Matt Glantz: WSOP should only ban unvaccinated players

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 08/04/2021

Poker pro Matt Glantz adamantly suggests that only those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 should be permitted to play in the upcoming World Series of Poker. And, as you probably guessed, his strong opinion was met with some criticism from the science-denying anti-vax crowd on social media.

The 2021 WSOP is set to begin September 30 at the Rio in Las Vegas. On the schedule are 88 gold bracelet events, which includes the $10,000 buy-in Main Event starting November 4. But there are some concerns that the increased spread of COVID-19 could ruin those plans.

Vaccine hesitancy

The United States has an anti-vax problem. A huge problem. Only around 50% of the country is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and that figure hasn’t changed much in recent weeks as the Conservatives continue to push forward falsehoods about the efficacy and safety of the vaccine, which is proven to help prevent serious coronavirus cases. Over 90% of all hospitalizations in the U.S. are those who are unvaccinated.

Glantz, an outspoken Liberal poker pro, is fed up with the anti-vax movement. He has a solution for the upcoming World Series of Poker, and that is to force players to either get vaccinated or stay home.

“The @WSOP needs to have a strict proof of vax to register for any event. It’s everyone’s own personal choice to get vaccinated or not, but I don’t know any players who want to be sitting in a room all day & night w hundreds of people who are not vaxxed. Seems like a no-brainer,” Matt Glantz tweeted.

The WSOP wouldn’t be the only business to force customers or employees to get vaccinated. Many major corporations such as Disney and Costco are now requiring employees to get the jab. Some Las Vegas casinos such as Wynn and MGM Resorts are requiring the same of their staff. But forcing a vaccine on poker players isn’t a suggestion everyone agrees with.

“Sorry but I disagree here. Unvaxxed people present a mutation danger, but other than that, they aren’t much more dangerous around vaxxed people than other vaxxed people are. Both groups are transmitting Delta,” Todd Witteles, host of Poker Fraud Radio, said in response to Glantz’s tweet.

Daniel Negreanu, another Liberal who encourages his followers to get vaccinated, isn’t completely on board with Glantz’s requests of the WSOP. But for a different reason than what Witteles argued. He’s concerned that if the WSOP eliminates those who are anti-vax, the intelligence of the players in WSOP events will increase, which isn’t good for the pros.

“What an absurd take. You’re vaccinated! Lol. What the hell is the point of getting vaccinated if you’re not protected? And if you’re protected who cares what other people do? It amazes me how people just assume the world should revolve around them,” @Thejacka_lope tweeted, clearly sharing his opinion without any expertise on how vaccines work.

As for Glantz, he said that he isn’t yet sure if he’ll make the trip from his home in Pennsylvania to Las Vegas for the 2021 World Series of Poker. Glantz has 61 career cashes in bracelet events for $3.2 million, but still has yet to win one of the coveted gold bracelets.

Featured image source: Flickr