End of an Era: The 2021 WSOP in Pictures

6 min read

Will the last player to leave the Amazon Room please turn out the lights because, when the final hand is played, it will mark the end of the World Series of Poker’s tenure at the Rio. I’ve never known the series to be played anywhere else, and it will be strange to see the banners hanging in any other building. It may not be the nicest property in the city, or even in the top 10, but I sure had some good times in that old building. Goodbye Rio. Thanks for the memories.

wsop welcome
After a long hiatus, the WSOP was back, and players seemed ready to step back into the fray. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


With proof-of-vaccination and masks required, this was sure to be a WSOP unlike any other. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop lines
Long lines were the story of the first week, with some players waiting hours for vaccine verification, and then even longer to register for an event. Within the first 10 days, this problem faded away significantly. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


empty tables at the wsop at rio
The lines during the first week may have sent a lot of people home, as the next two weeks were painfully slow. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Phil Hellmuth wins bracelet #16
But soon the WSOP would start to look familiar, as seen here in the moment a triumphant Phil Hellmuth won bracelet #16. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Hellmuth bracelet winner photo
Hellmuth beaming at the start of a great series. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


A tobacco product as a primary sponsor didn’t seem to bother many people, but a lonely Velo Airstream didn’t seem to attract many customers either. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Caesars sportsbook
This year, Caesars turned the Miranda Room into a pop-up sportsbook, showing off their proud new sponsorship with the NFL and their easy-to-scan QR code to download the app. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


WSOP poker cafe 2021
Grabbing a quick bite at the much-maligned Poker Cafe, where the $12 hot dogs became a running joke of the series. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop poker cafe
The Poker Cafe wasn’t never was going to win any Michelin stars, and the 2021 fare guaranteed that. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


King's Lounge WSOP
There were many days without a single game in the high-stakes cash game King’s Lounge. Action did eventually pick up later in the series, with $25/$50 PLO and $50/$100 Stud 8 most commonly. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Fast Trak Poker Registration
FastTrak machines were supposed to allow for speedy registrations, but few players seemed to be taking advantage of them. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Scott Ball bracelets twitch
Scott Ball winning the first of two bracelets in 2021 — and on his way to taking down the Velo “No Limits” Player of The Year title. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Anthony Zinno bracelets
Anthony Zinno with his second bracelet in a week. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop light up letters
Every first-timer has to get a picture with the six-foot-tall, light-up letters. Stepping around people taking photos in this part of the hall just becomes a habit. You hardly notice yourself doing it. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop main event broadcast equipment
Building the broadcast table before the main event. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Binion's million dollars
A fake million dollars, but fun for pictures. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


2021 wsop rio amazon room football
There were televisions showing most of the football games in the Amazon Room, so players could watch their favorite teams and/or their sports bets. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Danielle Vasinova Poker
I was lucky enough to do a photoshoot with the charming Danielle Vasinova from GG Poker, another primary sponsor of the series. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop masks
Wearing masks at the table was required for dealers and floor staff, but not for players, who all took different approaches to popularly unpopular face coverings. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Josh Arieh Shaun Deeb Ketchup and mustard.
Josh Arieh and Shaun Deeb posing as ketchup and mustard. Arieh, seen here winning the first of two bracelets this series, looks like a lock to win the overall WSOP Player of the Year. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


All American Dave's Poker Meals
All-American Dave’s was off-site this year, but still a ubiquitous presence at the Rio delivering healthy fare. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Amanda Botfeld Poker
CardsChat contributor and poker rising star Amanda Botfeld and her father David took third place in the tag-team event. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


SNG wsop
Sit & Go satellite action was slow for most of this serues. Some blame a difficult buy-in process, which left too many tables unable to reach critical mass. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


WSOP merchandise and gear
Discounted merchandise in the clearance bins at the end of the series. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


wsop empty tables
For seven weeks, the Rio was home to the largest poker room in the world — and this is only part of it. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Doyle Brunson WSOP
Doyle Brunson made a surprise return to the WSOP for the Super Seniors event, which he did not win. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Chris Moneymaker WSOP 2021
Chris Moneymaker made a semi-deep run in the Main Event and was on the feature table for an entire broadcast day. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


George Holmes Interview poker
Amateur player George Holmes took second place in the Main Event, but it was clear he had his heart set on winning that entire pile of cash. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


koray aldemir wins wsop 2021
Koray Aldemir won it all and couldn’t stop smiling. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


Eli Elezra Poker Hall Of Fame 2021
Eli Elezra ended up getting the nod into the Poker Hall of Fame this year, even though some people doubted his chances. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)


view across the Rio parking lot
The sun has set at the Rio, home to the WSOP since 2004. The easy-access parking is one thing poker players might miss when the series moves across the Las Vegas Strip next year to Bally’s and Paris. (Image: Chris Wallace / CardsChat)

Related Posts

Did you know about our poker forum? Discuss all the latest poker news in the CardsChat forum

Popular Stories