Just as the World Series of Poker announced it will require vaccinations for participants, the Venetian and the Wynn revealed their fall poker tournament schedules with nary a word about shot requirements.
Venetian’s DeepStack Championship II will run Sept. 27 to Nov. 28, while the Wynn Fall Classic will run Sept. 30 through Nov. 21. Both series boast guaranteed prize pools above $10 million. The Venetian’s biggest event will be a three-day, $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em Card Player Poker Tour event with a $1 million guarantee that begins Nov. 11. The Wynn will host a three-day, $3,500 No-Limit Hold’em championship event beginning Oct. 29 with a $3 million guaranteed prize pool.
Both schedules were released late in the week, around the same time that Caesars blew up the pokerverse by saying it will require vaccinations for players at the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino this year. That announcement created a strong dividing line between players for and against the requirement. Following FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, many businesses have announced vaccination requirements for employees and customers.
Many players on poker forums, Facebook groups, and Twitter said they would boycott the WSOP this year, sparking this inspired tweet:
Lol to the people who say they are “boycotting” the @WSOP because of the vaccine mandate. You can’t boycott something you’re not allowed to attend
— Sasha Salinger (@sashasalinger) August 28, 2021
Some of those expressing disdain for Caesars’ decision said they’d take their business elsewhere in Las Vegas and focus on other tournament series. Several rivals plan to run tournament series concurrent with the WSOP, as they usually do in the summer. Beyond Venetian and Wynn, the Golden Nugget and Orleans have announced festivals for the fall. None of them have yet announced vaccination requirements, but that could change in the next month.
The silence is irking some pro-vaxxers, such as this one who expressed his disappointment with the Wynn in replying to a tweet announcing the Wynn Fall Classic schedule:
The Wynn has fallen below the Rio during WSOP when it comes to player health. 😳
— Paul Smith (@pauls551) August 28, 2021
While both the Venetian and Wynn series will focus on No-Limit Hold’em, both plan to offer some variety. The Venetian will host several of its usual Survivor tournaments in which 10% of the field each gets the same prize for outlasting the rest of the field, as well as a few Omaha formats, including Pot-Limit, Pot-limit High-Low, and Big O.
The Wynn intends to host HORSE, PLO, and PLO8 events during its festival.