Coronavirus: Canceled Poker Tournaments; Many Casinos to Suspend Operations (Updated 3/17)
Table Of Contents
Last updated: March 17
With the coronavirus continuing to spread at an alarming rate, many upcoming poker events in March, April and beyond are left uncertain in the wake of it. PokerNews has created an overview of these poker tournaments in March and April, as well as their current status and links to any announcements made.
Additionally, many casinos around the country have announced that they will suspend operations. Most will shut down on Sunday, March 15 and stay closed for two weeks. Here's a look at some of the properties that will be closing.
- Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania)
- Parx Casino (Pennsylvania)
- Commerce (California)
- The Illinois Gaming Board directed all of the state’s 10 casinos to shut down beginning on Monday, March 16.
- All MGM properties in Las Vegas: Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Luxor, New York-New York, Excalibur, ARIA, Vdara and Park MGM
- MGM properties in Ohio, Maryland and Massachusetts
- Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas
- Milwaukee's Potawatomi Casino, which hosts WSOPC and MSPT stops, has suspended operations indefinitely.
- All Atlantic City casinos will shut down at 8 p.m. Monday.
- WinStar Resort on the Texas/Oklahoma border has also announced closure.
- Mississippi's governor declared a state of emergency and mandated casino shutdowns "until further notice."
- All of Reno's casinos will also be closed as of Tuesday morning.
- Venetian will close its poker room as of March 16.
- All casinos in Nevada will shut down as part of closure of "non-essential" businesses, it was reported on March 17.
- bestbet Jacksonville in Florida will close as of March 17.
This is a developing story and the article will be updated to reflect if any changes regarding upcoming poker events are made.
Update March 17
On March 17, PokerStars also confirmed the postponement of EPT Sochi, pulling the plug days before the event. The tournament had previously been "under review" and was scheduled to run March 20-29.
Previously, October had been scheduled to host EPT Open Sochi, but now, that slot will host a full EPT festival from Oct. 2-11, with the Main Event scheduled for Oct. 6-11.
"We are deeply disappointed that circumstances have forced us to postpone," wrote Severin Rasset of PokerStars. "However, our priority is the safety and good health of our players during this uncertain time."
The World Poker Tour also announced postponement of its scheduled final tables for WPT Gardens Championship, WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open and WPT L.A. Poker Classic. All three events reached a final table to be played out in Las Vegas at the HyperX Esports Arena at the end of March and beginning of April.
Now, WPT CEO Adam Pliska said the final tables will be pushed back until late May, when another set of final tables is scheduled. However, given the current status of the poker landscape — with most events seemingly canceled through April — it's anyone's guess whether that rescheduling works out.
Perhaps the biggest announcement yet came March 17, when it was reported that the governor of Nevada will mandate closure of all "non-essential" businesses, which includes casinos. No further details have been leaked and an announcement is believed to be forthcoming.
On the other side of the country, poker hot spot bestbet Jacksonville announced its own closure.
Update March 16
Over the weekend and into Monday, more closures and cancelations/postponements hit the wire.
Most significantly, a slew of Las Vegas properties have announced temporary closures, meaning the options for live poker in Sin City have dwindled considerably. MGM has closed all of its properties, a significant list that includes poker hotbeds ARIA and Bellagio, as well as Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand and The Mirage. The closures are indefinite. Wynn and sister property Encore will also close for at least two weeks. Both stories came from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Additionally, MGM has closed its properties in Ohio, Maryland and Massachusetts.
Rather than closing, The Orleans has opted to take the unorthodox step of making tables five-handed, Kevin Mathers reported. Venetian announced a similar measure but limiting tables to three players. Later, the Venetian announced a March 16 closure of its poker room.
Atlantic City will also see all poker venues closed as part of a tri-state shutdown along with Connecticut and New York.
Reno, Nevada, has mandated closure of all casinos and other "non-essential businesses" by Tuesday morning.
WinStar Resort, located just north of Dallas across the Oklahoma border, also announced it will close for the time being.
The governor of Mississippi mandated that all casinos be shut down at midnight as part of a state of emergency. That means 12 properties on the Mississippi Coast will close.
Finally the latest tournament dominoes to fall came from Borgata, which canceled the planned Spring Poker Open scheduled to start April 7, and Majestic Star in Indiana, which postponed a planned MSPT event. WPTDeepStacks Montreal, scheduled for April 16-27 at Playground Poker Club, has also been postponed. Add the WSOPC stop at Horseshoe Council Bluffs to the list.
Update March 14
The WSOPC St. Maarten, which was scheduled for March 25-April 6, was postponed indefinitely; furthermore, the WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa, which had already completed several events, canceled all events slated to start on Monday or after, including the $1,700 Main Event.
Meanwhile, the Heartland Poker Tour's April stop at Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg in the greater Cincinnati area was also canceled.
Update March 13
As a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Illinois Gaming Board directed the state’s 10 casinos to shut down beginning on Monday, March 16.
In Europe, PokerStars announced the postponement of one of their flagship events, the European Poker Tour Monte Carlo, which was scheduled to be held April 23 to May 2 in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel in Monaco. The Brazilian Series of Poker in Sao Paulo also got postponed, while the EPT Sochi is still under review.
One of the last tournament series still active in Europe, the WSOP Circuit in King's Casino, has been shut down on March 13th due to Czech government-imposed restrictions. The casino has removed all upcoming poker series for the next month.
A major upcoming stop from the World Poker Tour, the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown, was also postponed in an announcement. The event, scheduled to be held from April 16 to May 5, with the WPT Main Event on May 1-5, will be rescheduled at a later date.
Merit Poker Top Guns, scheduled to run March 18-30 and one of the key events held at the Crystal Cove Hotel and Casino in Kyrenia, Cyprus, is the latest poker series to be canceled. Merit made the announcement on Facebook.
The Bicycle Casino & Hotel, home of the popular Live at the Bike! poker show,cancelled the remainder of their ongoing WSOP Circuit event. The series had kicked off on March 7. The concurrently running WSOP Circuit event in Harrah's Atlantic City has also been canceled, as well as the one scheduled to be held in Harrah's Cherokee in April.
The WSOP Circuit event scheduled for later this month at Bally's Las Vegas was postponed indefinitely, as was the WSOPC International stop at Casino Barriere Le Croisette (Cannes, France) that was originally set to run April 9-19.
The Mid-States Poker Tour, which had an upcoming event at Meskwaki Casino in Iowa, has announced the postponment of the tournament.
Jason Somerville's Run It Up Reno X, which was slated to take place April 3-13 at Peppermill Casino, was officially canceled. They are set to return to Reno for the fall series October 30-November 9.
Late Friday night, Wynn Las Vegas announced that the poker room, along with the race and sportsbook, will close Sunday.
Update March 12
On Thursday morning, Lex Veldhuis announced that Lex Live 3 will be canceled as well. The event was scheduled to be held in Aspers London from April 16-23. An online event will be scheduled to replace the live event to give the community something to look forward to.
WPT DeepStacks Amsterdam, which kicked off on March 7th, was canceled midway during Day 1A of the Main Event after Dutch authorities banned events with a crowd of over 100 people during a midday press statement. The government issued ban is effective until at least March 31st. As a result, Holland Casino decided to close the doors of all its casinos until the end of the month. Those that played on Day 1a of the Main Event can get a refund at the cashier.
Another American event was also moved off the calendar as the RunGood Poker Series at Horseshoe Bossier City will be postponed.
"I would like to stress the cancellation is not in fear but more to the fact of doing our part to come together as a nation to decrease the length of the threat we are facing. One poker family. Let's protect it," wrote Tana Karn, President of the RGPS, which is coming off back-to-back Global Poker Awards for Mid-Major Circuit/Tour of the Year.
In the afternoon, PokerGO announced the 2020 U.S. Poker Open, originally scheduled to run March 19-31, would be postponed.
"While we are disappointed that we are unable to host this event for our players and fans, our highest priority is the health and safety of all individuals involved in attending and producing Poker Central tournaments," they said in a statement. "We will continue to monitor and follow the guidance of government health authorities before making decisions about rescheduling for future dates."
In the evening, the World Poker Tour announced that the WPT Venetian, scheduled for March 13-17, had been postponed, while Thunder Valley Casino made the decision to postpone the WPT DeepStacks Championship, which was to be held from March 19-April 7.
Likewise, Florida's Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood revealed that following Flight C, their Escalator IV Series Event #4 would be canceled with those players who made Day 2 awarded payouts based on a prize pool chip chop. Additionally, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and Seminole Casino Coconut Creek announced they would no longer be hosting the Seminole Turnpike Series, scheduled to begin March 25.
Update March 11
888poker LIVE Bucharest and the Coolbet Open in May have also been removed from the calendar, as well as the WPTDeepStacks European Championship in Deauville.
The WPTDeepStacks in Maryland on March 20-23 has also been canceled, making it the first US-based stop that has been affected by COVID-19.
The Colorado Poker Championship, which was scheduled to run March 26-April 1 at Golden Gates Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado, was canceled.
"This has been a very difficult decision to make and one that I've been struggling with all day. Because of the rapidly changing situation and level of uncertainty and fear, I have decided to cancel this event in the interest of caution and safety," poker manager John Padmore said in a social media post. "There is another CPC scheduled for May. Hopefully by then this crazy situation is under control and that event will run as planned. We will also consider some special events in April and June. Stay tuned for announcements for those."
He continued: I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. All of us at Golden Gates wish the best for our poker community and their families and we encourage everyone to take the proper precautions to stay healthy."
Thunder Valley Casino revealed altered structures and reduced guarantees for the WPT DeepStacks Championship from March 19-April 7. The $2,500 buy-in Main Event saw its guarantee lowered from $1 million to $500,000.
Update March 10
WPT Barcelona, Winamax Poker Tour Spain Grand Final, and the 2020 Irish Open were all postponed in official announcements made on March 10.
Upcoming Poker Events in March
|March 5-15||Heartland Poker Tour Mini Series||Hollywood Casino Toldeo||Canceled|
|March 6-15||partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi (Live Stream)||Sochi, Russia||As planned|
|March 7-15||WPTDS Holland Casino Amsterdam||Amsterdam, The Netherlands||Canceled midway|
|March 10-15||PokerStars Road to PSPC La Grand Motte||France||Postponed|
|March 10-15||PokerStars Road to PSPC Hamburg||Hamburg, Germany||Postponed|
|March 10-31||WSOPC King's Resort||Rozvadov, Czech Republic||Canceled midway|
|March 13-16||WSOPC Harrah’s AC||Atlantic City, NJ||Canceled|
|March 13-17||WPT at Venetian||Las Vegas, NV||Postponed|
|March 13-22||Golden Poker Million Casino de Marrakech||Marrakech, Morocco||Canceled|
|March 14-18||WSOPC Bicycle Casino||Bell Gardens, CA||Postponed|
|March 16-18||Wynn Spring Classic $5,300 Main Event||Las Vegas, NV||Canceled|
|March 18-21||Unibet Deep Stack Poker Open||Aix en Provence, France||Canceled|
|March 17-19||Bounty Poker Tour Tallinn||Estonia||Postponed|
|March 18-30||Merit Poker Top Guns||Kyrenia, Cyprus||Canceled|
|March 19-22||Barrière Poker Tour Ribeauville||Ribeauville, France||Canceled|
|March 19-30||US Poker Open Aria||Las Vegas, NV||Postponed|
|March 19-April 7||WPT DeepStacks Championship Thunder Valley||Lincoln, CA||Postponed|
|March 20-23||WPT DeepStacks Maryland||Hanover, MD||Canceled|
|March 20-23||WSOPC Hard Rock Tulsa||Catoosa, OK||Canceled|
|March 20-22||MSPT Meskwaki||Tama, IA||Postponed|
|March 20-29||PokerStars EPT Sochi||Sochi, Russia||Postponed|
|March 22-April 5||WPT Barcelona||Barcelona, Spain||Postponed|
|March 23-29||888poker LIVE Bucharest||Bucharest, Romania||Canceled|
|March 25-30||WSOPC Bally’s Las Vegas||Las Vegas, NV||Postponed Indefinitely|
|March 25-April 6||WSOPC St. Maarten||St. Maarten||Postponed Indefinitely|
|March 25-29||Winamax Poker Open Grand Final||Madrid, Spain||Postponed|
|March 26-April 1||Colorado Poker Championship||Black Hawk, CO||Canceled|
|March 27-30||WPT DeepStacks Jacksonville||Jacksonville, FL||Postponed|
|March 27-April 5||Norwegian Championships||Dublin, Ireland||Canceled|
|March 28 & 29||Ante Up Gila River Vee Quiva||Laveen Village, AZ||As planned|
|March 19-31||US Poker Open||Las Vegas, NV||Postponed|
|March||PokerStars Road to PSPC Madrid Gran Via||Spain||Postponed|
Upcoming Poker Events in April
|April 2-13||HPT Lawrenceburg||Greater Cincinnati Area, Ohio||Postponed Indefinitely|
|April 3-5||MSPT Majestic Star||Gary, IN||Postponed|
|April 3-5||RGPS Horseshoe Bossier City||Bossier City, LA||Postponed|
|April 3-5||WPT DeepStacks Johannesburg||Johannesburg, South Africa||As planned|
|April 3-13||Run It Up Reno X||Reno, NV||Canceled|
|April 1-6||WSOPC Horseshoe Council Bluffs||Council Bluffs, IA||Postponed|
|April 4-7||WPT DeepStacks Championship||Lincoln, CA||Canceled|
|April 6-13||Irish Poker Open||Dublin, Ireland||Postponed|
|April 7-25||Borgata Spring Poker Open||Atlantic City, NJ||Canceled|
|April 9-19||WSOPC Casino Barriere Le Croisette||Cannes, France||Postponed Indefinitely|
|April 10-13||WPT DeepStacks European Championship Deauville||Deauville, France||Canceled|
|April 12-20||Czech Poker Masters||Rozvadov, Czech Republic||Canceled|
|April 13-19||MSPT Golden Gates||Black Hawk, CO||As planned|
|April 15-20||WSOPC Harrah’s Cherokee||Cherokee, NC||Canceled|
|April 16-20||WPT DeepStacks Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||As planned|
|April 16-May 5||WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown||Hollywood, FL||Postponed|
|April 17-26||Lex Live London 3||London, UK||Canceled|
|April 17-26||WPTDeepStacks Montreal||Montreal, QB, Canada||Postponed Indefinitely|
|April 21-28||PP World Championship||Sao Paulo, Brazil||As planned|
|April 24-26||MSPT Canterbury Park||Shakopee, MN||As planned|
|April 23-26||RGPS Harrah’s North Kansas City||Kansas City, MO||As planned|
|April 23-May 2||PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo||Monte Carlo, Monaco||Postponed|
|April 28-May 4||Italian Poker Open||San Remo, Italy||Canceled|
|April 29-May 18||Parx Big Stax XXXIII||Bensalem, PA||As planned|
WSOPC King's Resort, Winamax Grand Final and 888poker LIVE Bucharest All Canceled
PokerNews has reached out to several upcoming stops to learn about their plans regarding their upcoming festivals. 888poker confirmed to PokerNews have now canceled their 888poker LIVE Bucharest festival, scheduled to take place March 23-29.
We at 888poker continue to closely monitor the spread of COVID-19 and are working with our local partners to assess… https://t.co/Pv0A5Mxn9q— 888poker (@888poker)
The ever-popular Winamax poker tour had plans to make a stop at the Gran Casino Torrelodones in Madrid on March 26-29 for the WiPT Grand Final. Earlier Winamax' Jachara Ungell confirmed with PokerNews that the event was to continue as normal, with precautionary measures taken.
However, on March 10, Winamax released a statement that the Grand Final will be canceled due to government restrictions on large gatherings. Winamax is currently exploring all possible solutions, such as rescheduling the event at a later time or refunding all tickets.
King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic announced on Facebook that one of their flagship evens, the World Series of Poker Circuit, will continue as normal. "We considered cancelling the WSOP Circuit Event, but since the event is such a prestigious and important highlight of the year, we don’t want to disappoint the players," the statement from King's read. Guarantees, however, have been removed in the wake of the uncertainty.
On March 13, the event was canceled as a result of Czech government-imposed restrictions.
PokerStars Events Postponed
In an official earlier statement, PokerStars postponed all European events up to April 10.
This left the European Poker Tour in Monte Carlo, held April 23 to May 2 in the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel, unaffected at the time. The principality is located in the south of France, close to the northern parts of Italy that are currently in full lockdown.
Update: On March 13, PokerStars confirmed EPT Monte Carlo will be postponed, as well as the Brazilian Series of Poker in Sao Paulo. The EPT Sochi is currently under review.