the WSOP after winning the satellite tournament.

The Golden Age of Online Poker History

The period 2003 to 2006 is considered the golden age of online poker history with thousands and thousands of players trying their luck at the tables. New poker rooms have opened and billions of dollars have been won. Professional poker players like Bobby Baldwin, Venessa Selbst, Doyle Brunson and Billy Baxter have become rock stars and household names. The period saw a massive influx of new players and the first poker networks like Microgaming Poker Network, Ongame and Cryptologic were founded.

The party crashed

The first big blow to the online poker industry came in October 2006 with the enactment of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which destroyed the party. The UIGEA has banned banks, financial institutions and payment processors from processing payments related to online gambling. NETeller blocked US customers from using its service in 2007. Websites like PartyPoker, PokerStars and ParadisePoker lost market value, but continued to operate outside the US, including Ireland and England. Nearly 150,000 participants paid $1 in 2009 on PokerStars, setting the world record for the biggest online competition. Norway, Poland and Albania are the only nations in Europe to have banned live poker.

Big scandals and Black Friday in the history of online poker

2007-2008 saw great scandals in the history of online poker when superuser POTRIPPER was able to see other players’ cards at Absolute Poker, making the perfect play one after another. In 2008, screen names with abnormally high win rates were detected at Ultimate Poker, while tens of millions were deceived at Ultimate Bet. The events of Black Friday took place in 2011 when the domains of Absolute Poker, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker were seized by the DOJ (US Department of Justice) before the weekend of Friday April 15, 2011.

Opening of the first bitcoin poker site

PokerStars became the largest publicly traded company in 2014 with a takeover bid of $4.9 billion. Seals with Clubs (SwC) opened its first bitcoin poker site in August 2011 without any of the traditional payment processes, providing increased anonymity for players. Now, we have many cryptocurrency poker sites that accept payment in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, including CoinPoker, GGPoker, Natural18, Bovada, etc.

The most secret and legendary player in online poker history

Isildur1 is the most secret and legendary player to date who beat Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, Patric Antonious and many other poker stars in 2009. We now know that Isildur1 is Viktor Blom, who knew how to create a feeling of excitement in the world. poker like never before. His aggressive style of play earned him $2 million out of just $2,000 in a short span. Viktor is believed to have earned over $6 million so far.

Online poker is played by over 100 million people worldwide

Mobile poker apps became popular between 2017 and 2021, and online games shifted to smaller private poker clubs. Today, online poker is a big part of the iGaming industry. From web clients to mobile apps, operators such as Bet365 and PokerStars allow players to enjoy the best poker action from the comfort and safety of their own home. Players now use dedicated software like Solvers and Trackers to maximize their chances. Poker is called the national card game of the United States, and its game and lingo permeate American culture. According to the World Series of Poker, over 100 million people currently play online poker worldwide.