Brian Koppelman Doesn’t Let Coronavirus Slow Down Weekly Poker Game

“Rounders” screenplay co-writer Brian Koppelman isn’t letting coronavirus slow down his weekly poker game. Just as work-from-home becomes the American norm, the New York film producer is using some of the same online tools for remote offices to keep his home game together.

Brian Koppelman

“Rounders” co-writer Brian Koppelman is using his iPad and Zoom to continue his weekly poker game in the age of social distancing. (Image: Sound Opinions)

Koppelman and his buddies canceled their usual live meet-up, but one of the players suggested they use a technological fix to replicate the in-person experience as best they can with an Apple store app and Zoom videoconferencing on their laptops.

Technology Allows In-Person Feel

NBC News told the story of a Hollywood home game in a feature on how Americans are using technology to stay close to each other in the age of social distancing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now suggesting that Americans don’t gather in groups of 10 or more to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, which causes the COVID-19 disease.

The story noted that as self-quarantining is expected to last for weeks or months, many businesses are turning to videoconferencing to maintain operations as employees work from home. Others are using that technology to maintain social engagements covering everything from dinner parties to bible studies.

Koppelman, who is also creator and showrunner of Showtime’s “Billions,” told NBC News it took his group about 20 minutes before they got into the feel of the old game, despite background distractions.

“It was the same group of people busting on each other, laughing with each other, telling the same stories,” he said.

Koppelman Pushing Online Poker

While poker players shouldn’t hold their collective breaths for Rounders 2, Koppelman has their back on online poker. He recently tweeted that Congress should allow “compassionate use online poker.”

The growth of online poker post-UIGEA has been a slow go, as only Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania currently allow it.

Federal lawmakers have resisted the call for online poker legislation, making it a states-right issue. There is, however, a growing drumbeat for nationwide availability of online poker as card rooms across the country go dark during the ongoing pandemic.

Written by
Johnny Kampis
Johnny Kampis -- the author of "The Essential Guide to Vegas during the World Series of Poker" and "Vegas or Bust: A Family Man Takes on the Poker Pros" -- has been making the summer trek to Las Vegas from Alabama since 2004. When not playing poker, he's a professional journalist who's written for American Spectator, Fox News, HuffPost,, and many others. He currently writes for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and serves on the FCC's media advisory panel.


J. Scott wrote...

Hi I don’t see the exact app Mr. Koppelman uses for the poker part of this story? You list the Zoom part for the live feel, but not the actual poker portion.


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