In this column we deliver you the latest and most interesting online poker industry news from across the world and all platforms.
Financial Crisis and Bankroll Fatigue?
Many were celebrating the poker traffic and volume of games and play over the Covid months. What has been predicted to become an issue down the line was on the one hand a global economic crash, affecting all people, and on the other hand a depletion of poker funds for most poker players.
As only 10-15% usually end up with the money, the majority of players are left empty-handed and with a financial crisis dawning, funds will need to be used for real-life appliances rather than online gambling.
Now the writing is on the wall as more and more poker sites struggle with overlays and future event series are at risk to fail in devastating ways.
For the last week PokerStars’ Stadium Series events are overlaying in the higher buy-in tiers adding up to almost $200k in overlays. The poker community is wondering if this is the beginning of the end of the “Covid poker boom”, if it’s simple bankroll fatigue, if players rather focus on the GGPoker and partypoker series or if it’s just PokerStars being in trouble, because finally players do have a choice of competition and are able to turn their backs on the disgraced poker site.
Either way, we will have to watch closely how things develop over the next couple of weeks and months. PokerStars’ WCOOP is widely expected to fail when it comes around in September as players will just have gone through all the big online series over the summer.
If you want to participate in the conversation, poker pro Patrick Leonard has kicked off a Twitter thread about this topic saying, “I’m 95% sure a huge financial crash is coming which will decimate us.”. With “us” he refers to the high stakes stable he’s running but also to the poker community as a whole.
Have been watching online poker very closely over the last 2 months with having a stable that's invested 10s of millions in this time, a role at one of the biggest sites + I've basically played HS every day. I'm 95% sure a huge financial crash is coming which will decimate us.
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) May 11, 2020
Poker Twitch Streams this summer
Just as the Covid months had preluded many people around the world like to stay inside and get involved in online entertainment of all kinds. This is not just playing poker, gambling or playing other kinds of games, it also means watching Netflix and of course gaming/poker streams.
The summer has started to ramp up an array of online poker series that people can now follow along if they are involved themselves or not. The content is available on different platforms but predominantly on Twitch.
And yes, streaming online poker without hole cards is often not as entertaining and so it will still be interesting to check out the usual streaming subjects with their delayed poker streams, but displayed hole cards.
Here is a selection of channels to check out:
- PokerStars: Recap shows with commentary by Joe Stapleton & James Hartigan
- GGPoker: Recap shows with commentary by David Tuchman and guests
- WSOP: Recap shows with commentary by David Tuchman and guests
- WPT: different hosts and guests
- Poker Central: different hosts and guests
- Partypoker: different hosts and guests
Global Poker runs $500k GTD prize pool
Global Poker is a sweepstakes-based poker room that is legal to play in the U.S. and other unregulated markets because the site uses coins that can be exchanged into cash payouts under certain conditions. Global Poker is licenced and legitimized through the Malta Gaming Authority.
For the second time now Global Poker has put up an event with a $500k (equivalent) guaranteed prize pool that only slightly overlaid.
Global Poker GM David Lyons tweeted his excitement about the event:
Global Poker is an interesting solution to a wide-ranging problem and it’s going to be interesting to watch the development of this sweepstakes-based poker offering.
Chaos in Swedish Gambling Restriction Measures
During the Covid crisis many countries had put measures into place to protect their citizens of the dangers of extensive online gambling and so did Sweden. The government introduced new temporary measures that came into effect on 2 July for the rest of the year. The measures include a SEK 5,000 ($546) weekly deposit limit for online casino and slots, time limits on online casino and slots, with horse racing and sports betting exempt from the measures.
Apparently the rules were so poorly written, however, that many providers don’t know how to actually apply the rules. Swedish trade association Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) general secretary Gustaf Hoffstedt has called for the Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) to provide clarity on the new deposit limits.
“Most of the gaming companies’ lawyers with whom I spoke are of the opinion that the regulation is unworked and poorly written, which has led players to interpret the regulation differently. We were many who warned that measures, which were not based on facts and thorough impact assessments, could lead to an aggravated situation for both the licensed companies and their customers.
“The chaos that the gaming industry, like other experts, warned of has now occurred. We are now in a situation where neither the private nor the state-controlled companies know how to act and it is obvious that different actors interpret the new regulation in different ways.”, he adds, “The question is who really wins this besides the companies that are outside the licensing system?”