COVID-19 Coronavirus Forces Global Poker Cancellations
The COVID-19 coronavirus is wreaking havoc around the world, both in the number of people being infected and the number of events it has impacted. Various events around the world have either been delayed or canceled outright and that includes many live poker events.
While Australia casinos have largely been immune to massive poker event cancellations, the rest of the world has seen many top events delayed or canceled. The biggest event of the year, the World Series of Poker, could also be a future casualty.
World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour Cancel Some Events
Not surprisingly, the World Poker Tour and the European Poker Tour both canceled or postponed various events globally. WPT Barcelona that was to start on March 22nd has been postponed. The WPT Deepstack Series in the Netherlands was canceled midway through the series. WPT Deepstacks European Championship in Deauville, France has also been canceled.
Wpt Venetian cancelled. https://t.co/rCdOBq9cke
— Allen Kessler (@AllenKessler) March 13, 2020
Most other WPT cancellations have occurred in the United States. WPT Venetian and the WPT Deepstack Maryland have both been canceled. WPT Deepstack Championship in Lincoln, CA has been postponed to a later date.
For the EPT, the EPT Monte Carlo has been postponed. It was scheduled to start on April 23rd. Also, the PokerStars Road to the PokerStars Players Championship has also been postponed to a later date.
WSOP Circuit Cancels Several Events Over COVID-19 But WSOP Still Scheduled
The World Series of Poker has been a primary focus amongst poker players as many are worried that the summer series will be canceled. To date, WSOP officials have not announced that the summer series has been delayed or canceled. However, several WSOP Circuit Events have been impacted.
Another WSOP Circuit event cancelled. https://t.co/WjZChvkXA4
— Kevin Mathers (@Kevmath) March 13, 2020
The WSOP Circuit series in Atlantic City, Cherokee, NC and Hard Rock Tulsa was canceled. WSOP Circuit Events in Bally’s Las Vegas, St. Maarten, and the Casino Barriere Le Croisette in France have been postponed indefinitely.
Many expect that the WSOP will announce a change or cancellation of the summer series in the coming weeks, but that will likely depend on how many cases of COVID-19 are confirmed. Presently, there are over 3,000 cases in the United States and that number has been steadily climbing.
Irish Poker Open and Norwegian Championships Also Impacted
Several other global events have also been postponed or canceled as a result of the coronavirus. Poker Central recently announced that the US Poker Open will be postponed. The Irish Poker Open was scheduled to start April 6th but has now been postponed.
The Irish Open and WPT Barcelona cancelled because of coronavirus https://t.co/mWMydwE6Nu pic.twitter.com/A2oIrUcDh2
— PokerStrategy.com (@enPokerStrategy) March 11, 2020
Both the Italian Poker Open and Norwegian Championships have been canceled over COVID-19 fears. The Winamax Poker Open Grand Final has also been postponed while 888poker Live Bucharest has also been canceled.
Will the WSOP Be Cancelled Due to COVID-19?
The big question the mind of poker players right now is whether the World Series of Poker will be canceled. There’s a variety of opinions regarding the cancellation, but Poker Hall of Famer Daniel Negreanu believes that all poker venues, events, and casino games should shut down as a precautionary measure.
All poker operators: stop.
Suspend all tournaments and cash games now.
There isn’t a more infectious environment imaginable than a poker table.
Shut it all down.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 12, 2020
The COVID-19 virus is now officially considered a pandemic and poker operators need to exercise extreme caution. While some believe that the WSOP will continue, there is nothing wrong with tentatively postponing the event to a later date or maybe shaving a couple of weeks off the schedule to allow this virus to run its course.
If the coronavirus continues to spread at the rate it has in the last week, the WSOP may be forced to make a tough decision sooner rather than later. Fortunately, such a cancellation will not be catastrophic to the long-term health of the series as poker players will gladly return to Las Vegas in 2021.
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