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Online Poker Origins

In 1998 Planet Poker dealt the first real money online poker hand. Many more were to come.
Of all the online poker sites that are well known these days – Pokerstars, Party Poker, Full Tilt, Paradise Poker – it was a Planet Poker that got there first. In 1997 a poker enthusiast called Randy Blumer started to develop a website that could offer poker players the chance to play online for real money. On January 1 1998 Blumer launched Planet Poker.
Of course, in its infancy there wasn’t the wealth of different types of poker you now find on Planet Poker. $3/$6 limit poker was the only game available. The site built on this basic style and began to offer other games to players as it evolved.

By 1999 websites including Party Poker entered the fray, and some poker pros began to wise up to the imminent boom poker was about to see. Pokerstars was started in 2001 and began pushing Planet Poker and Party Poker to further improve software, increase the variety of games available, and improve internet connectivity. Party Poker became the biggest site, with its parent company, Party Gaming, one of the first online gambling companies to go public, listing on the LSE in 2005.

Since 2005 online poker has gone from strength to strength, with dozens of online casinos and poker rooms now available to customers. In the space of 7 years online poker had become a booming economy, and the amount of players now able to play poker on their computers created a boom in casino poker world-wide. The World Series of Poker saw an exponential growth of applicants, with the Main Event reaching over 8000 entrants.
The past few years have seen a shift away from online gambling, especially in the USA, where online poker is currently in turmoil. It looks like Full Tilt was based on a Ponzi scheme, and online poker is now illegal in the country. Congress is trying to pass legislation to allow people to play again, but it might be a while until we see the same level of online play in the USA, maybe even never.

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