Trying to keep everyone safe
After more than a year, the World Poker Tour will soon return to live poker action in Las Vegas. This week, the WPT announced the Season XVIII WPT Venetian, to be held at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas March 5-9, 2021. This will be just the second run for this event; it debuted in March 2019.
Though the COVID-19 vaccine is slowly rolling out around the United States, the country will still be in the middle of the pandemic come March. As such, The Venetian will still be implementing health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. Among other precautions, casino staff will sanitize the chips, cards, and plexiglass dividers at the tables frequently. The state of Nevada also requires all people in the casino and the poker room to wear protective face coverings.
deliver the great poker experience our players have come to expect”
“We strive to provide our players with as many options as possible and have been working throughout the last year to deliver the great poker experience our players have come to expect, but in a Venetian Clean way,” said The Venetian’s tournament director Tommy LaRosa.
WPT Main Tour and WPTDeepStacks
As is typical of Main Tour events, WPT Venetian will have a $5,000 buy-in, though the World Poker Tour has yet to specify if the tournament will allow re-entries. The debut event in 2019 did have unlimited re-entries until the start of Level 11, the end of the late registration period, so the 2021 version will probably have them, as well. The event will also have a $1.5m guaranteed prize pool.
Though WPT Venetian will be the first Main Tour event to be held live in Las Vegas since the pandemic began, it will not be the first pandemic World Poker Tour tournament at The Venetian, overall. That honor goes to WPTDeepStacks, which will begin January 18, 2021. The $1,600 Main Event will run January 29-February 1 and will have a $500,000 guarantee.
The first Main Tour event to return live outside of Las Vegas will be the WPT Lucky Hearts Poker Open at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood January 22-26.
The year of the online event
The last World Poker Tour event on the Main Tour to run as scheduled was the WPT Rolling Thunder at the Thunder Valley Casino Resort outside of Sacramento, California in early March. Shortly thereafter, casinos began closing as the country started to realize the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and poker tours postponed and canceled events.
Since then, the World Poker Tour has held a number of large tournament series online on partypoker, including the WPT World Championship for players around the world and the WPT Online Poker Open in New Jersey.
The most notable live tour-turned-online has been the World Series of Poker. This summer, it held the 2020 WSOP Online on both WSOP.com and GGPoker. This weekend will be the conclusion to what is considered the official 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event, as International Bracket winner Damian Salas will face US Bracket winner Joseph Hebert heads-up for the bracelet and an additional $1m.