For most of 2020, live poker was missing in the United States. As the coronavirus pandemic began in the nation, casinos shut down, which meant no poker gaming. When venues opened back up, they did so without poker due to the social nature of the game. Over the past few weeks, live gaming has started up again and one of the first to launch services again was the Venetian in Las Vegas. The casino started the DeepStack Extravaganza in late October and will continue the series through the end of November. This weekend, the series will include two Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) stops.
From November 13-15, players can take part in the MSPT Main Event, which has a buy-in of $1,100 and a $200,000 guaranteed prize pool. Next up is another Main Event set for November 19-23. This event has a $1,600 buy-in and features a larger $400,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Both MSPT Main Events are expected to draw a crowd. Players can pre-register and those who do so will begin play at 11:10 am on the start of the event day. With the first scheduled Main Event, players will start with 25,000 in chips. Blind levels will increase every 40 minutes. Late registration is open for this event through 6:25 pm on Day 1a and Day 1b.
In the second Main Event, players will be given 30,000 in starting chips. The blind levels will increase at a longer rate of every hour. This event will also have three starting flights. Late registration is open through Day 2 at 1:15 pm.
As the event takes place, players are required to war a mask the entire time. They are also asked to use hand sanitizer before sitting down at the table. The poker tables at the Venetian can seat eight players and each have Plexiglass dividers between everyone at the table. The areas are wiped down as a new player moves in.
The dealers of the poker room must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting the table. A fresh deck of cards is provided to each table every two hours.
Looking Ahead After A Long Interruption
The MSPT is hoping to push forward after a long interruption in game play. When the pandemic began, the 11th season of the series was interrupted. This started in March and it took a long six months before gaming was up and running again. The tour got started in South Dakota back in August at the Grand Falls Casino.
The stop was a big success and saw the Main Event attract over 500 players. It seemed that everyone was ready for live poker to be back in action. The MSPT will return to this location in December to close out the short season.
The tour is now looking ahead to Season 12 which will begin at the Venetian in early January 2021. Hopefully, the pandemic will remain in check and the next season will be able to take place as expected.