Postponed WSOP in Las Vegas: What I Did and Didn’t Miss this Summer

The 2020 WSOP in Las Vegas being postponed was a bummer. Poker players travel in droves to Sin City each summer to chase bracelets and live it up in the desert. But the lack of a “true” World Series of Poker this year wasn’t all bad (though most of it was, admittedly).

2020 WSOP poker

We all missed the atmosphere inside the Rio Convention Center this summer. (Image: somuchpoker.com)

There were a few things, which I’ll explain in this article, that I didn’t miss from the postponed series. That said, there were more things I did miss, starting with seeing my poker friends from all over the country.

The 2020 WSOP was postponed due to COVID-19. Organizers for the annual poker extravaganza still anticipate some sort of series in the fall or winter, but nothing is set in stone or guaranteed just yet. Assuming there isn’t a full bracelet series later this year in Las Vegas (a pretty good assumption to make), let’s take a look back at what we all lost out on this summer — both good and bad.

2020 WSOP in Vegas: What I Didn’t Miss

There isn’t anything I didn’t miss at the non-existent 2020 WSOP in Las Vegas less than the pesky salespeople inside the Rio hallways. That’s especially true about the cell phone accessory sellers who purchase a kiosk each summer.

“Cell phone charger?” I’m asked no less than, I don’t know, 900 times every summer as I walk through the halls. Not once have I ever so much as made eye contact with these salespeople, but they’re persistent. I’ll give them that much.

Another aspect of the WSOP I didn’t miss this summer is the Rio Convention Center temps. Outside during the series, temps range from 100-115, pretty much every single day. So, it’s usually nice to walk into a nice cool casino. But the Rio’s convention area often makes me feel like I’m in Antarctica (not that I’ve ever actually been there). I like to cool off after spending time outside in the desert heat, not die of frostbite.

If I’m being picky, I could also do without the mediocre food options at the Rio, too. Fortunately for me, I’m a local, so I can either bring my own food or drive somewhere nearby to get some grub. The “Poker Kitchen,” or whatever they’re calling it these days, is quite a ripoff. No thank you, I’ll pass on that $18 bland salad and $4 bag of chips.

What I Really Missed: The Celebrations

Sure, the WSOP Online Bracelet celebration videos we saw this summer were kind of cool. But my favorite part of the World Series of Poker every year is watching the bracelet winners celebrate with their friends and family, and everyone who had a piece of their action. A short 30-second video just doesn’t compare to watching the jubilation live, and up-close.

I also missed the atmosphere at the Rio this summer. There’s nothing in poker that compares to the excitement of the World Series of Poker. Not even a WPT event or the Super High Roller Bowl, and certainly not an Online Bracelet Series.

As a member of the media, I missed talking to all the poker players on their breaks. It’s far more enjoyable to catch up with a player in person than to send them a message on Twitter or a text for comment. You don’t get to see their reactions to a bad beat or busting on the bubble during an online series.

Another missing component was the fans. I enjoy watching the fans on the rail chasing down their favorite players. And during the Main Event on ESPN — especially at the final table  — the crowd noise creates an exciting atmosphere you don’t see anywhere else in poker.

I’m still hopeful we’ll have some sort of live World Series of Poker this year. Even if it’s just a Main Event and maybe a couple of other bracelet events. Something is better than nothing. No offense to GGPoker and WSOP.com, the poker sites that hosted the Online Bracelet Series, but it just wasn’t the same.

Jon Sofen
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.

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