After what we learned in 2020 what should be our goals as a poker community for the year ahead?
Support your local card room
Show your support to the dealers
As you can imagine all these suggestions reflect heavily on the bizarre year we have all just had as we begin to get back to normal life. The first one might be very easy for those of you desperate to play live poker and this is to give extra support to your local card room. Play there more, tip well, dine there and more.
While online poker boomed, live poker almost did not exist in 2020 and a lot of card rooms have felt the pain. I know a lot of card rooms are tied to bigger casino chains who can easily afford the hit, but that hit could come at the expense of the poker room staff. My own local poker room, The Genting, may not ever reopen because of COVID despite being part of a big chain.
This also extends to card rooms you like to visit, tours you want to satellite into and streams from live events you want to watch. Wherever you can, give them your custom, so they can start to rebuild.
Take a break from online
Maybe play a few less tables
When things do get back to normal, take a longer-than-usual rest from the online game so you can see friends, get out more and reset your mind. For many of us, online poker has been a welcome way to distract ourselves while we are stuck in the house, but I suspect we have all played a bit too much.
Most people will be naturally doing this anyway, so the action will dry up a little when lockdowns end all over the world. It will be the best time to do it.
Online poker will still be there after your break and the real hope is the lockdowns converted a number of new players to the virtual game. This is not the time for FOMO, take some time off from the grind.
Keep washing your hands
When we say things will ‘get back to normal’ the reality is nothing will ever be quite as it was pre-COVID. It will have had negative and hopefully some positive effects on every aspect of daily life.
One thing I really hope sticks around when COVID is a distant memory is the extra steps live poker takes to keep the tables and chips clean. That includes making regular hand washing something we should all aspire to.
It was only after COVID that I realised just how often I would get ill when I returned from live poker events. It turns out hundreds of people passing chips and cards to each other made poker a petri dish of disease. Maybe it’s time we tried to make things more sanitary for all at the live felt?
And for goodness sake, if you have a cold please don’t play live, or at least wear a mask.
What are your poker resolutions? Let us know in the comments:
Barry Carter is the editor of PokerStrategy.com and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy