New WSOP COVID-19 Rules Don’t Sit Well With Some Poker Players
In preparation for the live, in-person festival this September, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) recently released its updated set of tournament rules for the upcoming event.
Which included a somewhat complicated clause in relation to how organizers would deal with participants deemed a health risk.
Under Rule 115, the WSOP and the Rio have
the right to remove any participant from a tournament if they tested positive for COVID-19, fail to comply with health & safety screening requirements, or come into close contact with a confirmed case. Furthermore, the participant would not be able to receive additional compensation, other than what they already earned prior to their removal from the venue.
The updated rules met with negative reactions from the poker community, with some raising concerns over the lack of better refund policies for those disqualified from any tournament due to COVID-19. That’s in addition to potential logistical issues that might lead to some events being postponed.
The latest guidelines also opened up a debate on whether the WSOP should give some privilege to players who are fully vaccinated. All these issues and concerns could impact attendance numbers for the upcoming festival, unless the WSOP come up with better solutions.
WSOP Clarifies Rules
Amid all of the noise generated by the new set of rules, the WSOP has finally made it clear that participants who are fully vaccinated and do not show any COVID-19 symptoms won’t be disqualified.
Organizers clarified that the updated rules are in accordance with the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the state of Nevada. Those who already received complete doses of the COVID-19 jab can now put their minds at ease, as the WSOP has now confirmed they won’t be required to leave the venue, provided they remain asymptomatic throughout.
No Onsite Testing, Vax Requirement
The WSOP will not require vaccination proof, and players will not need to undergo onsite testing, according to a tweet from Daniel Negreanu, who has close ties to the organizers.
WSOP Rule 115 clarification:
No on-site testing or proof of vaccine required (as of today)
WSOP will not DQ a player unless they volunteer they have tested positive
Any contact tracing done by CDC in Nevada is independent of the WSOP.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) August 14, 2021
It’s now clear that members of staff of the WSOP or Rio won’t be responsible for conducting COVID-19 tests or identifying potential health risks inside the venue.
Meaning, everything will rely on the honesty of players. If they test positive for COVID-19 or have been contacted by the CDC, they must inform the organizers right away as there’s no way to tell if they have the virus, unless they manifest symptoms.