For the past year, the WSOP has survived online. The series quickly moved online after the COVID-19 pandemic started due to necessity. The series was unable to take place in land-based form due to the severity of the virus. Now that vaccines are more prevalent and the virus seems to be dissipating, the WSOP should be back in live format soon. However, its home, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, was sold not long ago and will soon be rebranded. Will the series stay at the venue or move on to a new location?
Let’s Play Catchup
For those who don’t know, let’s play catchup. First of all, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino was owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp. It was sold at the end of 2019 for $516 million to a company called Dreamscape.
Since 2005, the hotel has played host to the WSOP. However, Caesars decided to take the brand with it when it sold the property. The plan was to host one or two more WSOPs at the Rio and then move on to a new location.
However, the WSOP did not take place in live format in 2020 due to the pandemic. So, it has been up in the air as to if the series will be at the Rio this year or not. Just a few days ago, the buyer of the Rio announced that the hotel will be rebranded and become part of the Hyatt Hotels Corp. suites.
Technically, the Rio was purchased by Imperial Companies, which is an affiliate of Dreamscape Companies. The Dreamscape company is known to develop retail, residential, entertainment, and gaming properties.
The company made an announcement on March 18 about the renovation. Once the renovation is completed, the Rio will rebrand to offer Hyatt services. It will become a Hyatt Regency hotel.
So, What About the WSOP?
It’s already weird to think that the WSOP will not take place at the Rio in the future. Now, it really won’t because of the rebranding process. In the past, representatives for Caesars said that the series would stay at the Rio. However, that was before the pandemic.
The Rio did host the final table of the special Main Event hosted in 2020/21 but that was it. Right now, it is up in the air as to if the series will take place this year and if it does, who will host? Caesars has yet to comment on the WSOP or what will happen in the future.
The website for the WSOP still lists the Rio as the home of the series. So, it really is anyone’s guess as to what will happen to the series from here. The virus still plays a part and we might see a hybrid option again this year, where players compete partially online and finish out events in live format.
Only time will tell, but it is for certain that even if the WSOP stays at the Rio it will no longer be known by the name in the near future as the Hyatt rebranding begins to take shape.