The World Series of Poker goes online and hits it big.
The global pandemic brought enormous challenges to this year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP), which was forced to go online with the closure of resort properties. Series organizers also had to create two separate flights, for domestic and international players, because of gaming regulations and travel restrictions.
But WSOP Online hit the jackpot.
The combined domestic and international events generated nearly $175 million in prize pools and over 280,000 entries; they set numerous records, including the largest-ever single tournament in online poker history. One of the big winners was Caesars Entertainment’s charity, Caesars Cares. WSOP and its international partner, GGPoker, raised more than $354,000 for the employee assistance fund aiding U.S.-based team members who have suffered unanticipated hardships, including loss of income during the COVID-forced closure.
“It was the biggest summer ever for online poker,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP’s executive director.
Players from 166 nations signed on, Stewart said—one indicator that online poker has a big future at WSOP. But live events aren’t going away, he added.
“We are very bullish about the future of online poker and regulations opening up in additional states,” he said. “However, we still look forward to one day soon, safely welcoming tens of thousands of guests once again to Las Vegas for the signature WSOP tournament experience as we have done for the past 50 years.”
“This brand has stood the test of time and we are confident we’ll be back bigger than ever. But our goal is to be the place where dreams are dealt, even if that’s right to your phone.”