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Planet Poker, founded by Randy Blumer, was the first online poker room to offer real money games. The first hand was dealt January 1st 1998 after months of preparation and planning. The game was $3-$6 Limit Hold’em which is considered mid-stakes today.

Planet Poker advertised in Card Player magazine during the test phase in the end of 1997 to get exposure and prepare players for the real money launch.

An evening in February 1998 there were enough players to keep the games running until the following evening which was a major milestones in the history of online poker. Till that day the game would break up at some point during the day/night.


During summer the same year games were regularly running around the clock and the game selection had increased. Planet Poker kept growing in 1998 but as a result of their rapidly growing business they encountered several problems. 

The poker room was facing numerous technical difficulties often requiring days to resolve. At the time almost all players were using dial-up Internet which led to poor connection and geographic outages. As the player base grew so did the demands for new features and enhancements. Meanwhile the backend capabilities were insufficient to manage the card room properly.

The implementation of software improvements turned out to be a troublesome affair. The core game software had to be changed and Planet Poker needed to rely on a third-party supplier. Cooperation with the third-party software supplier went far from smoothly and improvements were delayed.

Planet Poker was not able to keep up with the demands of the online poker players and first lost its position as the only online poker room and later its position as one of the major companies of the online poker industry.


Source: Wikipedia.org