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Copyright © 2023. All Rights Reserved. Poker History. Editor: Erik Smith.


Founded 2001
Owned by bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc
Software Own software
Structure Public traded BPTY
License Gibraltar
Skins 6
Live Tours World Poker Tour & GSOP
US Accepted Not since UIGEA
Former Names iGlobalMedia


Party Gaming was founded in 1997 by Ruth Parasol and the company's first world known brand was Starluck Casino. In 2001 they launched the poker platform PartyPoker. Party Poker came to be the World's Largest Poker Room in 2003 and kept its status until the UIGEA was passed by the American senate on September 29th 2006.

We have dedicated a section on this site to the Party Poker Era. Over the years Party Poker changed their slogan from "World's Largest Poker Room" to "Feel it" to "Love to win" and then into not having a slogan at all.

Party Poker is not a stand alone poker room however and it is not a regular network either. Party Poker used to be a traditional network back in 2005 when iGlobalMedia was the network operator. Party Poker was a network with their own poker room and several skins. The network shared cash game tables among all skins. Empire Poker was the 2nd biggest skin on the network and held their own tournaments therefore not participating in all of Party Poker's tournaments.

Party Poker Statistics

Party Poker bought out three of the skins on the network and forced another skin into leaving in the fall of 2005. Multi Poker & Empire Poker were sold to Party Gaming. Eurobet left the network and joined Ongame.

Intertops was bought for the price of $4 million1 but Party allowed Intertops to continue to earn commission through an affiliate agreement which enabled Intertops Poker to send players to the Party Poker Network keeping the Intertops branded poker skin. Their partnership ended in 2008 when Intertops Poker joined the Microgaming Network.

Party Gaming was part of the biggest merger the online gambling industry has ever seen. On the 31st of March 2011 the merger between Bwin.com & Partygaming.com was completed. Bwin's shareholders were given 51.6% of the 852,271,0262 shares issued in the astonishing $1.76 billion deal3.



party poker table - pokerhistory.eu


Quoting an igaming industry expert making a funny remark it can be stated that: "Party Poker has 250 million reasons not to offer rake back". This comment refers to the time when Party Poker decided to ring fence their own cash games and buy Empire Poker in order to get the rake back situation under control. Party Poker did not allow rake back in 2005 and noticed that a lot of their players were joining Empire Poker because Empire Poker offered rake back or allowed affiliates to do so.

Party Poker did not tolerate this and fenced off their tables and made a bid on Empire Poker. Empire refused and responded by threatening to sue Party Gaming since the ring fence was costing Empire a lot of money. Months went by and Empire Poker decreased in value day by day because players were switching back to Party Poker to play in the soft games there. It was rumoured that Empire had refused an offer of $600 million4 in October 2006 but ended up selling for $250 million5 four months later.


Currently Party Poker offers up to 50% rake back via its own loyalty program. For a long time rake back had been completely banned from the network as stated above. "Under the table" rake back deals are very hard to come across on Party and any Party Poker affiliate offering extra rake back will be shut down.

At the Casino Affiliate Conference (CAC) in Amsterdam 2006 there was a rake back seminar held by two large rake back affiliates. A Party Poker executive said it well when asked what Party would do about 'rake back affiliates' now that they had just spent $250 million containing the problem. He took the microphone and said "We will find them! And we will crush them!" - a sentence that instantly became legendary.


PartyPoker is the name of the network and the biggest brand.
EmpirePoker was acquired by Party Gaming for $250 million in 2006.
Party Gaming bought the WPT brand for $12,3 million in 2009.
Danske Spil is the Danish Government's poker room. It launched as poker became 100% legal and regulated January 1, 2012



Eurobet moved to Ongame in 2005
Intertops moved to Microgaming in 2006
MultiPoker was bought by Party Gaming for $14,5 million in 2005 and merged with PartyPoker.6



1 Poker777.com November 13, 2005 (link removed)

​2 bwinparty.com March 31, 2011

3 Bloomberg July 29, 2010

BBC.co.uk November 3, 2005

PokerNews February 15, 2006

6 PokerNews November 13, 2005

7 Written by PokerHistory.eu September 8, 2011