Hi Guys! I am Marc Kitch and one of the Content Managers at YourPoker Dream. As a recreational poker player for over a decade, I’ll bring you the latest in news, views and general advice from the world of online and live poker.

· Published 06.08.2020 · last updated 13.02.2021

Play at home with your friends and use the PartyPoker Club Games

Online poker’s popularity has grown significantly since Covid-19 has impacted the world. The number of players online hit record levels early on in the pandemic and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight with poker sites offering record breaking prize pots and overlays.

But where does that leave the occasional poker players who would gather in basements or garages over a few beers for a friendly home game between friends? Fortunately, a few poker sites have recognized this and opened up the option to create private club games for friends to safely gather and play some cards.

Today we sit down with Ronnie “cdilla” Coxman to understand how he has kept in touch with his poker buddies and keep the good times flowing. Prior to quarantines being implemented, Ronnie had only occasionally played online poker – dabbling in a few freerolls or small buy-in cash games. Having tried to play more online during this time, he missed out on playing with people he knew.

“It just wasn’t the same. Playing a sit and go tournament, none of the other players were active in the chat,” Ronnie said. “I started to get bored and missed chatting during a hand.”

Shortly after, Ronnie discovered there was a section on the poker site allowing for home games. PartyPoker is one of Yourpokerdream sites that offers up this option under their club games section. Here you can set-up a private tournament for either a small buy-in or even higher stakes – all with those usual friends you used to play with live. For Ronnie, he missed his monthly $10 buy-in game with his buddies and this was a great chance to rekindle those friendships.

“About half of the players are from my regular game so it’s been great to catch up with them,” Ronnie said. “It’s been great also as it allows friends who wouldn’t necessarily be able to drive to my home game.”

One thing Ronnie doesn’t miss about his live home game is having to run the bank. Anyone who has run a home game knows how much of a pain it can be at the end of the night to balance out all the different buy-ins and payout the winners. Online club games take away that difficulty.

“Normally the house that hosts the game is the bank – or whoever volunteers,” Ronnie said. “Here though, we started with play money and transferring money to the winner but we quickly realized paying the small rake fee for each tournament ($1 in his case for his $10 tournament) was much easier.”

Some players in his game had never played online before so were naturally hesitant. Using PartyPoker though helped as it is a global brand with commercials on the TV in many countries so players were aware and had some trust.

“Setting up was easy and simple for (every) player. Those who were a bit hesitant a first, took my advice and it’s been great,” Ronnie said. “A few still think online poker is rigged though – often right after they lose a big hand.”

Ronnie does miss the “reading” of players you get in a live home cash game, but he’s found a solution to that. He uses either Skype or Discord to have a live chat going on – this way the trash talking to friends can continue and you can “get a read on who’s had a few too many beers and may be playing crazy.”

When Covid is over, Ronnie doesn’t necessarily see himself going back to the old basement card game. With the technology connection – and not needing to worry about getting home after a night of drinking and cards – he thinks the online club games are here to stay.

What’s been the biggest problem with club games online? According to Ronnie, it’s that “some of my friends that are donkeys seem to be doing better online.” Even there though, he acknowledges, you just see many more hands online so it means instead of one crazy hand you might see in a live home game, you’ll see quite a bit more online.

Take a chance and reach out to your friends for a safe way to play online – and who knows, maybe you’ll be that “donkey” who does better online.

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