Below we've summarized the most important poker news stories of 2005. All news items are available through the monthly news archives.
December 18, 2005 - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is investigating a $700 million offer for California-based WPT Enterprises made on behalf of Doyle Brunson by the Las Vegas law firm Goodman & Chesnoff PC. After announcing the offer in July this year, WPT's share price increased rapidly by more than 50 percent, but it went down just as fast when WPT couldn't get any info on the offer from neither Brunson nor his attorneys.
December 11, 2005 - PartyGaming gave a very positive trading update at the end of last week. A company spokesman said overall revenues were up substantially due to the successful introduction of Blackjack in the pokerroom. Forty percent of all poker players are also playing Blackjack, a game with a higher profit margin for the house than multi-player Poker.
December 11, 2005 - Austrian gambling company BetandWin announced this Friday it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Ongame, a Swedish software company that owns PokerRoom.com, regarding a possible takeover for an estimated $500 million. If successful the takeover would make BetandWin the second largest online gaming company after PartyGaming.
November 13, 2005 - Last week we reported PartyGaming is negotiating a possible take-over with Empire Online. This week the news surfaced that PartyGaming has bought MultiPoker and IntertopsPoker, both former so-called 'skins' of PartyPoker. A third skin, Coral Eurobet, has decided to go it's own way and is preparing to migrate it's player base to another platform, which is rumored to be the OnGame poker network.
November 13, 2005 - PokerShare will be closing it's doors at 9AM ET on November 14. PokerShare, an online poker site running on the Excapsa platform, offered their clients a 40 percent share of it's profits. Apparently the closure was triggered by complaints from other skins, including UltimateBet, that PokerShare's innovative business model resulted in unfair competition.
November 6, 2005 - For months now - since Party Gaming's IPO in June - there has been industry speculation that the world's biggest online poker site will make acquisition moves on what was at one time one of it's greatest player magnets - Empire Poker. This week Empire revitalized the conversation by confirming that PG had made a "preliminary approach".
October 15, 2005 - Party Gaming has released its first interim report this week, covering the six months to end June 2005 - its first since listing on the London Exchange earlier this year.
October 15, 2005 - Speculation on the Internet was rife this week at the news that PartyGaming subsidiary PartyPoker was to shed it's client "skins" as part of a strategy to build a new, fully integrated PartyGaming site.
September 24, 2005 - World Poker Tour Enterprises has sued the Travel Channel in a California court for interfering with it's contractual right to air it's new Professional Poker Tour program on a non disclosed third party network (most likely ESPN).
September 23, 2005 - Sportingbet, the largest online gaming company in the UK, cancelled takeover negotiations with Empire Online this week. Shares of both companies declined after the news was released. Empire Online took the largest hit, with an almost 20% drop.
September 17, 2005 - Senator J. Kyl's proposal to amend an appropriations bill with legislation prohibiting online gaming was defeated in the Senate this Thursday. Senator Kyl is fighting his battle against online gaming for almost a decade now, but has never succeeded in his efforts to ban it, as illustrated by his latest attempt.
September 1, 2005 - Both Absolute Poker and PokerStars have announced they will be hosting online poker charity tournaments to raise money for the American Red Cross in their effort to bring relief to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
August 10, 2005 - Cryptologic's share price took a 25% beating earlier this week, due to the announcement that BetFair poker, one of Cryptologic's nine poker licensees, has plans to develop it's own poker room. The fast growing poker business currently accounts for 30 percent of Cryptologic's revenue.
August 2, 2005 - Empire Online, the owner of Empire Poker, has reached an agreement to buy Noble Poker , the largest poker room powered by Playtech's iPoker software. The deal will give Empire Online control over Noble Poker's player database, brand and other intellectual property.
June 27, 2005 - After completing it's flotation on the London Stock Exchange successfully, PartyGaming shares rose another 9 percent in early trading. The PartyGaming IPO is the biggest in the U.K. in five years, and PartyGaming is expected to be admitted to the FTSE 100 this autumn.
June 19, 2005 - Following our InfoPowa reports last week on this IPO, Empire Online Limited, provider of marketing services to the online gaming industry, has announced the admission to trading of its Ordinary Shares on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
May 30, 2005 - The land and online popularity of poker shows no sign of slackening and participation records will be shattered in coming weeks when the 36th World Series of Poker opens in Las Vegas, US reports said this week.
February 19, 2005 - The World Poker Tour (WPT) will launch its third smash-hit TV season on March 2 this year on The Travel Channel, awarding a record-breaking $70+ million in prize money.
February 6, 2005 - Television coverage has fueled the phenomenal growth in the poker industry in recent years and nowhere more so than in the virtual gaming rooms on the Internet.
January 30, 2005 - The world's biggest online poker company, Party Poker , revealed this week that it may float on the London stock exchange as new figures suggested that 80 percent of Europe's internet gamblers are British, and roughly a third of those are women.