Wide-ranging schedule spans two months

It has been a long time since anyone has stepped foot in the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for a “real” World Series of Poker. Sure, the slapdash hybrid/live “Main Event” wrapped up at the Rio at the beginning of this year, but the last time we truly had a live WSOP over two years ago. But now the WSOP is back, set to kick off on Thursday, September 30 and run through November 22.

It all starts with the traditional opener, the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold’em event. Also on Thursday are a $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and $1,000 buy-in COVID-19 Relief No-Limit Hold’em Charity tournament to benefit frontline healthcare workers.

There are 88 events in all during this year’s WSOP, which was moved back to the fall from the spring/summer in hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic would have eased. Naturally, all eyes will be on the $10,000 Main Event, which goes for two weeks: November 4 through November 17. There are four starting flights, with the survivors from Days 1A and 1B continuing their Day 2s on November 8 and the survivors from Days 1C and 1D going the next day. Anyone who did not enter any starting flight can also register before the start of Day 2. All remaining players are combined for Day 3 and beyond.

The final table will be determined on November 14. After a day off, the final table will begin on November 16 and conclude the following day.

Be aware of COVID-19 rules

We have covered this plenty over the last couple months, but it bears repeating that the pandemic is still serious and will certainly affect the 2021 World Series of Poker. If you are planning on going to Las Vegas to play, remember that you will have to furnish proof of vaccination in order to participate. Proof only needs to be shown once and players can use the CLEAR app or physical vaccination card. Check the WSOP’s site for full details.

Because of recent changes to Nevada’s COVID-19 regulations and because vaccinations are required, players will not have to wear protective masks at the poker tables, though of course they can if they wish (normally the WSOP requires people to show their faces, but these are exceptional times). When away from the table, however, even a single step, people must don masks.

There was some confusion this summer over what happens if someone is in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. Originally, the WSOP rulebook said that even just being a close contact could result in disqualification, but the WSOP has since clarified that if one is vaccinated and asymptomatic, they can keep playing even if determined to be a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

More online bracelet events

Though the domestic and international runs of the WSOP Online have ended, there are still opportunities for players do win official gold bracelets by playing online. Just a couple of weeks ago, the WSOP announced that it has added ten online-only events for players in Nevada and New Jersey on WSOP.com.

There will be one internet bracelet event each Sunday during the World Series of Poker, except on October 3, when there will be two.

Though only players in Nevada and New Jersey can participate because they share tables on WSOP.com, Pennsylvania players are not left out completely. People located in the Keystone State will get their own, single online bracelet event on November 21.

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