As hundreds of thousands of players flock to Sin City each year for the annual World Series of Poker (WSOP), the highly anticipated news of this year’s status was finally confirmed yesterday. The leading poker brand announced on its website the intended rescheduling for its 51st running of the WSOP due to the public health emergency brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Postponed for a later date, the long-running festival was originally set to begin Tuesday, May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It is now targeted for fall of 2020, with exact dates and events to be determined. Understandably, the decision of delaying the festival was already expected by many. The crowds the circuit may attract might ultimately be unwise given the current situation.
“We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker.
“In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, and we will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”
Legendary poker icon and six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu added, “At this point, it wasn’t a question of if, it was a question of when,” he said. “There’s no social distancing in poker. You’re using the same cards and chips, sitting around a table for 10, 12 hours a day.”
Considering the turn of events, WSOP warns its players to anticipate changes for this year’s line up. The $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship, the richest prize pool on the poker calendar on the other hand, will be included in the series later this year. The Global Casino Championship also scheduled for August 11-13, 2020 at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina is still expected to push through, indefinitely serving as the latest upcoming live event on the WSOP calendar, open only to those who have qualified.
WSOP Europe, hosted at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, remains on the calendar as well for this Fall 2020. International players who are keen to attend the scheduled events are urged to be updated with the most recent news taking into account the abrupt changes that might possibly occur.
Despite the disruptions in live poker schedules, poker enthusiasts are keeping up with gaming demands through real money online poker platforms. WSOP’s Online Super Circuit Series last March in response to the postponed live circuit tournament events, has reportedly generated 7,849 entries and $2.343 million in total prize pools through twelve events. The record-breaking series has shattered all its guarantees to almost double in value or even triple for a few tournaments.
Following its massive success, the WSOP announced its partnership with GGNetwork – Natural8 to host its WSOP Super Circuit Online Series this coming May 2020 featuring 18 headline events alongside various side events throughout the series. With the majority of the population stuck at home, the news of two invitations to the $1,000,000 freeroll WSOP Global Casino Championship official bracelet event to be awarded may be an enticing way to jumpstart your online poker career and join in on the action.