Moving its live events online in the wake of the new coronavirus crisis has proven to be a profitable venture for Grosvenor Poker.
Following the World Poker Tour (WPT) and Irish Open, Grosvenor canceled its forthcoming live tournaments last week.
With the UK on lockdown and casinos forced to closed, the company decided to make up for the loss with a new online schedule.
Online Innovations Thriving at Grosvenor Poker
*National Online Deepstack = Smashed It!*
A huge turnout last night for the first ever Online Deepstack, surprising everyone with a massive 386 entries creating a £44,390 prizepool!!
Well done to Jamiebro1978 who won the tournament for £8,167.88! pic.twitter.com/DWNYAoynY4
— Grosvenor Poker (@GrosvenorPoker) March 22, 2020
That move is paying dividends as prize pools across the board exceeded expectations over the weekend. On Sunday, Grosvenor’s first-ever National Online 25/25 reached its £50,000/$57,000 guarantee within 90 minutes of opening.
It was a similar story in the £130/$150 Deepstack event. Prior to the switch, Grosvenor’s Live Deepstack featured a guaranteed prize pool of $13,800. After moving the event online, the final prize pool hit $51,214.
Grosvenor Poker’s online alternatives are set to continue until further notice. This means GUKPT main events will also take place online. In some respects, the latest developments won’t pose too many problems for the GUKPT.
Mini-main events have been held online already in 2020 as Grosvenor continues its push to attract more players. Therefore, with regulars accustomed to seeing the GUKPT online, the recent changes should see the tour continue its recent highs.
Out of Tragedy Comes Triumph
Online poker, as a whole, is booming at the moment. With players forced to stay inside due to the coronavirus, PokerStars posted record numbers for its 14th Anniversary Sunday Million.
Although digitizing all live events wouldn’t make sense, the recent swell of interest does suggest there’s a market for more online/offline hybrids. Indeed, if the WPT and Irish Poker Open can enjoy similar upswings in the coming weeks, some positives may come out of the coronavirus after all — at least for poker.
If nothing else, the latest data shows that the poker industry should avoid a financial downswing.
The UK government has already pledged $376 billion to help business, while the US Senate is close to agreeing to a $1.6 trillion rescue package.
While businesses around the globe suffer, poker is in a unique position. As industries are forced to shut down, poker companies are able to pivot and remain active.
There may still be bumps in the road, but the impact may not be as severe as it will be for other industries.
In fact, the coronavirus crisis could generate a wave of new business for poker operators. As more people are forced to self-isolate, online platforms could become a primary source of entertainment.
With the right marketing, poker sites around the world could experience a glut of sign-ups in the coming months.