The World Series of Poker (WSOP) live festival has been a pretty big success given the fact that it is being run with COVID-19 still being a threat. Organizers poured in a lot of time, hard work, and resources to make this year’s event possible, with adjustments and safety measures put in place in light of the ongoing pandemic. The series is almost over, culminating in the $10,000 Main Event which concludes on November 17.
There have been no major issues reported so far as to the running of the festival, but player safety became a major concern recently after one poker pro who participated in a previous event at the series tested positive for COVID-19 but did not inform his fellow players that he was infected with the virus while competing in the tournament.
Bonomo Unknowingly Played With a COVID-19 Patient
Without revealing names, Justin Bonomo, in a series of tweets, accused one player of hiding his COVID-19 positive result. That player shared a table with Bonomo and others in a $50K WSPOP event and had COVID symptoms.
They played together for two straight days, and after the tournament, the player tested positive for the virus. Bonomo only knew about it recently as the player did not inform him or the other players he came into close contact with at the WSOP about his condition.
Bonomo described the player’s conduct as “grossly negligent” as he highlighted that the WSOP has the potential to become a super-spreader event considering the huge number of players flocking to the Rio to take part in tournaments. In his tweets, the three-time WSOP bracelet winner emphasized the importance of letting people know about your health condition as it could save many lives.
Hunichen Fires Back
It did not take long for Chris “Big Huni” Hunichen to admit that he was the player Bonomo was talking about in his tweets. The poker pro defended himself, saying he only knew he had the virus when he tested positive after the event. He also said that there’s no way the virus was spread to his fellow players in the $50K event, as his wife, relatives, and friends whom he hung out with after the tournament all tested negative.
Hunichen also added that he was focused on staying alive as he battled with the illness, though he also admitted he should have made the effort of notifying the players about his condition.
But he maintained that there’s really no issue at all, and that there’s nothing wrong with not disclosing his positive test to his fellow WSOP contestants.
Hunichen described Bonomo’s tweets as “dramatic and overblown” and also accused him of being “hypocritical” after Bonomo shared that he attended the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) that weekend. The EDC is a popular electronic dance music festival, the largest of its kind in North America, attracting hundreds of thousands of attendees each year. This makes the EDC more prone to becoming a super-spreader event than the WSOP.
Last month, Vanessa Kade also contracted the virus but has since recovered. She was allowed to compete in the Main Event at the weekend in line with WSOP rules. Apart from Kade and Hunichen, there have been no reports so far of any other WSOP participants testing positive for COVID-19.
Let’s Stay Safe
Both Bonomo and Hunichen explained their points well, but the main takeaway is that COVID-19 is still here and the vaccines don’t offer full protection from the virus. You should remain cautious and must not hesitate to let other people know if you’re not feeling well or if you’re experiencing any symptoms.