In the midst of Covid-19, when casino and cardroom poker has disappeared, Omaha poker players (and others) are wondering about the future of live poker. Questions abound, but the key ones are:
- When will our casinos, card rooms, and home games resume? and;
- When they do, what will live poker look like?
Here at Omaha Poker Training, we’ll look into our crystal ball and see what the PLO poker future might bring.
Resumption of Live Omaha Poker
Poker rooms will be among the last businesses to re-open as we work our way through this public health crisis. It’s incredibly hard to create a sterile environment at a poker table, let alone in a casino. Poker also generates much lower revenue for casinos compared with slots and table games. When stacking up priorities for a phased re-opening, poker will not head the list.
Many Las Vegas casinos are looking at dates in the fall, winter, and even next spring to target re-opening. In New England, casinos planning to reopen in upcoming weeks have announced that the reemergence of poker rooms will trail that of table games and slots. During this time of lifting restrictions, patience will be the watchword for poker players.
Live Poker Tables
What will poker tables look like when card rooms finally do reopen? We imagine fewer tables per room to increase social distancing. If rooms are given capacity limits, similar to grocery stores and restaurants, large tournaments will likely not return anytime soon.
Plexiglass dividers, similar to the image below, separating players from dealers and each other may become common. Between the plexiglass, and the likely required masks, communication between players will become more challenging. For a time, the social aspects of live poker will be very different than what we have become accustomed to.
Reports indicate that Las Vegas will restrict poker tables to four players once casinos re-open. While that limit might make sense for blackjack or pai gow, it’s hard to imagine players voluntarily signing up to play $1/$2 poker four-handed. PLO poker players may actually be at an advantage here, as 6-handed poker is more the norm in Omaha than in other games. Getting back to a 6-handed Omaha poker table is easier to imagine than a 9 or 10 handed No Limit Hold’em game.
Omaha Poker Home Games
Given the bleak outlook for public poker rooms over the coming months, home games may be a more likely option. As many home game players enjoy mixed games, these may be your best bet to find an Omaha game near you.
While we all wait for the new normal, what are our best options to play Pot Limit Omaha poker against others? If you’re lucky enough to live in a state with legal online poker, this is an obvious solution. Alternately, playing live games and tournaments here at Omaha Poker Training is an excellent way to practice your Omaha skills. Finally, many players are setting up home games online. If you are interested, OPT will help you set up your own personal home game through our server. Just contact us here to do so.
In the meantime, we hope that you all remain safe and healthy through this crisis. And, when it’s safe, we look forward to seeing you at the live tables again!