The roots of poker can be traced back to 200 years ago and the has been played ever since, however the recent advent of online poker has only been a recent addition which has increased the popularity of the game to the legendary status is now boosts, which likely changed poker as we knew it forever.
There were attempts made at developing online casino games in the early to mid ninety’s with the likes of sportsbooks and various games offered by microgaming who where the first to introduce an online casino in 1994 and in 1995 developed the first casino management tools and player tracking systems.
It was only in 1998 that the first online poker room was developed it’s name was/is Planet Poker which as the only contender was the market leader as the only online casino offering poker rooms online, it has since not enjoyed that much of the market share and is currently only has a small percentage of the market today. Planet Poker established their rake structure to be at 5% with a maximum per hand at $3 which seems to have stuck throughout the industry.
The establishment of Paradise Poker (1999) took the lead in the market of online poker rooms and only when poker spot launched in July 2000 did they encounter any rivalry, Poker Spot then experienced problems with its credit card accepting company and were unable to process credit cards and as such went bankrupt soon after wards.
The development of secure credit card and e-payment systems like Neteller (the current market leader) were established making it safer and more secure to process credit cards online they also enabled a cash out system for those winning money online and ever since the problem’s like Poker Spot have not re-occurred.
It was not until 2001 that the current market leaders ( Partypoker , Pokerstars ) emerged in the industry of online poker rooms. However Paradise poker was still the leader in the field until 2003 when Partypoker started airing it’s TV advertising campaigns during the television broadcasts of the World Poker Tour events, Partypoker have since stormed the market by capturing approximately half of the online poker market and now host the largest poker tournaments online some of which are freerolls.
Another successful marketing ploy was to offer excellent incentives to poker affiliates whom in turn offer poker bonus codes and poker bonuses to new players making their first deposits or buy in’s thereby increasing the market of online gamblers.
The market for poker online only really started booming in 2004 with more frequent television coverage and ad campaigns being run the online poker room market tripled itself and saw the advent of the likes of Fultilt poker whom currently have a massive TV Ad campaign running which includes the sponsorship of several season professional poker players who form team Fulltilt. Pacific Poker was since established
Many of these major online poker sites have since become public trading companies ( Pacific poker, Empire poker, Partypoker ) with their stocks being actively traded on the stock market and purchasable online. Paradise poker was sold for US $ 297.5 million.
Most of these online poker rooms were hosted in Gibraltar, Belize or Indian tribes but the UK has seen development with industry regulatory rules being established which may lead to some of the established poker sites being moved to England in the future lets wait and see.
Many poker books have since been published and the entire poker industry is alive and booming.