WSOP unveils part of its online schedule
In early June the World Series of Poker announced a change in tact for the 2020 season, planning to offer 85 tournaments, offering WSOP gold bracelets.
That leaves Natural8 will be the closest skin on the network to offer tournament action for people in the Asia-Pacific.
While Natural8 doesn’t accept players located in Australia, it does offer services to other countries, like New Zealand, in the region.
The coronavirus pandemic changed the course of nearly everything in 2020 and derailed the plans of poker players when casinos around the world closed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Australia did relatively well to contain the virus, closing down in mid-March and reopening very slowly in June and soon to July.
Other parts of the world did not do as well, the United States being the most glaring example.
Las Vegas was one of the cities to open its casino in June, and Sin City is now seeing a spike positive cases of COVID-19.
The direction of the disease curve is tough to predict going forward, but the World Series of Poker knew two things for sure when it had to face the 2020 WSOP.
First, poker tournaments would not be safe for many, many months, no matter how low the numbers.
Second, international flights would not be encouraged for a long time, either.
The WSOP’s announcement in April to postpone the 2020 summer series was not altogether unexpected, although it was disappointing for poker players around the world.
A few days into June, WSHOP made the announcement that WSOP 2020 Online was this year’s answer to the poker tournament dilemma.
When the series gets underway on July 1, it will be happening on WSOP.com, a poker site available only to players in two American states – Nevada and New Jersey.
Players only need to be located within the borders of those states and detected by geolocation technology to play.
Those from anywhere in the world would be welcome to play…if they were international flights and no coronavirus concerns.
Even so, the US players will see one tournament per day from July 1 to 31.
With the US tournaments slated, that leaves 54 tournaments for the rest of the world, specifically anyone in countries approved by the GGPoker Network.
In the Asia-Pacific, Natural8 restricts players from Australia, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Places like Cambodia, Vietnam and New Zealand are not restricted.
There may be some location validation issues with players travelling from other countries to play, however, such players should contact Natural8 before doing so.
The GGPoker Network tournaments will begin on July 19 and run through September 6.
Most of the starting times are set to be convenient for international players in the Americas and Europe.
A handful of events are designated for the Asian time zone as well.
Online poker play is booming
With casinos and clubs in Australia shut amid the coronavirus pandemic, gamblers have flocked to online casinos.
News.com.au reported in May that Australia’s online gambling scene has reached new heights since casinos closed in late March.
Experts say billions of Aussie dollars are lining the pockets of illegal online gam operators.
“I average $3000-$4000 a week,” said Daniel, from Sydney, who runs unregulated gambling tournaments online.
He says that he makes six figures “easy” from the illegal practice – and that was before the coronavirus crisis.
Since pubs and clubs closed their doors due to lockdown regulations, Australians have saved $1.5 billion not using poker machines, according to the Alliance for Gambling Reform.
However, this doesn’t take into account online gambling.