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World Series Of Poker Ditches Vaccination Rule For 2022 Series

CDC Guidelines Will Still Apply, According To Caesars


The World Series of Poker is slowly but surely getting back to normal.

On Wednesday, the Caesars Entertainment-owned WSOP announced the schedule for the 53rd annual running of poker’s most prestigious tournament series that will run from May 31 through July 20. Along with the WSOP returning to its traditional summer schedule, the poker festival is also ditching vaccination requirements for the 2022 series.

Earlier this month, Nevada gaming regulators, following a decision from (D) Gov. Steve Sisolak, ended the COVID-19 mask requirement for Las Vegas casinos.

“The WSOP will follow local, state and CDC guidelines relating to COVID-19 that are in effect during the event,” said the announcement. “While there will be no vaccination requirement to play in the tournament, players will be accountable to follow CDC guidelines appropriate to them as individuals. Based on current state guidelines masks will not be required.”

According to the latest government figures, about 65% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated about the COVID-19 virus.

The vaccination rules at the 2021 WSOP were controversial for some, which led to players sitting out of poker’s biggest stage. One of the more high-profile boycotts was high-stakes poker power couple Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell. Bicknell is a three-time bracelet winner, and Foxen was, at the time, in the running for several Player of the Year awards.

Despite the rules and the resistance from some players, the 2021 World Series of Poker main event was still able to record more than 6,600 total entries, with German poker player Koray Aldemir taking home the title and $8 million in November.

Overall numbers were strong. More than 125,000 total entries were made throughout the 2021 WSOP, which included 88 in-person events and another 11 online tournaments. The impressive turnouts, despite vaccine rules, resulted in $237,781,991 in total prize money paid out from late September through just before the Thanksgiving holiday.

While the WSOP is returning to normal, the venue for the upcoming poker festival will be different. Earlier this year, Caesars announced that the WSOP will move away from the Rio Hotel-Casino located just off the Strip. The Rio had hosted since the mid-2000s.

Bally’s Las Vegas is rebranding to Horseshoe, and it will host the WSOP going forward along with the Paris Casino next door. It will mark the first time the annual poker festival is held on the iconic casino corridor.