PokerCITY 2.0 bringing credibility to a tainted industry


The wild west introduced a seemingly cut throat scenery to a game where backrooms filled with smoke, mirrors and gun toting bar beasts serving whiskey to gruff and mostly hostile clientele. The 1800’s era small towns would be host to a game called poker. Poker brought with it the urge to win, to out play and outsmart the guy in the hand with you. Your moves were to call, bet or raise and the outcome was last man standing, and in the wild west era that could have meant leaving the poker table last with a mound of money or leaving the bar last with a price on your head and a sketch of you nailed to a post.

Poker reached a life of its own when Las Vegas made its debut in 1905. In 1911, Las Vegas was incorporated as a city.

During the 1960s, corporations and business powerhouses such as Howard Hughes were building and buying hotel-casino properties. Gambling was referred to as “gaming,” which transitioned into legitimate business. Thus a new breed of poker began.

Over time the smoke filled rooms of unsavory players migrated to a less risk environment with security measures in place to lessen the likelihood of violent acts as pots were played out. People played home games inviting friends and creating unusual poker style games such as Kings and Little Ones or Acey Deucey One Eyed Jack to name a few. The house made the rules and the players took their chance with the cards they held in their hand.

In 1970 Binion’s held a private invitation poker event in Las Vegas that determined a winner by vote, and in 1971 a $5,000 buy in was introduced to a select few attendees. In 1972 7 players made a $10,000 buy in to a no-limit Texas Holdem Poker tournament. The event was called the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

Technology progressed and along came the Internet, a way of connecting the world. I recall friends saying to me that no one would play a game of poker on the computer against one another as I brainstormed a concept of running protocol poker through a computer network in the early 90’s. The concept grew in my mind and with the opening of Planet Poker on January, 1, 1998 Planet Poker dealt a $3–$6 game of Texas hold ’em poker. Sometime in February 1998, a game continued through the night with enough players rotating in and out the game that it carried all the way through to the next evening. This became a major milestones in the history of online poker. Since then online poker has been responsible for changing the way we visualize the game and introduced poker to unsuspecting masses. Online poker revenues grew from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005.

Party Poker launched in 2001 and remained the largest online poker room until 2006. It was also the first to legitimize the online gaming industry by going public. June 2005, PartyGaming, the parent company of the then largest online cardroom, PartyPoker, went public on the London Stock Exchange, achieving an initial public offering market value in excess of $8 billion. At the time of the IPO, ninety-two percent of Party Gaming’s income came from poker operations.

As the online industry grew it brought with it new opportunity of micro gaming through tournaments. For as little as $0.50 one could play in a tournament that could net you a win into a larger event. PokerStars offered just that and Chris Moneymaker won his entry to the 2003 World Series of Poker. He went on to win the main event, creating a shock wave in the poker world. There were 839 entrants to the 2003 WSOP main event. Each paid $10,000 to enter what was the largest poker tournament ever played in a brick and mortar casino at the time thanks to inexpensive satellite games hosted by online poker rooms.

As with all rises must come a fall and on April 15, 2011, three of the largest sites had their web domains seized and shut down by U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, which alleged they were in violation of federal bank fraud and money laundering laws. Party gaming quickly severed ties with American gamers to protect their public interests.

On August 9, 2012, PokerStars paid $731 million to the U.S. Department of Justice, consummating the asset transfer of Full Tilt Poker. Full Tilt Poker was successfully relaunched on November 6, 2012.

The extreme growth of Internet poker brought a new growth of live game play that thrives in rural and urban centers globally. In my own capital city sanctioned games are played nearly daily raising money for charities and local causes licensed by local governments. The rise of poker has challenged the governments with license initiative and in Canada only five provinces have licensed charity poker. In the United States, Illinois remains the leader in charity fundraising through poker tournaments. And once again with the growth also comes guidelines and misinterpretation.

The wonderful part of online gaming is the established sets of algorithms and rules that cannot be broken as long as the software’s set rules remain intact and not hacked,  as where in a live game it is the responsibility of a Tournament Director to control and direct a game and step in when clarity is required during discrepancies.

PokerCITY 2.0 has two standards of protocol.

1. The PokerCITY player passport.

Originally designed using mysql and PHP the PokerCITY Player Passport is a digital identity for poker players. Identity at events is a very legitimate concern for operators. If an under age person is playing at a licensed event, the license can easily be revoked from the operator by governing gaming authorities. The digital identity in the Passport brands and time stamps entry into the licensed game and provides the operator with an account of players registered as well as their identities into the PokerCITY Tournament Director Suite (PTDS) software application. Player Passports are free to use and are verified in person at licensed PTDS events. The verification levels are determined through documentation provided to the tournament directors at the event. Attaching a smart phone to ones Player Passport adds an additional level of security.

2. PokerCITY Tournament Director Suite (PTDS)

PTDS is an accounting application designed specifically for poker tournament directors operating casino poker or charity poker events. Developed as an accounting system for poker tournament events it manages all aspects of live gaming including gaming authority license agreements which may be viewed through the event page on the PokerCITY Player Passport.

PokerCITY 2.0 legitimizes live poker gaming tournament events with set event standards. There are some legitimate concerns regarding fair game play that exist in live game events. For poker players there is the concern of where to play if you just arrive in a city you are visiting. The safest is usually the local casino which are licensed under jurisdiction gaming laws and guidelines. For any other event it is unclear as to what you are walking into unless you are going with a friend.

For more information on developments of PokerCITY 2.0 contact the administrator.


Posted in Live poker, Newbies, Tournament Directors.