LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The 51st running of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), set to begin on May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is officially being postponed as a result of the public health emergency involving COVID-19.
It is now targeted for fall of 2020, with exact dates and events to be determined.
In a press release to the media, Ty Stewart, the executive director of the World Series of Poker, 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.
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.
Garry Gates, a local Henderson man who made it to the final table in 2019, said he was planning on playing again this year with a goal of making it to the final table a second year in a row. He said he understands why the event has been postponed.
"In terms of poker, when you’re sitting there for ten hours a day and passing the same chips and cards among people sitting in close proximity with each other, it’s the exact type of environment that would lead to spreading this type of virus so I think they made the right call and I think everyone will be that much more excited when we finally get to play when they do reschedule," he said.
Those with hotel reservations at Caesars Entertainment properties for the WSOP are asked to visit caesars.com or call 1-800-223-7277 to cancel or modify their reservation.
The 2020 WSOP schedule will be revisited as a result of the postponement, and changes are anticipated. WSOP says when this year’s edition does run, it will include poker’s world championship, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship, the richest prize pool on the poker calendar each year.
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The next live event on the WSOP calendar, remains the Global Casino Championship, is still scheduled for August 11-13 at Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina. It is an invitation-only event, open to those who have qualified.
WSOP Europe, hosted at King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, remains on the calendar for the Fall 2020.
All announced dates, times and events are subject to change.
In 2019, 187,298 people came to the event at the Rio from 118 different countries. There was more than $293,000,000 awarded in prize money.