The outbreak of COVID-19, or coronavirus, has severely affected our daily lives. To prevent the spreading of the virus, the majority of countries have canceled large gatherings of any kind. It was only a matter of time before major poker events would be canceled, too. Unfortunately, the time has come.
Poker Events Getting Canceled
When COVID-19 appeared in China, everyone thought the doctors would find a cure fast. However, once coronavirus started spreading to other countries too, people started to worry.
It the beginning, all local authorities suggested wearing masks and washing your hands often. But, since yesterday, many significant events have been canceled, including poker tournaments.
The first poker tournament in the US that was canceled was the 2020 World Poker Tour DeepStacks main event. The event was scheduled for March 20-23 in the Live! Casino & Hotel venue. However, people behind the tournament announced that the event will be postponed and that the new dates will be known shortly.
The next big poker event that suffered the same consequences was the U.S. Poker Open. It is a 12-event, high-stakes series tournament, where buy-ins range from $10,000 to $50,000. It was supposed to happen in Las Vegas from March 19 to March 31.
Organizers of Poker Events Want to Protect Players
Several other poker events have been canceled as well, including mid-major level ones like the Heartland Poker Tour and the RunGood Poker Series. The CEO of the RunGood, Tana Karn, said in a statement:
“At RunGood, our mission has always been to focus on player experience above all else. Discussions of extra cleaning procedures and steps to help our players have been the topic of many calls this past week. Being a small business tour operator, decisions we make are carefully calculated to ensure we maintain our founding principle.”
Regardless of the panic present in the media these days, none of the WSOP Circuit events or stops have been canceled yet.
Poker Pros Vote for Canceling Poker Events
Even the players think that canceling major poker events might be the best solution for the time being. Daniel Negreanu, a six-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner, believes that a poker room, together with the rest of poker equipment, is the perfect place for the virus to spread.
Negreanu shared his concerns via his Twitter account, urging all poker rooms to suspend all ongoing poker events and postpone the ones planned for the near future.
All poker operators: stop.
Suspend all tournaments and cash games now.
There isn’t a more infectious environment imaginable than a poker table.
Shut it all down.
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 12, 2020
Some other poker players joined Negreanu in urging organizers to cancel poker events. A high-stakes gambler, Haralabos Voulgaris, couldn’t believe that people still choose to fly to the US and participate in poker tournaments in the middle of a health crisis. A poker pro, Kitty Kuo, agreed with the statement and mentioned that it’s not worth the risk.
Poker Events Cancellation Inspired by NBA
The US didn’t seem to be bothered much by coronavirus until a player of the Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert, tested positive for the virus. When the NBA found out about it, they decided to cancel all the games for a month and a half. This was probably a signal to all other organizers of large gatherings to do the same and prevent the virus from spreading even more.
Casinos in Macau were the first gambling establishments to feel the consequences of COVID-19. The isolation will be necessary in other parts of the world too until the problem with the virus is resolved.