Some players faked their vaccination status so they could take part in the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP). This was a claim made by one poker player on social media who suggested that unvaccinated individuals could have played in some events at the festival and spread the virus to other players.
Angela Jordison could not drop names or show evidence but she claimed that the CLEAR app being used at the 2021 WSOP to prove COVID-19 vaccination status can easily be circumvented by providing fake dates and a photo of any vaccination card. Jordison made the claim on Twitter after several players tested positive for the virus during the final stages of the festival.
The WSOP required players to show proof of vaccination before they could participate in the tournaments. Assuming all players religiously adhered to this mandate, then all who took part in the series were fully vaccinated.
Catching COVID at WSOP Unavoidable
It’s important to note though that vaccines don’t guarantee 100% protection from the virus, but they prevent the condition from turning severe. This means contracting COVID-19 in a huge public event like the WSOP is unavoidable, even if you’ve been fully vaccinated. But despite this fact, the issue regarding fake vaccination cards and bypassing the CLEAR app, which some said was already raised even before the series started, should have been dealt with promptly.
While the festival was underway, many players tested positive for the virus, including Chris Hunichen and Vanessa Kade, both of whom recently made the headlines on social media.
Hunichen drew flak for not informing his fellow players about his condition. The poker pro continued to participate in the festival despite showing COVID-19 symptoms and did not notify those he came in close contact with at the series that he was infected with the virus. Justin Bonomo called him out on Twitter, saying his act was grossly negligent. Bonomo was among the players Hunichen shared a table with during a $50K tournament before testing positive for COVID-19.
Kade’s situation was far different from that of Hunichen. The ACR ambassador immediately self-isolated when she experienced COVID-19 symptoms and publicly announced her positive test result as soon as it came out. She was out of the festival temporarily to allow some time for recovery. She was allowed to return just in time for the Main Event after testing negative multiple times. She also had herself checked by a doctor and WSOP’s EMTs.
Kade was surprised when she was suddenly accused of being a super spreader after several players who participated in the Main Event caught the virus. The allegation came from Todd Witteles who also criticized organizers for allowing Kade back to the series without requiring a negative test. Kade was quick to defend herself and maintained that she had undergone the necessary tests before returning to the festival.
Are COVID-19 Vaccines Really Effective?
The fact that many players still got infected with the virus at the WSOP despite being fully vaccinated had strengthened assumptions among anti-vaxxers that the COVID-19 jabs aren’t as effective as everyone had hoped. Kristen Bicknell had the exact same opinion when she shared her views on the emergence of positive cases at the 2021 series.
The Canadian poker pro said that she only heard of vaccinated players catching the virus. When fellow pro Ryan Laplante implied that unvaccinated players could have been partly responsible for the cluster of cases at the WSOP, Bicknell responded by asking for any proof that an unvaxxed player at the festival tested positive for the virus.
The three-time WSOP bracelet winner got it wrong this time, because the WSOP’s vaccination mandate was all aimed at barring unvaccinated individuals from playing in the series. Bicknell skipped this year’s WSOP because of this mandatory requirement.