The poker year 2020 was boring
The year 2020 is slowly coming to an end, and, as always, we want to take a quick look back at what happened.
2020 was and is still overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March/April of this year, the whole world went on lockdown. Public life was shut down, and in most countries, there were strict curfews. This sad background triggered a real boom in online poker, and the number of players exploded on all poker sites. At that time, some providers had up to three times as many players as before.
The pandemic is still not over, and all major tournament series, which are typically played live in the casinos, was played at the virtual tables this year. This also created the partnership between GGPoker and the WSOP. For the first time in the history of the WSOP, the entire event was played online at GGPoker. Never before has it been possible to take part in an essential poker event in the world from the comfort of your sofa and win one of the famous gold WSOP bracelets. A total of 54 WSOP bracelet events were awarded.
GGPoker is the clear winner this year
GGPoker got ahead of other poker rooms due to its cooperation with the WSOP and the fact that the number of players doubled within six months. PokerStars is still in sight, and there may be a changing of the guard in 2021.
In our opinion, GGPoker is currently the best poker room in the world and has the potential to be the leading poker room in the long run.
The new planned gambling law in Germany
The message that all poker rooms had to make various adjustments for German players by October 15, 2020, struck like a bomb. It is fascinating that the announcement by the highest gaming authority in Germany came just under one week beforehand and surprised many poker providers and the entire poker industry. Some had hoped that everything would stay that way until July 2021 and that the European Court of Justice, as in previous years, would declare the contract invalid. That can still happen, but this time around, it doesn’t look as good as it did in the past few years. These are the current new gambling laws in Germany:
- Deposit limit of a maximum of € 1,000 per month
- Max 4 tables at the same time
- Random seat selection
- Panic button
These are just a few of the conditions that the providers had to implement in advance by October 15, 2020, to have a realistic chance of obtaining a license next year.
As a result, many poker rooms withdrew from Germany, which is the second-largest poker market globally, with immediate effect. Among them are popular names like Betfair, Betsafe, NordicBet, TitanPoker, BestPoker, and also Natural8.
For the time being, providers such as PartyPoker and Bwin do not accept new players’ registrations via affiliates.
Nobody knows what the politicians in Germany can think of, but it is already a fact that the German market will be as good broken if the new gambling contract comes into effect exactly as planned. One can only hope that adjustments will still be made or that the EU will declare them invalid.
The first Phil Galfond challenge
Even Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for Phil Galfond’s first 2020 Challenge against VeniVidi. Phil was $ 900.00 behind and took a few days off. There was a task in the room, and no one could have blamed him for it.
But Phil Galfond did what no one thought possible. He made a comeback, decided the challenge on the last day in the previous hand, and after 25,001 hands had played plus $1.671. He emerged as the winner of his first challenge.
The Microgaming (MPN) network has closed its doors
On May 19, 2020, the time came for the final hand to be dealt with in the popular MPN network. Even if MPN was very popular with many players, there has been no further development in recent years. After Unibet left the network to be on its own, the number of players stagnated, and the prospect was too low.
90% of MPN skins found a new home through the iPoker network, and others decided to close their doors entirely.
The topic of real-time solvers (RTA)
The German, Fedor Kruse, made the headlines. Kruse saw a rapid rise from $ 0.50 / $ 1 cash games to limits with blinds of up to $200 / $ 400 in less than 12 months before his ex-roommates decided to take the matter public and provide evidence submitted.
Evidence showed that Kruse ran his online poker clients on one computer and some RTA software tools on a second computer and monitor. Whenever Kruse faced a difficult situation, he used the solvers on his second machine, which showed the perfect Game Theory Optimal (GTO) game.
Kruse was then supposedly able to play the mathematically correct game that is, in the long run, the game that makes money. It is a scam and is against the terms and conditions of any poker room.