King’s Casino Rozvadov is bringing live poker back to Europe with a new calendar of tournaments that includes a €2,500/$2,785 high roller.
The Czech casino closed its doors in March due to coronavirus. As the Czech Republic’s infection rate dropped and safety measures were put in place, it reopened in May with a new look.
As restrictions have been lifted across the country, it’s back to business as usual for poker players. In addition to tournaments, cash games have resumed without face masks or plexiglass screens.
King’s Casino Back in Business
The high roller will be a Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) affair and feature a guaranteed €100,000/$111,770 prize pool. Day 1 will get underway on June 20 and the final will take place on June 21.
The tournament follows a successful run of cash games in recent weeks. Live streams from King’s high-stakes table returned in mid-May. Broadcast via Twitch and Facebook, the games show players anteing up without any restrictions.
Further insight into King’s post-COVID-19 reopening was provided by poker pro Bertrand Grospellier on Saturday. The Frenchman looked to be in high spirits as he posed without a face mask for a tweet.
— ElkY (@elkypoker) June 13, 2020
Dealers at the venue remain masked up, but the dynamics are such that tournaments can now resume unencumbered.
Worldometers.info shows that the number of coronavirus infections in the Czech Republic is 10,027 (as of June 15). The number of deaths currently stands at 330, and new daily infections are averaging 90 or less.
The statistics have allowed the government to continue is phased reopening of the country.
Easing COVID-19 Restrictions Makes Poker Possible
The easing of restrictions began on April 7 when outdoor sports were given the go-ahead to resume. Since then, businesses have been allowed to reopen as long as they implement social distancing measures.
For King’s Casino, the most important changes came into effect last week when the government began permitting events of 500 people or less. Additionally, social distancing and the obligation to wear face masks in auditoriums has been abolished.
The government has also opened up the border to foreign travelers. Those from neighboring Germany and Austria can enter the country without having to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine themselves. The same goes for a selection of “low-risk” countries such as Latvia, Greece, Romania, and Finland.
Visitors from medium and high-risk countries like France, Italy, Spain, and the UK will have to take a test on arrival. If the results are negative, they can enter the Czech Republic and go about their intended business.
All of these changes have allowed poker to return to King’s Casino. Las Vegas is slowly getting to the same point as the Czech Republic, while places like the UK are still unable to reopen their casinos.
The latest news should be seen as a positive for poker players. Even though casinos in other countries might take longer to match what King’s is offering, things appear to be moving in the right direction.
The PLO high roller will kick off a new roster of tournaments and, more significantly, the start of European poker’s return. Things may not be quite as they were before lockdown, but the face of poker is gradually getting back to something we all recognize.