World Series of Poker returns live, in-person to Las Vegas

September 30, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The World Series of Poker has returned in Las Vegas, live and in-person for what organizers are calling the 52nd annual event following a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Play began Thursday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in the tournament that organizers say will draw thousands of players during the next eight weeks from the U.S. and around the world competing for 88 championship bracelets.

The marquee main event ends Nov. 23 with the $10,000 no-limit Texas Hold’em World Championship.

“We’ve spent the last 26 months dreaming of the return of the WSOP live and in-person to the Rio, and it feels incredible to say, today is that day,” said Ty Stewart, senior vice president of the event.

Players, spectators, vendors and media are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. hosts the event. It normally takes place in June and July but was canceled last year and delayed this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2019, the tournament attracted more than 187,000 entrants from 118 countries and awarded more than $293 million in prize money.