World Series Of Poker Officials Clarify Live Series COVID Policies

August 17, 2021
World Series Of Poker Officials Clarify Live Series COVID Policies

COVID-19 continues to cause issues for Americans and that may include the World Series of Poker planned for this fall. On Friday, WSOP officials released a statement regarding what players can expect at the Rio when the series plays out from Sept. 30 to Nov. 23.

The WSOP announced via Twitter on Friday that vaccinated players won’t be required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19.

“Consistent with current CDC guidelines, WSOP participants who are known to have been exposed to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be required to leave the tournament,” the statements notes, “and quarantine if they are fully vaccinated within the appropriate timing parameters and remain asymptomatic since the time of exposure.”

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What to expect at Las Vegas WSOP

Putting off such a massive event as the WSOP during the age of COVID and the Delta variant won’t be easy. It appears series organizers are trying to thread the needle and keep the live series going this year.

The $10,000 Main Event plays out Nov. 4-17 and seems to be a go after the release of the statement. About six weeks remain until the series gets underway.

WSOP officials noted that plans could change depending on CDC guidelines and further changes in the COVID situation.

“The health and safety of our World Series of Poker participants is our top priority,” WSOP officials said. “To that end, Caesars Entertainment will continue to operate in a manner consistent with CDC guidelines while following the applicable rules and mandates of our local governments and regulators at all times.

“We recognize that the current public health situation is constantly evolving. We will continue to work with our team of health and safety experts, local government, and our regulators, and all our policies are subject to change as guidance evolves.”

Players react to statement

As might be expected in the age of COVID, opinions varied on the situation. Some were quick to ask why the WSOP wouldn’t be requiring players to get vaccinated before playing at all.

“If Lollapalooza can require vaccination, so can you,” one player responded to the WSOP Tweet. “And it worked. Hundreds of thousands moshed and they had just 200 cases and zero [were] serious. Degens are gonna degen. You’ll actually be doing a great public service because many who wouldn’t get it will just [get vaccinated] to play the WSOP.”

Unvaccinated people could actually attend Lollapalooza, provided they had a recent negative COVID test. Proving vaccine status could be a major challenge for WSOP staffing, considering thousands will attend the series daily.

The potential of unvaccinated final table qualifiers removed from the tournament based on COVID exposure doesn’t please some players. With so many players in the Rio, some argued it’s impossible not to be around someone exposed at some point.

“This is a complete scam for anyone who is unvaccinated,” another player responded. “Very likely everyone will be in close contact with someone who gets sick at some point. It’s not worth the risk of WSOP saying we were in contact and stealing our money. Now I have to cancel my Airbnb and skip WSOP.”

Some players noted that those previously infected already have immunity to the virus.

Francisco Estrada recently won his WSOP Main Event entry via the new ClubGG sweepstakes online poker site. He seems ready to go and noted that the WSOP statement simply means the series is a go this fall as planned.

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