PokerStars Cancels European Events Because of Coronavirus

The coronavirus outbreak is causing live poker events to be cancelled throughout Europe and Asia

PokerStars is the latest operator to cancel live poker events due to the coronavirus outbreak. The postponement affects all European events until April 10, 2020. European Poker Tour (EPT) Sochi, however, has survived the cull.

EPT Sochi still goes ahead in Russia from March 20th. Russia has only reported 20 cases of the coronavirus so far. This low number of confirmed cases is a major factor in PokerStars going ahead with the 10-day festival.

Okada Manila Millions in the Philippines and the Brazilian Series of Poker in Sao Paulo will also run as planned.

“With many PokerStars sponsored live events upcoming around the world, we wanted to take a moment to let our players know our current position regarding the coronavirus,” said a PokerStars representative. “We are closely monitoring the spread of coronavirus and working with the casinos operating the events we sponsor to ensure we are being kept up to speed with all the latest developments.

“As such, it is with a heavy heart that the decision has been made, in conjunction with each casino partner, to postpone all European events up until April 10, 2020.”

Coronavirus Causes Several Cancellations

The Triton Super High Roller Series became the first poker victim of the coronavirus outbreak. Triton canceled the festival as players prepared to head to Jeju, South Korea.

Macau’s government order all casinos in the Chinese-autonomous region to suspend all operations for a fortnight.

World Poker Tour took the extraordinary step of canceling its planned festival in Vietnam. WPT hasn’t set a new date for WPT Vietnam while it monitors coronavirus developments.

King’s Casino Places Temporary Ban on Italians As Coronavirus Spreads Through Italy

King’s Resort in Rozvadoz, Czech Republic, has taken the drastic step of temporarily banning all Italians from its casino. Coronavirus is spreading at an alarming rate in northern Italy, forcing the Italian government to essentially quarantine 16 million people.

The home to the World Series of Poker Europe festival says Italians remain banned for an undetermined period of time.

Two More Poker Festivals Cancelled Over the Weekend

Organizers canceled the annual Siege of Malta despite the country only reporting three confirmed coronavirus cases. Casino Malta and Olympic Casino said the cancellation is in response to growing concerns about coronavirus.

The 2020 Battle of Malta, scheduled for October, is set to go ahead as planned.

Lastly, players hoping to compete in the Golden Poker Million Marrakesh have been left high and dry as it fell victim to coronavirus. Morocco has only two confirmed cases, but the tournament relies heavily on traveling players.

How Severe Is This Virus?

COVID-19, the official name of this strain of coronavirus is spreading extremely fast. More than 114,000 confirmed cases around the world have resulted in 4,000 deaths. Almost 63,000 sufferers have recovered, but the countries are struggling to contain the virus.

The virus broke out in a seafood market in Wuhan, China. Unsurprisingly, China has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus and the highest death toll.

Italy is seeing dramatic increases in confirmed cases with more than 2,000 new cases over the weekend. Italy has the highest cases per 1 million people with 151.7 cases. South Korea is next with 145.9 cases per 1 million people. The average is only 14.6 cases per 1 million residents.

A sharp increase in cases in the United States has cast doubt on the 2020 World Series of Poker.

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.”

Help Prevent The Virus Spreading

Basic hygiene helps stop the virus from spreading according to the World Health Organization. You should follow these steps anyway, but especially so if you play live poker.

  • 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
Matthew Pitt

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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