Online poker is currently among the leading global games. Online poker has continued to enjoy widespread acceptance over the last five years, with new players joining the system daily. Most reputable poker juggernauts such as PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Ultimate-Bet, and Absolute Poker continue to dominate the industry to date while some small players develop rapidly. As much as we may enjoy what we see today, it is essential to understand the roots of online poker. Here is the timeline:

IRC and Virtual Poker

In the early 1990s, virtual poker was introduced using the internet relay chat (IRC) to play poker online. The first people to explore this area were former WSOP World Champions Chris Ferguson and Greg Rayme. The first games were slower due to technological hitches and poor graphic displays. The commands were entered into the computer program directly to create the game simulations.

The advent of Online Poker

Online poker drew attention as graphics improved. Many people were attracted by the idea of learning without losing money since IRC poker used virtual money. In 1998, the first online poker, planet poker, was introduced. It was also the first real money online poker. The game was played through a site created by Mike Caro. This creation began as testing in 1997 when people began to sample the software. Later on, the first hand of real money online poker was played in January of 1998. It was a range of between $3 and $6 and was known as the Texas Hold’em game. Planet Poker enjoyed a monopoly for the rest of that year until another online poker platform emerged in Costa Rica in 1999. It was called the Paradise Poker.

Paradise poker became the first online poker site to introduce the Omaha and Seven Card Stud. It also offered the Texas Hold’em that Planet Poker introduced. Like Planet Poker before it, Paradise Poker enjoyed immense success and became dominant until the creation of Ultimate-Bet in 2000.

The continued popularity of online poker

Online poker grew steadily until the launch of Party Poker and PokerStars in 2001. These two sites revolutionized the online poker industry and led to its massive growth that is witnessed today. The sites took advantage of large table tournaments to increase their popularity among lovers of poker. The growth was further accelerated by the emergence of large conglomerates like Ladbrokes in 2002 and Full Tilt Poker in 2004. The later introduced televised poker ads.

Online poker today

As it stands, there are hundreds of active online poker sites, like poker99, for example. The changes that have been witnessed over the years seen online poker emerge from underground revolution status to a revolutionary phenomenon it is today.