According to a tweet from an Bwin’s SEO Manager Josef Rantamäki, the pokerroom.com brand, one of the first poker rooms ever to offer real money poker online, is going to re-open.
“Wow! www.pokerroom.com will be relaunched and once again offer real money poker games,” tweeted Rantamäki early on Wednesday. So far, no further information can be gleaned out of Bwin nor the pokerroom.com website.
First launched in 1999, PokerRoom can lay claim to one of the first online poker rooms in existence, two years ahead of today’s big brands like PokerStars and PartyPoker. It grew during the Moneymaker boom years, joining the Ongame network to become one of its most recognizable brands in online poker, a household name alongside the likes of PartyPoker.
But the expansion came to an end in 2006 with the passing of the UIGEA. The Ongame network chose to pull out of the US market, meaning brands like PokerRoom.com had to step aside for the likes of PokerStars, Full tilt and Ultimate Bet to capitalize in the United States.
That did not spell the end of brand. It continued to operate and was a key name on Ongame for three more years. It was in an unexpected move in 2009, PokerRoom closed down; after ten years of operation, players were moved over to parent company Bwin and the pokerroom.com site has remained all but dormant.
Since then, Bwin merged with PartyGaming, operator of the PartyPoker, becoming the largest public online gaming company in the world. The group plans to merge the Bwin players over to the PartyPoker platform and sell the Ongame network by the end of the year. Along with PartyPoker and PokerRoom, bwin.party also owns Empire Poker and the ClubWPT brands.
The group also announced a formal partnership with B&M casinos MGM and Boyd Gaming to provide the online gaming platform for US customers if US regulation passed.
With these issues in mind, it would be a surprise if the Poker Room brand were to return to Ongame. Nostalgic customers can only speculate as they wait for more information to emerge.