It felt like it was only a matter of time before the World Series of Poker was officially postponed, but the announcement finally came down on Monday afternoon. The official announcement did not list a new date for the tournament, but tournament organizers are expected to look at some dates in August or September. The main reason for the postponement is the coronavirus pandemic that is causing many events to be postponed or canceled.
The 51st World Series of Poker event was scheduled to begin on May 26. The event would kick off at the Rio Casino Hotel & in Las Vegas, and there would be several tournaments taking place at the same time.
The executive director of the World Series of Poker, Ty Stewart, announced that they were committed to hosting a tournament in 2020, but they are currently weighing their options. The original event was set to conclude on July 1 with the $10,000 no-limit hold ’em main event.
All casinos and hotels are currently closed in the city of Las Vegas, and it is unclear when they will be allowed to reopen. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak announced the closures in mid-March, and the current order runs through April 30. Sisolak is facing some immense pressure to allow the casinos to reopen, but there is a chance that he could extend the closure into May.
As part of this announcement, World Series of Poker officials did announce that some changes would have to be made to the original schedule, besides just picking a new date. It’s likely that some of the smaller tournaments will be canceled, or the event will be held at different locations to speed up the event.
Playing It Online
Officials also noted that there are still several big events taking place at WSOP.com throughout the summer, and they are planning to expand the number of poker tournaments available. International operators are expected to jump on board in helping the organization create a bigger platform.
Since a large portion of the world is currently stuck quarantining at home, online poker sites have seen a huge growth in popularity and traffic. PokerStars hosted an international tournament at the end of March, and it set world records for the prize pool and the number of total entries. World Series of Poker officials believe that their online tournaments will bring in the same type of record numbers this summer.
The postponement of the World Series of Poker is another major blow to the economy in Las Vegas. The city has already lost the 2020 NFL Draft due to the coronavirus pandemic, and they are losing millions of dollars each day that casinos remain closed. Even though the World Series of Poker is committed to hosting the event in Las Vegas, the change in structure will likely cause more financial loss for the city.
The World Series of Poker dates back to 1970, although the tournament has grown in size and popularity over the last few decades. The original tournament had just seven players that were invited to the Horseshoe Casino, and the winner was chosen by a secret ballot of the participants.
The 2020 World Series of Poker was scheduled to have over 100 different events taking place over five weeks. Almost all of the events are some form of Texas Hold ’Em, but other poker games are played as well.
A gold bracelet is awarded to the winner of the main event each year, and last year the winner also received a $10 million cash prize. Hossein Ensan is the reigning champion of the main event, and he will be back to defend his title whenever the event takes place.