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.
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 WSOP.com. 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 WSOP.com, 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.