During 2020, the world had but one weapon to fight the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. This method was called social distancing, and it involved wearing masks and gloves and self-isolation.
The combat against this threat was also conducted by governments who would shut down all non-essential businesses from time to time to lower the spread of the virus. Sadly, this included many land-based casinos and their poker rooms. Some of them didn’t open their doors since the first wave of the pandemic, which has now killed more than 1.5 million people worldwide, and infected more than 63 million.
Hopefully, the end of the pandemic is coming soon, and we’ll be able to go back to our normal lives once again. The UK was the first country to officially approve a vaccine by Pfizer/BioNTech, as soon as it was tested for safety and proved to be 95% effective against COVID-19. Those who are most susceptible to becoming severely ill from this virus can now be at ease.
The Live Poker World Is on Hold
The casino poker industry has suffered a lot since March 2020. When you think about it, poker involves a lot of traveling and meeting people from all over the world. It means sitting at poker tables with plenty of people, increasing the possibility of getting infected and spreading the virus.
Since poker knows no boundaries when it comes to the age of players, it means that a good deal of players are older and more likely to have fatal consequences if they catch the disease.
Some of the biggest poker tournaments did take place, thanks to the Internet. Online poker has been evolving rapidly lately, and 2020 gave a significant boost to it, as tournaments such as WSOP, WSOPE, and EPT all took place on the web.
When Will Live Poker Tournaments Return?
Even if vaccinations are available everywhere, starting as soon as January 2021, it will still take months before everything can go back to normal. The vaccine distribution will be one of the most comprehensive logistics undertakings that the world has ever seen. Not only is there a need to produce billions of vaccines, but also there must be a means of transportation and utilization.
Therefore, the most optimistic outcome is that everything could return the way it was by the end of 2021. However, some predict it will take years before we remove any trace of the COVID-19 disease. Until then, we’ll have to stick to some health and safety rules.
That said, some casinos started re-introducing live poker events, but players still have to stick to the strict health and safety measures imposed by regulators.
We learned from those events that players are more than eager to return to poker rooms and play the popular card game facing their opponents. However popular and convenient, online poker will never be able to replace the thrill of playing the game with other players sitting right next to you.
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