For months now, players have not had access to live poker. When the coronavirus pandemic first began, casinos shut down, which meant no poker. Once the casinos began to reopen, the poker rooms remained closed because operators were unsure how to offer the social game safely. After a few weeks, poker rooms started offering services at a few casinos, but major events were lacking. The WSOP postponed the popular annual series early in the year due to the virus and it looked like we would not see any major poker action in 2020. However, now we have learned that the WSOP is hosting a Main Event in December with players located in the US and internationally able to take part.
Hosting a Main Event during the Pandemic
Because the pandemic is still taking place on a global scale, a WSOP Main Event has to take place online for the most part. Players will be able to take part in an online competition before moving on to land-based play.
In the US, the $10,000 freezeout will take place at the WSOP website in Nevada and New Jersey. On December 13, a single Day 1 flight will be hosted. Day 2 will take place the very next day and then see the event play out until the final table is formed.
Before that, GGPoker will be hosting its version of the Main Event. There will be three starting flights with this event. November 29 is the first day, followed by December 5 and 6. Players can only compete in one flight. Those who make it to the next round will compete until the final table is formed on December 7.
Players in the US and abroad will compete in the same structured event. Players are not allowed to compete in the GGPoker version and then move on to the WSOP. Players can only compete in one or the other.
Live Final Table
Once the final tables are determined, each tournament will take place in live form. The final table of the WSOP will take place in Las Vegas on December 28. The Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino will be hosting. For GGPoker, the live final table takes place in the Czech Republic via King’s Casino on December 15.
Once a winner is determined in the US and abroad, the two players will meet up at the Rio to compete in a Heads-Up Finale. The winner will earn an additional $1 million and a gold bracelet. The winner will also earn bragging rights as they will be the WSOP Main Event champ, the only one to earn a win in 2020 during a live event during the pandemic.
The event will take place on December 30. The Heads-Up Finale as well as the final tables of the two events will be broadcast via ESPN. Players who take part in the live sections of the events will need to follow on-site COVID-19 protocols and procedures. These details will be released in a few days as the events nearer closer to start time.