WSOP 2021 to Offer Online and Live Poker in US and EU

The World Series of Poker is ready for 2021, complete with live and online events throughout the year.

In its history of more than 50 years, the World Series of Poker only cancelled its live poker tournaments in Las Vegas one year – 2020, the year of the pandemic. It was a tough year for many people in many ways, the poker industry certainly not immune.

While the coronavirus pandemic still rages in many parts of the world, there are hints of a return to normalcy, whatever that may look like going forward. Some parts of Canada are still hurting from new waves of Covid-19 cases and the lack of widespread vaccine distribution. Even the Canada-US border remains closed. But there is light at the end of this dark period in history.

The World Series of Poker is showing some of that light. There will be 2021 WSOP online events online – both in the US and global markets – but live events will also return in Las Vegas and at King’s Casino in Europe later in the year.

The WSOP is back.

WSOP 2021 in Las Vegas

It will be different, but it will be in Las Vegas, live at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The World Series of Poker will return to the scene of so many summers of poker, though this year’s festivities will take place in autumn. The bookend dates show the 2021 WSOP starting on Thursday, September 30 and ending on Tuesday, November 23.

The look and feel of the WSOP may be different in some ways. In light of potential ongoing Covid-19 dangers, there will likely be some new rules regarding social distancing and limited capacity in various spaces. Executives will be reviewing safety protocols in the months leading up to the series, coordinating with gaming regulators and state and health officials to provide a safe environment for all players.

It is too early to make any predictions about the WSOP setup this year, but everyone is moving forward with planning in the best ways possible.

This means that players will not have a full schedule until this summer. More details about the series as a whole will accompany that schedule.

According to WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart, “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. In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas.”

Live Main Event Dates Set

At this point, most of the WSOP 2021 Las Vegas schedule remains fluid. Much of it will depend on space and safety limitations. The days of poker players and fans packing the hallways of the Rio Convention Center are gone…at least for 2021. This means the World Series of Poker must plan much more carefully and with more factors in mind.

All considered, the WSOP did announce dates for the 2021 Main Event. The logistics may be unclear, but the dates are set:

  • Thursday, 4 November: Day 1A
  • Friday, 5 November: Day 1B
  • Saturday, 6 November: Day 1C
  • Sunday, 7 November: Day 1D
  • Monday, 8 November: Day 2 for survivors of Days 1A and 1B
  • Tuesday, 9 November: Day 2 for survivors of Days 1C and 1D
  • Wednesday, 10 November: Day 3 (all survivors combined)
  • Thursday, 11 November – Wednesday, 17 November: Playdown to a winner

The only other certainties on the schedule are a few events scheduled for the opening weekend of the 2021 WSOP, though details are not yet known.

  • Charity tournament to benefit frontline health workers
  • $25K buy-in HORSE tournament
  • “The Reunion” NLHE tournament with a $5M guarantee

Players and fans who want to reserve rooms at the Rio – or any Caesars Entertainment property – can do so with a free Caesars Rewards membership. The promotional code WSOPM will offer special rates as low as $60 per night.

WSOP Europe in Czech Republic

After the Las Vegas series, players can – pandemic willing – travel to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. As in years prior to 2020, King’s will host the WSOP Europe. This year, it will start on Friday, November 19, and it will run through Tuesday, December 8.

The plan is to host 15 events awarding WSOP gold bracelets. One of them will be a €10K buy-in WSOP Europe Main Event, and another will be a €50K buy-in High Roller.

As with the US series, details remain to be finalized per European regulations.

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

Summer of Online Poker Again

Last year, so many more players were able to participate in the WSOP due to its availability in so many parts of the world. This year will offer a similar experience. It may not be as wide-ranging a schedule in 2021, due to the availability of live tournaments, but there will be gold bracelet events online.

WSOP officials are in the process of putting this schedule together, and it will be announced in the coming weeks. The US online schedule will be published on April 15, with the global schedule to follow.

What is known is that global players will again be able to participate for bracelets and millions in prize money on GGPoker and its sister sites like Natural8. And US players can participate on the All-American Poker Network – currently available only in New Jersey and Nevada – beginning on July 1.


Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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