For poker players, the Covid-19 pandemic has presented both opportunities and challenges. While the big online tournaments are drawing record numbers every week, for the live players it’s been devastating. Card rooms across the globe are closed, and even when they’re able to re-open, the thought of sitting next to eight or nine other individuals for hours at a time isn’t exactly acceptable in the era of social distancing.
But our friends at the Hialeah Park Casino outside of Miami think they have a solution. And no, this is not from The Onion.
NEW: Casino in Hialeah, Florida tests their updated poker tables. pic.twitter.com/VEQ6XuJZAO— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) May 14, 2020
Now let’s just make sure all the cards and chips are completely sterilized before every hand and I think we’re onto something here! The average stack of $5 red chips in your local casino makes a Port-A-Potty door knob look sterile under normal circumstances, so passing them back and forth across the felt all day is something we’re just not going to think about when check-raising the turn?
Live poker is different than online because it’s a game where personal interaction and feel play a huge part in decision-making. And now there’s no way to even say hello to the guy across the table, much less ‘nice hand’. I’m not sure what this is, but it’s not anything resembling the low-limit Texas Hold ‘Em game in your local card room.
And I guess they’re just playing four-max now? Besides an old-school game of Chinese Poker, who’s playing four-handed? And I assume we’re all wearing masks here, so that keeps the glass from fogging up?
Anyone that’s played Pot Limit Omaha knows it can be challenging to squeeze four cards in a ring game without revealing your holdings, but now there’s a piece of plexiglass interfering? Plus is there any reflection in the glass your opponents might see? And this is before we point out the scourge of sunglasses at the poker table is now also enhanced with masks, which is certainly better than not wearing a mask right now, but not exactly good for the live environment.
We all miss poker. It’s a game that’s true test of skill combined with a social activity where you’ll meet all kinds of people. Some of us even moved to Vegas and played it for a living for awhile. But trying to force it back like this seems just silly.
But I wouldn’t be surprised to see my fellow Florida Men lined up out the door trying to get a seat as soon as this is available.