888 Holdings’ online poker vertical proved so popular during the height of the coronavirus lockdown that it was caught unprepared, and had to quickly upgrade its infrastructure in order to cope, the company stated.

The news came during the operator’s H1 2020 financial results, which revealed that poker had grown 56% year-over-year to $36.1 million, its highest half-year in three years.

“Poker was definitely the surprising vertical of the period, with many players shifting from physical poker games to online and a product that has a strong recreational nature and represents very good value for time spent on it,” said Itai Pazner, 888 Holdings’ CEO, in presented the results to investors last week.

“This vertical was extremely successful in this period when many people are seeking online entertainment products that they can consume from home and do it in a safe and secure way,” he added.