WPT Maryland Live was scheduled at the Live! Poker Room from 15 to 28 Sep. Live poker players in Maryland were looking forward to this poker festival as it was the first major live poker festival scheduled to take place after COVID-19 forced poker rooms across Maryland and the rest of the country to close.
WPT Maryland Live Cancelled
The World Poker Tour (WPT) was keen to get its live poker tour up and running again in 2021. There was a lot of excitement around the WPT Maryland Live tour as a total of 16 events were set to take place. The buy-ins were affordable as they started out at $150 and went up to $1,600. The Main Event had a buy-in of $3,500 and a guaranteed prize pool of $1.5 million was up for grabs.
Live! Poker Room has put out a notice on its website informing visitors that the WPT Maryland Live stop has been canceled. There is no indication if the stop will be rescheduled at a later date. The reason for the cancellation is due to the spike in COVID-19 cases in Maryland. Live! Poker Room has asked visitors to check back later to see if there are more updates to the WPT Maryland Live stop.
This is a big blow for the WPT as they recently had to cancel another WPT live poker tour in Jacksonville, Florida. This stop was also canceled due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
Live! Poker Room Continues To Host Tournaments
While the Live! Poker Room has canceled the WPT Maryland Live stop, the poker room is not going to close its doors. The cash game action at the Live! Poker Room will continue and the Black Chip Bounty tournament scheduled of the coming weekend will also take place. A good turnout is expected for this tournament as it has a $30,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Poker players in Maryland have been confused with this development. If the Live! Poker Room is suspending its WPT Maryland Live stop in September due to COVID, why is it continuing to remain open and run cash game tournaments and the Black Chip Bounty tournament.
Both the WPT and the Live! Poker Room have not provided any explanation to players. One can assume that regular cash games and small poker tournaments at the Live! Poker Room brings in crowds that the poker room is confident of managing during COVID-19 times. However the WPT Maryland Live stop is expected to bring in a flurry of players from Maryland as well as out of state.
The higher turnout of players during WPT Maryland Live could pose a challenge for the Live! Poker Room. This is probably the main reason why they decided it was in the best interests of the poker room and its players to suspend the WPT Maryland Live stop.
Maryland Witnesses Spike In COVID Cases
A number of states across the country are witnessing another spike in COVID cases. Maryland recorded an average of 1,000 positive COVID cases during July but that number has gone up by 10x in August with more than 10,000 positive cases daily. Maryland is reported to have close to 80 percent of its residents vaccinated but there is still a lot of concern due to the increase of the delta variant.
Live! Poker Room is playing it safe by keeping crowds small and managing operations effectively. If it proceeds with the WPT Maryland live poker tour and someone tests positive, it could result in the poker room being closed down for a long time – a chance they don’t want to take.
Other Live Poker Tours Might Be Cancelled
A number of other poker operators are keeping a close watch on the COVID-19 situation including the WSOP which is scheduled to host its live poker festival at the Rio in Las Vegas in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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