The historic pokerroom.com has closed its doors permanently after making a brief return to the real money game market.
The shutdown of this historic site was announced abruptly this morning and assured players of the fund security. Players will be able to cash out funds before March 19th and unused tournament tickets have been converted to cash. Unfortunately, players will not be able to redeem anything for the uncleared bonuses.
The bwin.party owned website was one of the first operators to provide real money poker games and tournaments. Pokerroom.com was launched by Swedish poker players Oskar Hornell and Claes Lidell in 1999. Originally a free play site, the two friends decided to recruit a family member to create a real money online poker site in hopes of potential success of dotcom era predecessors. The pinnacle moment came about after the Moneymaker Boom in 2003 and the site became the flagship skin of the PokerNetwork (later to be Ongame).
In 2006, the successful site entered a new era as Austrian gaming operator Bwin acquired the Ongame network. This major event was unfortunately followed by the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in September. The legislation forced parent company Bwin to withdraw from the United States and turn its focus to the European market. Although the Ongame network and Bwin were able to land gently in the European markets, pokerroom.com was never able to recover from the loss of the American customer base. Bwin.party (post merger) was forced to shut down the historic site in April 2009 due to the lack of revenue.
Pokerroom.com was able to re-open as a real money poker site after a three year hiatus. Bwin.party announced that the site would be launched under the Ongame Network. However, the return was short-lived and today marked the end of an era.
At its peak, pokerroom.com was one of the biggest and most reputable online poker sites in the world. The site was known for its innovative software as well as a loyal customer base. The site was the first one to offer Linux, Mac, and mobile phone applications. The end of an era will certainly bring some sadness for long time online poker players.