The Effects Of The Coronavirus In The Poker Industry
Due to the volatility of the virus, most countries have taken the necessary steps to prevent it from spreading even further, which includes prohibiting gatherings. Inevitably, the poker industry has been adversely affected, especially the live scene. Big renowned live events and tours have either been postponed or cancelled, like EPT Monte Carlo and WSOP in the Czech Republic just to name a few. Casinos have been forced to cease operations of their poker rooms and there is no doubt that many other live games and tournaments will follow suit. Perhaps one of the more debated topics currently is whether WSOP Vegas 2020, being the most prestigious event of the year, will fall prey to this situation as well.
We have reached out to professional poker players and Natural8 ambassadors Kitty Kuo and Michael Soyza regarding their thoughts on the subject; Kitty has stated that “If one poker player is infected during live tournaments, it will cause further spread. Is it worth the risk?”.
Michael Soyza has expressed his opinion regarding the situation by saying that “Safety is of utmost importance. We should try our best to do what we can to decrease the spread of the virus, even if it means cancelling live events for the well-being of everyone”.
Major names in the industry are supporting the cancellation and postponement of live events, and soon enough it will be the entire poker community as a whole. With no players, there is no poker industry.
Poker Can Still Be Enjoyed
Players believe that this halt on live games and casinos are only temporary, and are looking forward as to when they will be rescheduled. Meanwhile, many have turned to the alternative option to continue playing the game, and that’s online poker. In times like this, one certain trend can be observed, and that is online fields are booming – Twitch for one, has reported their biggest viewership in history. With social distancing becoming the norm across the globe, it is without a doubt that playing poker from the comfort and safety of one’s home is the solution. Soyza has expressed his gratitude for online poker services and believes that poker can still be enjoyed, wherever you are.
“During this difficult time, it’s good that they’re taking measures to stop the virus from spreading further and to protect the players. As for me, I will be playing online as there are various tournaments and cash games that are widely available. It’s good that we can still enjoy poker”, said Natural8 ambassador Danny Tang.
With interest in online poker peaking, many poker platforms are offering great promotions and tournaments with huge guarantees.
Among those are Natural8.com, who will be launching their High Rollers Week from 22nd March 2020 – 29th March 2020 with a whopping $9 Million GTD; they have also bumped up the guarantee for their infamous N8GG Masters to $400k GTD every Sunday. On top of that, multiple low-mid stakes tournaments with increased guarantees will be running every hour, including freerolls and even Holdem, Omaha and Short Deck cash games – the choices are limitless.
Pledged to Aid the Fight Against Coronavirus
In times of crisis, the poker community is known for rallying together. To that end, 0.5% of the prize pool from the upcoming High Roller Series will be donated towards Ontario-based charities that help combat the impact and spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Natural8 will match the fees collected with their own corporate donation. Natural8 is committed to donating a minimum of $100,000 to support the global fight against coronavirus.
Safety Is of Utmost Importance
As most people are practicing self-quarantine, whether willingly or forcefully, it does take its toll mentally and physically. www.cdc.gov has reported that people with preexisting mental health conditions should continue with their treatment and be aware of new or worsening symptoms. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and on top of that, limited freedom can cause further stress. Thus, there are things you can do while you’re under quarantined/restricted movement:
- Take care of your body by getting plenty of rest, eat well and don’t forget to stretch and meditate.
- Distract yourself by doing activities/hobbies that you enjoy such as reading, exercising, listening to music, playing board games, playing online games, cooking, etc.
- Talk and connect with your friends and family. You can contact them via Skype or even call them up and catch up. Nothing is better than being able to speak to your loved ones.
Your personal safety is most important above everything else. The well-being of yourself and others shouldn’t be taken lightly. Taking preventative measures, however small they are, will make a difference. So what are the steps that you can take to help?
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Wear a face mask when you’re out and about, especially if you are unwell.
- Avoid public and crowded areas if possible.
- Use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose, and mouth with unclean hands.
- Wipe surfaces with wet wipes when you’re in public areas such as restaurants, offices, etc.
- Keep a safe distance of 1 metre away from people if you cannot avoid being outside.
- Self-quarantine if you’re sick.
- Call your local health authorities (do not visit a doctor yourself, they will come to you) if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms such as high fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat and breathing difficulties (severe case).
In light of recent updates of COVID-19, together we can get through this by taking precautions and practice social distancing. Don’t forget to stay safe. This pandemic has affected the world negatively, but we have the confidence and hope that this too, shall pass.
Article sponsored by Natural8