Rounders Writer Brian Koppelman Finds Coronavirus Workaround for Poker Home Game

4 months ago
Rounders Writer Brian Koppelman Finds Coronavirus Workaround for Poker Home Game
23 Mar

Brian Koppelman. co-writer of the iconic poker movie Rounders, has enlisted some technological help to ensure his home game continues during the coronavirus pandemic

The screenwriter, also responsible for the likes of Ocean’s 13 and the rather aptly-titled Solitary Man, had all but given up on his weekly game with friends, until one suggested they combine an iPhone app with Zoom video-conferencing.

Within 20 minutes, says Koppelman:

"It was the same group of people busting on each other, laughing with each other, telling the same stories."

With self-isolation, social distancing and lockdowns becoming the order of the day as the novel coronavirus wreaks havoc with everyday life, the tech fix brought a measure of normalcy to these strange times.

Earlier this month, Koppelman called on the US Senate to allow “compassionate use online poker” for those stuck at home…

At the moment, only Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware offer regulated online poker, but with a crisis that could last many months, and perhaps even longer, Koppelman’s plea may yet get a hearing.

Live poker has been hit around the globe by the pandemic, with events cancelled all the way from Jeju in South Korea to the Irish Poker Open in Dublin and WSOP Circuit events in the US.

Several of the tournaments have found an online outlet to allow the events to proceed, taking on some Circuit events and partypoker stepping in to host the Irish Poker Open.

The main WSOP this summer is still under a cloud, the festival due to start in late May.

This week, WSOP Director Gregory Chochon told French radio show RMC Poker Show:

"It's too early to make a decision, there can still be a lot going on by the end of May. Maintaining, canceling or postponing is really too early to make a final decision. We are going to take the time but we are studying all the scenarios."

Koppelman’s tech fix is fine for home games, but they’ll need something a whole lot bigger, better and more stable if the WSOP plans to switch their entire series from live to online play.

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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