VR Could Keep Poker Tournaments Alive in a Post-COVID World

VR Could Keep Poker Tournaments Alive in a Post-COVID World

In a world where large crowds and close sitting are not suggested one form of gambling that is a long way away from being opened again is, of course, poker tournaments. We have already seen various ways that VR is a game-changer in gambling, but I want to look at just poker tournaments and how it could easily be done in VR and indeed already has…

If you have ever been to a Poker Tournament you will know a LOT of people attend these events and indeed play the game, with several people crowded around small card tables, but for some of the older players this could be a risk, but we have already seen apps like PokerStars VR show us that VR is more than capable of being good enough for the game itself. But what about the Tournaments? Well, anyone who has seen or watched something with Oculus Venues will know that the large crowd effect is easily replicated in VR, in fact, it would work pretty well in VR as we could all have a front-row seat with friends or strangers. But VR takeup is still a big issue with this and you are not going to get the millions of poker fans out there to get a VR headset, so that might be were game streaming comes into it…

I could see a future where the top poker players play in VR, then stream that gameplay to Youtube or a dedicated poker channel for people to watch and enjoy. This steam can then be used by commentators and other pundits to make comments, suggestions and betting strategies about. I don’t think VR alone is the future of VR, just a part of it. In fact, it might be more AR that is the future of poker rather than VR as you could have poker players playing from home using an augmented poker table and playing cards.

Sadly there are many ways in which the COVID pandemic has effected poker, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy these bigger events both as players and spectators, it just needs a little innovation and some backing of which we are seeing more and more of. Personally I enjoy playing poker in VR as it feels immersive and thanks to better tracking or head and hands you can soon learn a person’s tell-tale signs, from a simple tremble of their virtual hands to a more uncomfortable shifting of their sitting position. But whether this is good enough for professionals who train to hide their poker faces remains to be seen.

The truth is none of us really know what the future holds, all I do know is VR, AR and various other technologies are going to hold a vital part in some shape or form. We all have to try and stay safe so it might not be possible for people to attend these events like they once did, but that doesn’t mean they can’t go ahead in some shape or form. Who knows, maybe in the future all poker games will be played in VR, now that would be amazing!

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