What Changes Can We Expect To Live Poker Tournaments In 2021
As 2020 comes to a close, live poker tournaments are beginning to return, though not on the same scale prior to the pandemic.
The biggest live poker event to take place after the COVID-19 lockdown is the ongoing World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, which will crown a winner on December 30 at The Rio in Las Vegas.
The past few weeks saw a resurgence in coronavirus infections across the world, with positive cases on the rise again. In fact some regions have imposed a second wave of localized lockdowns, preventing live poker events to take place in those areas.
The rising numbers mean that COVID-19 is still here and might not go away anytime soon, however the recent progress in the development of vaccines that will help fight the virus offers renewed hopes that things could finally return to normal beginning next year.
What’s In Store for the Live Poker Scene in 2021?
Will live tournaments go back in full? It’s difficult to predict at this time, but one thing’s certain – major operators are doing their best to revive the live tournament industry by hosting a handful of events early next year. That could very well pave the way for a jam-packed schedule for the rest of 2021.
The World Poker Tour (WPT) for instance will kick off their live events in 2021 via a Deepstacks festival in Taiwan. After that, the action will then head over to Florida for the Lucky Hearts Poker Open, which will be followed by WPT Russia in February, to be held in partnership with partypoker Live.
John Duthie, partypoker Live president, said the safety of everyone remains a top priority, so the planned live events won’t be of the same size as before, though they will continue to monitor the situation.
On Mandatory Vaccination
With UK becoming the first country to give the green light to a COVID-19 vaccine, there’s an ongoing debate over the potential implementation of mandatory vaccination in certain regions. As of the moment, live poker tables currently have plexiglass barriers, with players and staff required to wear a facemask (pictured above). So moving forward, will they be required to get the COVID-19 jab as well?
John Duthie said their decision on that matter will largely depend on the policies and rules being enforced by their partner casinos, but he also said they’d also put into consideration public opinion. He assured that the conditions will be reviewed thoroughly for the benefit of all parties.