It’s plain for all to see that whole swathes of civilization seem to have ground to a halt over the past few weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and sporting events have been almost entirely called off, and as a pastime that spans the two disciplines, poker has been hit particularly hard. Just about every tournament in March and April has been either postponed , cancelled, or transitioned into an online series.
Yet this is also a time when out of necessity, if anything else, we make more time for game playing than ever. Fortunately, even if you can’t physically pitch up in Vegas or your local poker room for a tournament, there are plenty of ways to indulge your hobby, keep your game sharp and maybe even pocket some winnings.
Where there are properly regulated online games available to you, this is the obvious solution. The online gaming sites are among the few sectors that are continuing to thrive in these uncertain times. There’s plenty to choose from, and new providers like Mr Gold Casino are keeping the more established names on their toes with some interesting promotions. In the absence of formal tournaments, you can always have a game of three card poker or Caribbean Stud against one of the live dealers.
Watch Poker Training Videos
Poker training videos are still a valuable tool for improving your game. There are a number of poker training sites offering live streams, including Pokercode, Run it Once, Pokercoaching.com, Red Chip Poker, and Upswing Poker to name a few. Of course, all of these require some financial outlay, but there are also some free resources out there. Venture down the rabbit hole that is YouTube and you never know what you might find. Belgian pro Fried Meulders’ channel is a great place to start.
Try a New Type of Poker Variant
Read interviews with the big names in poker and for the most part if they’re discussing specific hands it’ll be about nothing but no-limit holdem. Boring, boring, boring! The beauty of poker is in its variations, and if you’re willing to broaden your horizons, there is enormous value to be had in other disciplines. Most likely there will never be a better time to sit down and get to grips with a new poker variant. Once live poker and the tournament circuit open up again, being skilled at non-Hold’em poker variants will give you so many more options for winning at the felt, as well as keep game play fresh.
Read a Poker Book
If poker training videos aren’t your cup of tea, you can always pick up a classic poker book to do your learning. Some poker literature has gotten a bit dated, but it’s often still full of great tips. While you’re locked down, you might as well get reading. If you need a starting point, Super System by poker legend Doyle Brunson was first published more than 40 years ago and is still regarded as the definitive poker strategy guide. As a more contemporary option, Moorman: The Inside Story provide intriguing insights on the 21st century game. Venerable poker book publisher D&B Poker has plenty of other great titles to choose and learn from as well.
Try a Poker Solver
If you’ve always been a bit hesitant to get into the solver game, now’s as good a time as any to get your feet wet. Of course, poker solvers are not just for newbies. Advanced ones like MonkerSolver and PIOsolver can provide strategic insights that even a seasoned pro will find handy. They can be confusing to work with at first, but if you can’t find the time now to get your head around one, the chances are you never will!