|LOS ANGELES, CA – February 27, 2006 – PokerStars.com, the world’s largest poker tournament website, reached the 100,000-player milestone last week. The occasion marked the first time ever that 100,000 poker players were logged on simultaneously in games at PokerStars.com, or anywhere else. To give the milestone some perspective -- less than three years ago, PokerStars broke the 10,000-player mark for the first time. Now, ten times as many players and games are going around the clock at PokerStars. Another fact: The world’s largest land-based casino has 243 poker tables. On a typical weekday evening, PokerStars.com has up to forty-times as many games going.|
“I started playing online at PokerStars back in 2001,” said Joe Hachem, the reigning World Series of Poker champion. “Back then, I recognized many of the opponents I regularly played against. Now, each time I log on at PokerStars.com, it’s like walking into the world’s largest sports stadium. There might be 100,000 people there. Players are logged in from countries all around the world. It’s amazing. I don’t think anyone could have possibly foreseen how popular poker would become and how fast PokerStars would grow in such a short period of time.”
In response to its growing popularity, PokerStars.com is introducing an unprecedented guarantee. Beginning February 27th, all Sunday afternoon no-limit hold’em tournaments – with buys-ins of either $215 or $530 – will pay out at least $1,000,000 in prize money to the top finishers. On the final Sunday of every month, the buy-in is $530. For all other weeks, it’s $215. PokerStars also offers a quarterly tournament with a $1050 buy-in. The starting time for all million dollar tournaments is 4:30 pm EST.
The million-dollar tournaments will be accessible to all poker players, regardless of their bankroll size. While many players buy-in directly, not all entrants will pay the full fee to enter. Every day, PokerStars offers many different kinds of satellites to the big weekly events, with buy-ins starting at $3. Other satellite qualifiers cost nothing other than frequent player points acquired from playing regularly at the site.
'A year or two ago, a $1 million guarantee on a weekly poker event would have been unthinkable,” said Lee Jones, PokerStars Cardroom Manager. “Now, thanks to PokerStars and its players, it's become a reality. Players have responded to the quality of our tournaments, and we have recognized that by increasing our guarantee, from $750,000 to $1 million. We're delighted to do it, and look forward to some monster final table prizes in the coming weeks.'
Speaking of “monster final table prizes,” weekly tournaments at PokerStars have already begun to set new records. For instance, one week ago the $215 buy-in Sunday afternoon no-limit hold’em tournament attracted a whopping 5,326 players – nearly equal to the record-setting number of the main event at last year’s World Series of Poker. During the month of January, $140 million was awarded to players in all tournament prize pools combined for the month, an extraordinary figure likely to be eclipsed soon. No other poker site or casino comes close to awarding this amount in prize money.
For thousands of poker players, PokerStars has become the preferred gateway to playing in big-time tournaments. In addition to sending players to prestigious events such as the World Series of Poker (satellite qualifiers will begin soon) and World Poker Tour, as the exclusive sponsor of the European Tour, PokerStars.com is also sending players to the EPT championship finale, to be held in Monte Carlo, March 7-11, 2006. PokerStars is also known for its World Cup of Poker event, which is conducted annually with national teams from 40 countries participating. And now, with $1 million up for grabs every single week, players can log in to PokerStars.com from home and play for prize money which rivals the biggest poker tournaments shown on television.
PokerStars (www.pokerstars.com) is the world's most innovative online poker site. PokerStars was the first site to introduce features that became industry standard such as sophisticated multi-table tournaments, integrated game statistics, players' notes, personalized images, time bank for tournaments and big bet ring games, satellite tournaments, multi-table sit and go tournaments, and much more.
To date, PokerStars has dealt nearly five billion hands and run more than 20 million poker tournaments, awarding well over $4 billion in prize money. PokerStars has dealt out over 4 billion hands and has 4.7 million registered player accounts. PokerStars' support team is truly unique, as help and assistance is available around the clock from people who know and understand the game of poker and the importance of impeccable customer service.
The PokerStars.com site is also one of the most secure. PokerStars uses industry-leading security software to ensure the integrity of the system, including encryption, card shuffle randomness and preventative measures against cheating and collusion. Money covering player's balances is held in segregated accounts managed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, ensuring that PokerStars can fulfill its obligations to players at all times.
PokerStars is an official member of the World Poker Tour, and the title sponsor of the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. During the last three years, PokerStars.com sent more players to the World Series of Poker than any other source or website. A whopping 1,116 entrants qualified to play last year via PokerStars satellites. PokerStars is the site where the 2003 and 2004 World Series of Poker champions won entries into the World Series of Poker. The reigning world poker champion Joe Hachem, has also been an active player at PokerStars since 2001. He joined Moneymaker and Raymer as official representatives of PokerStars.com, thus fortifying the company trademark, 'Where Poker Players Become World Champions.'
For further information, contact:
Victoria Coxon Ph: 0207 208 7287 Email: Victoria_Coxon@jcpr.com
Shelley Bishton Ph: 0207 208 7257 Email: Shelley_Bishton@jcpr.com
Sara Dark Ph: 0207 208 7223 Email: Sara_Dark@jcpr.com