History Of Online Poker

Poker has been around for centuries. In ancient times, it was played by a select number of individuals who would frequent the traditional casinos to play their favorite game. As the number of casinos continued to increase, poker remained a permanent feature in all of them. 

Multiple variations of the basic version were introduced with time. However, to date, Texas Hold'em poker continues to be the favorite version of the game. While late-night dedicated shows were aired regularly, movies and cinema glamorized the game by featuring it in many contexts.

When it comes to online poker, it started in the early '90s, and it was in the early part of the 2000s and in recent years when the trend has seen a rapid rise.

Let’s have a brief look at the history of online poker.

Before online poker became famous in 2002, individuals used to play free poker games on the IRC chat protocol. In 1998, Planet Poker introduced the first online version of poker with real money involved. Mike Caro, AKA the mad genius, was the person behind the launch of the Planet Poker site.

Soon in 1999, Paradise Poker entered the gaming arena with its unique and innovative features. A few poker games that attracted much attention were Texas Hold'em poker, three card poker, Caribbean stud etc. 

In 2003, history was made when Chris Moneymaker won the World Series to earn a prize worth $2.5 million. Earlier, he had won at a poker tournament hosted by Poker Stars. Poker stars had launched their operations in 2001 and had introduced the concept of satellite tournaments which became quickly popular in the masses.

In 2006, UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) was put into effect to regulate the online poker industry. According to the new regulation, it was illegal for banks and financial institutions to process gambling-related payments and transactions. 

Under the UIGEA, the three main poker sites were indicted by the DOJ, and their earnings were deemed illegal. These included Poker Stars, Absolute Poker and Full Tilt. Poker Stars paid a hefty fine of $1 billion, and in 2014, it became the largest publicly traded company in the online poker industry. 

Online poker today

The online poker industry has experienced tremendous growth during the pandemic as conventional casinos were shut down. With an increased focus on industry legislation, the closure of land-based casinos, and the cancelation of major sporting events, both seasoned and recreational players resorted to online casinos. 

The coming years show promising growth trends of online poker as more players continue to enter the online platforms to play their favorite games.

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