Los Angeles – March 30, 2006 – Three weeks ago, PokerStars.com announced the first $1 million guaranteed weekly tournament in history. Yesterday, the world’s largest tournament poker site made history once again, registering its five millionth player.
Reaching the five-million player landmark demonstrates a phenomenal rate of growth for PokerStars, and the online poker industry overall, in recent years. PokerStars was launched in September 2001. Less than a year ago, PokerStars had 2.5 million registered players. Since then, that number has doubled. PokerStars has become a poker industry leader largely due to its wide diversity of games and limits, world-class customer support, sponsorship of major tournaments and events worldwide, and its close affiliation with the last three World Series of Poker champions.
To put these stunning numbers in perspective, if the PokerStars community were a country, it would be the 112th largest country in the world, ranking higher than half of the world’s countries. The PokerStars population is larger than the populations of Los Angeles and Dallas combined.
“It is no surprise that PokerStars is leading the boom in online poker,” said Chris Welch, PokerStars.com Group Marketing Director. “Many people who might be intimidated at the thought of playing inside a casino find that playing at PokerStars is a comfortable and convenient alternative. Millions of players from all walks of life who are living in many different countries have signed up at PokerStars because we make playing poker fun, exciting, and easy.”
The lucky five millionth player will receive a poker player’s dream prize: a World Series of Poker main event prize package, with an opportunity to win a record $10 million first prize. The winner will also receive an entry into the main event of the fourth annual World Championship of Online Poker, the world’s largest online poker tournament, with an estimated prize pool of $5 million.
The five-millionth player is George Draper, from Las Vegas, NV. He is a 35-year-old chef who is new to online poker. Draper will have a chance to make his dream come true by playing in two of the richest and most prestigious tournament in poker.
At its peak, PokerStars.com has over 100,000 players at a time. That translates into tens of thousands of games and tournaments from which players can choose. By comparison, PokerStars has nearly 50 times more players and games than the world’s largest land-based poker room which has only 243 tables.
For more information about PokerStars.com, please visit:
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) is the world's most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce features that became industry standard such as sophisticated multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and big bet ring games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more.
To date, PokerStars has dealt nearly five billion hands and run more than 20 million poker tournaments, awarding well over $4 billion in prize money. PokerStars is the world’s largest poker tournament room, with over 5 million registered player accounts. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and assistance is available around the clock from people who know and understand the game of poker and the importance of impeccable customer service.
The PokerStars.com site is also one of the most secure. PokerStars uses industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and preventative measures against cheating and collusion. Money covering player's balances is held in segregated accounts managed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, ensuring that PokerStars can fulfill its obligations to players at all times.
In February 2006, PokerStars.com became the first poker website ever to reach the 100,000 simultaneous player mark. That watershed achievement marked the largest poker event in history. The PokerStars.com Sunday Million is played every week, which is the largest weekly tournament on the planet with a $1 million guaranteed tournament prize pool.
PokerStars is an official member of the World Poker Tour, and the title sponsor of the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. In the fall, PokerStars hosts the world’s largest online tournament, the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP). PokerStars also sponsors major events around the globe, such as the World Cup of Poker and other exciting tournaments.
During the last three years, PokerStars.com sent more players to the World Series of Poker (WSOP) than any other source or website. A whopping 1,116 entrants (19 percent of the field) qualified to play in the 2005 WSOP via PokerStars satellites. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker champions won their entries into the WSOP. The reigning world poker champion, Joe Hachem, has also been an active player at PokerStars since 2001. He joined Moneymaker and Raymer as official representatives of PokerStars.com, thus fortifying the company trademark, 'Where Poker Players Become World Champions.'