Donkin's Blog

Shutdown Poker

I bet all the casino companies wished they had pushed more for online gambling now! They could have been discussed on CNBC as one of the winning industries, simply moving all their business to mobile, but instead, their obituaries are being written.

I remember the financial recession in 2008 and 2009. I watched it on TV and chuckled at all the people out of a job while I retired to my desktop computer to grind away on Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars. My income from poker increased during that period. There seemed to be no lack for recreational players.

Fast-forward to 2020 and the Covid Shutdown. All those recently unemployed with stimulus checks and to top it off no live casinos to visit. Heaven for online poker?


Out of retirement

I never wanted to play poker again for income. Done. Sick of it. Looking for bigger and better things.

In my decade of online poker, I would strive to create other forms of revenue, but I never succeeded, despite my experience as a business owner before joining the poker scene. Why?

Well, poker rots the brain. The cliché is true. When you play poker, your brain does not think much else. It’s like stimulant. It was difficult to turn off my brain and focus on something else. The only way to do so was to take long stretches off from the game, but that risked getting out of practice. A vicious paradox.

When I found myself out of work in late March and joining the throngs with free unemployment money deposited directly to my bank account to sit at home, I first thought of online poker, and the glory days of the 2008 financial crisis.

I resisted.

I really wanted to work on an app. I had spent the last year without poker to build a dating app, my first business attempt in years, and the free time would have been perfect.

But the online poker world called out to me. I stepped online to check the games.

Lots of games.

Lots of new players.


Limp calling.

Calling 3-bets out of position.

Calling 3-bets light, out of position.


Effortless Poker

Though I’ve capped myself at NL100, it feels great to be grinding again, and without the pressure of the regular-heavy games of 2019. The games are fun, every table has recreational players, and it seems they all have free money to burn.

I suspect it’s a combination of bored, stressed people with extra money and nothing else to do and a lack of available gambling for the diehard slot players.

I know it won’t last, and nor will I last with it.

But I can’t turn down free money…

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