First legal Nevada poker site opened
Ultimate Poker became the first fully legal U.S. real money online poker room on April 30, 2013. At the Ultimate Gaming, a subsidiary of Station Casinos, owned Ultimate Poker.
Ultimate Gaming acquired CyberArts, an online gaming company, in 2011. This acquisition gave Ultimate Gaming a poker platform without having to develop one. GamesGrid used the CyberArts poker software in the unregulated U.S. market until 2006. Additionally, Gioco Digitale used the software in Italy by through 2010. Gioco Digitale was the first legal online poker room in Italy, according to CyberArts.
The CyberArts platform became dated. It did not offer features that serious players demand. This hurt the Ultimate Poker reputation from the first day.
The most basic software items were missing at launch. There were no player notes, seat adjustments, hand histories and games other than Texas Hold’em were not involved in the original version of Ultimate Poker. The server also crashed frequently. The software lagged and froze on players.
Players were quick to speak out against the poor product Ultimate Gaming released. The company did not even try to deny how bad it was and did little to improve it. Future updates did not address feature requests and only fixed lag and added Omaha and Omaha High/Low.
Second Nevada online poker site opens
WSOP.com launched on September 17, 2013. This was a few months later than anticipated. WSOP.com hoped to launch during the summer World Series of Poker in 2013.
888 provides the software to WSOP.com. It is similar to the platform used in the international market by 888. Features included graphical hand history, player notes and smooth software that did not crash. The same partnership between WSOP and 888 exists in New Jersey for online poker, but not online casinos.
It also included Omaha, Omaha High/Low, Seven Card Stud and Seven Card Stud High/Low. Players dumped Ultimate Poker quickly in favor of WSOP.com. It only took six weeks for WSOP.com to pass Ultimate Poker in terms of cash game players and become the largest site in Nevada.
Real Gaming became third Nevada poker site
Real Gaming, owned by South Point, became the third legal Nevada poker site in February 2014.
The Real Gaming software was of very poor quality at launch, even compared to Ultimate Poker. Real Gaming’s platform worked but offered nothing in its software, not even sit out or auto post blinds buttons.
Real Gaming has never managed to capture more than 1 percent of the Nevada market. Real Gaming shuttered in 2016.
Ultimate Poker failed
Ultimate Poker ceased operations in November 2014. The entire company went completely out of business at that time, citing a lack of demand and slow move towards legal online gaming in the United States.
Ultimate Gaming left the New Jersey market in October 2014. The company is now defunct.