Online poker may be enjoying an unprecedented boost these days as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, but partypoker ambassador Patrick Leonard thinks the industry could end up facing a massive financial crash.
Leonard made the comments on Twitter after carefully observing what’s currently unfolding in the MTT scene, which he says is slowly destroying online poker.
The British poker pro pointed out that while the industry is running high at the moment, forcing some changes in the way things are being run, major operators should consider far-reaching repercussions as a result of their decisions.
Leonard is particularly hitting out at the present popularity of unlimited re-entries, which according to him is killing the game.
Tournaments that previously attracted huge fields are now overlaying, because players nowadays tend to get stuck on specific tournaments with “artificially” formed prize-pools generated by unlimited re-entries. He cited PokerStars‘ $530 Stars Marathon as an example, a tournament that used to draw more than 200 players easily meeting the guarantee. But in the middle of the current lockdown online boom, the tournament has been coming short of the required numbers.
It used to get 200+ runners in February (I won it with 210 in its first week 🌞 and it rightfully grew) during covid you'd think it would get bigger? Well yesterday, 100k gte overlayed by 40+ players even with a last minute 30 player surge. Money is running out and quickly..
— Patrick Leonard (@padspoker) May 11, 2020
Leonard believes this is the root of the problem. The oversaturated tournament schedules these days reflect the current mindset of major operators – they’re more focused on quantity rather than quality, and this needs to change for a more sustainable future. When players become unable to spread their investments, their finances are at risk.
Solutions On Offer
The partypoker ambassador said the big poker rooms have two options today – they can cut back on their MTT offerings, put more weight on quality and make this current boom beneficial to the industry in the long term, or go towards the unlimited re-entry route and ultimately deal with financial crisis.
The leading sites such as GGPoker are actually taking advantage of option number 2 and Leonard isn’t happy about it. This is despite the fact that the staking stable he co-founded is actually benefiting from the current MTT scenario.
He is calling for a united approach between major brands and their ambassadors to turn things around and look for better ways to save the future of online poker. Instead of putting out unlimited re-entries, Leonard suggests single re-entry tournaments or freezeouts, something that partypoker boss Rob Yong also agrees to.
In fact, the Dusk Till Dawn owner also came up with his own recommendations on Twitter, tagging rivals PokerStars, GGPoker, 888poker and Americas Cardroom. Yong said the major sites can agree to offer single re-entry in any MTT with late registrations limited to 20 BBs, and no rake deducted on re-entries.
Just read @padsPokerSquad concern about re-entries & late reg to 5-10BBs..
1. Maximum 1 RE to any MTT (inc flighted)
2. LR not lower than 20BBs
3. No Rake on re-entries
— Rob Yong (@rob_yong_) May 12, 2020