Live poker took a major hit in 2020 and 2021 following the outbreak of Covid-19 across the world.
The World Series of Poker was forced to move online in 2020, while the majority of other events had to be cancelled.
As the worst of the pandemic hopefully appears to be behind us, live poker organisers have been thinking of innovative solutions to reduce the spread of the virus and to ensure that more tournaments don’t get postponed.
Live poker typically involves eight or nine players huddled round a small table, touching and transferring chips and cards among each other for hours at a time.
This obviously presents a number of risks in terms of Covid-19, here are a few ways that casinos and event organisers have reduced those risks:
Can you play poker in a mask? One of the questions on my mind as Vegas reopens and grapples with how to keep tabs on new cases. https://t.co/9opQzW2jIo
— Marc Lacey (@marclacey) June 8, 2020
Mandatory vaccines for players
The WSOP 2021 announced last August that all players will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in order to take part in the series. This caused confusion among a few players as casinos in Las Vegas generally didn’t have the same requirements.
Chip, table and card sanitisation
According to SunSentinel, several casinos in the US have adopted a strict approach when it comes to sanitisation. All casinos are required by the CDC to clean chips, cards and the table after a certain amount of hands. Players must also wear masks in a number of venues and sanitise their hands regularly.
Screens between players
Some casinos went so far as to put protective screens between each seat at a poker table. This reduces the odds of transmission significantly and has been favourable among gaming regulators.
As 2022 begins, a mammoth amount of live poker events are being planned across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Click here to keep track of any news and the upcoming schedule.
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