geeks becoming billionaires. Will someone tell me the
trick please?? Move over, Larry and Sergey, and make
room for Anurag and Ruth.
who are they? If all goes according to plan, later
this month the co-founders of PartyGaming PLC -- Indian-born
computer programmer Anurag Dikshit
and Harvard-educated lawyer Ruth Parasol
-- will join Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey
Brin as the newest members of the Internet-geek billionaire
club. Larry and Sergey got there by helping people
find things on the Web; Anurag and Ruth got there
by helping people find ways to lose money. When it
goes public June 27 on the London Stock Exchange,
in one of the most eagerly anticipated stock offerings
since Google issued public shares last year, the on-line
poker company is expected to have a market value of
close to $10-billion. For a firm that barely existed
five or six years ago, that's not too shabby. Mr.
Dikshit, will instantly become stupefyingly rich,
with a net worth of roughly $4-billion, since he owns
40 per cent of the company. He is 33. Globe
In 1998, on-line poker was mostly
a novelty item, something nerds did when they weren't
playing bloody video games. So Ms. Parasol asked Mr.
Dikshit if he could come up with some software that
would run an on-line poker website. The result was
a company that has grown at an exponential rate, as
on-line poker has become almost as mainstream as football
on Sunday. According to one report, PartyGaming's
pretax profit has gone from about $6-million (U.S.)
three years ago to more than $370-million last year,
and in the first quarter this year it made $128-million,
or $1.4-million a day.
Know when to hold 'em
Britain's PartyGaming PLC, which
runs the partypoker.com website, will sell shares
in its IPO for between 111 pence and 127 pence ($2.01
to $2.30 U.S.) for one of the biggest listings on
the London Stock Exchange in the past five years.
by Gregg Friday