2005: Moving to the Isle of Man
The second PCA was the first ever to be held at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. The first legal hand of live poker in The Bahamas was dealt there in a $10/$20 Limit Hold’em game. The Main Event had 461 players for a total prize pool of almost $3.5 million and first prize of $890,600 was won by John Gale from the UK.
At the request of its players, PokerStars set up ways for them to contribute funds toward relief after the tsunami that struck the Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. PokerStars created ‘dummy tournaments’ which players could register for, but rather than actual poker tournaments, the funds went into a charity pool. The players raised over $187,000, which PokerStars more than matched, sending a total of $400,000 to the IFRC.
Largest Weekly Tournament Record
In February, PokerStars weekly Sunday $200+$15 tournament got 2,556 players, making it the first-ever weekly tournament to get a prize pool of over $500,000; first place was $102,240.
In March, the first EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo followed suit, setting the record for the largest poker tournament ever held in Europe. The prize pool was €2,110,000 and Dutch player Rob Hollink took first place for €635,000.
PokerStars Blog and the WSOP*
In April, the PokerStars Blog went online; it was the first official blog for any online poker site.
In June, PokerStars sent 1,025 players to the Main Event of the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, which accounted for over 18% of the 5,619 total entrants. The Main Event was won by Australian player Joe Hachem, who later worked as a brand spokesman for PokerStars.
The Isle of Man Welcomes PokerStars
In August, PokerStars was granted a gaming license by the Isle of Man and the company moved its headquarters there, to a building on the promontory of Onchan Head at the north end of Douglas Bay.
Soon after, the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) more than doubled the previous year’s total prize pool in September, reaching over $12 million.
The WCOOP series included 15 events and almost 20,000 players participated. 1,494 players entered the $2,500 buy-in Main Event, producing a prize pool of over $3.7 million. Three players won more than $500,000 and player Panella86 from the United States won the first prize of $577,342.
*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Caesars License Company, LLC ("Caesars"). Caesars does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerStars or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.