WSOP Last Upcoming Major Event in the US That Hasn’t Been Canceled, Planners Still Holding Out Hope

To the surprise of many poker players, the 2020 WSOP still has yet to be canceled. Nearly every other major sporting event or large gathering scheduled for the next few months, however, has been. But organizers of poker’s summer extravaganza said they’ll wait until May to make a decision.

2020 WSOP cancellation poker

Some anti-social distancing going on here. (Image: CardsChat News)

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reached out to Seth Palansky, the WSOP’s VP of Corporate Communications. He told Sin City’s leading newspaper, “we don’t need to make a decision now.”

The 2020 WSOP is scheduled to begin on May 26, one day prior to the first bracelet event. But that start date could be in jeopardy due to the coronavirus pandemic. As of Monday, there were more than 160,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US, including 3,000 deaths. Those figures are growing daily and millions around the country have been ordered to stay at home and avoid public gatherings.

With social distancing guidelines in place, it may not be feasible to host a massive poker series. Thousands of players pack the Rio convention center each summer for poker’s biggest annual event. It would be nearly impossible to keep everyone six feet apart, the CDC’s suggested social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Still, the 2020 WSOP hasn’t been canceled. Organizers remain optimistic that it can run as scheduled, at least publicly. Palansky told the LVRJ he doesn’t anticipate a decision to be made until May.

Planners for the 51st annual World Series of Poker are mostly keeping things tight-lipped, for now.

2020 WSOP Only Event Still in Question

March Madness was canceled for the first time. The NBA, NHL, and MLB seasons are on hold, and many don’t expect any of them to continue this year. Even the 2020 Summer Olympics in Japan have been pushed back to next year. But the 2020 WSOP, for now, is scheduled to run as planned.

The 51st annual series, should it take place, will feature 101 gold bracelet events. That includes 14 online bracelet tournaments to be held at Many poker players on social media have speculated that the 2020 WSOP will be played exclusively online. No employees of Caesars or the World Series of Poker have confirmed that to be true, however.

Should the series run exclusively at, it will only be open to those in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. You don’t have to live in those states to play on the legal poker site. You just have to be located within those state’s borders while you play. But it may be difficult for players to travel given the current self-quarantine restrictions around the country.

Written by
Jon Sofen
Semi-pro poker player with 17 years experience on the felt and more than five years working as professional poker media.


shamanalix wrote...

It is massively stupid and inconsiderate of customers for WSOP officials to delay postponement of this summer’s tournament. It is inevitable and unsafe. Let people put their money toward other, necessary things, and cancel their reservations with clean minds. WSOP 2020 should be rescheduled for Decemebr, far enough away to plan and one of Las Vegas’ slower seasons. Cancel the WSOP NOW!!!

Mike Cordes wrote...

Don’t think there is any doubt event will be pushed back at a minimum. Too early to decide to cancel. Let’s see where the world is at end of April and if necessary, end of May and so on. Things change daily. We will definitely know a lot more in a month or two than we do now. We’re only couple weeks into social distancing and not even into April yet. If start date is moved to late summer or fall, it is safe enough, and other sporting events start happening, then fine. Vegas in fall is really nice!! Just trying to be cautiously optimistic and real at same time and just this player’s opinion.

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