History of online poker: origin and evolution

Poker is perhaps the most popular card game in the world, and over the years it has undergone changes that have adapted it to the technological boom of modern society. That has led to the proliferation of online poker rooms, creating a loyal community of players who enjoy the game from the comfort of their homes from their smartphone or computer.

But, how exactly did online poker come about, and how has it evolved since the early days of digitization? Read on to find out.

How long is the history of online poker?

The history of online poker began in the 1990s, ushering in a revolution in the way people play poker. Although poker has been played in various forms for centuries, the ability to compete online completely changed the dynamics of the game. The first online poker platform was established in 1998, when Planet Poker launched its website. This event marked the beginning of a new era in the poker world.

During its early years, online poker-faced significant challenges, such as lack of regulation and players’ distrust in the security of transactions and the fairness of the games. However, as technology improved and stricter regulations were established, online poker began to gain popularity.

Who is Chris Moneymaker and why is he important for poker online?

The year 2003 was a turning point in the online poker history. This was the year that an accountant from Tennessee named Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker (WSOP), the most prestigious poker tournament in the world.

His victory was an extraordinary event because, instead of qualifying through an in-person tournament, Moneymaker had gained his entry into the tournament through an online satellite on PokerStars. His triumph inspired thousands of players to follow his example and play online poker.

Chris Moneymaker’s online poker player history lies in the importance of the fact that his victory proved that anyone could compete with the pros and win. His success story inspired numerous online poker players to pursue their dreams in the game. In addition, his path to victory began with an online qualifier, which further emphasized the impact of online poker on the poker scene.

His online poker player history has got a huge legacy: the well-known “Moneymaker effect”, which has translated into a massive increase in the popularity of online poker. Many players began playing online in hopes of replicating his success. This led to an explosive growth in the number of online poker websites and platforms. The media exposure Moneymaker received also contributed to the online poker boom.

Differences between online poker and conventional poker

Conventional poker, played in physical casinos or at gatherings of friends, has significant differences from online poker. Below, we explore some of the key differences and we explain some of the most important online poker facts you should have already learnt:


Online poker is extremely accessible. Players can participate in games anytime, anywhere, as long as they have an Internet connection and a compatible device. This means there is no need to travel to a physical casino or stick to a fixed schedule to play.

Variety of games

Online poker offers a wide variety of poker variants, from Texas Hold’em and Omaha to Seven Card Stud and more. This allows players to experience different styles and rules of play, which may be less common in land-based casinos.


In online poker, players can maintain a certain degree of anonymity. This can be beneficial for those who wish to avoid public exposure or keep their identity a secret.

Speed of play

Online poker tends to be faster than conventional poker. Hands are developed more quickly, as there is no need to shuffle cards or count chips manually. This allows players to participate in more hands in a shorter period of time.

Safety and fairness

Although there were initial concerns about security and fairness in online poker, technological advances and proper regulation have improved player confidence. Online poker platforms use random number generators and advanced security measures to ensure fair play.

Social interaction

Conventional poker encourages in-person social interaction, with players sitting together at a table, allowing communication and reading opponents’ reactions. In contrast, online poker is played in a virtual environment, which can limit face-to-face interaction. However, many online poker platforms offer chat and real-time interaction features to compensate for this lack of physical presence.

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 – Bigger and Better Than Ever!

Posted by Laksh Pal Singh on 2023-08-23 at 9:41 PM

Pocket52 Poker Sports League Season 5 - Bigger and Better Than Ever!

That was what the Poker Sports League management promised us this year, and that is exactly what was delivered. This edition of PSL was grand in many ways, and I’d first like to thank everyone who made this event possible.

Nitesh Salvi – founder and CEO of Pocket52, title sponsors of PSL, Pranav Bagai, Siddharth Mishra, and Prajit Gambhir, the three musketeers who started this wonderful concept of PSL and have worked endlessly over the last five years to grow this mind sport!

Prajit, you legend. God only knows how many roles you have at PSL! From being COO to the auctioneer to commentary to ensuring that the show goes on every single time, big shoutout to you, brother, and to Vidur also for making sure every pre-show and every stream was super smooth. Sid and his production team, wow, man, I don’t even know what to say. You guys are so good at what you do! This year the production team of PSL has really outdone themselves. From every reel to every Instagram story to every update, I have to say the content was fabulous.

Obviously couldn’t have done it without your ever-so-talented team! Dashank, Madhur, and Pandey Ji, big shoutout to the three of you for doing such a great job and just being awesome people in general. I’m really fond of the entire PSL team and of course the man himself, the mastermind Pranav Bagai for making this happen on Jio Cinema- working day in and day out to achieve his vision for poker in India.

I want to thank all the owners for supporting this league every single year and spreading their love and passion for poker. This league would not be possible without you!


The Experience

Pocket52 PSL Season 5 was something else only. Everyone together on land in the same resort under the same roof, with no hassle of going onto the ship, everyone bonding and interacting.

Personally, for me, the highlight was interacting with the qualifiers from all teams, it’s really nice to talk with someone when you know they look up to you and whatever you’re saying has an impact on them.

It was really heartwarming to meet the Massani brothers, these boys were the heroes of PSL, and that’s another story to tell. Taking a domestic flight for the first time, these two brothers have come from Bhopal and won all our hearts. What gems of human beings, so much confidence, so much energy, I just loved it, to be honest. I had a great time with all my friends and all the other captains who I’m so close to off the felts!

The competition was heavy, and everyone was so passionate and into it. So yeah, GG to my boys – Dirty (Dhaval Mudgal) and Shardul (Parthasarathi) for also taking podium finishes, I had already told Shardul I was going see him heads up and win this time.

Big shoutout to Gaurav Sood, one of the best poker players in India, for playing the finale like an absolute boss man and ensuring I’m shitting myself on the rails while he’s reducing the chip deficit. Love you, Mozzie unlucky one, and you’ll be back stronger we all know it.

Shoutout to Romit (Advani) and Vaibhav (Sharma) for being fantastic team leaders- you win some, you lose some, and I am sure we will see you guys in the top 3 next season!

Now coming to my team, oh man, I don’t think I’ve ever felt such a sense of comradery and team spirit in my life. PSL adrenaline just hits differently. I’ve played a lot of tournaments in my life and hit a lot of one-outers for big money, but I’ve never jumped the way PSL made me jump and shout and scream, and it’s a different kind of excitement altogether.

Bringing a team format and making an individual sport a team game is honestly a genius concept! I would like to thank my team owners, Mr Puneet Mehra, Mehul Shah, and Rishi, for trusting me to lead this team again despite a not-so-great performance the previous year. Special shoutout to their families as well, Toral ma’am Divyansh and Prerna, for cheering on the Mumbai team and making sure our rail was the loudest and full of energy. Really happy that Mehul and Rishi also came down and really felt it with the team and were involved and there from start to finish.

Speaking about my team, I want to say I’m so proud of you guys – every point earned by each of you was crucial to us winning and reaching the finale. I remember the day we reached Goa and had our first team meeting, I was really impressed with Puneet sir because he gave a really inspirational team talk on Day 1 itself, which had a big impact on our team. I have to say one thing about my team, though, everyone was really into it, The togetherness and team spirit was really evident, and I think from Day 1, we manifested the win when we took that picture near the trophy.

Humaara wildcard kaisa ho, Alok Birewar jaisa ho! I think the best decision I made this PSL, other than my obvious retentions of Akshay Nasa and Honey Bijlani, was to sign Alok as my wildcard. I knew Alok wouldn’t do it for the money; he wanted to play PSL, he loves strategizing, he was railing every table every tournament, his team spirit was unparalleled, and the best in the league, so kudos bro I’m proud of you, and you did a great job.

Akshay Nasa, my player, said I am born ready when I asked him if he was going to play the finale. Our strategy was simple, get 250 BB in the finale, send Nasa, and ship it!! Shoutout to Ankit, our 2nd pro, for a great performance joining Nasa in the finale, and also getting the ever so-crucial points in the live MTT, but also for declaring that we’ve won before the league even started.

Honey Bijjlani, for doing more work than the captain, bhai this team would not have won without you, I openly state that you are going to be retained every year for Mumbai Anchors. Nitin Gulati for his passion for this team, getting merchandise and hoodies made for the entire team, thank you, bhai! Simran Malhotra, my fellow Pocket52 team pro, for never disappointing me, for being the number 1 woman player of the league, and for her spirit and love for the team.

Dhirendra Kumar and Avinash Tauro for being on top of things, speaking to the new boys, railing watching the stream making notes, top top performance guys. And of course the new boys Shravan and Nikaas, who I couldn’t believe, played live poker for the first time. They both killed it and got super important points for the team. Every single point contributed by each of you was crucial to this team’s success.

It was a rollercoaster of three days, with ups and downs and highs and lows; the excitement and energy were high, and it was the best three days of my life. Humne bahut chipkaaya, 3 straight days chipkaaya, but you gotta spike to ship, and there was no way Mumbai was not winning this season. Also, a big shoutout to my first mentor and dear friend Sahil Mahboobani for top-notch performance and taking down the Player of the Series, so happy for you, bro!

Lifting that trophy was a great feeling and something that’ll stay with me for life, I hope to recreate many more memories with PSL and Mumbai Anchors!

GG everyone, until next time!

Aaamchiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Mumbaiiiiiiii

Poker Vlogger Plays for $295,800 With Pocket Aces (Analysis)

This poker hand between Mariano and Dan “Jungleman” Cates took over the poker world this summer.

It seemed like everyone and their grandma was weighing in with their opinion after it happened.

It happened on a $400/$800 Hustler Casino Live stream with an $800 big blind ante and roughly $150,000 effective stacks.

I’m going to break it down for you in this article. Let’s jump in.

The End Boss System – Coming October 9th

Doug and his longtime heads-up coach Fabian Adler have been working on a new course called The End Boss System for the last few months.

The End Boss System is literally guaranteed to be a game-changer for you. The course focuses on heads-up strategy, but the concepts and mechanics you learn will help you succeed in any No Limit Hold’em game type.

Join The End Boss System waiting list for free!

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As we approach the October 9th launch of The End Boss System, Doug is releasing in-depth hand analyses videos every Friday. Watch the most recent Doug video here!

Preflop Action

Jungleman raises to $2,600 from the Hijack with . Mariano 3-bets to $8,600 from the Cutoff with . Jungleman calls.

Preflop Analysis

This is a well-played street by both players.

From the Hijack, Jungleman should be open-raising around the top ~25% of hands given the ante present in the game. KQ-suited is part of that range, so well played.

Mariano should be 3-betting with around the top 10-15% of hands. Pocket Aces obviously makes the cut.

Facing this 3-bet, Jungleman should be have a calling range that looks something like:

  • Some low pocket pairs (around 50% frequency for each)
  • Pocket Nines and Pocket Tens (100% of the time)
  • Suited broadway cards (that sometimes 4-bet)

He should be 4-betting his premium hands like Pocket Queens or better.

Flop Action

The flop comes . The pot is $19,200.

Jungleman checks. Mariano c-bets $13,000. Jungleman calls.

Flop Analysis

An action flop gives Mariano an overpair and Jungleman top pair with the second nut flush draw.

Jungleman should be checking his entire range here. He will be way behind Mariano’s range due to the discrepancy in the amount of third pair type hands (such as pocket pairs) and the lack of overpairs in his range.

Despite being roughly 200bb deep, Mariano should not be employing a big bet strategy here. Rather, he should be looking to fire a small c-bet (20-40% of the pot) with his entire range. This works because his range advantage is so massive that Jungleman is forced to over-fold (i.e. fold disproportionately often compared to the pot odds he is getting).

A big bet such as this will put a strong player on alert that you might have a stronger range than expected.

Facing this bet, Jungleman must continue with his top pair plus flush draw. The question is: should he be raising or calling?

Normally, raising would be a good idea given that he would fold out plenty of hands that have equity. But when Mariano bets this big size, his range should theoretically be stronger. Because of this, calling is the best option given the amount of equity (48% against Mariano’s Aces) and playability that he has. 

Turn Action

The turn comes the , making the board  . The pot is $45,200.

Jungleman checks. Mariano c-bets $40,000. Jungleman calls.

Turn Analysis

The turn is a brick, which allows Mariano to keep value betting without fear as both his specific hand and overall range remain strong. Plus, the flush draws (and straight draws) haven’t been completed.

(It’s worth noting that both players have flush draws in their range, here, but Jungleman has more of them.)

Jungleman makes the right play by checking for the reasons mentioned above.

Mariano is in the clear to keep value betting his Pocket Aces as they are way ahead of Jungleman’s range at this point. A big bet like he made is perfect. He doesn’t want to go bigger than that since he’d start losing value from worse hands that Jungleman would otherwise call with.

His size also sets up a nice river shove which, in theory, allows him to win the pot with the most amount of hands from his range. This concept is called geometric bet sizing.

Faced with a bet, Jungleman cannot fold his hand. He has plenty of equity and implied odds. The question to ask is whether shoving generates higher expected value (EV) than calling. The answer to that is: no.

In order for a raise to be higher EV than calling, Mariano would have to fold some stronger hands than King-Queen and also call with some weaker hands. This is not likely to happen in this situation — Mariano would probably call the shove happily with his overpairs and even Ace-Queen.

River Action

The river is the , making the board   . The pot is $125,200.

Jungleman checks. Mariano goes all-in for $85,300. Jungleman calls, winning the $295,800 pot.

River Analysis

The river is a nut-altering card since flushes have now been completed. Having said that, while Jungleman has made more flushes than Mariano, overall their ranges are very close in EV due to the amount of two pairs and better Mariano has in his range.

Jungleman should once again check his entire range since this card hasn’t disproportionately helped his range.

Mariano is faced with a close decision between checking back and shoving for thin value. The EV of these decisions are pretty close when he has Aces with the , which blocks the majority of Jungleman’s flushes ( , , , ).

This leaves Jungleman with only a few flushes like , and maybe . This decision also boils down to how willing is Jungleman to call the shove with his top pair type hands. The more likely he is to call with them, the better a shove with Aces becomes, and vice-versa.

That part remains undetermined and up for speculation.

While many online commenters were quick to criticize Mariano’s play, a lot of strong poker players (including Doug Polk) complimented Mariano on making a solver-approved shove against a top player like Jungleman.

Faced with the all-in, Jungleman has an easy call with his King-high flush.

Do you think Jungleman would have called the river with a hand like top pair?

That’s the critical point on which the river analysis rests. If Jungleman would call with top pair (like the solver would), Mariano made a very smart shove on the river. However, if Jungleman would over-fold with top pair, Mariano’s shove becomes a losing play.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

That’s all for this breakdown. I hope you enjoyed it and that it inspired you to keep working on your game! As usual, if you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comment section down below!

Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!

Note: Want more high level analysis? Doug Polk is releasing in-depth hand review videos every Friday as we approach the October 9th launch of his new course, The End Boss System. Watch Doug’s most recent video here!

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