For the first-ever, the WSOP Global Casino Championship was played entirely online. Back in April, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the promoters to postpone the event; the World Series of Poker typically holds the event at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the Rio remains closed as of late September.
Moreover, the continued social distancing and mandatory mask mandates in Nevada and New Jersey, meant the event would best be held online.
A WSOP for High-Rollers
The WSOP hosted the event for players in New Jersey and Nevada on September 13. This WSOP was an invite-only event, with only the best of the best allowed to play. But with an entry fee of $10,000, only professionals were likely to afford the buy-in. Overall, 130 players competed, and the online poker tournament brought in a little more than $1 million in prize money.
Poker players could qualify for the World Series of Poker by winning a World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event, or be named the Casino Champ. The World Series of Poker Circuit is a series of poker tournaments as a lead-up to the World Series of Poker. The preliminary events are played as different poker variants, but all Championship events are no-limit Texas hold ’em.
The top 100 finishers in the 2019 WSOP Player of the Year could also buy-in.
A Battle for First-Place
For this year’s online WSOP tournament, it took eleven long hours to crown a winner; three-time WSOPC champion AJ Kelsall claimed this year’s first-place prize.
In addition to cash prizes, this year’s winners received points based on the number of players as well as the payout percentages in each ring event.
When the final table commenced, Kelsall was in the middle based on the size of his chip stack. He quickly gained a strong foothold when he took out Shawn Daniels, who finished in 5th place. After defeating Daniels, Kelsall went on to take the lead after defeating Brad Albrinck, who finished in third place. Finally, Kelsall took on Michael Trivett in heads-up play, defeating him to take not only the World Series of Poker title, but also a nice $275,000 prize.
When the heads-up play-off began, Kelsall held a 2 to 1 chip lead. But it was not long before Trivett doubled his chip count, taking the lead. However, it wasn’t long before Kelsall took back the lead and won the final hand, claiming the first-place prize.
Final 2020 WSOP Results:
WSOP Celebrates 50 Years
It may not seem like it, but the World Series of Poker has been going strong for 50 years. To celebrate, the WSOP 50th Anniversary Series began on September 8, running through September 27. The 50th Anniversary Series has more than $3 million in guarantees overall, 50 special tournaments, and a $505,050 guaranteed Main Event. The 50th Anniversary Series includes buy-ins at all levels.
The 50th Anniversary Series will be held online for players in New Jersey and Nevada.
All WSOP Events to Be Held Online Until Further Notice
With the continuing COVID-19 shutdowns and the restrictive safety measures put in place by both the state governments and the casinos, the WSOP has opted to hold its events online.
This is the best way to keep the phenomenal World Series of Poker alive, until the COVID-19 all-clear is declared, and the WSOP can return to the exciting live poker tables on the Las Vegas Strip. Hopefully, the end of the COVID-19 restrictions on normal human activity, including sitting together at a poker table, will come soon.