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PokerStars October 2001

PokerStars October 2001

Isai Scheinberg and Mark Scheiberg, his son, founded PokerStars in 2001. Isai became fascinated with the concept of online poker and building a software that could accommodate large tournaments.

After quitting his job at IBM, he started his own company and brought his son with him to Canada to start the project with some programmers. He called the company Pyr Software.

The software for PokerStars went live Sept. 11, 2001, offering play money games. Its first event was a tournament that evening.

In December of 2001, PokerStars started offering real money gaming and established a management and customer support office in Costa Rica.

PokerStars offered seven real money tournaments in the fixed limit betting format: hold’em, seven-card stud and Omaha Hi-Lo Eight or Better. By December, they also offered pot-limit hold’em, pot-limit Omaha Hi-Lo and pot-limit Omaha.

Fun facts: PokerStars’ first account holder was Swedish player Oskar Hornell or “pokermaniac” and PokerStars was the first site to allow players to use their own avatar, which were vetted by customer support staff.