'' Paradise Poker | AceKicker | Sold to Sportingbet | US UIGEA
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Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.


In 2000 Paradise Poker won their battle against Planet Poker now possessing the position as the world leader. Planet Poker's last attempt to regain this position was then set in motion. A new company called AceKicker.com Holdings Inc. was formed to develop software for Planet Poker. AceKicker's efforts turned out to be fruitless because of problems with an offshore software developer causing delays and in the end  the development was moved to Canada instead.

Planet kept chasing Paradise meanwhile other companies with great marketing experience entered the scene. Chasing moving targets and the lacking of funding and expertise caused critical delays for the new poker operating system that was supposed to compete with Paradise. Planet Poker did not launch their new system until 2004 which was far too late.

In 2007, about 3 years later, Planet Poker stopped offering real money games due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). Planet Poker is now a free play subscription site and is no longer acknowledged as a real poker network nor a competitor to real money poker sites.


Paradise Poker launched at a perfect time and benefited tremendously from Planet Poker's software issues. Planet Poker had created the hype of online poker and when they failed to deliver, Paradise Poker was there to welcome a steady growing number of players wanting to play online. Paradise had a very strong position in the United States & Canada from where roughly 90% of their traffic originated. Paradise Poker offered much higher stakes than their competitor Party Poker. You could play as high as $40/$80 Fixed Limit game stakes which in 2002-2003 was unheard-of.

Paradise Poker was the world leader for roughly four years and till date one of the most successful stories of the online poker industry. In 2004 Paradise Poker was sold for $340 million to SportingBet Plc., at the time the biggest online gaming company. The purchase later proved to be a major mistake which you can learn more about from reading the chapter UIGEA