Over the past few months, the live poker world has been hit time and time again with event cancellations or postponements. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a problem around the world, restrictions within casinos as well as traveling issues are seeing events cancelled in several locations, even today. EPT’s were cancelled some time ago, with no live WSOP, as well as other poker festivals. Now we have learned that even more events are being affected as tournaments have been announced cancelled last week.
For poker gaming in Europe, the Malta Poker Festival and the Master Classics of Poker, were supposed to take place in November. However, they were both shut down last week due to the current environment.
In speaking with PokerNews, Malta Poker Festival Founder and Event Director, Ivonne Montealegre, stated that they are cancelling the festival due to the global outbreak of the virus. They considered the location and duration of the tournament as part of their decision making. They are worried that with all factors in play, that it would put a strain on the health system.
The event takes place at the Portomaso Casino, and the GM of the facility, Jesmond Galea, was in agreement with the cancellation of the festival. The casino looks forward to welcoming back the event in 2021.
Events in Malta for 2021 have been announced and will hopefully take place as scheduled. The Alpha is the first event on the 2021 calendar and will run in early February. The Malta Poker Championships are set for May and the Malta Poker Festival is back on the schedule in early November.
Master Classics Cancellation
For the Dutch poker community, the cancellation of the Master Classics of Poker was a big blow. The event has taken place at the Holland Casino Amsterdam twenty-eight years in a row. Along with this cancellation, the WSOP Circuit will not be heading to Rotterdam.
The Holland Casino was shut down over night not long ago during the WPT Amsterdam. Poker has not returned since and will most likely not be back in action for some time. Cash games and tournaments through November 1st are not on offer.
We expect that more details will be provided just before November begins as to if the casino will begin to provide poker gaming once again.
The poker industry has a whole has been greatly affected by the pandemic. Live events have been cancelled left and right as players are unable to congregate in large numbers due to the ability of the virus to spread easily.
Many casinos in the US are still not offering poker, despite opening back up with slots and table games. It is really unclear as to when poker will be front and center once again in casinos in the US as well as around the world. One can imagine that changes will not occur until there is a vaccine created or the spread slows to such low numbers that experts feel it will be safe to play together once again.