Say your goodbyes to your favorite tablemates while you still can, for online poker room PokerHost will be shutting down for good on July 31st. Not shutting down only on its current network as it has done so many times before, but closing once and for all. The announcement was originally made by the poker room to its customers via e-mail at the beginning of this month.
PokerHost was born out of the post-Moneymaker poker boom, when a gajillion-plus-one online poker rooms were launched. I played on all but two of those, collecting every deposit bonus during the glorious days of “bonus whoring,” but for whatever reason, I never played on PokerHost.
It is probably not the worst thing that I didn’t, as the poker room bounced around from network to network to network in its thirteen years. Come to think of it, thirteen years is a really nice run for an online poker room that never elevated itself past “minor” status. PokerHost was never a significant player, but it survived for quite some time, accepting U.S. players throughout its lifespan.
It started on the Dobrosoft Network (if you remember that network, you are truly an online poker veteran) and then moved to the Tribeca Tables in 2006 (Dobrosoft was sold to the Digital Gaming Network later that year). Tribeca was most notably home to Doyle Brunson’s site, Doyle’s Room, at the time and had a fairly unique look, featuring larger cards than most sites.
Tribeca was then acquired by Playtech, the company that owns the iPoker Network. Playtech also owned the Microgaming Poker Network, which is what Tribeca was folded into. But after the UIGEA in the fall of 2006, MPN’s U.S.-facing rooms turned tail, so PokerHost jumped over to the Cake Network. Yes, the Cake Network, the heavily marketed U.S.-facing network that had unique loyalty hooks and came oh so close to succeeding, but was never able to get its roots deep enough in the online poker soil.
In 2012, PokerHost moved to the Merge Gaming Network (getting desperate now) and then to the Winning Poker Network in 2014, which is where it has been ever since.
PokerHost always seemed like one of those sites that you went to on a network as a third resort if you needed a deposit bonus or wanted a rakeback deal and still wanted to stay on the network. It wasn’t a bad site, it was just never the headliner. Minh Nguyen was its big poker pro back in the day.
Those who have yet to withdraw their funds from the poker room would be wise to do so now before it closes its doors at the end of the month. There is no indication that funds are in danger, but it will likely be much easier to cashout while the site is still operating than taking a chance later. Plus, you never know how long the site will actually be up, even with no games running.