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Will the World Series of Poker return to a live in-person format in 2021?


Live in-person poker is a particularly bad match for virus outbreaks. Not only are players typically huddled together in close promimity over tables, but they are constantly touching and then exchanging small plastic rectangles and discs (cards and chips, respectively). There would have to be considerable progress in containtment, treatment, and/or vaccines before a large-scale live-poker tournament event would be safe to hold in the U.S.

The World Series of Poker, after having run tournament events in Las Vegas every summer since 1970, was forced to postpone its 2020 event due to the coronavirus pandemic, and hosted an alternative online-only version.

Will the WSOP return to a live format in 2021?

This question will resolve positively if all of the following conditions are met:

  • A live version of the World Series of Poker 2021 is announced on the website.
  • A corresponding set of live tournaments are actually held in the United States sometime between June and December 2021. (The events need not be held in Las Vegas itself.)
  • As part of the above, a particular live tournament is billed as the "WSOP 2021 Main Event" on website.
  • The 2021 Main Event is actually played in the U.S. in 2021, with 500 or more entrants, and is played down to a single winner who is designated the Main Event champion. (Note that some previous versions of the Main Event have had more than 6000 entrants).

This question will resolve negatively if the last day of 2021 passes and one or more of the above conditions have not been met.

Note that this question can still resolve positively if the WSOP organization decides to define WSOP 2021 as a mix of live and online tournaments, as long as the designated "Main Event" is played live.

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