2021 World Series of Poker In Las Vegas To Require Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination 30 Aug

The World Series of Poker announced Friday that in order to participate in the 2021 series, you must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The world’s largest poker tournament festival is scheduled to return this fall and will use the CLEAR mobile app and its Health Pass feature to verify that anyone inside the building has been vaccinated. There will also be an on-site center to verify alternative documentation like physical vaccination cards that were received at the time of the shot.
The policy will apply to everyone involved with the event, including press, spectators, and vendors. In order to be considered fully vaccinated, participants must have received their final vaccine dose 14 days prior to the day they enter the facility.
Proof of vaccination is required to participate in any bracelet event, deep stack tournament, satellite, or cash games.
“This is not a decision we have taken lightly-it is made with no agenda beyond protecting player eligibility and the operations of a unique televised gaming event,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director. “The nature of poker is to be in close proximity with your opponents for extended periods of time and a seat at the World Series of Poker is a commitment for both our company and the participants. We want players to be excited for their return to the WSOP, while offering the greatest level of protection and limiting complications during the tournament this fall.”
According to the WSOP’s press release, all attendees must wear masks as well, stating that it is in “accordance with current CDC guidelines and state mandates.”

Reactions from players

But despite following CDC guidelines and the precedent set by others, and the fact that the vaccine was recently approved by the FDA, the decision seemed to divide the poker community, at least on social media.
While numerous players were happy with the news and applauded the WSOP for seemingly putting safety over profit, others felt the mandate was a violation of their personal freedom.

Poker power couple Alex Foxen and Kristen Bicknell were among the high-profile players to speak out against the rule. Bicknell is a three-time bracelet winner, and Foxen is in the running for several Player of the Year awards, but both have decided to boycott the series.

This year’s WSOP is scheduled for 88 bracelet events from Sept. 30 through Nov. 23 and will once again take place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino.