What a year 2007 has been. 2007 started out with nothing but doom and gloom as many people fretted about the future of the online poker industry post-UIGEA. Go back and read some of your favorite poker sites and see what the prevailing mood was. You had e-wallets closing down to American customers, you had large sums of money frozen in Neteller, and you had many questions about how exactly people would be getting money online now, and what it would do to the online poker industry. Trust me, it wasn't looking too good for the industry about 10-11 months ago.
And after everything that has happened in 2007, Pokerstars (according to Pokerscout.com) broke an online poker traffic record yesterday, becoming the first online poker site to reach 20,000 simultaneous real money ring game players. According to the site, Partypoker's record was 16,960 players in 2006, shortly before they closed their doors to American players.
When you consider all of the scandals of the past 12 months that have tarnished online poker's reputation, this number is all the more impressive. You had Absolute Poker, "TheV0id", more cheating scandals and a dud of a 2007 WSOP Champion, and Pokerstars was still able to set a traffic record in the same year that all of this happened? That speaks volumes about the resiliency and rock-solid strength of the online poker industry.
Sure, the UIGEA ultimately benefited Pokerstars because they lost their main competitor for US customers (Partypoker), but it certainly didn't always look this rosy, especially at the beginning of 2007. The industry moved forward and adapted, with Pokerstars leading the charge. I mean, I remember in early 2007 reading some of the blogs of the biggest online poker players, and some of them were talking about quitting online poker and going back to school because it was nearly impossible to get money online. Times have changed. If you want to get money online now, you can.
So what does the future hold for online poker in 2008? Who knows.. I can't imagine that we will have to deal with anything close to the amount of bad news that we had in '07. But no matter what happens, the online poker industry will continue to adapt and thrive, and there is nothing that anyone in Washington can do about that.
Filed Under: Online Poker Rooms