Pokerstars prepares to celebrate 40 billionth
hand of online poker
There was a time - and it wasn't that long ago - that
the achievement of a billion hands of poker by an online
gambling site was a cause for celebration and publicity;
that pales these days as Pokerstars, the world's largest
poker site, prepares for it's imminent 40 billionth hand
to be dealt.
The big event is expected to occur
sometime this (February) month and will be marked by a
slew of cash giveaways and prizes that include a boost
to create the biggest yet Sunday Million tourney...the
guaranteed prizepool will be $4 million.
in action at the table when the record breaking 40
billionth hand occurs will receive generous cash prizes
and the pot will be doubled by the poker company.
Coinciding with the big event for Pokerstars, the
business magazine Forbes this week carried an
interesting feature on the company. The piece records
that Isai Scheinberg, a former programmer with IBM,
started this industry giant by founding a small software
company in Toronto titled PYR.
The company still
operates, providing software for Pokerstars from the
third floor of a small building "squeezed between a gas
station and a Persian restaurant" in a Toronto suburb,
and was the foundation for the giant enterprise which
Scheinberg and his son Mark built and titled Pokerstars.
Now based and regulated on the Isle of Man, the
enterprise holds records for greatest number of online
gamblers in action on the site at one time (Guinness
World Record verified at 149 196) and, according to the
latest independent Pokerscout statistics, dominates the
market with 32 600 cash game players on an average day -
way ahead of nearest rival Full Tilt Poker.
estimated two-and-a-half million of the legions of
Pokersars members are believed to be resident in the
United States, helping the company to generate annual
revenues in excess of $1.4 billion and some $500 million
The article goes on to record the
Scheinbergs' tough-minded decision to continue servicing
US players when the UIGEA had caused most of its
opposition to retreat from the market, incurring huge
losses in the process. The feisty stand set the scene
for Pokerstars to rapidly grow, overtaking previous
industry leaders to their managements' chagrin even
H2 Gambling Capital research has
established that the online poker market today is worth
some $4.8 billion a year, Forbes reports, noting that
the Scheinbergs have shrewdly built on their success in
America by expanding globally.
The decision to
tough out the American restrictions was more than an act
of defiance, and was a carefully considered business
move, the article points out. Pokerstars has taken legal
opinion from several major US law firms who have opined
that it is not violating US law despite claims by the US
Justice Department citing the outdated and sports
betting oriented Wire Act of 1961.
believes that the passage of UIGEA in 2006 did nothing
to change the legality of real money online poker in the
U.S., PokerStars told Forbes in a written statement. It
is PokerStars position that both the plain language and
the legislative intent of the Wire Act strictly limit
its application to sports wagering.
poker company claims its top market position has largely
been a result of its innovation. The company points to
its early promotion of tournament poker online as
opposed to cash games. A community of players has
evolved where people from around the world log on to
enjoy the game and a sense of competition with friends,
PokerStars says in its statement. PokerStars has united
millions of people from hundreds of countries.
Forbes reports that the company currently has 1 000
It has not always been plain sailing
in the US for Pokerstars, however; in 2008 the U.S.
Attorney in Manhattan froze some $34 million owed to
poker players from companies that processed payments for
poker games hosted by PokerStars and Full Tilt. Both
companies refunded their customers, even though
PokerStars says it was under no legal or contractual
obligation to do so.
The Forbes article comes to
the conclusion that whatever happens in the United
States, Pokerstars is likely to continue to prosper.
"Either way PokerStars dominance of this lucrative
global business seems secure for now," it opines.