Five Main Event Problems The WSOP Has Had to Solve
Table Of Contents
It's the first step on a journey that will take one player to King's Casino in Rozvadov and onwards to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as the winner of the heads up championship match.
Preparations and arrangements for this year's hybrid live-online Main Event are complex, so here are just five problems that the WSOP have had to address in order for the event to take place.
Players Travelling to the Czech Republic
By the end of January 2020, airlines were already starting to ground flights as the coronavirus pandemic spread from its origins in China.
Eleven months on, there are still concerns about travel restrictions faced by players who successfully qualify for the International Tournament final table, scheduled to take place at King's Casino, Rozvadov in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, December 15th.
WSOP officials recognized that restrictions may potentially disrupt the final table of the event, and have said that if this or a casino shutdown were to occur, they reserve the right to continue the tournament play online, or reschedule to a later date.
What if the International Winner is Under-21?
The gambling age varies from country to country. For the United States that means players must be 21 in order to play online poker. However, for other countries such as the United Kingdom, Brazil and Russia all have a gambling aage of 18.
This means that many players who will compete in the International Tournament on GGPoker will be under 21.
The WSOP is no stranger to Main Event winners who are younger than 21; in 2007 Annette Obrestad won the 2007 WSOP Europe Main Event aged just 19.
If the winner of the GGPoker International Tournament was under the age of 21, that would present a problem for the final heads-up match in Las Vegas. The rules state that if the player is under the age of 21 and ineligible to play in Nevada, organizers reserve the right to change the date and location of the heads up champion match.
Final Table Covid-19 Testing
In order to ensure the safety of all participants, the WSOP has said that all in-person tournaments, domestic and international will be "subject to special COVID rules and procedures."
Although details of these rules and procedures are yet to be published, it is expected that players will need to agree to abide by these rules in order to participate, and players will be required to undergo a health screening prior to live participation.
What if a Player Tests Positive for COVID-19?
It's the last thing that anyone wants to happen, but if a player tests positive there are already steps in place.
Organizers have announced that any player who tests positive for Covid-19 prior to the start of any live final table play will be disqualified.
They will receive the minimum final table payout. This also counts for players who are unable to travel to the live final tables for any reason.
German Deposit Limits
The Main Event is its traditional $10,000 buy-in, but that might prove a problem for German players.
Back in October, new legislation meant that German players were capped at €1,000 in deposits per month. This might make it difficult to get money onto their GGPoker account in time.
How Many Bracelets Will There Be?
The WSOP have made it very clear that there will be one official 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event bracelet awarded. That will be given to the winner of the heads up championship match between the US champion and the international champion.
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Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.