WPT Jacksonville Stop Postponed Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases in Florida

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The $5,000 WPT Bestbet Scramble in Jacksonville, set to begin on Aug. 27, has been postponed indefinitely due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases being reported in Florida.

wpt jacksonville canceled poker
The WPT Bestbet Scramble was scratched just three weeks before it was scheduled to begin. (Image: Twitter/bestbet_jax)

Coronavirus cases are back on the rise in the Sunshine State, and that appears to be the reason for the postponement. It currently remains unclear if the event will be rescheduled, or canceled altogether. While Bestbet was very clear on the reasoning behind its decision, not everyone is buying the excuse.

“With the resurgence of COVID-19 in our community and around the country, senior management has decided to postpone the upcoming @WPT bestbet Scramble, including all preliminary events and series satellites. bestbet will continue to operate under its normal business hours,” the Bestbet Jacksonville casino’s Twitter account tweeted.

Twitter user @Nussrallah suggests the Bestbet poker room is “Probably worried about turnout, guarantees, and WPT license fee.” There are others who also scoffed at the idea that COVID-19 is to blame for the event’s cancelation, including @LuckyDinero who wrote, “No tourneys bc of covid? but cash games are a goooooo! Lol.”

“The cynic in me wonders if the real reason is not enough dealers, but you don’t want to admit it,” @LahtiWilliam questions.

Whether or not the poker community believes Bestbet’s story, Florida is currently facing some major coronavirus issues, with the state’s daily COVID cases exceeding 15,000 per day over the past week — nearly 10 times the number of daily positive tests seen just one month ago.

About 49% of all adults in the Sunshine State have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Aug. 1, and it appears that convincing many other Florida residents to get the jab is going to be an uphill battle. On July 1, nearly 46% of Floridians were fully vaccinated, which means very few others have gotten vaccinated over the past month.

Most scheduled live poker tournaments in 2021 have gone as planned, but the increasing rise of the delta variant is causing concern about certain events, including the upcoming WPT Bestbet Scramble. In related news, World Poker Tour announcer Tony Dunst doesn’t appear confident that the fall World Series of Poker in Las Vegas will avoid a COVID-19 cancelation of its own.

The 2021 WSOP is set to begin Sept. 30 at the Rio with the first of 88 bracelet events over a seven-week period. That is, of course, assuming the pandemic doesn’t have other plans for the poker community.

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