Could this year’s World Series of Poker be the last one at The Rio?

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Throughout the last fifteen years or so, the annual World Series of Poker events have taken place at The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, making the property an esteemed part of the poker industry. Being the home of the WSOP for numerous years, players old and new have filled their hearts with precious memories of its pavilion and exciting moments tied to the location. However, as change comes naturally, recent developments strongly suggest that this fall’s WSOP festival could ultimately be the last one to be held at the historic Rio.

Since 2019, speculations of the WSOP preparing to move to a new location have already sprouted. Its official sale to New York-based real estate company, Imperial Companies for $516.3 million September of that year, pushed the poker community even more so to believe the rumors to be true. Yet, WSOP’s former Vice President of Corporate Communications, Seth Palansky revelation via social media, “Can 100% confirm WSOP will take place at the Rio in Las Vegas in 2020”, gave everyone the answer they needed at the time.

Breaking the ice

Taking note of WSOP’s absence last 2020 and fast forward to today, seasoned pros along with the multitude of poker enthusiasts are already teeming with excitement as this year’s festivities draw closer. As confirmed by the major operator, the 2021 games this coming September 30 through November 23 will remain to be held at The Rio while further revealing an action-packed schedule of 88 bracelet events.

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A recent announcement from The Valley National 8-Ball League Association (VNEA) on the other hand, highly suggested the speculated move to be closer than expected. On its official Facebook page, it revealed its new partnership with The Westgate Las Vegas following the unexpected termination of its contract with Bally’s Hotel & Casino while highlighting the main reason to be the WSOP’s move 2022 onwards. The VNEA hosts its annual World Pool Championship in the entertainment capital towards the end of May each year which coincidentally clashes with the WSOP’s traditional summer schedule.

VNEA’s long-term contract with Bally’s Hotel & Casino was suddenly canceled by Bally’s as a result of the World Series Of Poker (WSOP) moving from Rio to the Bally’s/Paris properties in 2022 and beyond”, it stated as part of its update

With Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas belonging under the same parent company as WSOP, Caesars Entertainment, the chosen interconnected venues are of no surprise to the impending move, especially with both properties’ convention space rivalling that of The Rio’s in size. So far, the WSOP has been utilizing a combined space of approximately 235,000 sq. ft. in previous years, and with the events continuously getting bigger, Bally’s close to 255,000 sq. ft. in allowable combined space and Paris’ 225,000 sq. ft. is more than sufficient enough to cover the extensive games. 

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While WSOP is yet to make an official comment, PokerNews’ Chad Halloway visited the location and gave fans a sneak preview of possibly what’s to come. 

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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