PokerStars Milestone Hands: A Look Back


In its latest Weekly Scouting Report, PokerScout took a look at PokerStars‘ “meteoric” rise, framing the discussion around Stars’ now-famous milestone hands. From the site’s inception to its 10 billionth hand in mid-2007, more than five years passed. PokerStars celebrated by giving away loads of money for players involved in that hand and many hands leading up to it, and, from there, things took off.

In just one year and nine months after the 10 billionth hand, another 15 billion hands were dealt. In other words, 50% more hands were dealt in just one-third of the time. Another 15 billion hands were dealt over the course of the next year, and then from February 2010 to March 2011, 20 billion more hands were dealt, upping PokerStars’ lifetime total to 60 billion.

As you might notice, that milestone was just before Black Friday, which happened four years ago. Because PokerStars had to jettison its customers in the United States, traffic naturally slowed. PokerScout noted, though, that online poker continued to grow in popularity in Europe; that, combined with the launch of the extremely popular Zoom Poker in May 2012, helped buoy PokerStars’ numbers somewhat. The 85 billionth hand was hit in early 2012 and the 100 billionth hand was dealt in mid-2013.

When those huge billion hand milestones hit, the spike in traffic at PokerStars was incredible. With players scrambling for spots at tables to try to be one of the lucky ones to be dealt into a milestone hand, the site’s traffic made many of the other poker rooms out there temporarily irrelevant. On June 13, 2013, the date of the 100 billionth hand, PokerScout noted that PokerStars’ peak traffic was an astounding 150,000 cash game players at once. And that is without people from the US at the tables.

PokerScout estimated that the next big milestone celebration will be next March for the 150 billionth hand. At the rate hands are dealt on the site – about 1.5 billion per month – PokerStars might not be able to afford to have those gigantic milestone promos every 10 billion hands anymore. Visit PokerStars for details.

PokerScout’s Scouting Report is a daily newsletter for the online poker industry, with in-depth data and analysis of the market. More information can be found by clicking here or contacting

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