The world has changed in many ways since the advent of COVID-19, and one of the things most profoundly impacted has been the world of poker. Live events have basically shut down, and as a result the action has moved almost totally online with a flood of tournaments happening there.
Lately, I have been really enjoying the coverage of the World Series of Poker, which didn’t go ahead live as scheduled in Las Vegas this year due to the pandemic shutdown. But not to be outdone, they moved completely online onto the WSOP.com and GG Poker sites, and have been staging events with real WSOP bracelets on the line. I think this is the last week for the WSOP.com events in Nevada, while the international events on GG Poker go until September.
Not only has there been live reporting and final table live event streaming on YouTube from Poker Central, but we have been able to see a lot of streaming by the players — particularly ones from Daniel Negreanu and Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. (I guess Negreanu got in trouble for one of his streams the other day and got banned from Twitch! I don’t know how that happened.)
Not to be outdone, I notice PokerStars has been heavily promoting its “Stadium Series”, with the likes of James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton doing hours-long live stream coverage with special guest stars like Chris Moneymaker. So I have tried to follow those in an attempt to learn something and improve my own game, which seems to be as bad as ever.
I’ve watched a lot of streaming poker during the past few months of the pandemic, including a lot of WPT streams. I’ll tell you this, the pandemic has really allowed me to reflect on what it is I really care about in life, and I’ve decided poker is one of those things. Well, that and the action sports like the UFC and auto racing — I’m finding myself more interested in that than in supporting the self-centred divas in the other sports.
I’ll tell you one good thing about these tournaments — any bloke can win a ton of money. There was one guy the other day who entered a Stadium Series satellite on a free promo ticket and parlayed it not only into a seat in the target event, but he finished in third place for $57,000! So one can hope.
Anyway, folks interested in following all the breaking news about what is happening online can go to PokerNews.com.
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