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Hurricane Irma Disrupts Major Poker Events

Satellite Image of Hurricane Irma

The Category 4 hurricane Irma has forced the cancellation of several live poker events in the Caribbean and Florida. These include a WSOP Caribbean stop in St. Maarten and a WPT Deepstacks series in Florida. The elimination of some tournaments is a result of the damage Irma has already wreaked while others have been abandoned in advance of Irma's expected appearance near the tournament venues.

WSOP-C St. Maarten

Logo of the WSOP Circuit

The island of St. Maarten, split between Dutch and French sovereignty, was intended to host a series as part of the World Series of Poker Caribbean tour from Nov. 1 - 15. After a number of preliminary events, the $1,675 Main Event would have guaranteed $250,000. However, hurricane Irma hit St. Maarten Wednesday, causing massive devastation and killing eight. The Princess Juliana International Airport is currently inoperative, and the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino, the designated venue for the WSOP-C festival, suffered heavy damage. The organizer of the festival, TK Poker Events, posted a statement on its Facebook page explaining that the tournaments were being canceled and that everyone who had prepaid for their reservations would be getting a refund. This presumably includes those who won a package through the WSOP St. Maarten promotion at Intertops.

WPT Deepstacks Immokalee

WPTDeepstacks Logo

The World Poker Tour's Deepstacks event had already started on Sept. 1 at the Seminole Casino Hotel in Immokalee, Florida. However, both organizations announced Wednesday that the remainder of the series was canceled due to the threat posed by Irma. The National Weather Service has issued an alert for Collier County, in which the casino is located, advising that hurricane-force winds are expected on Sunday. A few of the lower-buyin tourneys have already occurred, but the $1,100 Main Event is among the tournaments that will not be taking place. Fortunately, there are plans to reschedule the series for some future date. Sister casino Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood intended to hold a WSOP Circuit series beginning on Sept. 21, but this appears to have been pushed back to Sept. 29.

Bill Perkins' Streamboat

Bill Perkins' Streamboat

High-roller Bill Perkins planned to head to the British Virgin Islands with a few of his buddies and the winners of a PokerStars promotion aboard the “Streamboat.” The Streamboat is Perkins' yacht, which he sometimes uses to stream poker sessions to his audience of railbirds. The Streamboat already concluded a successful voyage in March, but this month's fun, originally scheduled for Sept. 11 - 17, will not be happening due to the unsafe conditions generated by Irma.

Punta Cana Poker Classic

Logo of the Punta Cana Poker Classic

According to preliminary reports on YouTube, Hurricane Irma did not impact the Dominican resort town of Punta Cana in any significant way. While there were high winds, reports from the ground suggest that the worst that happened was a few downed palm trees. The Punta Cana Poker Classic will run from Oct. 24 - 30 at the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort as planned. Americas Cardroom is currently running satellites that offer the opportunity to win a $4,900 package for as little as $0.28.  EDITOR'S NOTE: Official update from Winning Poker Network's tournament director states all is well!

Punta Cana 2017 unaffected by Hurricane Irma

About Hurricane Irma

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Hurricane Irma is the most powerful such storm in the Atlantic on record since 2005's Hurricane Wilma. It first formed on Aug. 30 near the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. Winds picked up speed as Irma headed westward until they reached 185 mph, enough to earn Irma the status of a Category 5 hurricane. Irma then struck the Caribbean island of Barbuda hard on Sept. 6. It continued on to make landfall at St. Maarten, the British Virgin Islands, and The Bahamas. Shortly thereafter, Irma's winds slowed down sufficiently for it to fall into the Category 4 classification. It's currently located southeast of Florida and is expected to arrive in the state Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

No Hurricanes Online

While live poker players in the affected areas have seen their games interrupted by Irma, this is not the case for internet poker players elsewhere. If you want to join the ranks of millions of online poker players, who can participate in their hobby almost regardless of weather conditions, then check out our guide to U.S. poker rooms.