How to Play Poker > Internet Poker
Internet Poker seems to have been around for as long as people can remember and has enjoyed the poker boom of the past few years.
In fact it is probably one of the main reasons for the growth in popularity of poker over the past five years with the easy access to a game of poker at anytime over the internet.
The truth is however that the internet poker industry really is still in it's infancy.
Internet gambling dates back to the mid 1990's when the first form of online gambling came from the internet sportsbooks and casinos. It wasn't until 1998 that the first internet poker site came online which was Planet Poker.
There is in fact an earlier form of internet poker that existed which pre-dates this and it was done via IRC (Internet Relay Chat) however this really was just for the very tech savvy and playing poker for real money over IRC really was done on a trust basis as there was no sophisticated way of transferring money automatically between players.
Planet Poker wasn't the only internet poker site for long as it was quickly joined by others during 1999 such as the original poker.com (which was called PokerClub at the time) and a more recognizable name in Paradise Poker.
During 1999 Planet Poker suffered from a security issue where there was an incident in which their shuffling algorithm was cracked and somebody was able to play whilst being able to predict exactly which cards would come out of the deck. This cost Planet Poker severely as the players lost the trust in them and most of them migrated over to Paradise Poker. This was a huge wake up call to the internet poker industry and from this point on security became a number one priority for internet poker operators.
So Paradise Poker was now a dominating force in the internet poker industry and it enjoyed the biggest share of the online poker player base.
It was around this time that others started to sniff out the internet poker industry which was fast becoming a cash cow for online operators. During the period between 1999 and 2001 more and more operators launched internet poker rooms with True Poker, Ultimate Bet, Americas Cardroom, Party Poker, Poker Room, Pokerstars all appearing during this period.
With so much competition now in the market the fight was on to build player bases and get a grip on the market. Paradise Poker continued to hold it's position at the top of the market but with aggressive advertising and big promotions being offered to players other rooms like Party Poker, Ultimate Bet and Pokerstars were slowly building their market share.
This tustle for position continues and then the internet poker revolution happens in 2002, after Chris Moneymaker who qualified for the $10,000 buy in World Series of Poker Main event through a $30 satellite on Pokerstars won the biggest tournament in the world and along with it a $2.5million prize.
And as they say the rest is history, nowadays it is hard to find anybody who hasn't played poker online, or at least heard about it. More and more poker sites launched and the poker rooms continued to jostle for their market position with some surviving and some not.
The site that started it all off, Planet Poker is not longer trading and Paradise Poker and Party Poker who were two of the dominating forces in online poker have taken severe hits since deciding not to accept US players any longer after the UIEGA law changes in America in 2006.
Nowadays Party Poker continues to be a strong brand but has been joined by Pokerstars and other big brands such as Full Tilt Poker at the top of the market. Who knows what the next stage of the internet poker history story will bring, as we wait to find out how the law changes in America will turn out, and also if we will ever see the law changes that would allow the introduction of the big land based gaming operators such as Harrahs and MGM to enter the internet poker market.