2020 World Series Of Poker To Be Held Online For First Time
The World Series of Poker, postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, is going all in online.
The World Series of Poker and GGPoker announced Monday the creation of the “World Series of Poker Online,” an online poker tournament offering huge prize pools that will be played over two months. “WSOP Online” begins July 1 in North America.
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WSOP.com players located in Nevada and New Jersey can play. One bracelet event a day will be scheduled throughout July, according to a story posted on the tournament’s website.
The 51st World Series of Poker was set to begin May 26 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. It was postponed on April 20 to undetermined dates in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic. Although it has not officially been canceled, it appears it’s now online.
“It wouldn’t be summer without WSOP,” Ty Stewart, executive director of the World Series of Poker, said on WSOP.com. “While we are thrilled to be reopening our venues and optimistic about future offline events, we couldn’t be more excited about deepening our relationship with GGPoker and watching some history unfold online this summer.”
WSOP Going Global with GGPoker
On July 19, official “WSOP Online” bracelet tournaments begin on the GGPoker website. The international series goes through Sept. 6. The news release said it’s the first time that players outside the U.S. have been able to compete for an official WSOP bracelet via online poker sites.
One of the world’s leading online poker rooms, GGPoker is not available to U.S. players. The WSOP.com story says “any player discovered to be attempting to play from inside the U.S. border will be deemed ineligible and prize money subject to forfeiture.”
GGPoker will reveal the schedule “on a rolling basis” and will have a broad range of buy-ins and formats.
“With over $100 million in guarantees during the WSOPC Super Series in May and more than $134 million in awarded prizes, it’s clear that GGPoker and the WSOP make a good pair,” Steve Preiss, head of Poker Operations for GGPoker, said in the WSOP story.
Online Poker Sees Resurgence
The newly announced WSOP events come at a time when online poker is booming. A recent study by Global Poker, a U.S. online social poker room, showed a 43% rise in play on online poker sites in the U.S. The study also revealed a 255% increase in first-time players, according to a story on Focus Gaming News.
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Online poker is also putting up huge numbers in states where it’s legal, such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Nevada and Delaware can also offer online poker sites.
In New Jersey, online poker revenue more than tripled to $5.2 million in April from a year ago. Pennsylvania set a record with $5.3 million in revenue in April. The numbers should be even high for May.
Unibet announced in late April that its live championships were moving online and has three Unibet Open online events scheduled for the remainder of 2020.
As Stewart, the WSOP executive director, sees it, online poker is only going to grow in popularity.
“Online poker should be bigger than live poker in the near future,” Stewart told Gambling.com last week.
With these two huge events going online, it could get there quickly.
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