This is a developing story and will be updated.
The 2020 World Series of Poker will not take place until the fall, at the earliest, in a move that seemed increasingly necessary given the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and the potential reopening of Las Vegas.
The organization postponed the event, not canceled, with a target of holding the biggest poker tournament series in the world this fall. The WSOP was originally scheduled to start May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Vegas.
“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,” said Ty Stewart, the executive director of the World Series of Poker. “In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, and we will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”
There had been speculation of trying to move the event entirely online or making other modifications to the schedule. Still, the WSOP decided that holding off on the poker tournament was the best decision for now.
The logistics of the WSOP provided a cloudy outlook of the event taking place any time soon:
That’s not at all clear.
The amount of space it takes to run the WSOP over a month and a half is considerable, so it’s unknown whether it could run the same length of time or be the same size as the usual event. The WSOP, however, apparently hopes to achieve its “traditional scale, per Stewart.
So if the goal appears to be a large-scale tournament series, the possibility exists that it will be scaled-down.
It will still include the $10,000 buy-in main event when it does take place, according to the WSOP.
Currently, this is the only WSOP event impacted:
- The Global Casino Championship will take place at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina in August. The event is invitation-only.
- This development did not affect the WSOP Europe, already scheduled for the fall, according to the WSOP. That takes place in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
The cancellation of the live poker tournament series comes as interest in online poker is booming. Gambling options have been few and far between amid the pandemic.
The WSOP has found success with its online bracelet events, but even that success is predicated upon the influx of poker players in Vegas for the land-based poker tournaments.
The WSOP also just announced a partnership with GGPoker for online WSOP Circuit events for the international community. It hasn’t yet said exactly what its plans are for online summer events. However, Stewart told OPR that potential partnerships in that regard might not be limited to just GGPoker or 888, its usual partner.