What will 2021 have in store for the world of Poker?
The year will soon be over, and 2021 is around the corner. As always, it’s interesting to speculate about what might happen regarding poker in 2021.
One thing is sure, and that is the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to concern everyone. Of course, the world is hoping for an effective vaccine, which should finally be available soon. However, this won’t mean that everyone will return to a normal life immediately, rather it will be step by step. It might not be unreasonable to expect well-known tournament series such as the WSOP, EPT, PartyPoker Live and many more to be held live in casinos. Nevertheless, the success of this year’s events in their tweaked online format will be a factor for event organisers, and we may well see the same safety first arrangements made.
A change of guard is looming in the poker work
We may see a change at the top of the pile as early as 2021. If the rapid rise of GG Poker continues as it has been in 2020, PokerStars could be overthrown from the number one spot. It probably won’t be quite enough, but it wouldn’t be a total surprise. Currently, the momentum is certainly looking healthy for GG Poker.
As far as the other providers are concerned, not much will change. PartyPoker/Bwin certainly has the greatest potential, but there are doubts that much will happen next year to push up player numbers. 888 and iPoker might lose a little ground, just as they have in the past few years.
On the other hand, Unibet could make positive headlines next year and possibly catch up with the iPoker network, 888 and the WPN network when it comes to the number of players they have. A newly revised VIP system has been put into place, which should be similar to that of Party Poker. This right step for Unibet could definitely increase their player pool, and their software was recently revised and equipped with new functions.
The focus will be on the new gaming contract in Germany
Germany’s gambling market will attract considerable attention next year. The decisive factors will be whether the gambling contract will be enacted as planned, the adjustments that will be made and the providers who try to get a gambling license. If everything stays as the politicians in Germany plan, the German poker market may face difficulties in 2021.
Offshore poker sites may be the big winners if Germany doesn’t pull itself together and make adjustments to the new gambling contract.
There is no doubt that there will be a whole lot to talk about regarding this topic in 2021.
Technical aids will be restricted further in online poker
The game has been changing during the last couple of years, and poker providers are gradually banning technical aids such as HUDs or various seating scripts. The general goal is to make the gameplay ‘natural’, with players having to rely on themselves in the same way it happens at a traditional bricks and mortar casino. It is precisely this philosophy that poker rooms such as GGPoker, Party Poker or Unibet have successfully been implementing for a long time. All other providers are following suit step-by-step, as this ultimately seems the only way forward.
Only Offshore poker sites might accept playing with HUD. Of the big providers, only PokerStars, iPoker and the WPN network are left, allowing players to receive live support at the table through such programs.
There will be no chance for cheats
The technology in poker rooms is continually evolving, and unfair play is now being identified quicker than ever. Of course, there will always be cheats in the industry, but providers such as PartyPoker/Bwin and GGNetwork are doing a great deal to ensure that the game is always fair for everyone.
Especially when it comes to real-time solvers (RTA), major providers will continue to do everything they can to identify gaming behaviour irregularities and take appropriate measures immediately.