Poker Headlines is a weekly Interactive Poker Talk Show live on Twitch, where we debate Hot Topics in the poker world, and deliver gaming news from around the globe.
Below, you can watch the latest show’s highlights (from November 15th, 2020), which is followed by a recap of the full episode.
This week’s episode was a particularly special one due the surprise statement from WSOP, announcing a hybrid live/online $10,000 Main Event in less than one month.
We covered this announcement comprehensively, but also other topics such as the Grudge Match, international poker announcements, and a special Holiday Gift Guide segment for the poker player in your life. Because of the importance of the WSOP Main Event, I chose to focus only on that for the YouTube clip. If you wish to listen to the show in full, please visit our Twitch videos on demand.
Question 1: What is the format of the just announced WSOP 10K Main Event?
WSOP will host a hybrid online and live event to crown a World Champion. The event is open to Americans as well as international players. The international players will form a bracket and play on GGPoker. The domestic (American) players can play from either Nevada or New Jersey and will play on wsop.com. The players in each bracket play down to a final table made up of 9 players. The final nine will complete the tournament live, and televised. The American players in Las Vegas at the Rio, and the international players at King’s Casino is Rozvadov, Czech Republic. The winners of each bracket will then face each other in a heads up battle for an added $1 million in Las Vegas at the Rio.
It will be real name online poker event, and players can only enter once on either of the platforms. That means that if a player plays on wsop.com they will not be permitted to play on the GGPoker site as well. It is a $10,000 buy-in and a freezeout, unlike the Main Event earlier this year which was a $5K re-entry event.
Question 2: What if someone from the final table tests positive for Covid-19?
The health and safety plans released remain ambiguous at this time. The statement issued by WSOP states that all live, in person play will be subject to special Covid-19 rules the details, which will be published at a later date, and will require players, to undergo a required health screening prior to live participation.
If a player tests positive, they will be given a 9th place payout.
We wonder what precautions they are going to have in place during the Main Event final table. In past years the final table has been a multi-day event. Will players be required to get tested every day?
I also wonder about the integrity of the game. For millions of dollars, will competitors be malicious enough to try and infect an opponent?
Question 3: Where should Canadians who want to play, participate from?
If a Canadian opts to play from home and final tables, they would have to purchase their own airfare and fly to the Czech Republic to play the final table on Dec.15th. If they pull out the win at King’s Casino, they would then need to travel to Las Vegas to play the heads-up match on December 28th.
At the time of publishing Canada is not on the list of countries allowed to enter the Czech Republic.
In Maureen’s opinion, it may make more sense for Canadians to travel to either Nevada or New Jersey to play the online portion on wsop.com and therefore be eligible to play both the final table and the heads up match in Las Vegas.
Question 4: Are travel expenses included for the finalist?
WSOP.com did tweet that they will assist the heads-up participants in legal necessities but didn’t mention travel expenses.
Question 5: Can either of us play it?
I have no desire to travel to the US to play, nor would I want to have to travel from Vancouver to the Czech Republic to play.
Maureen is in Switzerland (where GGPoker does not operate) and therefore would need to use the GG Travel program to play. In her case, she could travel to Austria to play but is currently in lockdown and at this time it’s uncertain if the border will be open to her.
Question 6: What is the likelihood that the King’s Casino will be hosting the GGPoker final nine?
Currently King’s Casino is closed due to Covid restrictions, and Czech Republic is listed as a high-risk area by many countries, limiting entry from passengers traveling from the Czech Republic.
Leon Tsoukernik, CEO of King’s Resort, predicts that King’s will reopen on December 1st. I personally am doubtful that this event will take place, and expect that the live Czech portions will be omitted altogether forcing the players to complete the bracket online, which is stipulated in the fine print.
⚠️Update: King's closed till November 20th ⚠️
King's Resort will be closed until November 20th due to government orders.
We'll keep you updated. Stay safe! pic.twitter.com/vgGK2Xg1I5
— King's Resort (@PokerroomKings) November 2, 2020
Tweet of the Week
This week we awarded tweet of the week to Barry Carter, who depicted the famous Scotty Nguyen Main Event line “You Call, Gonna Be All Over, Baby” and altered it for pandemic 2020 Main Event “ If you cough, it’s gonna be all over, baby.”
— Barry Carter (@Barry_Carter) November 13, 2020
Question 6: Didn’t we already have a WSOP Main Event winner for 2020?
I feel terrible for Stoyan Madanzhiev, who was under the impression he was the Main Event winner. The World Series of Poker held an Online Summer Series this year due to the pandemic. The Main Event received 5,802 entrants, and Stoyan was awarded $3,904,685 and a bracelet for WSOP Event #77: the $5000 No-Limit Holdem’ Main Event.
— Stoyan Madanzhiev (@Stoyan_Mad) November 14, 2020
I’m very annoyed with WSOP’s treatment of our champion. They issued a certificate certifying his win of the 2020 WSOP Main Event, (which Daniel Negreanu signed by the way, as the primary GGPoker ambassador) and now that they are running a second Main Event, they are referring to Stoyan as the online Eain Event winner. Nowhere on his certificate does it state he is the “online winner”.
The disrespect to our 2020 champion is disgraceful, I wish they would publicly acknowledge their wrongdoing.
That concludes this week’s episode of Poker Headlines.
This was an interesting week, with a big announcement that left us with a lot of questions. On the whole, the idea of this online/live hybrid is fun and exciting. It’s just unfortunate that it’s labeled as the WSOP Main Event and the complexity of traveling across multiple borders, for the international player during a pandemic, seems like the idea was not well thought through.