WSOP Holds Out Hope for 2020 Events
The World Series of Poker isn’t tossing in its hand just yet about the possibility that it may be able to begin its series this year on May 23 in Las Vegas. It is planning as though the tournament will begin on schedule.
Although most of the U.S. gaming world is shut down due to the coronavirus, the World Series of Poker is still holding out hope that the tournament will begin May 23 in Las Vegas.
WSOP is still making preparations to begin the tournament at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. WSOP Vice President and spokesman Seth Palansky told the Casino City Times last week, “We’ve been taking it day by day, and at this point, it’s hour by hour. We’re still more than two months away, so as of now, we’re planning on running as scheduled.”
However, all live WSOP Circuit events have been cancelled through the end of April and the event is totally dependent on whether players are willing to take the chance to travel to Las Vegas or sit it out.
The tournament has come under considerable pressure from those who think it should be cancelled this year because, in the words of one article headline, the WSOP “is a petri dish for disease.”
Palansky says the event will act responsibly. “We’ll do the right thing,” he said. “We’ll follow the guidelines from the medical experts and make a decision when the time comes. But for now, we remain optimistic. It would be great if we’re able to host it. It will be sad if we can’t. But life will go on either way.”
Just because the opening series might have to be cancelled doesn’t mean that the more than 70 events between May 23-July 15 would all have to cancel. Many players feel that an abbreviated series would be better than none at all.
Some credit WSOP with being practical by taking all contingencies into account and being prepared to spring into action should most or some of the restrictions be lifted.
There is also the possibility of holding some of the events online. WSOP is already holding 14 “gold bracelet” online contests. It could expand that amount. It is not gone unnoticed that since the shutdowns of casinos began that the online poker rooms offered by WSOP.com in the states where it is legal are higher than ever before.
Palansky said, “We almost can’t even keep up with the demand,” he said. “A lot of new player registrations, we’re adding tournaments and we’ve seen peak capacity, bigger than we’ve ever seen.”
He told Casino City, “And if something were to happen with the 2020 World Series of Poker as far as the live events, we now feel even more confident in putting together something online.”