My friend Steven Blomberg posted this photo on Facebook. Apparently, it shows a prototype of a casino poker table re-designed for the COVID-19 era, complete with plexiglass between and in front of all the players. In his caption, Steve wrote, “Don’t we all still touch the same cards and chips?”
Of course! Plus, unless they give each player a bottle of Windex and tell them to wipe it down every half-hour when the dealer changes, that plexiglass is gonna get pretty gross pretty quickly. I understand that casinos are trying to figure out how they can re-open and start taking people’s money again while still respecting social distancing, but I don’t think this is the solution.
I did a quick focus group of several poker-playing friends of mine, asking if they would return to the tables with this kind of setup. The overwhelming response was, “Not a chance!” The best answer came from my brother-in-law, Stuart:
Each seat needs to be like a chemistry lab where you put your hands into gloves fixed in plexiglass. Players would be given surgical gloves to wear inside the fixed gloves, and the interior of the fixed gloves would be disinfected each time a new player sits down. Problem solved.
So, all of a sudden, instead of playing Pot Limit Omaha or Texas Hold’em, we’d be playing a new poker game called Andromeda Strain?
Deal me out!