Planet Poker will always have a place in the history of online poker for being the first online poker room.
The site opened in 1998, a half-decade before the poker boom began. The software that the site used in the beginning was very primitive, but this was understandable since the internet itself was still in its infancy. After a security issue scared off some players, Planet added popular poker author Mike Caro and Roy Cooke (as cardroom manager) to their team to improve the site's reputation.
Planet's primitive software allowed other competitors to enter the market and overtake Planet. Paradise came along with better (and stable) software, PartyPoker came along with better marketing, and Pokerstars came along with better customer service and tournaments.
In response to the UIGEA, Planet Poker suspended real money games in March 2007. They were unable to find an ecommerce processor to work with, so they transferred players' remaining funds to Bodog's poker room. They continued to offer play money poker games poker and stated that they hoped to eventually return to real money operations when the legal climate becomes friendlier.
Although Planet Poker failed to leverage their first-mover advantage into a role as an industry leader, they operated with complete integrity for 9 years and set the standard for others to follow.
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