NEWSBRIEF
BY MARKANDERSON
A PokerRoom Obituary
April 15, 2022

A somewhat sad and historic footnote occurred yesterday in the ongoing story of Internet poker, when, at exactly 11:00 CET, players saw the end to yet another online poker site. 

This time the site closing wasn't some fly-by-night operation, or even one of the mid-level rooms that had always struggled to catch on, this time the closing was PokerRoom.com - a highly innovative, past industry leader which had staked a solid claim on the online poker market and in many player's hearts since 1999.

PokerRoom.com, one of the first major sites to offer a high-quality online poker experience for both Mac and Linux players, was one of many online rooms to eventually choose to leave the US after the passing of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, a decision that certainly hurt the then booming company and one they never fully recovered from. 

2006 was also the year the ongame network, which PokerRoom was a member of, was aquired by bwin, another online poker room which doesn't allow US players, but one that has had much more success dealing with the handicap. 

Given all this, perhaps it is not surprising then that PokerRoom players would eventually be encouraged to move to the more successful bwin by way of shutting down PokerRoom.com, but for many that doesn't make it any less upsetting. 

Many of us, particularly those of us who only owned Macs, got our start playing on PokerRoom, it's how we initially built our bankrolls (thank you very much midnight $500 added tournament), how we first became comfortable chatting online (using the then innovative lobby chat feature) and how we learned to better utilize the available software to increase our edge (like taking advantage of PokerRoom's notes feature and f-key shortcuts to simplify multi-tabling).   In fact, It could easily be argued the early days of online poker were lucky to have PokerRoom.com there to help these players learn such things, and to make them feel safe and secure while doing so. 

PokerRoom.com may now be gone, but for many it's legacy won't soon be forgotten.


Story by Mark Anderson

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