Caesars Entertainment, the owner of the WSOP, has not announced where it will be moving the series to in 2022. The company’s deal with the Rio will fizzle out this year. The Rio is undergoing some rebranding, and just won’t have room for the WSOP in all the kerfuffle.
However, the Valley National Eight-Ball League Association may have accidentally let slip Caesars’ plans prematurely. In a Facebook post, the VNEA wrote that they would be moving from Bally’s Hotel and Casino to the Westgate “as a result of the World Series Of Poker (WSOP) moving from Rio to the Bally’s/Paris properties in 2022 and beyond.”
If true, this is a surprising turn of events. Most previous speculation on the likely location for the event centered around Caesars’ flagship site on the strip: Caesars Palace.
Caesars Entertainment owns and operates both the Paris and Bally’s properties. The latter is one of the last Bally’s branded casinos that the new Bally’s Corp has not subsumed. The public knew Bally’s Corp as Twin River Worldwide Holdings until 2020, when it purchased the Bally’s brand from Caesars. It is likely that Bally’s Las Vegas (the casino) will have a new name in the near future, to avoid precisely this sort of confusion.
The Paris and Bally’s are neighbors on the strip. So this might be a smart solution if Caesars Palace lacks a convention space comparable to the Amazon Room at the Rio. Smaller events can be held in parallel on separate properties. During larger events, the one property can easily serve as an overflow for the other.
It should be noted that as yet, Caesars has not confirmed any of these details to the public. It is entirely possible the VNEA Facebook account had bad information.
The WSOP rollercoaster
The WSOP has been in a state of flux almost since the pandemic began.
First off, Caesars was going to cancel the WSOP. The poker world was contemplating a blank space on the wall of champions. Then GGPoker stepped in and offered an online WSOP. Sure, the whole thing was a little unusual, but the event seemed to fit nicely with the troubled times.
Then GGPoker changed gears and attempted to crown the “real” WSOP champion. This decision upset everyone who was already invested in Stoyan Madanzhiev as 2020’s champion. Especially Stoyan Madanzhiev.
Soon after that, the science-denial of the Republican party lost its grip on the U.S. government. The Biden administration kicked off a vaccine effort that looked set to bring back normality by September, and we all started to look forward to Vegas in the fall.
Then the Delta variant appeared. Fueled by the loose lockdown rules in the United Kingdom, this variant is now here to stay. Though vaccines appear to be limiting the number of deaths, the consequences of COVID still range from cold-like to severe-flu-like in most cases.
It still isn’t clear what impact, if any, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 will have on the WSOP.
If we can’t find a way to stop it in its tracks, we might still end up with Paris in 2022.
Poker.org has contacted VNEA and Caesar’s Entertainment. As yet, we have not received comment on this matter from either organization.
Featured image source: Flickr by Harshana W