The World Series of Poker (WSOP) dates back to 1970 and has been held every year in Las Vegas since 2004. It is considered one of the world’s largest poker events, is televised worldwide and draws players and crowds from around the world.
The WSOP also expanded over the years to include localized events such as WSOP Europe, WSOP Africa, WSOP Asia Pacific, and since 2015 also includes the WSOP International Circuit.
The winner of each WSOP event received the World Series of Poker Bracelet and the monetary prize based on the number of entrants and buy-ins. In 2019 which was the event’s 50th anniversary, the WSOP’s Main Event had a prize pool of $80,548,600, and the first prize winner took $10,000,000.
The event was scheduled to kick off its 51st anniversary tournament in the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas on May 26th, and run through July 14th. This year’s WSOP was planned to host 117 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $400 to $250,000.
But in March, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed an order for all of the state’s casinos and entertainment venues to shut down until at least April 30th in order to protect public safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, there are no plans announced to reopen venues in May.
So as the coronavirus pandemic changed things for many other sports competitions and events around the world, and bringing more event organizers to seek online alternatives. Online poker has been seeing a surge in growth lately. But as far as land-based events, this year’s poker most prestigious event has also been postponed, with no alternative dates to be confirmed yet.
In a statement, executive director of WSOP Ty Stewart 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.”
It appears that the WSOP is will rely more heavily on online poker, which is legal and regulated in many countries around the world, and has now been regulated in several states in the US as well. Stewart added: “In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer.” This means, that many that wanted to take part in the WSOP action can do it from the comfort of their own home, logging into an online poker website or installing a poker app on their mobile device.
“We will soon announce details on the expanded series of tournaments played [online] and through partnership with international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes,” added Stewart.
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