Thursday March 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Daniel Negreanu tweeted his thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that has hit the US. He wants all poker rooms to close to help prevent the spread of the virus that the WHO upgraded to a pandemic. Meanwhile, earlier in the week PokerStars announced they were suspending tournaments in Europe through April due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

coronavidmask
Pic by Danny Maxwell [PokerStars Blog]

Whether or not you believe in the severity of coronavirus, it's here and not going anywhere for a while. We should've known it was coming but it's too late now. As the pandemic has shuttered pro sports leagues across the globe, including the NBA, NHL, and MLS, and cancelled basketball tournaments leading up to March Madness, many casinos and poker rooms remain open during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as the number of cases continue to rise as more people are getting tested. The coronavirus has already infected actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, along with two NBA players from the Utah Jazz (Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell), plus Juventus football player Daniele Rugani.

Earlier this week, PokerStars announced they were suspending all events through April 10. However, three of their Road to PSPC events were cancelled. That included Hamburg, La Grand Motte, and Madrid Gran Via.

According to Severin Rassert, "The situation is highly dynamic and live tournaments are a big part of what we do. So, we are endeavouring to strike a balance of catering to our players' wants while also protecting attendees, and ensuring we act responsibly. We are reviewing every event on a case-by-case basis, and keeping up to speed on the latest developments alongside our casino partners."

They intended to keep Okada Manilla Millions, BSOP Sai Paulo, and the EPT Sochi still running. For more details head over to PokerStars Blog.

Kid Poker is one of the most popular poker players on the planet. He has a large platform and he's not afraid to use social media to share his controversial views and opinions with the poker world. Most recently, Negreanu tweeted out, "All poker operators: stop. Suspend all tournaments and cash games now. There isn't a more infectious environment imaginable than a poker table. Shut it all down."

If you've ever been to a poker room, you know it can be dingy and dirty and seedy. And don't get me started about the players. I had never been a germfreak until I moved to Las Vegas and spent a significant time in casinos. I used to carry around hand sanitizer everywhere I went and used it when I played a lot of poker. You'd be surprised how infrequently casinos cleaned chips and the low numbers of players who washed their hands after using the lavatory.

Yes, casinos can be filthy places and petri dishes for nasty viral things like Legionnaire's Disease. The last place I'd want to get caught during a pandemic is on a cruise ship, air plane, or casino. Online gambling is the way to go during the crazy times.

KidPoker is no longer the pitchman for PokerStars, but he's the new pitchman for GGPoker. Maybe he can ride the pandemic wave to help gather more support for online poker legalization in the USA. Besides, what the heck are we going to do while holed up? Online poker seems like a great way to ride out the pandemic.

Maybe the coronavirus will finally persuade Sheldon Adelson to change his hardliner stance on online poker and online gambling. Between the raw data from Macau (experienced a 87% drop during the first weeks of coronavirus) and vocal popular pros like Negreanu calling for the shuttering of poker rooms, it would be wise to legalize online gambling, especially online poker.

Without sports to gamble on, there's no sports betting revenue coming in from many other verticals. So maybe online poker will get a huge boost after all?

Stay safe, wash your hands, and try not to sneeze on the chips, bruh.

Latest news
Thursday April 2, 2020 at 11:01 pm
Phil Galfond finally unstuck after another winning session

During Day 32 of the Galfond Challenge against VeniVidi on Run It Once Poker, Phil Galfond book another six-figure win to nearly erase a €900K hole. For a brief moment on Thursday, the smoking-hot Galfond pulled ahead of VeniVidi before he posted a late rally. But the damage was done. Galfond won €113,680 on Day 32 as his miraculous comeback continued. VeniVedi's lead shrunk to 40,607 with less than 5,000 hands remaining.

Wednesday April 1, 2020 at 11:58 pm
All Nevada casinos, including Las Vegas, closed during April

North America has not reached the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, Nevada will continue to close all casino properties for the month of April. In mid-March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak closed all casinos for 30 days. At the start of April, Gov Sisolak extended closures through the end of April. He will make a decision to re-open the end of the month, but the outlook seems grim. As of March 31, there were 1,279 COVID-19 cases in Nevada with 26 fatalities.

Tuesday March 31, 2020 at 5:31 am
2020 WSOP Online Super Circuit Series: Champie 'kiddchamp' Douglas wins Main Event

The 2020 WSOP Online Super Circuit Series at WSOP.com came to an end with the $525 buy-in Main Event championship. Event #16 Main Event attracted 1,134 runners and a prize pool worth $567,000. Champie 'kiddchamp' Douglas defeated Scott '2Due4U' Blumstein heads-up to win the title, Circuit ring, and $130,410 in cash. Meanwhile, Matt Stout shipped two events including Event #2 NL Monster Stack for $43,286 and Event #11 NL Big $500 for $63,234.

Monday March 30, 2020 at 12:17 am
Galfond Challenge: Deficit Cut to €154K, VeniVidi's downswing continues

After 31 sessions of the Galfond Challenge on Run It Once Poker between Phil "OMGClayAiken" Galfond and VeniVidi, Galfond is down - €154,287 as they approach 20,000 hands of their 25,000-hand heads-up bout playing €100/€200 PLO. Galfond stormed back after losing 900K during the first 15 sessions. His heater continued after he banked another six-figure winning day with a€106K score on Day 31. The Challenge resumes on Monday.

Friday March 27, 2020 at 1:38 pm
PokerStars introduces Swap Hold'em cash games

Over the years, PokerStars introduced various new versions and tweaks on traditional Texas Hold'em. In their latest new format, PokerStars introduced Swap Hold'dem. The game is essentially Texas Hold'em, except you can swap out one or two cards at any given time, but can only do so one time. Unlike some of the weird gimmicky game, the fun and exciting Swap Hold'em should stick this time around.

Tuesday March 24, 2020 at 7:26 pm
Galfond Challenge: Phil Galfond +€580K upswing, VeniVidi calls timeout

The Galfond Challenge on Run It Once Poker is on a short pause after VeniVidi asked for a couple days off during their recent downswing. Phil Galfond stormed back in the last two weeks while playing two tables of heads-up €100/€200 PLO against VeniVidi. After 28 sessions, Galfond is only stuck €319K after wiping out €581K in previous losses. The two have less than 7,500 hands to go in the first installment of the Galfond Challenge and action will resume on Thursday.

Friday March 20, 2020 at 4:35 pm
partypoker to host online version of Poker Masters Online

The Poker Masters quickly became a popular series among the high roller crowd. With the quarantine underway during the coronavirus pandemic, the Poker Masters teamed up with partypoker to create the Poker Masters Online. The first installment will include 30 online events -- with buy-ins from $10K to $50K -- running from Sunday, April 12 through Sunday April 26, 20200 on partypoker. The first Poker Masters Online has a guaranteed prize pool totaling $15.2 million including a $2 million guaranteed Main Event.

Wednesday March 18, 2020 at 12:22 am
Las Vegas and Reno on Lockdown, All Casinos Closed for 30 Days Due to Coronavirus

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced that all non-essential business will be shut down due to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak. That decree particularly included shutting down all casinos including adjacent shops and restaurants for 30 days. Social distancing is the most effective way to slow down the spread of the virus, much to the dismay of gambling enthusiasts. At least Nevada residents have online options, but nothing in the virtual world can ever compare to the glitz and glamour of Sin City.

Monday March 16, 2020 at 3:29 am
The Bike and Commerce Casinos in LA, Plus Wynn and MGM Las Vegas now closed due to Coronavirus

Coronavirus has officially shut down the Wynn and MGM properties in Las Vegas after Sin City saw their infection rate spike over the weekend. Meanwhile in Los Angeles, the major casinos and card rooms closed including Commerce and the Bike. Not all casinos in America or around the world are closed, but major ones on the West Coast took drastic measures during the pandemic.

Tuesday March 10, 2020 at 4:54 pm
Galfond Challenge resumes, Phil Galfond storms back with €308K swing

After taking off a couple of weeks to catch his breath after a tremendous downswing in the inaugural Galfond Challenge on Run It Once, Phil Galfond and VeniVidi resumed their match with five sessions. They finally passed the mid-way mark of the 25,000-hand heads-up battle. On Day 20, Galfond won €92,803 for his third winning session since resuming the challenge. He's now stuck €592,309, which is a huge improvement from when he was €900K in the hole after the first 15 days.

Monday March 9, 2020 at 9:58 pm
Sam Trickett, Xia He Jiang, and Wai Leong Chan ship partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi events

The 2020 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi kicked off. Xia He Jiang won Event #1 $25K Short Deck for $378,000 after defeating John Cynn heads-up. Sam Trickett banked $435,000 for winning Super High Roller Series Sochi Event #2 $25,000 NL. The UK pro faded 58 entrants to take down the second event in Russia. The final seven also included Ivan Leow, Matthias Eibinger, Adrian Mateos, Timothy Adams, and Phil Ivey. In Event #3 $25K Short Deck, Wai Leong Chan defeated Paul Phua heads up for the trophy and $457,500 in cash.

Sunday March 8, 2020 at 7:59 pm
PokerStars Sunday Million celebrates 14 year anniversary with $12.5 Million guarantee

PokerStars will celebrate the 14th anniversary of the Sunday Million with a special event on Sunday, March 22, 2020 with a $12.5 million guaranteed prize pool, which will be the largest single tournament in PokerStars history. The 14th anniversary Sunday Mill is a re-entry event (up to three re-entries) has late registration open until Day 2. First place will win at least a cool million. China's Wang 'wangli0402' Li won last year's record-setting Sunday Million 13th Anniversary event.

Thursday March 5, 2020 at 2:42 pm
Balakrishna Patur leads 2020 WPT LAPC Final table

The 2020 WPT LA Poker Classic at Commerce Casino on the outskirts of Los Angeles attracted 490 runners this year. With six to go, Balakrishna Patur heads into the final table with the chip lead. The final six also includes Matas Cimbolas, James Carroll, Ka Kwan Lau, Scott Hempel, and Upeshka De Silva. The final table resumes on April 2 at the HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas. First place pays out $1,015,000 plus a freeroll into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions.

Wednesday March 4, 2020 at 4:27 pm
Telex
The Galfond Challenge Resumes

Phil Galfond decided to finish out his first round of the Galfond Challenge against VeniVidi after taking a couple weeks off during an ugly stretch of PLO. You can watch Session #16 right now via Twitch.

Tuesday March 3, 2020 at 7:08 pm
Shiva Dudani wins 2020 WSOP Circuit Chicago (Hammond, IN) for $258K

Chicago's Shiva Dudani outlasted a field of 989 runners to win the $1,700 buy-in Main Event at the 2020 WSOP Circuit Horseshow Hammond (Chicago) for $258,078. His final table included Casey Carroll, Firas Sadou, Evan Bethyo, Bryan Skreens, Pat Steele, Hussian Sajwani, Nicola Ditrapani, and Voytek Glab. Dudani earned his second WSOP Circuit ring.