July 30, 2002 (Los Angeles) – PokerStars, online poker’s most innovative destination, announced today that the first annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) broke all online records, generating a prize pool of $809,050 over the nine events. The final event, played on Sunday, July 28, boasted a prize pool of $238,000, with the winner, Sweden’s MultiMarine, receiving over $65,450.
“The turnout for this event exceeded even our most optimistic forecasts,” said Steve Morrow, Card Room Manager for PokerStars. “The scope of this event, and the huge prize pool, puts the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker in the top tier of poker tournaments worldwide.”
The World Championship of Online Poker consisted of nine events, with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $1,000. PokerStars conducted satellite tournaments for this event beginning in late May, with buy-ins as low as $10. Over 70% of the players in the WCOOP events won their entries via the satellite system, which accounted for a total of over 700 events. The tournament attracted over 2,800 poker players from 36 countries.
“PokerStars has created a landmark online poker event,” said Nolan Dalla, noted poker author and champion tournament poker player. “No one could have forecast this kind of popularity for an online poker tournament. PokerStars has proven that an online tournament can attract the same kind of turnout and prize pool as tournaments in live poker rooms.”
In addition to the prize pool, which included $200,000 of guaranteed events, PokerStars contributed an additional $10,000 prize money for the best all-around player, and added almost $30,000 of the prize money via the site’ s Frequent Player Points program, which allows players to earn tournament entries (and other prizes) by playing.
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) rocketed to the top tier of online poker sites in its first six months of operation, largely as a result of the company’s innovative multi-table tournaments, fast-action live games (including limit, no-limit and pot-limit games of Texas Hold ’em, Seven Card Stud, Seven Card Stud High/Low, Omaha and Omaha High/Low), outstanding customer service and Frequent Player Points rewards for regular players. “Amarillo Slim” Preston, one of the world’s best-known poker players, is the company’s host and spokesman.
European e-Gambler Strikes it Rich
Online gambling is no longer the USA-only craze that some American politicians would have you believe. Growth rates for Internet gambling outside the United States is on the rise and non-US e-gambling will surpass US e-gambling before 2004.
Highly regulated European legislative jurisdictions are giving net gambling the green flag, and it should come as no surprise that European gamblers are now beginning to win their fair share of the online mega-jackpots.
The European players are rolling in the cash in numbers that will turn red, white and blue gamblers to envious shades of green. The proof is in the pudding, as the latest online champion “Jeffrey” won $124,953.75 at InterCasino (www.InterCasino.com) playing the non-progressive Aladdin’s Lamp video slot machine from her home in Holland. This whopping jackpot is one of the largest European e-wins ever recorded, and is on par with the mega-jackpots regularly being claimed by American e-gamblers.
InterCasino is one of the few Pragmatic sites that has been able to successfully offer both a North American and a European online casino. Part of that success is owed to the painstaking detail the company applied to its Spanish and German sites. The language is not just translated, it’s localized. It is details like this that fuel European online gaming.
Online casino regulation in Europe is approached from a different angle than in the US. The UK in particular is embracing online gaming from all angles and expects to have licensed online gaming operators taking bets from England by 2005. A recent report released by England’s MPS on the House of Commons Culture Committee found that the liberalization of betting laws “will not result in a flood of new players getting hooked on gambling.” as is the concern in the US and went on to report “…that the Government will create opportunities, particularly for casinos, to modernize existing gambling products to bring the UK industry in line with other jurisdictions.”
With Europe looking at the online gambling market as an extension of the terrestrial gaming business, there is no doubt that the future of European gambling is set to go interactive. The highest online gaming usage in Europe is currently from the UK, Norway and Germany. But as InterCasino player Jeffery will tell you, Holland has its share of players too.