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WSOP Takes Decision to Postpone 2020 Series

WSOP Logo

While live poker tournaments have suffered from being postponed and cancelled left, right, and center recently thanks to the effects of coronavirus, one tournament for which no decision had been made was the World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2020. Dates for this year’s event were set back in December 2019, although it instantly sparked controversy due to the fact that players would be able to register late for the Main Event right into the second day. Yet, the most recent uncertainty surrounding WSOP was actually whether or not it would end up taking place at all.

While some poker players and fans on Twitter were suggesting that it was too early to delay or cancel the tournament, others were making noise over the fact that no decision had been taken on it. Well, it has finally been confirmed that WSOP 2020 has been postponed to later on in the year although exact dates have yet to be fully confirmed.

WSOP Postpones 2020 Series

Details of the WSOP 2020 Event

Magnifying Glass

As noted, in December last year, dates were announced for this year’s tournament, which would take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas (which has in itself been the subject of discussion lately because Caesars Entertainment sold the establishment to Imperial Companies towards the end of September 2019). The 51st edition of the WSOP tournament was set to begin on Tuesday, May 26 with a vast number of events taking place over its 51-day run.

The 2019 tournament featured a record-breaking number of entries, with over 187,000 taking to the event from more than 118 countries around the world. Because of this, WSOP 2019 saw itself handing out more than $293 million in prize money throughout the tournament.

That event also took place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, and despite the fact that it was sold later on in the year, the plan was to continue with this year’s event in the same location. Hosting rights for the tournament remain in the hands of Caesars, and even though the establishment has been sold to Imperial Companies, it remains in Caesars control for the next two years as part of the deal.

Rio Hotel & CasinoRio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas: Current Host of the WSOP

The first gold bracelet events in WSOP 2020 were scheduled to take place on Wednesday, May 27. Of course, everyone’s highlight would likely be the Main Event Championship, and players could buy into that for $10,000 with the tournament having three starting flights available.

Postponement Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Calendar

The threat of COVID-19 has already forced many poker events to be delayed or cancelled in their entirety, and WSOP took the step on Monday, Apr. 20 of announcing its decision on the 2020 tournament. It has now been postponed until the fall of 2020 although there have been no exact dates set, and no specific events for the rescheduled tournament have been announced either. Speaking of the decision to delay WSOP 2020, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker Ty Stewart said:

We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being

Stewart went on to explain that official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online during the summer in the interim. Further details will be released soon on an “expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com,” which gives players the chance to access games and potentially win big from the comfort of their own homes via this online poker site.

It’s not simply a case of taking the schedule from May through July and just placing it down across 51 dates later on in the year, though. Plenty of planning is needed to have the tournament moved to the fall in the first place, so it should also be common sense that the WSOP 2020 schedule will be revisited and adjustments made where necessary. Naturally, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event Championship is expected to remain on the cards, but once details have been finalized, more info will be released.

As far as the next scheduled live WSOP event is concerned, this comes in the form of the Global Casino Championship. Announced on March 10 of this year, the 16th edition of this event is scheduled to take place between Aug. 11 - 13 and will be held at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina.

This event operates on an invitation-only level though, only being open to those players who have qualified for it. Harrah’s is one of only two Native American casinos based within the state of North Carolina – which just recently legalized sports betting options within both of those establishments.

Other Poker Events Affected by COVID-19

While WSOP is perhaps the largest poker event that has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, it certainly isn’t the first. The likelihood is that it also won’t be the last, either.

One of the first tournaments to have been affected by the outbreak was the Triton Super High Roller Series Jeju. That was supposed to begin on Monday, Feb. 10 and run until the 22nd of the same month, occurring at the Jeju Landing Casino in South Korea. However, the casino was forced to postpone it, thanks to the same coronavirus health concerns and following the WHO international emergency announcement.

Not too far away from the shores of South Korea, the administrative region of Macau in China was forced into closing all of its casinos at the beginning of February. There had already been confirmations of infected people within Macau at the time, and this led to the Chief Executive of Macau opting to shutter all 41 casinos within the region for a two-week period.

It didn’t take long for the virus to spread from shore to shore, leading to multiple countries opting to not only close the doors of land-based casinos and poker rooms, but to completely cancel or postpone various poker tournaments in the process. King’s Resort in the Czech Republic chose to cancel all events with a prime focus on appealing to Italian players, following the huge upsurge in coronavirus cases within the European country. Other events that were cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak include:

  • PokerStars Road to PSPC in Hamburg, Germany (March 10 – 15)
  • PokerStars Road to PSPC in La Grand Mote, France (March 10 – 15)
  • Golden Poker Million in Marrakech, Morocco (March 13 – 22)
  • Unibet DeepStack Open in Aix en Provence, France (March 18 – 22)
  • Winamax Poker Tour Grand Final in Madrid, Spain (March 19 – 29)
  • World Poker Tour in Barcelona, Spain (March 27 – April 5)
  • PokerStars Road to PSPC in Madrid Gran Via, Spain (March 31 – April 5)
  • Irish Poker Open in Dublin, Ireland (April 6 – 13)

Online Surge in Poker Gameplay

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Now, the WSOP 2020 tournament can be added to that list of cancelled or postponed poker events. Naturally, the lack of land-based poker tournaments taking place has led to a huge upsurge in gameplay online and, indeed, an increase in the number of online poker registrations as well. So obviously, the threat to public health outside has led to more people opting to play poker games at online destinations, which is great for online revenue.

While poker's premier series intends to expand its tournament offerings on the WSOP.com cardroom, this site is only available to those physically present within either New Jersey or Nevada. If the prospect of heading online to play strikes you as being an appealing idea, but you are not located within one of these two states, then you can always browse through a recommended selection of online poker platforms. These sites cater to U.S. players, ensuring that an enjoyable time can be had by residents of all states.