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Poker Community Divided Over World Series Of Poker Vaccine Mandate

Twitter Reacts To Series Policy, Which Requires Players To Show Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination In Order To Participate


On Friday, less than five weeks from the start of the 2021 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, tournament organizers surprised many by announcing a vaccine mandate for anyone wishing to play.

Proof of vaccination, using a mobile health pass app, is required to participate in any bracelet event, deep stack tournament, satellite, or cash game. The policy applies to everyone involved with the event, including staff, media, vendors, and spectators.

“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,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “The nature of poker is to be in close proximity with your opponents for extended periods of time and a seat at the WSOP 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 WSOP joins other upcoming local events in requiring proof of vaccination, such as NFL Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium, as well as the upcoming Life Is Beautiful music festival and Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC).

But despite following CDC guidelines and the precedent set by others, and the fact that the vaccine was recently approved by the FDA, the decision seemed to divide the poker community, at least on social media.

While numerous players were happy with the news and applauded the WSOP for seemingly putting safety over profit, others felt the mandate was a violation of their personal freedom.

Poker power couple Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell were among the high-profile players to speak out against the rule. Bicknell is a three-time bracelet winner, and Foxen is in the running for several Player of the Year awards, but both have decided to boycott the series.

Of course, as poker presenter Sasha Salinger pointed out, “You can’t boycott something you’re not allowed to attend.” Even those who are vaccinated will still be required to prove it, or they won’t be allowed onto the property.

2003 WSOP main event champion Chris Moneymaker originally stated that he was not going to attend the series because he didn’t want to expose his family to the virus. But after the news broke, he took to Twitter to thank series officials for the decision, pointing out to naysayers that the WSOP is a private business that can do as they please.

It had the opposite effect, however, on 2009 WSOP main event champion and four-time bracelet winner Joe Cada, who has decided to stay in Michigan for the series rather than take the vaccine.

While tensions ran high between those for and against the policy, others took the opportunity to find action.

“Looking to bet on several vocal vaccine critics to play,” wrote bracelet winner Max Silver.

Other players used the space to tell jokes… or perhaps share their true feelings.

“Bracelets will be the toughest ever to win this year,” said eternal optimist Allen Kessler. “You’ll be competing against the smartest, most logical playing field in history.”

We can only guess as to how the mandate will affect attendance. The numbers were already going to be lower than usual due to the fact that the series is taking place in the fall this year, rather than the summer. Additionally, many international players will still have trouble getting to Las Vegas with various restrictions in place on travel.

According to the CDC, approximately 58% of eligible Americans have received the vaccine. If those numbers hold true for the poker community, the WSOP would be potentially shutting out upwards of 42% of their player base.

That being said, enforcing a vaccine mandate may make those who have already gotten the shot more comfortable with playing live poker.

According to a poll Card Player conducted over the weekend, 41.1% of those who responded said they were MORE likely to play now that proof of vaccination is required. Only 22.1% said there were LESS likely to play.



1 year ago
John Hopkins study confirms natural covid immunity better than the jab.

I would never get the jab given that I’m already immune. I would never do a Big Pharma Fascist, Bill Gates operating system, of annual anti-virus boosters. Sorry not sorry, Big Pharma and WSOP, you do not own my bloodstream. Yes, I live in Vegas, but I will spend my thousands of dollars elsewhere until you reverse this Big Pharma Fascism mark of the beast tracking system. I’m a choice-vaxxer, it’s your body your choice. If you want to get shot up with Bill Gates poison then go do so. If you’re vaccinated then you have nothing to worry about (I’m Naturally-vaccinated, I have nothing to worry about). If you’re Big Pharma Fascism vaccine is not working, then stop taking it!!! Funny how people take a vaccine but they’re scared of other people: hypochondria much? You have better than a 99% survival rate people! It’s the flu rebranded. Get yourself some Vitamin D3 and turn off CNN and Fox news!!!
CDC admits the PCR test is fake
Nobel Laureate saying the vaccine is causing the variants
UC San Diego famous Salk Institute (Paragraph 6 most important) – April 2021
Spike protein in ‘vaccine’ damages artery walls (contributes to slow death)
CDC admits vaccine causes disease
How vaccine passports really work


1 year ago

HG702, All of the above is out of context and does not show the full picture.
Please do some real research rather than continually reading the same bullshit from the same "patriot" sites that are using this global health crisis as a "call-to-freedom".
I.e. read the full JH report, it categorically states the majority of people do not have the natural anti-bodies.


1 year ago

Should be quite a shock to a lot of people when a covid outbreak occurs among all the vax participants thinking they are safe and protected when they are the ones carrying the spike protein and have a greater chance of transmitting the virus!!!


1 year ago

No one has said they can't catch it, just they will have some protection, e.g. less severe symptoms and therefore less likely to die.

Their exposure is exactly the same as everyone else.

The Delta variant looks to be lethal at a much higher rate and affecting a much wider age range, this is not the common cold for which we have suitable antibodies.

This is not a joke and should not be used as a divisive issue, those that perpetuate that stance are literally killing people.


1 year ago

Ivermectin and Vitamin D3 are the key. I wouldn’t sign up for a Globalist Marxist Social Credit score system even if somebody had a gun to my head. Be free rather than live on your knees being a multi-year experimental lab-rat and world-wide prison inmate. Why consent to being tracked through your personal medical choices!!! Wake up sheepe! Baaaaaa!!

Instead of the WSOP doing a mark of the beast digital tracking system (Chinese Social Credit Score system model) should have;
1) All players sign a non-liability waiver, before playing, so if they catch the flu then they can’t sue (same as Big Pharma vaxxed individuals not being able to sue for adverse ‘vaccine’ reactions due to FDA only allowing emergency use of the MRNA spike protein clot shot)
2) Have doctors available to write prescriptions for Ivermectin (as Japan intelligently does) and HCQ
3) Recommend players take Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and zinc multiple times a week

Problem solved, so long as the sheep turn off Big Pharma commercial paid for news.

Choice-vaxxing in mindset is the least divisive stance because it gives all people choice; wheras, the divisive group include people saying to you, “yorrrr paperz pleazeee” (straight out of 1930s Germany: very divisive folks).


1 year ago

(Cont’d additional from above)
4) Multi hand-held temperature-reader devices at each convention room entrance and/or allow the floor hand-held temperature-readers if the floor suspects they need to randomly temperature check a table [due to someone excessively coughing that is not asthma]