Op-Ed: PokerStars on life after Black Friday and setting a world record Special

Posted Nov 14, 2011 by Alexander Baron
PokerStars is the world's largest poker site; unlike its rival Full Tilt, it has survived the April 15 domain seizures very well, and is now about to host the largest tournament in history.
TheDarkMan pulls off an outrageous bluff in a Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo Tournament  March 19-20  2011.
TheDarkMan pulls off an outrageous bluff in a Pot Limit Omaha Hi Lo Tournament, March 19-20, 2011.
PokerStars is 10 years old; it opened for business on September 11, 2001 - gambling for play money only. On December 12, gambling proper started on it. Although originally a Costa Rican company, it was founded by Isai Scheinberg, an Israeli.
This nationality and the founding date will no doubt have great significance to David Icke and his fellow 9/11 Truth loonies, but of course, the launch date of any large international operation will have been decided well in advance. PokerStars is now based in the Isle of Man, and is owned by Rational Entertainment Enterprises Limited. Information about the company can be found on the relevant pages of its website.
America has as much a claim to the invention of the Internet as any nation, and is also the home of poker, so obviously it should be the home of on-line poker. Unfortunately, not everyone sees things that way, and since at least 2006, dark forces have been at work to criminalise on-line poker in the USA, culminating in the unsealing of an indictment and the seizure of major poker site domain names in April this year.
American poker players are fighting back through the Poker Players Alliance, but the people who run these websites: the programmers, technical and administrative staff, etc, have to eat. While the takeover of Full Tilt by a French firm proceeds at a snail's pace - or doesn't proceed at all, as the case may be - other poker sites have accepted the inevitable, that for now the USA is out of bounds. As PokerStars has never been a US company, this has not affected it as badly as it might have.
Digital Journal spoke to Yulianna and Peter from PokerStars support about the current legal malaise and their forthcoming mega-tournament where for a humble dollar, poker players worldwide can partake in the largest on-line flutter in history.
AB: Can you tell me how your site is fairing now that the international poker community has had time to recover from the Black Friday seizures?
PS: Outside the US, PokerStars continues to operate business as usual.
PokerStars is owned and operated by a legal entity licensed and located in the Isle Of Man (a Crown dependency of the United Kingdom) and we pride ourselves in abiding by all relevant laws and regulations. The Company has received assurance from the Isle of Man regulator that its licence status is unchanged. The company remains compliant with all of its other international licences. PokerStars' services outside the US are NOT affected and will continue to offer its services to all other jurisdictions.
AB: Players are not at risk of losing their money?
PS: All PokerStars player deposits are completely safe. The Isle of Man's strict licensing laws (similar to other jurisdictions where PokerStars holds licenses) require all funds to be held in accounts that are segregated from company assets. PokerStars has always complied with this requirement and continues to do so.
AB: Do you think you will make this world record attempt on December 4, more to the point, how long will it take?
PS: We are aiming to beat the last tourney, played at PokerStars in 2009, with 149,196 people participating and taking over 8 hours to be played. Unfortunately, as we do not know how many players will actually partake, we cannot advise you on how long it will take.
AB: And will the software be able to stand it?
PS: Rest assured that the software has been built to withstand even more players, as was proved by our most recent promotion, 70th Billion hand.
AB: Who says this will be an official world record?
PS: In regards to the record becoming official, we can assure you that we have taken all the necessary steps to guarantee that this record will be recognized and published by The Guinness Book of World Records. We will also be providing a certificate of participation, which everyone who plays the event will be able to download and print after the tournament is over.
For more information about our World Record Tournament plus more exciting 10th Anniversary promotions please visit this link.
Unlike most other sites, PokerStars does not offer rakeback. If you want to get paid to play, check out the affiliate RakeTheRake, and sign up with one of their client sites.
Having said that, PokerStars does offer an attractive Frequent Player Points Scheme, a generous sign up bonus, and a host of special offers that you can check out at this link.
It also has its own blog, its own radio station, and a host of other goodies. It's a pity the American Government doesn't see it like that.