Inside PokerStars: “When I’m playing online at PokerStars where do the games take place?”

January 09, 2015

Like other leading technology companies, PokerStars invests heavily in the technical infrastructure of our platforms. Like others, we need to continually develop cutting edge software to deliver a compelling consumer experience.

And that software must sit on a dependable network infrastructure to handle the extraordinary needs of a global poker site. On average, we deal 700 poker hands every second of every day with as many as 20,000 hands being played concurrently. We have 3,500 daily scheduled tournaments contributing awarding more than $25 million of guaranteed prizes into the online accounts of hundreds of thousands of players each week. We’ve even had 481,488 players seated at the site at the same time; that’s more than the population of Sacramento, California.

In an era where bandwidth is at a premium and network congestion is common, we’ve done something very few companies would dare to: we replicated the interwebs. Who does that? Well, companies just like Google, Microsoft and Amazon because they want to make their search results faster, their servers more reliable and their platforms less dependent on telcos.

And PokerStars does because we know that delays in game play are not only frustrating, but can literally cost players money. So we do our best to minimize the risk.

As our Director of IT Operations explains in the video below, just like Microsoft and Google have done, we’ve built an internet on top of the internet. Dedicated lines spring out of the PokerStars Data Centre in the Isle of Man across to Ireland and the UK, then on to Europe in the east and North America to the west.

That’s how serious we are about being the best. We stay focused on the fundamentals and execute as close to flawless as possible. Just as we make sure the PokerStars bank is safe, that the PokerStars deal is random and that the game is fair at the PokerStars tables, we want to make sure when the cards are in the air they land as quickly as you expect them to.

We don’t want players to lose connection during a key hand or to be sat out in a tournament so that someone else can enjoy your big blind. Desktop or mobile, we make sure that connection holds firm day or night wherever you may playing; a café in Italy, a bar in Germany or an apartment in Rio. Your service provider might not always play ball on that front, but we certainly do our part. The video below should go some way to showing how important we take connectivity and our technological infrastructure.

Of course, all online security is not rooted in the physical aspect of the servers, but we do hold that to our usual high standards, too. Biometric clearance is needed to access the server room with each and every entry point indelibly logged; as is every single hand that’s ever been dealt on PokerStars, which is now more than 128 billion.

We’re committed to providing the best poker experience and to growing the game. Having the best poker network in the world makes that a whole lot easier.

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Eric Hollreiser is Head of Corporate Communications for PokerStars and Amaya inc.


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