Coronavirus: Canceled Poker Tournaments; Many Casinos to Suspend Operations (Updated 3/17)

Poker Tournaments are being canceled the world over because of the coronavirus.

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.

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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.

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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.

King's Casino temporarily bans all Italians

Upcoming Poker Events in March

March 5-15Heartland Poker Tour Mini SeriesHollywood Casino ToldeoCanceled
March 6-15partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi (Live Stream)Sochi, RussiaAs planned
March 7-15WPTDS Holland Casino AmsterdamAmsterdam, The NetherlandsCanceled midway
March 10-15PokerStars Road to PSPC La Grand MotteFrancePostponed
March 10-15PokerStars Road to PSPC HamburgHamburg, GermanyPostponed
March 10-31WSOPC King's ResortRozvadov, Czech RepublicCanceled midway
March 13-16WSOPC Harrah’s ACAtlantic City, NJCanceled
March 13-17WPT at VenetianLas Vegas, NVPostponed
March 13-22Golden Poker Million Casino de MarrakechMarrakech, MoroccoCanceled
March 14-18WSOPC Bicycle CasinoBell Gardens, CAPostponed
March 16-18Wynn Spring Classic $5,300 Main EventLas Vegas, NVCanceled
March 18-21Unibet Deep Stack Poker OpenAix en Provence, FranceCanceled
March 17-19Bounty Poker Tour TallinnEstoniaPostponed
March 18-30Merit Poker Top GunsKyrenia, CyprusCanceled
March 19-22Barrière Poker Tour RibeauvilleRibeauville, FranceCanceled
March 19-30US Poker Open AriaLas Vegas, NVPostponed
March 19-April 7WPT DeepStacks Championship Thunder ValleyLincoln, CAPostponed
March 20-23WPT DeepStacks MarylandHanover, MDCanceled
March 20-23WSOPC Hard Rock TulsaCatoosa, OKCanceled
March 20-22MSPT MeskwakiTama, IAPostponed
March 20-29PokerStars EPT SochiSochi, RussiaPostponed
March 22-April 5WPT BarcelonaBarcelona, SpainPostponed
March 23-29888poker LIVE BucharestBucharest, RomaniaCanceled
March 25-30WSOPC Bally’s Las VegasLas Vegas, NVPostponed Indefinitely
March 25-April 6WSOPC St. MaartenSt. MaartenPostponed Indefinitely
March 25-29Winamax Poker Open Grand FinalMadrid, SpainPostponed
March 26-April 1Colorado Poker ChampionshipBlack Hawk, COCanceled
March 27-30WPT DeepStacks JacksonvilleJacksonville, FLPostponed
March 27-April 5Norwegian ChampionshipsDublin, IrelandCanceled
March 28 & 29Ante Up Gila River Vee QuivaLaveen Village, AZAs planned
March 19-31US Poker OpenLas Vegas, NVPostponed
MarchPokerStars Road to PSPC Madrid Gran ViaSpainPostponed

Upcoming Poker Events in April

April 2-13HPT LawrenceburgGreater Cincinnati Area, OhioPostponed Indefinitely
April 3-5MSPT Majestic StarGary, INPostponed
April 3-5RGPS Horseshoe Bossier CityBossier City, LAPostponed
April 3-5WPT DeepStacks JohannesburgJohannesburg, South AfricaAs planned
April 3-13Run It Up Reno XReno, NVCanceled
April 1-6WSOPC Horseshoe Council BluffsCouncil Bluffs, IAPostponed
April 4-7WPT DeepStacks ChampionshipLincoln, CACanceled
April 6-13Irish Poker OpenDublin, IrelandPostponed
April 7-25Borgata Spring Poker OpenAtlantic City, NJCanceled
April 9-19WSOPC Casino Barriere Le CroisetteCannes, FrancePostponed Indefinitely
April 10-13WPT DeepStacks European Championship DeauvilleDeauville, FranceCanceled
April 12-20Czech Poker MastersRozvadov, Czech RepublicCanceled
April 13-19MSPT Golden GatesBlack Hawk, COAs planned
April 15-20WSOPC Harrah’s CherokeeCherokee, NCCanceled
April 16-20WPT DeepStacks PittsburghPittsburgh, PAAs planned
April 16-May 5WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker ShowdownHollywood, FLPostponed
April 17-26Lex Live London 3London, UKCanceled
April 17-26WPTDeepStacks MontrealMontreal, QB, CanadaPostponed Indefinitely
April 21-28PP World ChampionshipSao Paulo, BrazilAs planned
April 24-26MSPT Canterbury ParkShakopee, MNAs planned
April 23-26RGPS Harrah’s North Kansas CityKansas City, MOAs planned
April 23-May 2PokerStars EPT Monte CarloMonte Carlo, MonacoPostponed
April 28-May 4Italian Poker OpenSan Remo, ItalyCanceled
April 29-May 18Parx Big Stax XXXIIIBensalem, PAAs 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.

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.

  • Learn which upcoming poker tournaments in March and April are affected by the coronavirus.

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Senior Content Manager

A former professional poker player with a background in sports marketing and journalism. Yori has been a part of PokerNews since 2016 and manages the content team.

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