World Series of Poker Returns in Fall; Summer Online, WSOP Europe Plans Also Unveiled

Staff April 1, 2021
The live World Series of Poker will be back with in-person play at the Rio in Las Vegas from Sept. 30 to Nov. 23.

After 2020 saw the cancellation of the live World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, on Thursday organizers announced plans to run the series in the fall. The series will be back with in-person play at the Rio from Sept. 30 to Nov. 23.

A schedule is expected to be released this summer and the WSOP hasn’t outlined a specific number of events. Organizers, however, promised a “diverse calendar of events.”

“This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release. “In 2021, the theme is ‘get vaccinated and get back to Vegas.’”

The WSOP also announced plans for an extensive online poker series this summer awarding gold bracelets at WSOP.com. The WSOP Europe also returns in 2021 beginning in November.

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A few WSOP events announced, complete schedule coming later

While tournament specifics are unknown, WSOP organizers teased players with a few planned events. The opening weekend is expected to feature a charity tournament to benefit frontline health workers.

Players can also expect a $25,000 HORSE tournament and a No Limit Hold‘em event billed as “The Reunion.” Plans call for a $5 million guarantee for that event, but the buy-in wasn’t announced.

The $10,000 Main Event is expected to run Nov. 4-17 with four starting days on Nov. 4-7. Players participating on Nov. 4-5 will play Day 2 on Nov. 8.

Those playing Day 1 on Nov. 6-7 will play Day 2 on Nov. 9. The player fields then combine on Nov. 10. The WSOP notes that all events are pending applicable state and regulatory approval.

Gaming officials will review COVID-19 safety protocols and other tournament policies prior to the event. The series will comply with all state directives regarding social distancing and capacity limits. 

WSOP expands summer online poker series

The 2020 WSOP saw numerous events go online including most of the Main Event. The WSOP Online produced record online numbers both in the US and internationally at GGPoker.

WSOP.com’s domestic series awarded nearly $27 million in prize money across 31 events. That made it the biggest online tournament series in the history of US regulated online poker.

International players were also able to play bracelet events online for the first time at GGPoker. The Guinness Book World Record recorded the Main Event as the largest online tournament, paying out $27.5 million.

In total, the festival awarded nearly $150 million including seven-figure prize pools in 45 events.

This year, the live series features a reduced schedule at just over three weeks. Organizers plan to make up for that by filling the summer void with a slate of WSOP Online bracelet events.

WSOP.com will hold domestic tournaments on its All-American Poker Network beginning July 1. WSOP.com is available currently in Nevada and New Jersey.

The series closes with a $1,000 championship and qualifiers will be available for as little as $1. The site will release complete information about the WSOP Online tournament schedule on April 15.

Players can expect information on the international half of the series soon. 

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WSOP Europe also returns for 2021

Along with mapping out a fall series and online events, WSOP also unveiled European plans. WSOP Europe returns to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, from Nov. 19 to Dec. 8, subject to regulatory approval. 

“We hope and anticipate travel restrictions will ease by the fall,” Stewart said. “It’s important to us that we have an excellent tournament schedule available to our European players.”

Plans call for 15 gold bracelet events including a €10,000 Main Event. Series officials also promise a €50,000 High Roller.

* Photos courtesy WSOP/Melissa Haereiti

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