The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) will commence on Sep 20 and will run till Nov 23 at the Rio in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WSOP is the most popular live poker tournament in the world as thousands of poker players from all over the world show up every year. We take a look at five things that are going to be different at the 2021 WSOP.
WSOP – Time Schedule
The WSOP usually takes place during May and June each year. However, the WSOP had to reschedule the 2021 WSOP due to the COVID-19 situation. Rather than cancel the 2021 WSOP, the management decided that it would be better to postpone the event to the fall as there were better chances of the live poker tournament taking place as they expected COVID-19 to be under control by then.
The WSOP made a good decision as the COVID-19 vaccine numbers continue to rise as the U.S continues to push for everyone to get vaccinated. The White House has also announced that in early November it would lift its international travel ban and once again allow foreign tourists to visit the country, which works well for the WSOP.
WSOP – Vaccination
This will be the first time in WSOP history where the organizers have made it mandatory for all players to be fully vaccinated. The WSOP went back and forth on this decision initially but in the end, decided that it was in the best interest of all concerns for players to be fully vaccinated.
The WSOP received criticism from a small contingent of players for forcing players to vaccinate. Top poker pros like Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell blasted the WSOP on social media for giving into Big Pharma and discriminating against those players who do not want to be vaccinated.
The WSOP has not backed down from the mandatory vaccination policy and has informed players that they must be vaccinated 14 days before they show up at the WSOP.
WSOP – Rio
Since 2005, the WSOP has taken place every year at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with the exception of 2020 when the WSOP was canceled due to COVID-19. There have been rumors in the past that the WSOP was planning to move on from the Rio and it looks like the 2021 WSOP will be the last time that the Rio hosts the WSOP.
The new home of the WSOP from 2022 is expected to be Bally’s.
WSOP – Live Streaming Partner
The WSOP has also partnered with a new live streaming partner for the 2021 WSOP. CBS Sports is the new streaming partner and there is an agreement in place for as many as 18 WSOP bracelet events to be streamed. This will be the first time that so many WSOP bracelet events will be live-streamed. The 2021 WSOP Main Event will also have 15 hours of content live-streamed. The WSOP Main Event coverage will be produced by PokerCentral.
WSOP – New Events
The 2021 WSOP will feature a number of classic events such as the Colossus, Millionaire Maker and The Closer. However, there will also be a number of new events during this year’s live poker festival.
Some of the new events include Poker Hall of Fame Bounty which takes place on Nov 17, Old School Freezeouts Return which takes place during October. 6There are multiple freezout events that have buy-ins from $500 to $5,000. The Heads Up No-Limit Hold’em Championship is on this list because the buy-in has been changed from $10,000 to $25,000.
To find out more check out the WSOP website.

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