When we approach the end of each year, we take the time to look back to some of the poker trends and accomplishments in the last 12 months and glean insight from those to determine what we can expect in the coming year.
COVID-19 made things very interesting for the global poker market. We are coming to the end of December 2020 and there are still no feasible solutions in sight even though multiple countries look to experiment with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Will 2021 Reflect 2020 In Poker?
The world is looking forward to stepping out of 2020 and into 2021. However, just because you turn a page on a calendar, does it mean that conditions will change? We believe that because COVID-19 is still not under control and you do not have a tested and proved vaccine, the poker world is going to see similar trends in 2021 as what we experienced in 2020.
The new lockdown measures imposed in Europe and UK have shown that land based poker is not going to get back to normal anytime soon. If it does get back to normal in the first half of 2021, it will most likely be because a successful vaccine has been found and rolled out.
Even when the lockdown is lifted and land based poker rooms reopen, they will continue to follow all of the self-distancing restrictions which means land based poker will not return to normal but will reflect what we experienced for a brief while in 2020.
On the contrary, 2021 online poker will continue to boom as more land based poker players turn online and poker land based poker operators migrated to online platforms to keep the ball rolling.
Live Poker: Players Will Continue To Stay Away
Live tournament poker will return in 2021 slowly but surely. However, when live poker tournaments resume, don’t expect the usual turnout of poker players. You may be under the impression that tournament poker players miss the action so much that they will be queuing up to play at live poker tournaments but this will not be the case.
This is because it takes a lot of effort to play at a land based poker tournament. A lot of times poker players have to travel a distance, especially if they are out of state or out of country. Due to COVID-19, poker players are going to limit the amount of travel they do, especially in the first half of 2021.
So live poker tournaments that resume action, can expect lower turnouts and possibility lower guaranteed prize pools. This will not sit well with those poker players who take the risk to show up at land based poker tournaments but it might also work in their favour as a lesser turnout also means lesser competition at the tables.
Online Poker Will Continue To Boom
iPoker analysts predict that we might see another boom in the poker world thanks to the focus on online poker in 2021. The competition between top online poker operators such as PokerStars, GGPoker, Partypoker and 888poker will continue to grow in 2021.
Expect these online poker operators to collaborate a lot more with land based poker operators to host bigger and better online poker tournaments. If COVID-19 continues to be a threat till the end of 2021, online poker will not only boom but could possibly see a shift in poker operator market domination.
PokerStars continues to rule the roost in the online poker market but brands like partypoker and GGPoker are also taking big steps to bridge that gap quickly.
Online Poker Legalization
The online poker market will continue to grow in 2021 as countries and governments around the world poker legalizing online poker. There are a number of states in America that are currently contemplating legalizing sports betting and in doing so could also include online poker legalization.
A number of Indian states are also expected to discuss the possibility of legalized online poker in 2021.