How was the first day of the 2021 World Series of Poker?

How was the first day of the 2021 World Series of Poker?

The most important event of the year for many poker enthusiasts and professionals. Americans call the WSOP “Poker SuperBowl” – this is the time when people take time off and put everything aside to come to Las Vegas and take part in the best offline series of the year. On the night of September 30 to October 1, the first game day passed

How the first tournaments at the WSOP 2021 go

As a reminder, the World Series of Poker will run from September 30th to November 23rd. Over 54 days, 88 bracelets will be raffled online and 11 additional bracelets online at The first three events started on the night of September 30 to October 1:

  • Event #1: $500 Casino Employees
  • Event #2: $25,000 H.O.R.S.E.
  • Event #3: $1,000 Covid-19 Relief No-Limit Hold’em Charity

The series was traditionally opened by a $ 500 tournament for casino workers. True, in fact, employees of other areas of gambling have access there, including Daily Fantasy Sports or “bookmaker rooms” that can be found in casinos. At the time of publication of the material, 50 participants remained in the game – it is expected that none of them is a famous player and does not have a gold bracelet.

Casino Employees chip leader Leo Abbe

The HORSE high roller tournament unexpectedly went not for $ 10K, as in 2019, but for $ 25K. In it, according to Daniel Negreanu (Daniel Negreanu), the turnout was twice the expected – 73 entries on the first day. Late registrations are still open, and the 47 entrants to Day 2 include Chad Ivsledge (4 mid-stack chip leader), Mike Matusow, Sean Deeb, Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth.

Chad Ivledge

Jesse Lonis is the chip leader of a $ 1,000 charity tournament that will go towards the fight against COVID with rake. Since 2019, such tournaments have been “good form” for organizers of offline series. At the time of publication, there are 5 people in the game, three of whom are WSOP bracelet holders.

Чипкаунт Event #3: $1,000 Covid-19 Relief:

  1. Jesse Lonis – 46 bb
  2. Jeremy Osmus – 27 bb
  3. Asher Connif – 15 bb
  4. Steve Gross – 10 bb
  5. Mitchell Halverson – 8 bb

Jeremy Osmus, Most Famous Contestant in the $ 1000 Covid Relief Event

Mandatory vaccination and quarantine

A lower turnout is expected at the WSOP this year, despite how people have missed the Rio casino atmosphere. There are two key factors for this:

  • All participants were obliged to be vaccinated a drug recognized by WHO (the Russian Sputnik is not included in this list, for example). Visitors to Rio should not have a certificate with them, but a “pass”, which is issued in a special CLEAR application on the phone
  • The United States does not allow people who have visited a number of countries in the past 14 days… It includes Brazil, India, Great Britain, Iran, Ireland, China (with the exception of Hong Kong and Macau), South Africa and all Schengen countries like Italy, Denmark, Estonia and a dozen others.

The mandatory vaccination has upset many regulars. For example, Kristen Bicknell and Alex Foxen, being the most famous anti-vaccines in the poker community, called for a boycott of the WSOP. 2009 WSOP champion Joe Cada also chose to stay at home.

Fun fact: poker player from England Max Silver is willing to bet for money that some critics of vaccination will be seen at the WSOP tables (maybe we are talking about Kristen and Alex)

The organizers of the WSOP clearly miscalculated their possibilities and on the first day people complain about the kilometer-long queues at the entrance. It takes too long to check vaccination certificates. Vanessa Cade, for example, waited from 11 pm to 4 am for the queue to get a little smaller.

The queuing situation is a little easier with the self-registration machines in FasTrac tournaments. With their help, the player can register for the WSOP tournament online, go to the casino and use the machine to verify the identity and independently print the ticket to board the table.

Standing in line is actually the least of the problems of non-US poker players. It is much more difficult for people from Europe or Brazil, who first have to fly for 14 days to Costa Rica, Mexico or Aruba to stay in quarantine. We wrote about this in our telegram channels.

PokerStars Ambassador Rafael Moraes and other online poker regulars from Brazil.  Sat in quarantine in Mexico

Wearing half masks

A separate topic at the WSOP is the wearing of masks. Since participants are required to be vaccinated, wearing masks in the playing hall was made optional. But in the corridors and toilets, masks are still asked to wear. The biggest opponent of this decision is Mike Matusov (Mike Matusow) – he wrote that since you make me come vaccinated, I will not wear a mask. It is difficult for him to breathe in it.

Mike Matusow.  T-shirt inscription:

A controversial situation with dealers. You can work as a dealer at the WSOP without vaccination, but always wearing a mask. Many poker players are not satisfied with this situation, and the owners of the Caesars casino network are trying to somehow “force” their employees to take root – they pay $ 250 for this. And those who have already been vaccinated will end up in a random $ 25,000 draw with a $ 5,000 first prize.

Interesting fact: in Las Vegas, about 58% of the population over 18 years old were vaccinated

Wales-based online regular James McGeorge wrote that he is not going to risk his life at the WSOP over dealers without vaccines. In his opinion, if even one dealer can infect a bunch of people in one day, then mandatory vaccination of participants is practically useless – there will still be sick people.

The WSOP has made a lot of good decisions, but I want to play poker to live a better life. I’m not going to risk my life to play poker.

What do the pros think of the 2021 WSOP?

Some are experiencingthat during the series there may be a shortage of dealers in events up to $ 1000. People quit during the lockdown, and there was a shortage of staff.

Sean Deeb: “I really hope people will be extra generous in tips when they win the tournament. Employees need the initiative not to leave until Maine, so that they have someone to distribute “

There is no need to worry about the high roller congingent – there are separate VIP queues for them, and the cost of the trip (taking into account the quarantine) is not as significant for them as for an ordinary amateur. Although, even some high rollers do not want to overpay for the convenience of a casino – for example, a Spaniard Sergi Reishah (Sergi Reixach) stood in the general queue to check the vaccination passport and late to the tournaments of the first day.

Sergi Reishah

Top 3 Italy by the number of offline prize money Max Pescatori I just wrote that I was very bored.

Patrick Leonard (Patrick Leonard) did not fly to the WSOP and predicts teammate wins: Daniel Negreanu and Joao Vieira will win 3 bracelets for two, and Chris Brewer will win a bracelet in one of the NLHE high roller events.

Member of the Poker Hall of Fame Jennifer Harman (Jennifer Harman) I could not go to the WSOP because she recently had a kidney transplant. For her, entering a casino would be too risky, even with the vaccine.

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