Playground Poker Continually Updates Online Offerings

The coronavirus pandemic swept across Canada as it did in so many other countries around the world, closing everything in its wake. People stayed home to stay healthy, and businesses closed to prevent an overwhelming spread of the virus.

Casinos and card rooms were no exception and closed in mid-March. Playground Poker, despite having implemented numerous alternatives, closed its doors, too. That happened in the early morning hours of March 14.

End Not in Sight

Exactly one month later, Canada has 25,680 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which 780 resulted in death. Quebec has the highest number of cases by far – more than 13,500 in Quebec, well ahead of the next highest number of 7,470 in Ontario.

Just when the overall numbers seem to decline, they rise again. It is unclear if Canada has seen its trend hit any type of plateau.

That doesn’t bode well for Playground Poker, located in Quebec.

Playground Poker, however, had an ace up its sleeve. By no means is it a long-term solution or a replacement for any reasonable fraction of its normal revenue, but it offers something. That is the establishment’s long-standing relationship with PartyPoker.

Less than one week after Playground’s closure, the club announced online cash games specifically reserved for Playground players. And PartyPoker did launch those games exactly one week after the club closed.

A subsequent announcement about two weeks later introduced tournaments for Playground players. And in the weeks since, Playground has listened to players and implemented changes to give players more of what they want.

Cash Game Offerings and Changes

The original offerings for Playground players included a range of poker game limits and buy-ins common in the club. Players could opt into the Playground Network to find the cash games or to set up private games, all facilitated by Playground

Everyone was to play with their real names – no mysterious screen names – so players could recognize each other. They would also receive 20% rakeback to be deposited daily into player accounts.

After a few weeks, Playground announced some changes, most of which had been suggested by the players. Cash games had not been as successful as they had hoped, with some days missing enough players to even play heads-up.

So, Playground notified players that their 20% rakeback – on top of regular rakeback earned through PartyPoker – must be played in the Playground network on cash game tables. Players were encouraged to play at least a few hands each week on the Playground cash tables.

Better yet, to coordinate players, Playground established a meeting time each night. Players can gather around 7:30pm each evening to increase the chances of starting more games.

Tournament Offerings and Changes

By April 2, Playground was ready to expand its offerings to make up for a lack of cash game players. The Playground Network on PartyPoker offered two daily tournaments at that point, one at noon and the other at 7pm.

The schedule was – and still is – as follows:

  • Monday 12pm: $27.50 + $12.50 NLHE Bounty 6-max (single reentry, 20K stack)
  • Monday 7pm: $75 NLHE Deepstack 6-max (single reentry, 30K stack)
  • Tuesday 12pm: $33 NLHE Deepstack 8-max (single reentry, 30K stack)
  • Tuesday 7pm: $55 PLO 8-max (unlimited reentry, 30K stack)
  • Wednesday 12pm: $33 NLHE 8-max (single reentry, 20K stack)
  • Wednesday, 7pm: $55 NLHE Deepstack 8-max (single reentry, 30K stack)
  • Thursday 12pm: $27.50 + $12.50 NLHE Bounty 8-max (single reentry, 20K stack)
  • Thursday 7pm: $60 + $15 NLHE Bounty 6-max (no reentries, 20K stack)
  • Friday 12pm: $44 NLHE Megastack 8-max (single reentry, 50K stack)
  • Friday 7pm: $44 + $16 NLHE Bounty 8-max (no reentries, 20K stack)
  • Saturday 12pm: $27.50 NLHE Deepstack 8-max (no reentries, 30K stack)
  • Saturday 7pm: $33 NLHE 8-max (single reentry, 20K chips)
  • Sunday 12pm: $27.50 NLHE Deepstack 8-max (no reentries, 30K stack)
  • Sunday 7pm: $27.50 + $25 NLHE Bounty 6-max (single reentry, 20K stack)

The tournaments are listed in the lobby to the right of other options, like Cash, Fast Forward, Short Deck, Sit & Go, Tourneys, and other special events like the MILLION. “PartyPoker LIVE” then lists the available tournaments.

Playground updated last week that the tournament response was “overwhelmingly positive” and fields typically exceeded 100 players. And based on feedback from those players, they added 15 additional blind levels and reduced the late registration period from 12 levels to just eight levels.

Notes and Requirements

This may go without saying, but players must be based in Canada. And players must establish a PartyPoker LIVE account before accessing the Playground Network.

Players must opt in to the network and request permission to join. The Playground Poker Club management team will make the final decision as to who is allowed to join. It may take up to two working days for acceptance, but often times it takes only a few hours.

Different from normal online poker, players in this network must use their real names at the tables. But all other terms and conditions of PartyPoker apply.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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