Although folks in the States of America haven’t been able to play on the international site since 2011 (more on that in a minute), PokerStars has continued to be the #1 online poker site in the industry. In fact, that dominance has been demonstrated in the sheer number of hands they’ve played on the site. As PokerStars nears their 200 BILLIONTH hand played, they have announced a slew of celebratory giveaways for their players.

Several Giveaways Available

For those that can access the PokerStars festivities (everywhere in the world), there are several choice giveaways available. The Spin to Win promotion has awarded more than two million spins to players, with 17 of those spins handing out $2000 each to their lucky recipients. On the tables, freeroll prize pools totaling $150,000 have been divvied up by the players and another 15,000 Stars Chests have been given to players on the cash game virtual felt.

By far one of the biggest rewards has come from the PokerStars Twitter page and their Stars Store. The Stars Store is offering some merchandise for free, but there is one caveat. The items being offered for free will be on a first come, first served basis and, once the items have sold out, those freebies are gone. PokerStars suggests that those looking for the free merchandise check daily to see what is available.

From now through May 2, PokerStars will be using their Twitter feed for what they are calling their “Spin and Globes Awards.” Utilizing their Twitch channel along with their Twitter feed, players are encouraged to vote for their favorite “happenings” on the PokerStars video archives. Such categories as “Best Bluff,” “Best Lay Down” and “Best Winning Moment” are just a few of the subjects that players will be able to vote for.

For those who participate, they can win a $7 Spin and Go ticket, which could be parlayed into a $20,000 windfall. All a player has to do is go to the PokerStars Twitter feed, Tweet their favorite from the eligible videos and Twitch streams, put their Stars ID on the Tweet and tag it with #SpinAndGlobes to be eligible. PokerStars will choose at random from those entries to determine who gets the special celebratory spins.

A History of Excellence

It would have been completely ludicrous to think that, nearly 18 years ago, PokerStars would be where it is today. Back in 2001, there were very few online poker sites in the business and even fewer that players believed in. Isai Scheinberg, the founder and creator of PokerStars, saw that there was a need for an online poker site that catered to the players and, on September 11, 2001, PokerStars opened their doors for business.

To say that they came out like gangbusters would be inaccurate. In fact, PokerStars for several years battled with the preeminent rooms in the business, PartyPoker and 888Poker, to find their place in the game. In 2004, another new online poker room, Full Tilt Poker, stepped in and the market further fragmented.

Everything changed come the fall of 2006. The passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act of 2006 saw PartyPoker and 888, as publicly traded entities that couldn’t violate gaming laws, withdraw their product from the U. S. PokerStars and Full Tilt, as private entities, weren’t bound by such restrictions and they remained in the U. S., rocketing them to the top of the industry.

Since then, PokerStars has reigned supreme on top of the online poker industry. Although the international site would leave the U. S. in 2011 (“Black Friday”), PokerStars would absorb Full Tilt Poker and eventually return to New Jersey in 2013 (and will return to Pennsylvania on July 15). The site dealt its 100 billionth hand during the summer of 2013, so it is quite stunning that it only took almost six years to deal another 100 billion hands to the present celebration. It would be better if U. S. players could celebrate alongside, but congratulations to PokerStars on a previously unfathomable milestone! For those who would like more information on the 200 Billionth Hand Celebration, visit the PokerStars website.

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