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The Rise of Online Poker

by ReadyBetGo Editor

Almost 19 years ago the first ever game of online poker began.  Given the advances the internet has made in the last 19 years it’s certain that that first game of online poker looked absolutelyReadyBetGo EditorThere are occasions when we here at ReadyBetGo want to bring you interesting facts about the gambling industry  When something catches our eye, we will publish it for your enjoyment.  nothing like online poker looks today.  Regardless of how awkward and inconvenient that initial game must have been for the user, it laid the foundation for what is a booming industry today. 

The very first online poker game was hosted by a website called Planet Poker.  This website still exists, although it no longer hosts online poker games.  Since then however, a large number of other sites have emerged and are hosting a myriad of poker game options with massively lucrative tournaments. 

In 2003, the first satellite tournament was born.  These tournaments gave players access to real world tournaments and were initiated by PokerStars.  Tournaments yielding the richest rewards are the largest tournaments but also require the most expensive entrance fees.  The World Poker Series requires $10000 buy in – something completely out of reach for an average person, however these satellite tournaments afforded the man on the street the opportunity to win their seat at the table. In 2003, an unknown 27 year old accountant named Chris Moneymaker won the World Poker Series due to the fact that he won his entrance ticket on PokerStars. 

This ignited the public’s interest as it made the average Joe, to whom such riches were previously untouchable, realize that his dreams were within his reach.  This also served to shift the public’s perception of poker.  It was then that people started to see poker as a sport, rather than just a game.  The 2003 Worldwide Poker Series also obtained massive media coverage, which promoted across the board acceptance of the game as a sport, and made it a household talking point.   

Online Poker vs Traditional Poker

For an inexperienced player, to play in an actual casino or poker house could be considered intimidating, as well as the fact that the locations of these venues could be inconvenient.  Also, because of the high running costs of a physical casino or poker house, these establishments are reluctant to promote poker as the profits made from the game by the house are relatively poor in comparison to other games. 

Most venues will remove their poker rooms, and add more slot machines as these generate far more lucrative income.  Online venues on the other hand have minuscular overhead costs in comparison and can easily host a huge number of Canadian slots online, along with multitudes of table games.  They are also in the position to allow players to play for relatively small stakes, thus leaning towards larger quantities of players as opposed to the higher quality of bets. 

The Bump in the Road

Online poker continued to boom after the triumph of the 2003 World Poker Series, until 2006 when the US Government passed the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, UIGEA.  This act prohibited financial institutions from processing transactions relating to gambling online and was seen to be an attempt to control what they saw to be the negatives of the industry with strong arm tactics, rather than regulate it in a positive and realistic way. For a time a lot of players left the sport, however slowly but surely the industry began to build itself again with players playing via other places with less stringent gambling laws.  And of course the internet ensured that these players were unlimited according to their location.

Online Poker Today

Thanks to offshore website locations in countries with stricter rules regarding online poker, the online poker industry continues to thrive and grow across the globe.

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