Sitting at home and bored with nothing to occupy the mind. It doesn’t take a big leap of imagination to get around to the idea of online gambling. A little action to while away the hours perhaps. Oh yes, and there is always the chance I could win back lost earnings – maybe more. Deal me in butler!

If these thoughts have been going through your mind recently, then join the club. With social distancing all the rage, online poker sites have been filling the void left by closed brick and mortar casinos and betting shops. More than that, people who wouldn't normally consider playing Poker on a Tuesday afternoon are now doing so on mass. The spike in interest for online casino and Poker due to the coronavirus lockdown has been nothing short of exceptional.

The Recent Upsurge in online Poker?

The WSOP is by far the biggest event on the poker calendar. Due to be held in Los Vegas in a few short months, many believe it could be cancelled altogether. Don’t bet against it. With the lockdown in full swing, online poker tournaments have experienced a surge in interest from amateurs and professionals alike. Take the recent PokerStars Sunday Millions tournament for instance. The popular event broke new ground this year with 93,000 entries, smashing the previous record of 62,000 set in 2011. More entries mean bigger prize pools. Bigger prize pools mean more entries, and the cycle continues. The recent Sunday Millions tourney became not only the biggest in the company’s history but one of the biggest online games ever with a total prize pool of over 18 million. 

Nothing Trumps Experience in this game

Playing real money games over the internet is no doubt a convenient way to stay entertained during the coronavirus lockdown. If you are disciplined and sensible, it can also be very affordable. Without wishing to spoil the excitement of competing for potentially big prizes, we would emphasize the need to be wise. Nothing in this game trumps experience. If playing online Poker is not something you would normally do; there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance, the people you are playing against likely have significantly more game experience than you. This counts for a lot, and there will be plenty of old hands out there queueing up to pick your pocket.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get lucky

Beginners luck can sometimes compensate for inexperience. Lack of game awareness and game time makes amateur players very unpredictable and dangerous. They tend to play hands in a way no one with experience would consider. Take AAAArthur for example. Never heard of him? He was the winner of the 2020 PokerStars Sunday millions tournament previously mentioned. The Brazilian amateur entered the completion on the back of a 25 cent satellite victory. His share of the prize money from this one competition came to $1,192,802 - inspiration to us all. 

My Girlfriends First-time Tournament Experience

Talking of beginner’s luck, I saw it recently with my own eyes. Bored at being at home with nothing to do, my girlfriend Jasmine decided to enter a poker tournament on one of the poker sites listed here on I was more than a little concerned she might do something silly and blow loads of cash. Fortunately, she took my advice and bought into a modest size tournament of 300 players with a modest buy-in of only nine dollars. She then proceeded to amaze me for the second time this one particular evening. After three and a half intense hours of Poker, my crafty girlfriend Jasmine came first. 

Her excitement quickly turned to disappointment and frustration. Disappointment that the hundreds of dollars she thought had been won turned out to be a winning ticket to another tournament. Ok, so it was a competition with a higher buy-in and greater prize money, but it's still not the same. The disappointment was quickly followed by frustration at herself for not reading the entry rules before entering the event.

Online Poker 101. Things to know before you play

Without getting into poker tips and game strategies, there are a few unwritten rules you ought to know before entering an online poker game or tournament.

  1. Only play at safe and reputable online poker rooms.

  2. Don’t gamble more than you can afford to lose. Ever.

  3. Choose your game wisely. Bigger prize money means bigger players, and more of them.

  4. Always read event info and T&Cs before depositing cash to play.

  5. Never underestimate the competition. Beginners luck is the exception to the rule, but experienced players will always have the edge.

You don't need to spend a fortune to enjoy an otherwise dull afternoon or evening playing an entertaining game of online Poker. It is effortless to find matches and tournaments you can enter for a few dollars. Compared with the options available at the moment, this represents excellent value for money. Be sensible and don't lose your head. Who knows, you may even end up a big winner like our friend AAAArthur. 

Last Updated: May 16, 2021 Author: Magnus Martin

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