Thursday September 23, 2021 at 8:26 pm

The 2021 World Series of Poker begins in one week, but Caesars Entertainment announced that poker rooms at two of their Las Vegas Strip properties will be dark during the WSOP to assist with staffing shortages at the Rio. Bally's and the Flamingo will not spread live poker between September 26 and November 26. Both rooms expect to re-open at the end of November, but in the era of COVID and consolidation, you never know.

wsopFlamingoclosed2021

Just a heads up if you're headed to Sin City during the World Series of Poker because due to staffing shortages, especially at the upcoming WSOP, a couple of poker rooms on the Strip will be shut down for two months in order to keep the WSOP full staffed.

The Flamingo and Bally's, both owned by Caesars Entertainment, will not spread cash games or tournaments for two months starting on September 26. These were popular spots due to their location smack dab in the middle of the Strip. Caesars, with 18 tables, is now the only poker room on the Strip that they own which will be in business. Bally's had approximately 14 tables and Flamingo had 11 tables. But it's been a while since these rooms were packed with action at every table.

Some locals preferred lesser-known rooms like Flamingo and Bally's where they could play against random tourists that wanted to play a little poker. Bally's was particularly juicy during conventions, whereas the Flamingo had a fun and wild late-night tournament with no shortage of drunks and eclectic locals.

When I lived in Vegas, it was fun to sometimes check out other rooms on the Strip, especially if any friends happened to be staying at those hotels. That list included Excalibur, Monte Carlo, Flamingo, Bally's, Treasure Island, and Mandalay Bay. Of course, several of those poker rooms are shuttered for good, but Flamingo and Bally's were still going strong even in the post-pandemic version of Sin City.

The WSOP typically had problems with staffing poker dealers since their move to the Rio. The true veteran dealers knew they were getting hosed on pay, or knew it was going to be a long slog during the summer, so they avoided the running of the donks at the Rio. Poker traffic also peaked during the WSOP, so there was also a need for dealers at other casinos within the Caesars corporate umbrella and not affiliated with the WSOP. So, a veteran poker dealer could get away with not slinging cards at the Rio to earn a living.

However, in the post-COVID era, it's been challenging to maintain a full roster of workers in the service industry. There's a labor shortage across the board in the USA. This especially applies to the gambling biz. Several old friends in the biz decided to find new avenues of work away from casinos. This included floor people, pit bosses, and poker dealers that decided they needed to find a different line of work in the era of COVID.

The WSOP is requiring all players to show proof of vaccination if they want to play poker at the Rio -- either cash games, bracelet events, satellites, or tournaments. There is not a strict vax policy for dealers though mainly because they're having staffing issues.

Even during a smooth year at the WSOP, it's tough to find a slew of great dealers. There's always a stretch when they run short on dealers. That means staffing inexperienced dealers, dealers fresh out of dealing school, or washed-up dealers that struggled to maintain employment at other casinos across the board. You can only imagine what it will be like this year. This is why Caesars is making the bold decision to shut down the Flamingo and Bally's poker rooms to make sure the Rio is fully staffed 24/7 between now and Turkey Day.

The 2021 WSOP begins on September 30 and runs through November 23. There will be 99 total bracelet events with 11 added online events, which were recently announced.

Latest news
Wednesday January 25, 2023 at 6:21 pm
LAPT Returns: PokerStars brings back Latin American Poker Tour

After a seven-year layoff, PokerStars will relaunch the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT). The LAPT returns to Brazil with a stop in Rio de Janeiro on March 2, 2023. There will be an event in Montevideo, Uruguay in April, plus two more events planned in Sao Paolo, Brazil in July and November. And there's other LAPT dates and locations that will be announced soon.

Thursday January 19, 2023 at 7:03 pm
PokerStars to Host Sunday Million 17th Anniversary on March 26

PokerStars wants you to save a special date on Sunday March 26, 2023. PokerStars s celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Sunday Million. Yes, the Sunday Milly turns 17 in March! The buy-in is only $215, and this year's celebration will have a $7.5 million guaranteed prize pool. This year's winner will bank at least $1 million. Germany's Blackbeaty won the Sunday Million's 16th anniversary special.

Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 11:11 pm
PokerStars Launches PSPC Online starting Jan 13

PokerStars will launch a special virtual version of the PokerStars Players Championship for American online poker players in New Jersey and Michigan with the PSPC Online. The special series runs from January 13 through Jan 30 on PokerStars for a combined player pool in New Jersey and Michigan. The PSPC Online has 85 events and a guaranteed prize pool worth $2.5 million. Oh, and there's a special PSPC Online for online grinders in the state of Pennsylvania as well with 72 events.

Friday December 2, 2022 at 10:06 pm
PokerStars announces new EPT Season with stops in Paris and Cyprus

PokerStars announced their 2023 live tournament events schedule for the European Poker Tour which includes five stops including two first-time destinations. The EPT kicks off in February 2023 with their EPT Paris debut. In the fall, the EPT heads to the EPT Cyprus for the first time. There's also usual stops at the EPT Monte-Carlo, EPT Barcelona, and the EPT Prague.

Monday November 28, 2022 at 11:17 pm
Win PokerStars Platinum Passes at Gotaga Poker Night or at Resorts World La Vegas

The Road to the PSPC continues. Here's your chance to snag a Platinum Pass to get a free trip to the Bahamas to play in the PokerStars Players Championship at Baha Mar Resort during the return of the PCA in January 2023. You can win a pass through a freeroll hosted by Gotaga, aka France's #1 Twitch streamer. Americans have a chance to win a Platinum Pass at a $400 buy-in tournament at Resorts World Las Vegas.

Thursday November 17, 2022 at 11:07 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Sweden's Omar Eljach wins Main Event for €1.38 million

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe Main Event at the King's Casino in Rozvadov has come to an end with Sweden's Omar Eljach edging out France's Jonathan Pastore to win the bracelet and €1.38 million in cash. The €10,350 buy-in affair attracted 763 runners. The final table also included Shaun Deeb, Barny Boatman, Alexandre Read, and Tim Adams.

Tuesday November 15, 2022 at 2:12 am
2022 WSOPE: Turkey's Orpen Kisacikoglu wins €50K Diamond High Roller

Orpen Kisacikoglu from Turkey won his first bracelet with a victory in the World Series of Poker Europe Event #11 €50,000 Diamond High Roller at the King's Casino in Rozvadov. Kisacikoglu won €748K and outlasted a stacked final table that included Sam Grafton, Shaun Deeb, Nick Petrangelo, Timothy Adams, Daniel Pidin, and Daniel Dvoress. Last week, Paul Phua secured his first bracelet with a victory in WSOPE Event #8 €25,000 Platinum High Roller for a €482,433 score.

Friday November 4, 2022 at 8:12 pm
2022 WSOP Europe: Anson Tsang Ships Event #4 €2,000 PLO

The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe is underway at the King's Casino in Rozvadov, and Yan Shing 'Anson' Tsang was the last player standing in 2022 WSOP Europe Event #4 €2,000 PLO to win €95,461 and his third-career bracelet. Tsang outlasted a final table that included Tomasz Gluszko, Shawn Stroke, Dario Alioto, Oswin Ziegelbecker, Vivian Saliba, Farid Jattin, Pavel Izotov, and Jorryt van Hoof.

Saturday October 8, 2022 at 5:44 pm
Daniel Negreanu wins 2022 Super high Roller Bowl for $3.3 Million

After whiffing in numerous high rollers, Daniel Negreanu outlasted 23 runners to win the $300,000 buy-in 2022 Super High Roller Bowl VII in Las Vegas. Negreanu banked $3.3 million for the victory, which marked the second-highest payout of his illustrious career. Negreanu edged out a final four at the SHRB VII that included Nick Petrangelo, Justin Bonomo, and Andrew Lichtenberger.

Thursday September 15, 2022 at 8:20 pm
Punnat Punsri wins Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event

Thai pro Punnat Punsri banked over $2.6 million with a huge score at the 2022 Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel in Cyprus. The Triton Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event attracted 99 runners to the $100,000 buy-in high roller event. Punsri defeated Wayne Heung heads-up for the title. The final table also included Jason Koon, Artur Martirosian, Wiktor Malinowski, Henrik Hecklen, and Gregoire Auzoux.

Tuesday August 30, 2022 at 12:33 am
2022 WCOOP runs September 4-28 on PokerStars with $85M guarantees

Get ready for the 2022 World Championship of Online Poker (WSOOP) on PokerStars starting this upcoming Sunday, September 4 and running through 28. The 2022 WCOOP has 104 events across three buy-in tiers and includes $85 million in prize pools. The 2022 WCOOP Main Event aka Event #92-High has a $10,300 price tag with a $6 million guarantee. There's also the first-ever Women's Event in WCOOP history.

Friday August 5, 2022 at 3:39 pm
2022 WSOP Europe set for October 26 with 15 bracelet events

Yes, the 2022 World Series of Poker returns to the King's Casino in Rozvadov aka RozVegas in the Czech Republic which includes 15 bracelet events from October 26 to November 16. The WSOP-Circuit also continues its 2022-23 season with 10 international stops including the King's Casino along with stops in Aruba, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Holland, Uruguay, Canada, Morocco, and St. Maarten.

Tuesday July 26, 2022 at 4:03 am
PokerStars EPT London returns October 18

After a long-awaited absence, PokerStars is bringing back the always-popular EPT London after an eight-year layoff. For 11 days, the Park Lane Hilton in posh London will host the triumphant return of the EPT London starting October 18. The £5,300 Main Event kicks off October 22. Better yet, two Platinum Passes to the 2023 PokerStars Players Championship in the Bahamas are up for grabs.

Thursday July 14, 2022 at 5:59 pm
2022 WSOP Main Event: Espen Jorstad, Matt Su Chipleaders at unofficial final table

The 2022 WSOP Main Event went so late into the night on Wednesday that they decided to postpone action with ten players remaining early on Thursday morning. The final ten in the 2022 WSOP Main Event will return on Friday and play down to four, and then on Saturday they will play from the final four to a champion and find out who wins $10 million. Espen Jorstad and Matt Su are the co-chipleaders with 83.2M. Also still alive are Asher Conniff, Aaron Duczak, Jeff Farnes, John Eames, Mike Duek, Matija Dobric, Philippe Souki, and Adrian Attenborough.