Biggest U.S. live poker tournaments in 2021

Jon Sofen
Published by:
Posted on 04/06/2021

There aren’t as many live poker tournaments in 2021 as there were pre-Covid, but there are still some exciting events on the horizon in the U.S., including the biggest event of them all, the World Series of Poker. Dates and events will change throughout the year. At present, the following are the main events on the 2021 schedule. Due to COVID-19, many tournament operators have held off on planning events too far ahead.

Nevada poker tournaments

Sin City is the poker capital of the world, and that hasn’t changed during COVID-19. Check out some of the exciting major events in Las Vegas in the coming months. Expect many more big events to be added to the Las Vegas poker tournaments schedule as the state eases COVID-19 restrictions.

Venetian DeepStack Extravaganza II

The near-monthly DeepStack series at the Venetian are back after nearly a year-long break due to the global health pandemic. These tournaments provide large guaranteed prize pool at stakes most players can afford.

  • Location: Venetian Resort and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Date: March 29-April 25
  • Events: 32 tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $200-$1,100.

Venetian DeepStack Championship

Each summer, save for 2020 due to COVID-19, the Venetian hosts one of the biggest mid-stakes series in the world. Poker players in town for the WSOP take a break from the Rio to compete in these massive events.

  • Location: Venetian Resort and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Date: Late May to Mid July (official dates aren’t yet available)
  • Events: The DeepStack Championship features dozens of tournaments for players at all stakes, typically from $200 to $5,000 buy-ins. The MSPT hosts an annual major event during the summer at Venetian, and the series wraps up with a seven-figure guaranteed Main Event.

World Series of Poker

The World Series of Poker is the most prestigious event in poker. Normally it takes place during the summer, but COVID-19 has forced the series to move to the fall.

  • Location: Rio All-Suites Hotel and Casino (Las Vegas, Nevada)
  • Date: September 30-November 17 (tentative dates)
  • Events: The 2021 WSOP schedule isn’t out yet, but we do know the opening weekend will have a $5 million guaranteed tournament along with a $25,000 H.OR.S.E. event. On November 4, the $10,000 Main Event, poker’s world championship tournament, kicks off.

Tentative 2021 Las Vegas poker tournaments (potential additional events that have yet to be scheduled): Wynn Summer Poker Classic (summer), Planet Hollywood Phamous Poker Series (summer), The Grand Series at Golden Nugget (summer), Aria high rollers (monthly).

Florida WPT event

Florida might not have as many card rooms as Nevada, but it’s still one of the top places to play poker in the world, especially down in the southern part of the Sunshine State. Outside of the World Series of Poker, the World Poker Tour provides the most prestigious live poker tournaments in the U.S., and arguably the world.

WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown

  • Location: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Resort (Hollywood, Florida)
  • Date: April 23-27
  • Events: The $3,500 buy-in Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown is one of the biggest poker tournaments since the pandemic hit in 2020. The tournament will play down to a final table on April 27, and then conclude at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas on May 18.

MSPT in South Dakota

The Mid-States Poker Tour is one of the most prestigious mid-stakes tours in the game, along with the WSOP Circuit and Heartland Poker Tour. Poker players, mostly from the Midwest but also from all over, travel to the various stops to compete for big bucks and the glory that comes with winning an MSPT event.

MSPT South Dakota State Championship

  • Location: Silverado Franklin Casino (Deadwood, South Dakota)
  • Date: May 14-16
  • Events: Deadwood is a hidden gem for poker in the U.S., and the MSPT South Dakota State Championship, a $1,110 buy-in tournament, has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool and will crown one lucky (and skilled) winner the 2021 South Dakota poker champion.

Championship event in Southern California

Sycuan Casino will play host to a huge event in September — the MSPT U.S. Poker Championship — the crown jewel of the Mid-States Poker Tour in 2021. California boasts some of the best poker rooms in the U.S., including the two largest in the world in Los Angeles (Commerce Casino and The Bicycle Casino). The San Diego area is also a poker hotbed, and it’s easy to find a juicy cash game or tournament any day of the year.

MSPT U.S. Poker Championship

  • Location: Sycuan Casino (El Cajon, California)
  • Date: September 16-27
  • Events: The Mid-States Poker Tour will end its season with a bang down in El Cajon, a casino near San Diego. The event is highlighted by a $2,500 buy-in Main Event, which features a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool.

Tournaments on standby

Due to the continued spread of COVID-19, and local restrictions that are in place, many poker tournaments haven’t been added to the schedule just yet. But there will undoubtedly be many other big events before the year concludes in casinos all around the country. Players can expect additional World Poker Tour events such as the WPT Maryland Live in Baltimore that haven’t yet been scheduled, along with more MSPT tournaments, and numerous high rollers, especially in Las Vegas.

Featured image source: Flickr