There have been many activities, including major sporting events like the 2020 Olympics, the Kentucky Derby and the Indianapolis 500 that have been postponed until later in this year or 2021. There is a bigger list of events that have been canceled outright. Thus, it comes as little surprise that PokerStars announced this morning that the 2020 European Poker Tour stop at Casino Barcelona in Spain and the 2020 PokerStars Players Championship will both be postponed until 2021.
PokerStars’ Expresses “Great Regret” at Postponement
An e-mail from the PokerStars Press Room stated that “it is with great regret that PokerStars has postponed to 2021 the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) 2020 and EPT Barcelona. The events were due to be held at Casino Barcelona, Spain in August this year,” the e-mail continued. There is a bright spot as PokerStars did say that “the PSPC will still take place at Casino Barcelona, although new dates for 2021 have yet to be confirmed.”
Not only is the hugely popular Barcelona stop postponed until some time in 2021, three other live events on the PokerStars calendar have been canceled altogether. The “Road to PSPC Cannes” in France, the “Road to PSPC Madrid” in Spain and the Manilla Super Series 14 have all been eliminated from the PokerStars schedule. “We are, of course, disappointed, and we sympathize with the players who will have to put their PSPC poker dreams and aspirations on hold until next year,” the press release stated.
If there is a good side to the postponement of the Barcelona EPT stop and the PSPC, it is that PokerStars will give more people free rides to the tournament. “With more time than expected, we’ve decided to give away 80 more Platinum Passes, taking the total to 400,” the press department said. “In the coming months, we’ll bring our players even more ways to win as we make this event a true celebration that brings the PokerStars live events community back together again…it will be worth the wait.”
PSPC Postponement Joins Long List of Delays
The postponement of the PSPC and the EPT Barcelona is only the latest in a long litany of poker tournaments that have been postponed. The World Poker Tour has postponed three final tables that would have been played at the HyperX eSports Arena in Las Vegas from the end of April; at this point, there has been no date designated as to when those tournaments will be completed. The WPT has also postponed and/or canceled a host of tournaments since the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown took effect in mid-March.
The World Series of Poker waited until the very last minute to get enough information to make a decision regarding poker’s elite event. In mid-April, however, and with the coronavirus closure of Las Vegas entering its second month (the city is still quarantined at this moment), Caesars Entertainment reluctantly made the decision to postpone poker’s biggest event. At this time, there has been no information from Caesars Entertainment as to when – or if – the 2020 WSOP will be held in full, with a limited schedule or even at all.
The world of poker has a lot in common with other sports around the world. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only were the events earlier mentioned postponed but such important sporting events as The British Open golf tournament, tennis’ Wimbledon festivities, the 2020 World Figure Skating Championships, the 2020 NCAA Basketball Championships (for both men and women) were outright canceled. There are even possibilities that events that have been pushed to the fall, such as those mentioned earlier, may be held but without an audience in attendance.
The COVID-19 outbreak and resulting quarantine has changed life around the world. With time, hopefully the situation can be contained and people can get back to some semblance of existence that will never be what was once considered “normal.”