The pandemic was a major event in everyone’s life. Daily life ground to a halt and even going out to work or exercise was limited as those in power were forced to make tough decisions. Among the many places asked to close their doors were casinos and that prevented people from playing poker. With much of daily life back to how it was pre-pandemic, is the global poker scene back to normal?
Poker During the Pandemic
Breaking poker down to its most basic elements, it is a card game that requires groups of people to get together around a table. So, it quickly becomes clear why the pandemic was an extremely tough period for poker tournament organisers and players. Due to the regulations introduced by governments around the world to deal with the pandemic, most entertainment outside the home was stopped. That saw the temporary closure of casinos and poker rooms across the planet. At the time of the first closures, no one knew exactly how long the pandemic was going to last and it was a worrying time for everyone in the industry. World Poker Tour events and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas were all cancelled and even those who enjoyed meeting with friends to have a game of poker for fun were prevented from playing. In terms of poker being played with people sat around a table, the game was put on hold on global scale.
Fortunately, there was one avenue left available for poker players and that was playing online. Online casinos could continue to operate and that meant a full range of casino games available to play for the millions of people stuck at home. There was certainly a rise in the number of peopleplaying Australia online pokies and the same could be said for online poker rooms. From March 2020, there was a surge in the number of people accessing online poker rooms. All the leading online poker operators were quick to take advantage of the number of people wanting to play poker. Online sportsbook operators, who had previously avoided adding poker to their offering now wanted to include the card game for their players. The question is, now life has returned to normal, have players retuned to playing land-based tournaments?
Global Poker Scene Today
The World Series of Poker, one of the leading professional tournaments is back to normal. There is no need for players to have had a vaccine to participate in the competitions and all the top players have been returning to the table in 2022. Even in 2021, when there were vaccine rules in place, the number of people turning up for tournaments was high, with over 125,000 entries for the 2021 WSOP. The 2022 WSOP main event was the second largest in the history of the competition in terms of the field, with over 8,500 entries. This figure alone suggests the global poker scene is back to normal following the pandemic.