PokerStars History

2009: World Records

In late 2008, PokerStars had just entered the Guinness Book of Records for the world’s largest poker tournament after 35,000 players participated in one event. Throughout 2009, a whole new series of world records were set.

In April 2009, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier set a world record for playing 62 tables on during the EPT Monte Carlo event:

On July 19, as part of their fifth-anniversary celebrations, Full Tilt Poker attempted to beat the world record for the world’s largest poker tournament. They arranged for 50,000 players to participate in a tournament starting at 15.20 US Eastern Time that day.

However, after this record attempt was announced, PokerStars decided to beat them to the punch: PokerStars announced its intentions to beat the previous world record, set a new world record,  and do it all before the Full Tilt Poker tournament started.  In doing so, PokerStars ensured that the record was continuously maintained.

The PokerStars tournament featured a $1 buy-in, started at 15.05 US Eastern Time, and featured 65,000 players. Both the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker tournaments comfortably beat the previous record of 35,000 – but since the PokerStars tournament started earlier, it set the new record before Full Tilt Poker had a chance to beat it.

Players, Players Everywhere

On September 6, PokerStars set a new world record for most players at an internet poker room: 307,016 players were simultaneously sitting at 42,813 tables on, and on November 15, the PokerStars Million Dollar Challengebecame the most watched poker TV show in history. Four million viewers watched 9/11 hero Mike Kosowski win $1million, making the show even more popular than the final table of the World Series of Poker* that had aired just the previous week, which incidentally was won by Team PokerStars Pro Joe Cada, who collected $8,547,042 for his efforts.

In addition to the new world records set in 2009, PokerStars launched several new tournament series - the biggest of which was the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) which uniquely offered events at three different buy-in levels: small, medium and high. This allowed even small-stakes players the ability to play in a major championship series. Offline, PokerStars launched three new regional poker tours: the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT), the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT) and the Italian Poker Tour (IPT).

Closing out the year where it began, PokerStars broke yet another world record on December 27, when 149,196 people played in a $1 tournament. ‘oskar69’ won that record-breaking tournament and the $50,000 first prize.

*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.