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PokerStars is the largest online poker cardroom in the world.

PokerStars' satellite tournaments produced the 2003 World Series of Poker champion, Chris Moneymaker, as well as the 2004 champion, Greg "Fossilman" Raymer. Those two now act as spokespeople for the cardroom, as does 2005 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem, also a regular player on the site. In March 2007, poker room manager Lee Jones announced his retirement, effective April 1. His successor has yet to be named.

Launched in September 2001, PokerStars is owned by a Costa Rican company, Rational Enterprises. With its company headquarters on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, PokerStars is also licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Canada. Since relocating to the UK Crown dependency, PokerStars has been the subject of financial media speculation regarding a possible IPO or merger with a publicly listed company. Analysts estimated its market value would be approximately $3 billion (US), which would have made the company one of the world's largest privately held gambling companies.

PokerStars overtook PartyPoker as the world's largest online poker room at around the time the U.S. Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Many sites, including PartyPoker, immediately suspended business with U.S. gamblers, while others, including PokerStars, did not. On May 19, 2007, PokerStars dealt their 10 billionth hand.

Since then Pokerstars has grown and has roughly 120,000 players at their tables on a consistent basis and continues to grow at a steady pace.

PokerStars is the headline sponsor of the European Poker Tour. PokerStars sponsored an event on the World Poker Tour called the PokerStars Caribbean Poker Adventure. The World Poker Tour no longer stages this event, so it is now a stop on the European Poker Tour. In 2005, eGaming Review named the "Best Poker Operator of the Year".

PokerStars offers eight varieties of poker games: Texas hold 'em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo (8 or Better), Stud, Stud Hi/Lo (8 or Better), Razz, five-card draw, and deuce to seven triple draw. HORSE and HOSE, "mixed games" that rotate through several of the above, are also offered. Players can participate in real money games ranging from $.01/$.02 (micro limits) up to $1000/$2000.

Pokerstars offers hand history files for analysis, discussion and conversion using a poker hand converter.

The home of the World Championship of Online Poker, the largest online poker tournament series in the world, PokerStars has over 20,000 players playing real money ring games daily, plus thousands more playing real money tournaments or free-play games. During peak operating times, this often adds up to over 120,000 players online simultaneously.'s play money players mix with those logging in from, a free play-only site without real money games.

The site's flagship event is the Sunday Million, a weekly tournament (generally with a $215 buy-in, although this is increased to $530 or $1050 on the last Sunday of each month) with a guaranteed million dollar prize pool. On July 8, 2007, PokerStars debuted a new weekly event, the $11 buy-in Sunday Hundred Grand, which regularly attracts the tournament maximum 20,000 players, making it the largest participated-in real-money poker tournament ever. This total surpassed the previous record of 10,894 players who participated in the May 20, 2007 Sunday Million tournament. On March 2, 2008 the Sunday Hundred Grand was won by World Series of Poker Europe champion Annette Obrestad, who won $20,000 for first place. (Credit: Wikipedia).


Paren Arzoomanian Wins ANZPT Sydney, by Tom Jenkin - 3rd May 2009
(Credit: Poker News Daily)

The first ever Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT), sponsored by PokerStars, just wrapped up its AUD $2,200 buy-in Main Event from the Star City Casino in Sydney. A 25 year-old local student, Paren “Puzz” Arzoomanian, won the high-stakes tournament.

A field of 493 players turned out for the inaugural ANZPT Sydney festivities, seven short of its official maximum capacity. As a result, Arzoomanian banked AUD $246,000 for his efforts. The cancer survivor battled against Gold Coast mortgage broker Lisa Walsh heads-up, with the latter earning the largest payday ever by a woman in an Australian poker tournament. On the final hand, she shoved low on chips with K-9 and was called by Arzoomanian, who flipped over A-5. The flop came J-8-8, leaving Walsh needing a king, nine, or running cards to make a straight. A five on the turn preserved Arzoomanian’s lead in the hand and an ace on the river sealed the victory for the youngster with aces up.

Here were the top nine finishers in Sydney along with their payouts. All figures given are in Australian Dollars:
1st Place: Paren Arzoomanian - $246,500
2nd Place: Lisa Walsh - $162,690
3rd Place: John Caridid - $93,670
4th Place: Chris Kittos - $69,020
5th Place: Majed Haddad - $55,709
6th Place: Vasilios Argyros - $44,370
7th Place: Joel Dodds - $34,510
8th Place: James Newhan - $24,650
9th Place: Xin Zhao - $16,762

Kittos fell by the wayside in fourth place after coming out on the losing end of a race holding A-K against Walsh’s pocket threes. The flop came 2-4-5, adding a straight draw for Walsh and counterfeiting three of Kittos’ outs. The turn came another five and the river was a jack, sending Kittos home AUD $69,020 richer for his wear. Caridid was also sent packing by Walsh, who held A-K against Caridid’s A-8. The board fell 10-2-3-7-J, sending the final PokerStars qualifier standing out of the tournament in third place. Arzoomanian held a 5.6 million to 4.1 million chip lead entering heads-up play.

Two members of Team PokerStars Australia also finished in the money. Tony Hachem grabbed 17th place for AUD $8,874, while Eric Assadourian took 28th place and saw his bank account grow by AUD $4,930. Hachem now sits atop the overall ANZPT Season 1 leader board with 84.8 points, besting fellow Aussie Karl Krautsschneider by 4.8. At the end of Season 1 of the ANZPT, the overall leader board champion takes home prize packages to every Main Event on the PokerStars-sponsored Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) during Season 4 as well as the 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event. The player will officially be sponsored by PokerStars, which will front airfare, tournament buy-ins, and hotel accommodations as part of the AUD $60,000 prize package. The runner up takes home sponsorship for every event on the second season of the ANZPT (valued at AUD $25,000), while the third place finisher will grab AUD $10,500 in buy-ins and expenses to tournaments in the region sponsored by PokerStars.

Here’s a look at the top ten of the current leader board after the Sydney event:
1. Tony Hachem- 84.8
2. Karl Krautsschneider – 80.0
3. Daniel Noja - 69.2
4. Bill Argyros – 69.0
5. Joel Dodds - 67.6
6. Paren Arzoomanian - 67.4
6. Lisa Walsh - 67.4
6. John Caridad - 67.4
9. Mike Stecker - 65.6
10. Tony Dunst – 64.0

After a three week hiatus, the ANZPT will return on May 25th in Melbourne at the Crown Casino. The AUD $2,700 buy-in Main Event plays down to a winner on May 27th and the tournament is capped at 450 entrants. From July 21st through 25th, the tournament series heads to Queenstown’s SkyCity Casino for an AUD $2,500 buy-in contest.




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