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PokerStars 10th Anniversary review: When two cards just won't do

10th-ann-thumb.JPGThe sheer brilliance of Texas Hold'em is the whole "minute to learn, lifetime to master" thing. It's what brought poker from the smoky, dark parlors to big casinos to the world's living room, to our laptop computers. We play it, we write about it, we hold on to it as part of our collective history as competitors.

But it's not the be-all end-all. It's not the Alpha and Omega. It may be the granddaddy of poker games, but it's just the patriarch of a whole dysfunctional family of misfits who like to get their poker on. Though PokerStars built its ten-year history on a foundation of hold'em, it's also made room for the cranky old aunts and uncles of poker games.

Take, for instance, this very month in 2006. It was then PokerStars launched 5-card Draw and 2-7 Triple Draw. That same year, as part of the World Championship of Online Poker, PokerStars launched Razz and HORSE as part of its offerings. In 2006, WCOOP kicked off the year with a Razz event that lasted for 13 hours. Nearly 1,300 players signed up for the marathon lowball session. Nabokov walked away with the first title.

wcoop-razz-2006.jpg

The first Razz WCOOP final table in 2006

Over its ten years, PokerStars has mined the cavern of poker games and revived interest variants that many people might have thought lost to history. In addition to everyone's beloved hold'em, today PokerStars offering games in all the following disciplines:

  • Omaha
  • Omaha Hi/Lo
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo
  • Razz
  • Triple Stud
  • HORSE & 8-Game Mix
  • HORSE
  • Five Card Draw
  • 2-7 Triple Draw & 2-7 Single Draw
  • Badugi
  • That last game, a combination of poker, witchcraft, and self-loathing (just joking, Badugi lovers), was the latest game to come out of the PokerStars software office. That happened in 2009.

    These days, you can log on to PokerStars and find real money games in just about any variant you like. Both WCOOP and SCOOP host events in all the games and offer championships for players who specialize in the lesser-played disciplines.

    If you're new to poker or have spent the past ten years playing hold'em, check out PokerStars' poker games page for descriptions of all the different ways you can get in action.

    Who knows? You may just find something you like more than hold'em.

    * * * *

    We are publishing these daily review articles throughout November as PokerStars gears up to celebrate its 10th Anniversary.

    Previous reviews:

    ElkY, one name says it all
    Going live at the PCA
    It's a bling thing
    Online wizards cast their spell
    The EPT circus
    Sporting greats
    Making world champions
    Party treats

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