The coronavirus has forced many poker events online, but live tourneys could make a return
One of the most attended live-poker events in the world, the World Poker Tour (WPT) DeepStacks, was well into the middle of its season when it was hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Its 2019/2020 season was moving along its stops when most of the world stopped nonessential activities to confront the threat, resulting in virtually all casinos in the world being closed. There were some actions taken by the WPT to run some of the remaining events online for payers in France and Spain, and Season VI finished with a low profile. However, the first live poker event after the pandemic might be taking place soon in Tampa, Florida.
As WPT had to cancel most of the events scheduled for March and April and moved to a full online series during May, there are a few DeepStacks tournaments still scheduled to happen. The WPT DeepStacks Season VII schedule is presenting, for the beginning of its live series, an event at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa in mid-June. This could be the first large poker series to run after two months of zero live poker action. The pandemic is still hitting hard some countries; however, as the virus has been defining new social rules, land-based poker operations must find new ways to run their activities following the established safety and sanitation protocols that have most health organizations are recommending.
It is still unclear if the tournament will happen for sure and how it will be structured so it abides by social distancing rules. But, considering that casinos across the US and other countries across the globe are either restarting operations or preparing plans to come back to business, the WPTDeepStacks Seminole Hard Rock Casino has a good chance of running – and it will pave the way for other popular poker events to plan their new agendas.