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Aaron Todd

Aaron  Todd

Home-game hotshot Aaron Todd was an editor/writer at Casino City for nearly eight years, and is currently the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications and Marketing at St. Lawrence University, his alma mater. While he is happy to play Texas Hold'em, he'd rather mix it up and play Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw, and Badugi.

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50 billion and counting: PokerStars growing exponentially

17 Sep 2010

By Aaron Todd
Sometime in the next week or two, PokerStars will deal its 50 billionth hand. Yes, you read that right. An Internet poker room that opened less than 10 years ago has dealt nearly 50 billion hands.

Let's put that number in perspective. To deal 50 billion hands in nine years, PokerStars has averaged:
  • 5.56 billion hands a year

  • 15.22 million hands a day

  • 635,195 hands an hour

  • 10,569 hand a minute

  • 176 hands per second
What's even more amazing about this number is that 90 percent of those hands have come in the second half of the online poker room's existence. Launched in September, 2001, it took PokerStars nearly five years to deal its first 5 billion hands. From June, 2006 to date, the site has dealt nearly 45 billion hands, or:
  • 10.38 billion hands a year

  • 28.45 million hands a day

  • 1.19 million hands an hour

  • 19,758 hand a minute

  • 329 hands per second
It's no surprise that the site started growing at such an exponential rate in 2006. After the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in October of that year, several companies (most notably Party Poker) closed up shop in the U.S. PokerStars, which unlike PartyPoker had not gone public, opted to continue to serve the U.S. market.

But the site's growth since that decision hasn't been linear, it's been exponential.

The following are the dates on which PokerStars dealt a "milestone" hand.

What's really nuts about the growth of PokerStars is that the site has dealt out nearly 10 billion hands in the last seven months. Again, more mind-numbing statistics on that period of time:
  • 46.5 million hands a day

  • 1.93 million hands an hour

  • 32,300 hand a minute

  • 538 hands per second
It's no wonder the site can afford its 50 Billionth Hand promotion. PokerStars will deal out 300 milestone hands at every millionth hand leading up to the "Mega Milestone" 50 billionth hand. Players seated at a table during one of the milestone hands will win $50 for every VPP they have earned over the previous 50 hands (plus a bonus $50), while the player who wins the hand will win double that amount.

The 50 billionth hand will award players at the table $500 per VPP earned over the previous 50 hands (plus a bonus $500), with the winner earning twice that amount, plus another bonus of $50,000. All players dealt into the hand will also earn a World Championship of Online Poker Main Event seat, worth $5,200.

Sit-and-go players are also being rewarded with special 50-player tournaments with $1.10, $5.50, $11, $22 and $55 buy-ins. Until Sept. 25, players who win one of these tournaments will claim a share of $50,000, which will be divvied up between all the winners at each buy-in level. Players who win more than one of the events will claim more than one share of added prize.
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