WSOP Plans Major In-Person Tournament Starting in September

WSOP Plans Major In-Person Tournament Starting in September

In a hopeful sign of a return to normalcy, World Series of Poker officials released some good news for poker players. The traditional in-person series of tournaments, culminating with a more familiar Main Event, is scheduled for the fall — running a little over seven weeks from Sept. 30 through Nov. 23 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

Some details for the WSOP’s in-person and online plans for 2021 were released, but there are a lot of specifics yet to come. There is also the caveat that all plans are contingent on health and safety conditions as well as regulatory and government permissions.

In addition to the live WSOP tournament — which typically has run from late May through mid-July but apparently is pushed back on the calendar as the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues — the WSOP also announced some online tournament and European plans.

WSOP Main Event Details So Far

The most detailed announcement concerns this year’s Main Event. It will begin Nov. 4 and run through Nov. 17. There will be four starting flights, Nov. 4-7, and two second-day rounds, Nov. 8-9. The field combines on Nov. 10. The full tournament slate will begin with a charity event to benefit frontline health workers, a $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. and a $5 million GTD No-Limit Hold’em event that’s appropriately being called “The Reunion.” A complete schedule is expected this summer.

”This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together. In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said.

Though many tournament details are still forthcoming, the WSOP and Caesars Entertainment are inviting hotel bookings. Room reservations are being accepted across Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas properties, including the Rio, with rates as low as $60 for existing Caesars Rewards members. Visit www.caesars.com using promo code “WSOPM”. Online pre-registration for the poker tournaments themselves won’t open until this summer after all events have been determined and approved by regulators.

In 2020, while grappling with the restrictions of the pandemic, the WSOP held an online-only summer series at top online poker sites; more than 80 poker events were held, with play divided between the United States and the rest of the world. Then, a hybrid version of the Main Event was played late in the year; the majority of play was online and the final stages were in-person. Argentina’s Damian Salas won the 2020 WSOP Main Event.

To fill the summer void this year when players are accustomed to traveling to Vegas for the WSOP, and encouraged by the success of 2020 summer online series, the WSOP is planning another summer online tournament series on its All-American Poker Network. Plus, another international online tournament series is also planned.

The 2021 U.S. online tournament begins July 1 and closes with a $1,000 championship. It’s noteworthy to mention that those tournaments also will be gold bracelet events. More details on the U.S. online tournament are expected on April 15 and further information on the international component will be published shortly thereafter.

In 2020, the domestic WSOP online summer series paid out nearly $27 million in prize money across 31 events. Internationally, there were more than 50 events on GGPoker.

WSOP Europe Tournament Also Scheduled

For this year, an in-person WSOP Europe tournament is expected to return to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, in the fall. The tournament is planned from Nov. 19 through Dec. 8, also subject to regulatory approval. The European tournament is expected to include 15 gold bracelet events, including a 10,000 euro buy-in WSOP Europe Main Event, and a 50,000 euro High Roller event. See https://kings-resort.com for information on King’s Casino and to book hotel rooms.

”We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall,” Stewart said. “It’s important to us that we have an excellent tournament schedule available to our European players.”

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