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Mara Jade played the 5 Billionth Hand Dealt on Poker Stars.


2006 was a year of mixed blessings for Poker Stars and the entire online gaming world. On the one hand, they continued to enjoy absolutely unprecedented success. For the first time ever, the site hosted over 100,000 simultaneous players, without crashing its servers. In April, Poker Stars hit another very impressive metric when they registered their 5 millionth players. The popular Sunday tournament was growing bigger every week.and began offering a shot at $1 million for just a $216 buy in.

In May, a German playing under the handle, Mara Jade won $57,500 for playing the five billionth hand dealt on Poker Stars. She used the money to pay for an eye operation that saved her failing eyesight.

But it wasn’t all good news in 2006. In October of that year then President George Bush signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (GATS) into law. This act criminalized the transfer of funds to offshore gaming sites and set up the events of Black Friday a few years down the line.

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