Poker players will do anything for money, fame, and fortune. Let's see how many truly anti-vax poker players and pros will put aside their strong opinions for a chance to play at the vaccinated-only 2021 World Series of Poker. I'm sure there'll be a large group of anti-vaxxers who do not play this year and there's a segment of that number that will refuse to return to the WSOP for life, but in the end, the suits running the WSOP do not want to be ground zero for a public health disaster and become a major vector of lawsuits and legal action.
At the same time, any players who were on the fence about the COVID-19 vaccination, they'll have to shit or get off the pot here. They'll either follow the money and get the shot, or they'll stick to their personal opinion and miss out on the donkilicious action.
The 2021 WSOP takes place September 20 through November 23, but if you're not showing a proof of vaccination, then you're SOL.
"This is not a decision we have taken lightly–it is made with no agenda beyond protecting player eligibility and the operations of a unique televised gaming event," explained Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director. "The nature of poker is to be in close proximity with your opponents for extended periods of time, and a seat at the World Series of Poker is a commitment for both our company and the participants. We want players to be excited for their return to the WSOP, while offering the greatest level of protection and limiting complications during the tournament this fall."
The good news is that you only need to bring your vaccination card or proof just once during the first time you register for your first event. After that, you won't be asked to show proof at the cage and you can walk directly to the line. This involves all WSOP bracelet events, satellites, and other tournaments hosted at the Rio Casino in Las Vegas.
The WSOP will specifically use CLEAR's free mobile app and their Health Pass Feature. The Rio will also have a special area in the Belize Room to verify your vaccination status, so if you're thinking about showing up with a bogus or fugazi vax card, then you'll be disappointed.
All vax'd players will have to get their second dose within 14 days of their play date.
And yes, all poker players and dealers will be wearing masks. No mask, no vax... no bracelet.
Head over to the WSOP for more info and FAQs.