Modified WSOP main event brings players to Nevada, New Jersey

Event will be played online up until two different final tables and heads up duel for the title
Published: Dec. 14, 2020 at 3:38 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The same way NFL players dream of winning the Super Bowl, poker players dream about winning the annual World Series of Poker Main Event.

“You become world champion and your banner goes up at the Rio you become forever immortalized as the world champion of poker,” said WSOP Vice President Jack Effel.

Normally, about 8,000 poker players meet at the Rio for a chance at that title, but this year it was unclear if it would happen because of the pandemic, but recently a solution was created so the $10,000 event could be played.

“Nobody really knew what was going to happen,” said Effel. “This is our way to move the greatest poker tournament in the world forward.”

This year was a challenge because the event attracts players from all over the country and the world, so having it all on one online poker site wasn’t possible. Instead, all international players will play the event on, and all U.S. players will play on the World Series of Poker’s website, but that can only be done in two states.

“It’s quite exciting for us as people make the trek to either Nevada or New Jersey,” Effel added.

Still, despite the boost for online gaming, most players, like pro Jeff Boski, are sitting this year out.

“There is always an element of unknown when it comes to playing a $10,000 online buy in as opposed to a live event,” he explained. “And when the event gets 7000 as opposed to 700, that field is going to be condensed with top professionals.”

After playing down to 9 players online, the final table will be held in person at the Rio on December 28, followed by a heads-up duel with the international winner for the world title on ESPN.

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