A look back at online poker history
Online poker developed as a variation to traditional poker. Almost all forms of poker started being played online as poker came on the internet. This journey began as early as 1990.
In the late 1990s, the first online poker was IRC poker. Later card rooms developed with the first online card room being Planet Poker. This introduction came about in 1998 when computers started becoming commonplace. These online poker games began offering real money and hence changed the face of online poker forever.
Online poker games introduced new features and incentives to encourage players to play online. Various incentives like freeroll, bonuses lured players to gamble online. Another incentive has been to grant good poker players entry to real poker tournaments.
Online cardrooms soon became a token of entry for many players into world poker championships. Many famous players like Chris Moneymaker got into the tournament through online card rooms. This also served as a token to increase the popularity of online poker.
Gradually, private card room companies started becoming public, and the online gaming industry became a huge venue for investment and earning for gambling companies, and many smaller card rooms were acquired. By 2008, there were some forty cardrooms and poker networks online.
Most of the online poker got restricted to only some bigger online poker companies. Websites such as PokerStars and iPoker Network are a few to name. However, many other companies continue to appear, like poker online.
On an estimate around 545, poker websites continue to function online. Some of these are standalone while others are skins featured on other networks. It would be worth naming PokerStars.com as the largest poker site due to the large number of poker players it had.
In 2011, US Department of Justice seized Pokerstars and other more prominent online poker websites, domain names and froze the bank accounts of players. This move made several of the more prominent online poker websites go out of business. Some like Pokerstars paid fine to remain there. That day is famously known as the year of Black Friday.
In spite of all this, online poker still survives. New poker card rooms open every day, and some are merely scams while others are genuine like score88poker.bid. No matter which, poker players find their way back to card rooms eventually to gamble their money away.