The history of online poker. The Middle Ages. The Beginning of 2000’s

The history of online poker. The Middle Ages. The Beginning of 2000’s

You can read the first part of the online poker history by going to The History of online poker. The Stone Age (1995-1998).

As you know, success in any sphere is achieved by pioneers and founders, who reap the rewards and write their names in the history with Golden. However, they have to fight for this right with its direct competitors, who rush to the victim like hungry wolves, once they smell prey. The prey was Planet Poker. In the early 2000s, other poker rooms began to gain from the difficulties experienced by Planet Poker, and copied things or offered something new. Paradise Poker achieved the greatest success.

Paradise Poker hit the jackpot when started to cooperate with a young developing company ith the modest name of Google. Anyone who searched for the word "poker" immediately hit on the Paradise Poker website. Now Google doesn’t make ads of gambling, but Paradise Poker was at the right time and in the right place.

Poker history - Paradise Poker

In 2000, the world saw the launch of PokerSpot room, founded by Dutch Boyd. Frankly speaking, this person is not very popular with the today’s generation of players, but it doesn’t make him less significant. Dutch is a holder of two WSOP bracelets, and the World Series winner with a total winnings of $1,404,987. Moreover, Boyd can be called the first online poker grinder.

If you remember, in the first part of the history of online poker we told that players who managed to earn a million of play money chips could exchange them for real $100. Dutch did it more than once and repeatedly tricked a free hundred out gullible poker sites. Among other things, Boyd enjoyed immense respect in poker community but up to a point.

At first, everything was going well for Dutch: he established his own poker room, and called it PokerSpot. Admittedly, Dutch Boyd was ahead of his time to some extent but no one appreciated it. The fault of Boyd is that he gave birth to the idea, but forgot get it into shape. PokerSpot was the first online poker room to offer multi-table tournaments - this was a kind of revolution by Dutch Boyd. However, at that time the popularity of the limit hold'em was so immense that many didn’t care about these monotonous tournaments.


Dutch Boyd invested $80,000, collected from friends and relatives, but he didn’t manage to promote his brainchild. PokerSpot game client threw out error messages, auto-closed, and lived its life. It was a problem to contact the support service. Given a severe lack of poker rooms, people were ready to put up with it until the last drop.

The biggest problems began with the processing of financial transactions. Users complained that it took months to get money. Even when the money was received, banks refused to cash out referring to "insufficient funds on the account".

To the credit of Boyd, he did not hide from the clients and was willing to communicate with each of them on 2+2 forum. Boyd was incanting about some technical problems, which were fully solvable, but required some time. He told different in private conversations: that the site experienced problems with processing credit cards and that he got money with a big delay.

In fact, people had to wait a long time. Some are waiting to this day. According to unofficial data, users lost about $400,000 on the way between the room and credit cards.

The number of withdrawal requests was growing. By the summer of 2001, it became clear that the poker room was doomed. Poker room gave up after a year of such billing convulsions, and Boyd went from a once authoritative community member into a pariah.

Most of money was forever lost. After that, the name of Dutch Boyd was covered in the poker news, but it was like an agony: he could not arrange a deal with backers, then he was selling the WSOP bracelet on eBay, then he was just looking for usual "human" job.

Now let’s back to Paradise Poker, which survives as a subscription-based online poker site, and moves around from network to network (now it is a part of Sportingbet company). The Paradise Poker management was prompt and quick to learn from mistakes, so there were no sappy stories about the RNG integrity and Bible-oath. They ensured a high-quality work on the application that seemed a manna from heaven compared to PokerSpot. In fairness, we must admit that the high-quality work of the poker room was pathed by their direct competitor, PlanetPoker, who ploughed through the minefield by trial and error.

Paradise Poker table

The current generation knows little about Paradise Poker. They only could learn about this brand in co-operation with the famous bookmaker Sportingbet, which purchased Paradise Poker in October 2004, but that's another story.

Strategic management was the only thing that Paradise Poker had. At least, at the initial stage. At the beginning of 2000’s poker rooms did not care about their complaint due to search engines and the Internet at hand, which were not such a powerful and popular method of promotion in those days. But it was Paradise Poker which became the pioneer. It promptly swept in and became monopolist in the market of online advertising in the poker segment. It's hard to say, but the mistakes of Planet Poker have predetermined the outcome of the bout between these two sharks of 2000s. However, Paradise Poker had an extra point.

Paradise Poker improved their software and worked on security. This was the first poker room, which developed statistics - the average size of the banks at the table and the number of players during the flop. In addition, it was the first website to offer two-table playing.

Updated design of Paradise Poker tables

It was inappropriate to talk on the decline of PlanetPoker too soon at that time. With Paradise Poker, they have been the largest online poker rooms in the online poker market. Their positions can be compared with PokerStars and Full Tilt a few years before the "Black Friday". PlanetPoker managed to rank its competitors, and responded by the launch of the most expensive table of that time - $20/$40 LHE. If you forgot, we will recall that multi-tabling did not exist in 2000s. There was a "one table per limit" principle. Given the level of popularity, players literally made a one-kilometer line while waiting for a table (as a rule, the most expensive one). In the future, both competitors tried not to leave any attack of the opponent without some response.

It did not last long. Planet Poker operated on the market until 2007, but since 2001, nobody took it seriously. It was already 2001, which became the beginning of the new era. The era, which produced such familiar (and to some extent notorious) brands as PokerStars, PartyPoker and Ultimate Bet.

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