Adam Levy
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Old Man Rooth

I’ve been around poker for a little over ten years now and since online poker moves so much faster than live poker that’s close to a lifetime.

Considering how fast online poker moves, I’d say dog years are a good metric to use. Since I’ve been playing online for 10 years and I am now 31, I’m basically 70 in online poker years. According to my peers it's pretty accurate. They call me @Adam Levy, a.k.a. Roothlus, a.k.a. Old Man Rooth.

I started playing when most Americans did, around the Moneymaker Boom of 2003, which to me felt like the Wild West of Online Poker.

There were plenty of places to log on and play but no one knew anything. Three-bet? What’s that? Re-entry? Never heard of it. Basically my first few years playing poker was experimenting with what I thought was correct, which usually wasn’t. It sure was fun though.

"...the Moneymaker Boom of 2003, which to me felt like the Wild West of Online Poker."


Back then, the highest NL game on #PartyPoker was a $1-$2 $200 max buyin but sit-n-gos were thriving. Party Poker had the fantastic idea to create these Step tourneys and those were quite a hit. The $1060 Step 5s fired constantly and blinds didn’t move up by a time, they moved up by how many hands you played, which on PP was every nine hands. Crazy, right? The Steps were so huge that by 2005, Party Poker had the bright idea to create a Step Higher. This tourney was insane. It’s been a long time so I don’t remember the exact buyins to each level but I think it started at $33 at Step 1 and it was winner-take-all all the way to the final step, Step 6. Step 6 was a $15000 buy in and 1st got $100,000. In the later steps it was no longer winner-take-all but the idea at the time to turn $33 into $100k was mindboggling. I just so happened to be friends with the guy who won the first Step Higher ever ran and was able to witness it. It was madness to see that happen on a computer at the time and really, it still is. I think Party Poker ran only 5 or 6 of these before realizing the absolute lunacy of the idea. Regardless, it was super cool to sweat one while they lasted.

IRC Poker, developed in 1995, was the precursor of modern online poker rooms.


While we are on the topic of Party Poker, around the same time the Step Highers got rolled out, Party Poker changed the structures of their tourneys.

Now I don’t know if it was intended or a silly glitch but once they changed the structures there was this rebuy trick. Basically if you went all in no matter if you had lower than 6k in chips (2x initial buyin) or way higher you could rebuy because technically you had 0 chips while you were all in. I have no idea if they planned it this way but around that time Party Poker was coming out with new ways for their customers to spend as much money as possible on their website and this very well could’ve been one of them. There were no powerful forums and social media wasn’t a thing yet, so Party Poker didn’t have to adhere to certain ethics and rules. On an average day I would buy in for about $300 in the $30 rebuy along with plenty other regs and have about 20k-40k in chips depending on how many people woke up with big hands while I was shoving trying to rebuy. This was a massive edge and it became a routine of seeing Lilholdem954 (@Chad Batista), Bel0wAb0ve (@Kevin Saul), and me, Roothlus, at the final table. I yearn for the days of the rebuy glitch.


This is definitely getting to be lengthy but I hope you enjoyed those two anecdotes from the online poker of yesteryear. 

"I’m basically 70 in online poker years" you made me lol ;) good one 

very nice piece of hstory good for yougsters like me :)

cool article, we're from the same generation I see, is nice to read that i'm not the last dinosaur ahah

Nice article... I was there, playing limit. Something like 20 to 30 tables of 15/30 limit games full ring were running 24 hours a day, crazy times!