PokerStars: 5 Billion Hands in Five Years Shows Online Poker’s Amazing Growth

by Lou on May 29, 2006

PokerStars dealt out its five billionth poker hand last week and along with it, a $57,500 cash prize awarded to a 30-year-old grocery store manager from Germany.
Manuela, pictured here, was playing at PokerStars late one evening when the landmark hand took place. At the time, more than 100,000 poker players were logged in from all over the world. Manuela (known at PokerStars as “Marajade”) was playing in a friendly five and ten cent no-limit hold’ em game and was ecstatic to learn she had won the key five billionth hand.

“When I heard about the promotion at PokerStars, I just had to log on and play,” Manuela said afterward. “I had not calculated on actually winning the prize. I just wanted to be part of the fun. Some of the other players were playing at multiple tables to increase their chances of winning. But, I just played at the one table, and I got lucky and won it!”

For the winner, the prize money came at an ideal time and will be used for a special purpose. “I was born with an eye disease (that could cause me) to eventually go blind,” Manuela said. “I need to have an expensive eye surgery. Thanks to PokerStars, I can now have the surgery without worrying about the cost.”

This is a nice human interest story and the winner is clearly deserving. But what’s more amazing is how these numbers demonstrate the growth of online poker over a relatively short period of time. PokerStars.com dealt out its very first hand in September, 2001 and reached the amazing number of 5 billion in only five years. To equal that number of hands, a casino poker dealer would have to deal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for over 16,000 years!

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