The 51st running World Series Of Poker (WSOP) in Las Vegas has been postponed. The move comes after weeks of rumors and speculation that the largest poker tournament of the year will be delayed or canceled.
Caesars Entertainment, operators of WSOP, says the postponement of the tournament is due to the public health emergency involving COVID-19 which has closed all US casinos. The company says that they would like to have the WSOP return later this year if and when the coronavirus pandemic concerns have lessened.
World Series of Poker is postponed — not canceled
WSOP 2020 has not been canceled. Caesars is targeting dates sometime in the fall of 2020 for the return of the poker tournament. The company will announce the exact dates in the future. Depending on the timeline they may have to reduce the number of events for the WSOP.
Last year more than 180,000 players participated in 90 events at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This year the annual WSOP was set to run from May 26 to July 15, 2020. The original WSOP schedule included 117 events.
Regardless of how many events could be canceled this year, WSOP will include poker’s world championship, the $10,000 buy-in Main Event championship. This is the most prestigious event and richest prize pool on the poker calendar every year.
“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, executive director of the World Series of Poker.
WSOP.com still operating
Stewart continued saying “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 a partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”
WSOP.com is still operating so poker players can keep their skills sharp while remaining quarantined. The online poker website shares liquidity in the following states:
- New Jersey
There are still more than 40 tournaments taking place in the WSOP Spring Online Championships which runs through May 3. Additionally, there are Sunday tournaments with a guaranteed prize of $100,000.
The big news of all is that the WSOP.com online bracelet events will continue as planned this summer. There will be a total of 14 online WSOP tournaments this summer. Buy-ins range in price from $400 to $10,000.
New Caesars could mean changes for WSOP
Eldorado Resorts is still in the process of closing a merger deal with Caesars Entertainment. The deal should be completed by June. Eldorado Resorts will operate the new company which will keep the name “Caesars” – without the entertainment.
While Caesars has a two-year lease to operate the Rio, the new company could decide to relocate the WSOP elsewhere in Las Vegas this year. It’s expected that Las Vegas casinos could re-open in stages. The Rio could remain shuttered for longer than other Caesars properties in Las Vegas since it’s located off the Vegas Strip and away from the other properties.
Even if Rio opens, Caesars could decide to relocate WSOP anyway. This could be an opportunity to showcase the new Caesars Forum convention center opening behind The Linq and Harrah’s. The new convention center was supposed to host the 2020 NFL Draft which was turned into a virtual event as Las Vegas shuttered all non-essential businesses for April.