With 250,000 players at 40,000 simultaneous tables, Poker Stars is considered one of the world’s leading online poker sites, arguably the most dominant in the poker industry. Launched in 2001, the site has managed to remain a major player in the market despite upheavals in American legislation. Pokerstars owes its place as world leader by the independent strategy that it has always been able to adopt, by surfing the world poker market.
The beginnings of Poker Stars
The online room is founded by a senior Israeli programmer for IBM Canada. He began writing the program for the poker site in the late 1990s. Isai Scheinberg founded Rational Enterprises, originally based in Costa Rica.
A program for Pokerstars was created in 1999 and the site launched in 2001, with only one beta play money version. A few months later in December 2001, Poker Stars launched its paid cash game tables. Scheinberg continues to refine the site with the help of his son, Mark Scheinberg through the Scheinberg Family Fund. The founder and his family own 75% of the company in equity, while the other 25% is owned by employees.
Poker Stars moves to the Isle of Man
In 2005, Pokerstars announced a move to the Isle of Man, a British Crown dependency. Scheinberg decided on the location, attracted by a 0% corporate tax rate and the island’s very liberal policy for US players. PokerStars has obtained an eGaming license from the Isle of Man Home Office (2001 Gaming Rules)
“ The infrastructure meets all of our current needs. Isle of Man regulations allow and allow PokerStars to operate to its full potential. We are grateful to the government for their support and guidance in acquiring our e-games license. We look forward to the development of our future plans for the Isle of Man. “, says Nolla Dolla communications director.
Pokerstars stock exchange listing
In January 2006, the Scheinberg family enlisted Rothschild Bank, a large merchant bank, to list or sell the company on the London market. Poker Stars was worth around $ 2 billion at the time. Potential buyers included William Hill in their ranks. It was thought that PokerStars could choose to be listed on the London Stock Exchange, following in the footsteps of its main competitor: Partygaming.
There was also speculation at the time that Scheinberg opted for a merger with another company like 888 Holdings, owned by Israeli brothers Shaked and Ben Yitzchak.
In 2006, following the introduction of the law: Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), Pokerstars declared that it would seek an entry into the previously scheduled stock market in the near future. The $ 1.6 billion course that had been estimated for the spring of 2007 and the Scheinberg family’s plans have been postponed indefinitely.
Poker Stars and the American market
When the UIGEA was adopted in 2006, some of the major players such as PartyGaming were forced out of the market. Party Poker was a publicly traded public company legally responsible to its shareholders, which left no room for them to escape. They therefore had to leave the lucrative American market. Conversely, PokerStars was still a privately held company and remained free to make any decisions regarding the future of its presence in the local market.
After the introduction of the UIGEA law, the gaming world awaited Pokerstars official position on its possible IPO. Despite the rumors, there was never a follow-up to this eventuality. Against all odds Pokerstars stormed the North American market.
While preserving its income in the American market, Pokerstars has built a web and a solid network in all other markets. A major strategy that has never been limited to the sole territory of the United States.
A Poker Star is Born.
The rise in popularity of online poker is strongly linked to Chris Moneymaker’s victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker. Moneymaker was a full-time accountant and occasional poker player.
Moneymaker starting from a $ 39 satellite won a seat for a larger satellite. After winning the final package, the player ended up with a ticket to the World Series of Poker. As if by magic, he found himself at the final table and then pocketed the first prize of $ 2.5 million.
The “Moneymaker Effect” attracted amateur players from all over the world to online poker sites. Poker Stars benefited enormously from the publicity of this Moneymaker victory and continues to do so with this player who is a member of the Poker Stars Pro team.
Poker Stars and the WSOP
After the consecration of Moneymaker in 2003, Pokerstars was the biggest contributor of players in terms of World Series of poker qualifiers. A year later, the site qualifies 315 players for the 2004 Main Event of $ 10,000, or 15% of all players in the tournament.
At the time, Pokerstars VP of Marketing Dan Goldman said, “ Our players continue to prove that their online poker tournament experience is of enormous value in a live tournament environment. Simplicity and convenience. the convenience of playing poker online, provides millions of people with a tournament poker experience before they step foot in a casino. “
Historic PokerStars WCOOP
Pokerstars created the World Championship Online Poker (WCOOP), known as one of the largest online tournament series.
2002 – The first WCOOP, held in July 2002, features nine events and $ 730,000 in prize money.
2003 – Eleven events were offered during 2003. After his victory Chris Moneymaker attracts a prize pool which increases to 2.7 million dollars.
2004 – An additional event has been added to this WCOOP, and the prizes reach $ 6 million.
2005 – The Prizes distributed for the year 2005 are doubled and reach 12 million dollars with 15 events planned. This year, nearly 20,000 players participated in WCOOP 2005.
2006 – Eighteen events held during WCOOP 2006, with $ 18,700,000 in prizes distributed.
2007 – Introduction of Short Handed tournaments for the first time. There are 23 events, 100 participating countries and $ 24,218,600 in prizes offered to more than 40,000 players.
2008 – Just under $ 40 million in prizes distributed for 33 events.
2009- The biggest tournament series ever. Players from 140 countries took part in 45 events over the 18 days of competition for a whopping prize of $ 51,652,000.
Pokerstars charity company
In January 2005, a devastating tsunami on the Asian coast killed more than a quarter of a million people. Poker Stars raises almost $ 200,000 through its own poker players, invited to donate to the American Red Cross. Poker Stars decides to double the amount and ends up donating $ 400,000. The biggest check ever offered by a private company in the gaming industry for the tsunami relief fund.
“I am proud of the poker players all over the world who have contributed to the aid of all those affected by the tragedy,” said Nolan Dalla Director of Communications.
In 2007, Pokerstars donated $ 1 million for aid to Sudan. The charity, supported by Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt and George Clooney, raises money at the Cannes Film Festival.
In January 2010 funds were mobilized for the victims of an earthquake in Haiti. Several hundred thousand dollars are thus allocated for this new tragedy.
- In 2005, Pokerstars announced that it had hosted over 10 million tournaments, more than any other online site or casino in the world.
- In February 2005, Poker Stars recorded the largest weekly tournament in poker history, attracting 2,556 players for Sunday No Limit Hold’em. It was also the first weekly tournament in poker history to exceed half a million dollars in cash distributed.
- In November 2005, creation of a professional team with three WSOP world champions: Chris Moneymaker, Greg Raymer and Joe Hachem.
- Also in November 2005, Pokerstars was recognized as the best eGaming poker operator. By this time, Poker Stars had dealt 3 billion more hands and hosted over 14 million poker tournaments, with a total payout of over $ 1 billion.
- In 2006, after having reached its 100,000 simultaneous players, Poker Stars announces the increase of its guarantee price for the weekly tournaments: 1 million dollars will be shared between the participants. ” A year or two ago, a $ 1 million guarantee on a weekly poker event would have been unthinkable, ” said Lee Jones, Cardroom Manager. ” Now, thanks to PokerStars and its players, it has become a reality .”
- In March 2006, Pokerstars exceeded five million players. This statistic is huge, taking into account that only a year ago, only 2.5 million players were registered.
- In December 2007 Pokerstars entered the Guinness Book of Records for the simultaneous number of players online. Overall, 151,758 players will be registered at its tables.
- In May 2008, Pokerstars created the circuit (LAPT). It passes through Brazil, Costa Rica and Uruguay. The site also sponsors the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT)
- May 22, 2008, opening of a new poker room in Macao. The room is called PokerStars Macau. It is located in the heart of the Grand Waldo Hotel and Casio in Cotai and has 25 tables.
- In July 2008, Pokerstars launched its first Mac Apple version. The system has been designed especially for newer Mac operating systems.
- In January 2009, Pokerstars sets the Guinness World Record for “Biggest Online Poker Tournament” 35,000 poker players took part in the $ 11 tournament on Sunday, December 28, 2009, smashing the site’s own record.
- In 2010 the Pokerstars France Series were launched on the French market.
Pokerstars challenge the heights
There appears to be a growing continuity of success for PokerStars. This site has enjoyed popularity since the day of its launch. A revolutionary entry into online poker, while resisting the American market. The number of its players, especially in the United States, is constantly increasing. There is no doubt that Pokerstars has huge strengths in this growing market.