The 2021 WSOP will take place in the fall this year, a season that differs greatly in Las Vegas compared to the summer, and we aren’t just talking about the weather.
Tentative dates for the 52nd annual World Series of Poker are scheduled for Sep. 30 to Nov. 23, a pleasant time to visit Las Vegas. Late September is the time of year when temps finally begin to cool down in Southern Nevada after more than three months of average daily high temps exceeding 100 degrees.
For those who are accustomed to coming to town for the series in the summer, you’ll be in for a treat when you step outside the Rio this year and won’t pass out from heat exhaustion. The weather in early October is warm but tolerable, and then turns to mild late in the month and into November (60’s and 70’s, mostly). You’ll need to bring a jacket for this year’s WSOP, and not just for the annoyingly bitter cold air conditioning inside the Rio convention center.
All you party animals will be thrilled to know that Sin City is still full of just as much sin in the fall as it is over the summer. But not everything beyond the drastic weather change is the same in Las Vegas from season to season.
Pools and Hotel Rates in Las Vegas
Despite the scalding hot temps, one of Vegas’ greatest attractions in the summer is the plethora of gorgeous pools and day clubs. They are especially useful, along with some adult beverages, after busting from the Main Event with pocket aces. Soaking up some sun while sipping on a strawberry lemon Mojito is the best way to shake off a bad beat. But you likely won’t have many opportunities to dive into the outdoor pools during this year’s WSOP.
Pool season in Las Vegas typically begins in early March and runs until late October, although it all depends on the weather.
The pools might be closed on chilly days, or even completely late in the series, but all the hotels will be open, albeit with higher room rates. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, average daily room rates in 2019 were $120-$126 in June and July, whereas the average rates were around $135 in October and November. We left off 2020 rates for obvious reasons.
Tourism in the summer is down compared to the fall and spring seasons in Las Vegas. Outside of the WSOP, there aren’t many major conventions during the summer, which makes it easier to find cheap hotel deals compared to the fall.
Pandemic Impact on WSOP Travel
Although tourism is up in Nevada, and it appears many COVID-19 restrictions may be lifted in May, and more than 60 million Americans have been vaccinated, the country is still battling a pandemic. And despite a continued effort to vaccinate the population and achieve herd immunity, the virus isn’t going to completely disappear by October.
So, there will likely still be certain health guidelines in place during the WSOP, and we don’t yet know which shows and restaurants on the Strip will return by the fall. But the city is beginning to slowly return to normalcy, and we’ll be even closer to that point when the World Series of Poker begins.
What Else to Look for in the Fall
Like any other city, Las Vegas hosts all the standard fall season events such as Oktoberfest and Halloween. There’s one other area in which fall in Southern Nevada greatly differs from the summer: sports betting.
During the summer, there aren’t any major sporting events to wager on, and we all know that many poker players also love to bet on sports. Fall is a different season for sports in the US. There are numerous big sporting events to get action on that time of year, including the other World Series (baseball), college football games on Saturdays, and NFL games on Sundays.
There isn’t another city in the world where sports betting is as prominent as it is in Las Vegas. You won’t run into many tourists in the summer who are in town specifically to gamble on sports. But thousands visit the city in the fall for that very reason. And many of them just might take a break from the sportsbooks to compete in some WSOP events. They’ll certainly bring some juicy action to the poker tournaments.