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World Series Of Poker Announces Tentative Plans For Full Live Schedule In Las Vegas This Fall

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced tentative dates for a full in-person event at the Rio in Las Vegas this fall.
  • The WSOP is planning to run September 30 through November 23 with the Main Event penciled in for November 4 through 17.
  • The full schedule will be released this summer.

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is planning a return to a full in-person schedule this fall. The WSOP has released tentative dates for the event of September 30 through November 23 at the Rio Las Vegas. The plan is to start the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em World Championship aka ‘The Main Event’ on Thursday, November 4 and run through Wednesday, November 17.

As was the case with so many other events, last year’s World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the WSOP Europe were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The WSOP Online was held in place of the traditional WSOP during the summer of 2020 and a hybrid online/live version of ‘The Main Event’ was held in December and January. International champion Damian Salas of Argentina eventually defeated U.S. champion Joseph Hebert heads-up live at the Rio, taking home a total of $2.55 million USD.

Obviously, this is all contingent on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of the event and several variables that are derived therefrom including gaming regulations, Nevada state mandates on social distancing/event capacity and the ease of domestic and international travel. Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director, said in the press release announcing the tentative dates that he wants to bring the community of poker players back together:

“This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together. In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas.”

In addition to the WSOP in Las Vegas plans are to hold the WSOP Europe from November 19 through December 8 at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The King’s Casino is currently closed due to the resurgence of COVID-19 in Europe (along with the European Union’s bumbling job handling the vaccination rollout across the continent) but they have posted an announcement of the WSOP Europe dates in the casino’s ‘News’ section:

The World Series of Poker & King’s Resort announces the dates for the 2021 World Series of Poker Europe.

The World Series Of Poker returns to King’s Resort this year running from November 19 till December 8. 15 WSOP Gold Bracelets are awaiting their new owners in 15 events, including the €10,000 WSOP Europe Main Event and a €50,000 High Roller.

“We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall,” said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the WSOP. “It’s important to us that we have an excellent tournament schedule available to our European players.”

In the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s report on the WSOP announcement they characterized much of the planning for the events as a ‘wait and see’ situation:

WSOP officials caution that all dates are tentative and subject to regulatory approval based on the state of coronavirus restrictions in the fall. No decision has been made on the number of players allowed at each table, whether the tables will have plexiglass dividers or other restrictions live poker players have dealt with during the pandemic.

The WSOP offered this disclaimer in the press release:

Please note: The ability to hold a live, in-person event will be subject to the state of the public health emergency due to COVID-19 and all applicable health, safety, and regulatory approvals, guidelines, and restrictions. WSOP reserves the right to make appropriate modifications to this plan and to the policies and procedures under which the tournament series may be held. 

The WSOP Online is also set to return beginning July 1:

Building off last summer’s record-setting success for both domestic and international online poker tournaments, WSOP plans to fill the summer void with an exciting slate of WSOP Gold Bracelet online events.

In 2020, WSOP.com’s domestic series awarded nearly $27 million in prize money across its 31 events, making it far and away the biggest online tournament series in the history of U.S. regulated poker.

Similarly, WSOP Online 2020 was a massive draw for international players in partnership with GGPoker, with the WSOP Online Main Event smashing the Guinness Book World Record for largest online poker tournament with a $27.5 million prize pool for a single event. In total, nearly $150 million in prize money was awarded across the festival, including seven-figure prize pools in 45 events, making it amongst the biggest tournament series in history.

Hopefully, both the WSOP Las Vegas and WSOP Europe will be able to take place in-person. Right now, the situation is surprisingly better in the US than in Europe. In the US, more than 3 million vaccinations are being administered every day while in Europe the combination of the European Union’s bumbling bureaucracy and clueless national government have seriously made a mess of things.

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