The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the world. The majority of events due to take place between the months of March and June were either cancelled or postponed, including sports, music, and theatre. There were several big poker tournaments due to be played across different series and unfortunately, they were hard hit by coronavirus.
Looking at the calendar and the first postponements and cancellations started in February with the 2019/20 WSOP Circuit California tournament. This was due to take place between the 29th of February and the 2nd of April at The Bicycle Casino, Bell Gardens, California. Plenty of tournaments were played following this cancellation but as soon as we entered mid to late March the cancellations picked up extremely quickly.
The 2020 Tampa Poker Classic was due to take place on the 20th of March at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino, Tampa, Florida but was cancelled. Every other professional major world poker tournament in March, April, May, and June suffered the same fate. We are talking close to 100 different tournaments being cancelled or postponed, which was devastating not only to the players and organisations but also the casinos.
The ray of light during this period was online poker. For example, the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker hosted by PokerStars went ahead as planned on the 30th of April. The $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event was won by Steve O’Dwyer who walked away with $521,598 in winnings. Online poker real money websites continued to operate throughout the month of March, April, May, and June because every tournament allowed players to enter from their own home. There was no need to open a land based casino or for people to come into contact with each other to complete the 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker.
Fast forward to July and things are beginning to look up for the major world poker tournaments. As expected, all of the scheduled online poker events have been continuing throughout including recent tournaments such as the 2020 World Series of Poker Online and 2019/20 WPT World Online Championships. Both of these events are being played at the time of writing and will conclude in September.
In terms of the big world poker tournaments due to take place at land based casinos, there is some good news. Although some events including the 2020 Potomac Summer Poker Open, 2020 July Guarantee Tournament and 2020 LIPS Vegas Queen Summer Series have been cancelled, at the time of writing the 2020 Triton Poker Super High Roller Series London will be played. This tournament has been scheduled for the 29th of July and will take place at the London Hilton, Mayfair, London.
As things stand, following the tournament in London there is only one event cancelled and that is the 2020 Potomac Summer Poker Open. Every other major poker tournament is scheduled to go ahead as planned and things are looking promising for everyone involved.