Online version of a famous table game is not as old as the poker itself. Nevertheless, online poker appeared quite a while ago, which makes it possible for us to speak of a certain history of this Internet phenomenon. Although there’s no exact date of online poker appearance because it wasn’t created the way we know it today right away.
The industry is believed to begin its existence in the mid-nineties. Of course, poker clients of that time had little in common with today’s software but people always wanted to entertain and gamble so they had been taking chances of trying services available back then.
Let’s proceed with the history itself
In 1995 when people just started to explore the possibilities of Internet and were mastering IRC-chats, an unknown programmer created IRC Poker, which was the first prototype of modern poker clients. The game itself and the communication between participants was taking place in one big common chat. Players were making bets in the simple (by today’s standards) interface by texting special short messages (fold, call, bet, raise).
Up till 1998 online poker lacked the financial component. The first monetized room Planet Poker appeared that year. The news that it became possible to play for real money spread fast in the gambling community. However, people were not that eager to try this new service and the company went through a lot of effort to prove their Random Number Generator is not a fraud.
In 1999 Paradise Poker room was created, which became the leader of the industry due to its innovative touch and opportunity to play Texas Hold’em, Omaha and Seven Card Stud. It immediately replaced those few competitors presented on the market.
May 2000 was the month a successful poker player Dutch Boyd launched Poker Spot, the first gambling room offering multitable poker tournaments. The idea was truly revolutionary but the reign of the Limit Texas Holdem was so strong people simply couldn’t realize the value of this development.
In 2001 giants of the gambling industry (Party Poker, Poker Stars) appeared. They were followed by an active string of other online services, some of which, however ultimately closed because of the high competition.
In July 2002 the first poker the World Champioship of Online Poker (WSOP) took place presented by Poker Stars. TV broadcasting of the World Poker Tour became another outstanding event of the year.
A real historic event happened in 2003, when Chris Moneymaker, an ordinary accountant from Atlanta won the WSOP Main Event. His victory game a strong push to the whole gambling industry.
This year the first poker program Poker Tracker was released.
In 2004 the Moneymaker effect made people actively join online satellite tournaments, thus, increasing the profits of gambling rooms.
2006 was the black year for the poker industry when the USA Government adopted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) prohibiting any kind of operations between online gambling websites and American financial institutions.
In 2007 Planet Poker, the ancestor to all poker rooms, was closed.
The 2008 to 2010 period was lush for emerging forums with game strategy and poker related discussions.
In 2011 the US Justice Department blocks Poker Stars, FTP and Absolute Poker for American players.
Nowadays the great interwebs offer dozens of poker sites visited by thousands of players daily.