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No Plans To Cancel 2020 WSOP Because of Coronavirus
The coronavirus is spreading around the planet but there are no plans to cancel the upcoming 2020 WSOP. Players have voiced concerns via social media channels, but the 2020 WSOP is almost certain to take place.
A thread on the popular TwoPlusTwo poker forum started a mini panic among the poker community. A user called Registered 2018 created a thread entitled “Will the Coronavirus cause the POSTPONEMENT of the WSOP 2020.
“Could this be the first WSOP that will be played strictly online? What would the legal mechanics to make this doable even for non-Nevada residents? I think the WSOP organizers should be acting early with regards to this possibility,” asked Registered 2018.
Seth Palansky, the Vice President of Corporate Communications for the WSOP, responded to the outbreak of panic.
“We will continue to lean on the experts in this field for guidance. At this time, all our events and schedules remain intact and are planned to go on without interruption.”
61 Events Confirmed at the 2020 WSOP
Sixty-one events, each awarding a coveted gold bracelet, are taking place at the 2020 WSOP. All 61 events will run and crown their champions, according to Palansky.
A $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em event kicks off the 2020 WSOP on May 27th. The $500 Casino Employees event follows the opening tournament later on the same day.
Players of mixed games don’t have long to wait for their chance of glory. May 28th sees a $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better tournament shuffle up and deal.
Other formats include Heads-Up, Triple Draw Lowball, Seven Card Stud, H.O.R.S.E, Short Deck, and PLO.
The Main Event is the tournament everyone wants to win, of course. It gives players the chance to win several million dollars and call themselves poker’s world champion.
The $1,500 Mystery Bounty event on June 28th has caught the poker community’s imagination. $1 million is being distributed via mystery bounties. These random prizes range from $2,500 up to $250,000.
Cancelling the 2020 WSOP Would Be A Drastic Measure
Cancelling the 2020 WSOP would be a drastic measure when the virus is contained by basic hygiene.
Macau placed all its casinos on an enforced lockdown for 14-days to help prevent the virus spreading. Those casinos reopened but there are no figures suggesting the closures were a success.
The Triton High Roller Series cancelled its 12-tournament festival in Jeju, South Korea. These Super High Roller tournaments attract the ultra-rich businessmen and elite poker players. Neither, it seems, were willing to compete at the tables where hundreds of new cases are confirmed daily.
World Poker Vietnam was scheduled for March 13-22, but has also been cancelled. WPT has also delayed the inaugural running of its Taiwan festival.
While the cancellations of these poker festivals is disappointing, they are nothing compared to the 2020 WSOP. You can take all the potential entrants from every cancelled WPT and Triton event and just one 2020 WSOP tournament would blow it out of the water in terms of attendance.
Everyone’s looking forward to the 2020 WSOP. Tens of thousands of players from around the world are heading to Las Vegas. Forcing them to turn around would be a travesty for the game of poker.
Previous Virus Outbreaks Haven’t Stopped the WSOP
Almost 2,900 people have lost their lives to the Coronavirus, which is officially named COVID-19. The figure continues to rise and is showing now signs of slowing down.
It isn’t the first time a virus has caused rumors of a WSOP being canceled.
The 2005 WSOP went ahead as planned despite fears H5N1, or Avian flu, was taking grip of the planet. The World Health Organization (WHO) believed Avian flu would infect 20% of the world’s population. Only 630 confirmed cases occurred by 2013, although 375 of the infected died.
Five years ago, the Zika virus threatened the Americas, eventually infecting 1,500,000 people. Hundreds of poker players from Latin America made their way to the Rio for the 2015 WSOP without spreading the virus.
Help Prevent The Spread of COVID-19
There are steps you can take to help stop the spread of the virus. You should be doing these things anyway.
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20-seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your hands and face, especially with unwashed hands
- Try to avoid close contact with people who appear sick
- Avoid public places if you, yourself, are sick
- Frequently clean and disinfect items and surfaces you regularly touch
- Cough and sneeze into a tissue and discard the tissue in the trash