MGM National Harbor postpones 2022 Potomac Winter Poker Open

Haley Hintze
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Posted on: December 30, 2021 1:07 pm EST

MGM National Harbor has announced the postponement of its upcoming 2022 Potomac Winter Poker Open in the face of surging COVID-19 cases in the region. The casino, which sits just south of Washington and boasts a 37-table poker room, one of the region’s largest, made the announcement on Wednesday. The series was originally scheduled to run February 9-21, 2022

MGM National Harbor announced its decision regarding the series’ postponement via social media:

No replacements have been announced as yet, nor is such an announcement expected until the latest surge in COVID-19 infectivity wanes, some weeks or months in the future.

The room had already run satellites for some of the series’ events, including a $500,000 guaranteed main event scheduled to begin on February 18. When questioned about refunds for seats already awarded, MGM National Harbor quickly confirmed plans had been put in place. “Two options,” the room posted. “1. The funds can be held on account and used once the event is rescheduled. 2. You may cash out the funds through a Shift Manager or @PKChrisMGMnatty.” “@PKChrisMGMnatty” is Christopher Edmonds, one of the room’s tournament supervisors.

MGM National Harbor also recently canceled all of its daily poker tournaments as scheduled into the first week of January. The room has experienced staffing shortages of late, again tied to the pandemic’s latest surge.

Vaunted ‘Rookie Event’ a temporary casualty of postponement

The Potomac Winter Poker Open’s indefinite postponement means its widely heralded “Rookie’s Event” will also be put on hold. In an attempt to introduce players to live tournament poker in a friendly way, MGM National Harbor created the event, which featured a modest $200 buy-in, a “turbo” format (20-minute levels), and most importantly, was open only to players who had less than $25,000 in career tournament cashes, as recorded on The Hendon Mob results database. The event had received widespread acclaim throughout the poker world as being a novel way to draw new players into the live-tourney game.

Besides the rookie’s event and the main event, another new tournament format for MGM National Harbor that will have to wait a while longer is the series’ planned mystery bounty event. The 2022 Potomac Winter Poker Open had planned to lead off the series with its first-ever mystery bounty tournament, after the format was among the most requested ideas by players who answered the room’s public question about what formats should be included in the series.

A seniors event, open to players age 50 and up, and a 5-card PLO (often called “Big O”) are among the other interesting series offerings that will run at a later date.

Featured image source: MGM National Harbor Poker Room