Weekly Poker Update: July 26, 2021

Weekly Poker Update July 26, 2021

If you’re like many people who have been working from home over the past year or so, you have probably had to deal with the virtual meetings. And the major source of those meetings has been Zoom.

Come to think of it, many people probably now associate the app with workplace drudgery and the guy from accounting forgetting to hit mute so you can hear him talking to his cat.

That may soon be changing, thanks to a new initiative thought up by Zoom. It’s called Live Game Night Poker, and it does just what you would expect.

While you’re connected with others via the poker app, you can play some Texas Hold’em as a way of spending your time instead of discussing expense reports.

Zooming to the River

It’s the first game introduced on the Zoom platform, and it makes a lot of sense that the company’s maiden voyage into gaming surrounds poker.

After all, poker is a game that can easily accommodate multiple players and encourages interaction. And this game makes that possible, as you’ll be able to see live computer camera shots of your fellow players, who will also be represented by avatars on screen.

Playing through Zoom means you can read your opponent’s poker face, which is something that usually doesn’t take place in other online poker scenarios. For now, though any advantage that you get will be purely recreational.

Live Game Night Poker, which has been developed by FlowPlay, doesn’t have any method for you to include real money wagers, at least not through the app, although perhaps that’s something that can be added in conjunction with a legal gambling website of some sort.

For now, though, this development is more than enough for people who might be tiring of the virtual meet-up. It’s a way to enliven the proceedings and give Zoom an entertainment angle.

It could also entice more people to try Hold’em Poker who might never have thought of doing so before, so it should be a positive situation for both the app and the game of poker.

Head-to-Head Headache

Head-to-head matchups are all the rage right now in the world of poker. They gained popularity throughout 2020 and the early part of 2021 when most tournament play was either shelved or moved to the online sphere.

But even now as live tournament play has, for the most part, resumed, some of the game’s best continue to match up.

Quite frankly, there is still an appetite for these types of one-on-one battles, especially if the combatants are pretty well-known. The players can immediately grab the spotlight and bolster their reputations without having to navigate a deep tournament field.

And fans like the idea of watching players that they know well going toe-to-toe in a test of poker wits.

That doesn’t mean that all these potential matches come off without a hitch, however. The proposed matchup between Bryn Kenney, known for the money he’s earned in tournament play, and Doug Polk, renowned for his success in cash games, would seem to be a natural.

Pro Poker Player Bryn Kenney

After all, you’ve got the standard-bearers of two different poker disciplines, which would make for a fascinating clash of poker styles.

The only problem is that the two can’t agree on the format, in part because they are coming from different poker worlds, so to speak. Polk said he would accept a long grinder of a match similar to the one where he conquered Daniel Negreanu.

It would take the form of a predetermined number of hands (probably 25,000) played out over several sessions.

Kenney is much more inclined to do a winner-take-all, single-session battle. He floated the idea of a $1 million prize to the winner, with some of that money being earmarked for charity.

But Polk balked at the idea, facetiously calling Kenney “Ghandi” (his misspelling, not ours) for his philanthropic suggestion.

Of course, you can see where each player is coming from in this argument. Neither wants to be caught in a position of weakness. While it will be noted at the time which player is at a disadvantage, people will only remember who won the matchup in years to come.

From a fan’s perspective, there is something to be said for a one-and-done format and the excitement of knowing that neither player has a safety net if they have a bad day. But a long, drawn-out affair might provide more of a true test of poker skill.

In that scenario, the sample size would be substantial enough to remove some of the chance that a run of lucky cards would determine the winner.

We’ll see who wins in this battle of wills or if they both stand their ground and this match never comes to fruition. If it doesn’t, fans need not worry.

It’s likely that several other high-profile matchups will be proposed and accepted in the near future, so you won’t be longing for showdowns between poker superstars for too long.

Kennedy Over Negreanu and Others in the WSOP Online

The World Series of Poker Online event has been rolling along for the last few weeks, and this week’s most memorable battle was a Hold’em no-limit event with a buy-in of $600.

The reason it turned out to be so memorable was that it was filled with more big names than your average WSOP Online tilt. And the biggest name of all, Daniel Negreanu, very nearly came away a winner.

Negreanu’s poker ride over the last year or so has been somewhat akin to a rollercoaster in the middle of a twister.

On the downside, there were the highly-publicized losses to both Doug Polk and Phil Hellmuth in head-to-head battles, the former with a margin of over $1 million and the latter coming in a three-match sweep.

But he has also been in the mix in many tournaments during that span, and then last week won the overall PokerGO Cup series against some of the top high-rollers in the game.

In this latest event, Negreanu made his way to the final table of this online poker event sitting in sixth position overall. And he knocked out a couple of players to make it all the way to the last three.

But that’s where his run ended, a solid finish but coming up short of what would have been his seventh WSOP bracelet victory.

Pro Poker Player Anthony Kennedy

Instead, the final duo remaining were Anthony Kennedy and Ryan Basile. Kennedy came into the final table with the chip lead and was still leading when it got down to two. He was helped out by the money he took from Negreanu after knocking him out.

After a half-hour or so of play, it was Kennedy who had built his lead before knocking out Basile and taking home the top prize of $46,796 along with the bracelet.

Even though Negreanu didn’t get the win, it continued his string of solid tournament play of late. With the in-person World Series of Poker fast approaching, it will be interesting to see if he can keep it going in some of that action, especially the Main Event.

But who knows where on the rollercoaster he’ll be by that point?

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