Live poker has been shut down for over six weeks in almost every territory around the world.
Since Coronavirus forced the game back inside people’s homes, poker has continued, however. Online tournaments have welcomed players who might usually have ventured outside into their virtual lobbies and poker brands such as PokerStars, partypoker and GG Poker have all hosted big events in the last few weeks.
With the looming possibility that Las Vegas has been secretly preparing to reopen venues such as casinos in order to maintain an economy in a city built on the entertainment and gambling industries, the obvious question has been whether live poker will come back and if so, how and when?
Plans to reopen Live Poker game are obviously riddled with issues. How do you keep players from transmitting the Coronavirus when the cards, poker chips and dealer button are all potentially contaminated?
A glimpse at the equipment needed to restrict players from being in contact and maintain a social distance has led to some poker players commenting disparagingly on the visual for what would be an incredibly complicated physical set-up, although Phil Galfond of Run It Once chose to focus on what many players thought; that playing online would be much, much easier than resorting to this sort of table sitting in your local casino.
With poker likely to return with a maximum of four poker players to every table, there are huge logistical and financial implications of such restrictions. Casinos are already talking of having to employ one dealer to shuffle up and deal and another to disinfect the currency and controlling elements of actual gameplay. Again, consider how long this sort of process would take.