2020 World Series of Poker Postponed Until Fall

It's official, the 2020 World Series of Poker is postponed until at least the Fall.

The 2020 World Series of Poker is the latest victim of the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials announced the 2020 WSOP is postponed indefinitely, but they’re hopeful of running it in the Fall.

Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker, revealed the reasons for the unprecedented action.

“We are committed to running the World Series of Poker this year but need additional time to proceed on our traditional scale while prioritizing guest and staff well-being. In the interim, official WSOP competitions are expected to be played online this summer, and we will soon announce details of an expanded series of tournaments to be played on WSOP.com and through partnership and international operators, which will allow players to chase WSOP glory from their homes.”

Nobody Surprised at 2020 World Series of Poker Postponement

The news of the 2020 World Series of Poker postponement didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The fact it took so long to reach this decision did. A $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout was due to kick the series off on May 27. This is just over a month away.

Most professionals plan their travel, accommodation etc well in advance to lock up better deals. Five weeks notice isn’t enough for professionals and amateurs alike to plan their attack.

Stewart previously spoke to the media when rumors of a postponement circled the 2020 World Series of Poker. He revealed delaying or postponing the series wasn’t really a viable option because of the logistics involved.

The WSOP books up six-week at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino each summer. These plans are made at least 12-months in advance. Dozens of companies from around the world book the Rio’s massive conference halls, meaning there’s little space on the calendar for shuffling around.

Money talks, however, and the WSOP is a massive earner for Caesars, owner of the Rio. It is estimated the 2020 World Series of Poker would bring in at least $70 million through fees alone. Look at the payouts from the 2019 WSOP events and note the third-place prize. Caesars makes approximately this amount from each event.

Add into the mix tens of thousands of poker players needing hotel accommodation for six weeks, those players need to eat and drink too, plus they’ll likely play cash games or gamble in the casinos, and you’re talking about $100 million or more. Caesars isn’t in a position to turn down this sort of money.

Daniel Negreanu Called the 2020 World Series of Poker Postponement

Daniel Negreanu correctly predicted postponement of the 2020 World Series of Poker. Negreanu has won six WSOP bracelets during an illustrious career but said he knew he wouldn’t be winning any others this year.

“Personally, I don’t see a WSOP happening this summer. Maybe it happens in the Fall, but I would be really surprised if all this blows over by then. There really isn’t much you can do to safeguard a poker tournament from the spread of germs.”

When you look at massive sporting events cancelled, it was inevitable the WSOP wouldn’t happen. Tennis’ Wimbledon tournament is cancelled for the first time since World War 2. The Summer Olympics aren’t happening either.

Poker will still be here when this dreadful virus finally burns itself out. It’s bitterly disappointing to not have the 2020 World Series of Poker, but the 2021 edition sure will be awesome.

What Now For the 2020 WSOP?

Stewart mentioned players can compete for WSOP bracelets from their homes thanks to online poker. He also said this will happen through partnerships and international operators. Who are these operators?

Regulations in the United States make the situation complicated. WSOP.com is only available in a handful of states, which takes away from the global feel of the series. It’s a similar story in Europe where France, Spain, and Portugal can only play against each other. Italians can only play against fellow Italians, too.

WSOP recently announced it is running an Online Super Series at GGPoker. The schedule contains 18 WSOP Circuit rings. Perhaps this is a tester series before a WSOP bracelet-awarding festival?

PokerStars is the way to go if the WSOP wants a partner outside the United States. It has the biggest reach of all online poker sites. It also has the widest variety of poker games to choose from. PokerStars doesn’t currently have the facility to display players’ real names, however.

The whole situation is a complete mess, but players and staff safety comes first.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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