The World Series of Poker made plenty of news recently. Series organizers recently announced that the annual festival would be moved to the fall this year, running from Sept. 30 to Nov. 23 at the Rio in Las Vegas.
A full schedule should be released this summer, but WSOP officials did outline a few events. Opening weekend kicks off with a charity tournament to benefit frontline health workers as well as a $25,000 HORSE tournament. There will also be a $5 million No Limit Hold ’em event billed as “The Reunion.”
The $10,000 Main Event is planned for Nov. 4-17. The WSOP Europe also returns in 2021 beginning in November. Organizers note that COVID-19 protocols will be in place to ensure a safe environment.
“This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together,” WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said. “In 2021, the theme is ‘get vaccinated and get back to Vegas.’”
Beyond this news, the WSOP also announced a new multi-year deal with CBS Sports Network. The new agreement makes the network the exclusive domestic television home of the WSOP. CBS will feature 15 hours of Main Event coverage and 36 hours of 18 additional gold bracelet events. Series events will also be streaming on other ViacomCBS platforms including the company’s streaming partner Paramount+. On top of that, PokerGO will also again be streaming WSOP action throughout the series.
There is a precedent for CBS’s involvement with the WSOP. It was the first network to broadcast poker in the U.S. and the WSOP as highlighted on the CBS Sports Spectacular program throughout the mid-1970s. The network has also aired other PokerGO events in the past.
“Following our past success with PokerGO, we are excited to expand our relationship with the highest-profile and richest event in competitive tournament poker featuring the best players in the world,” CBS Sports Executive Vice President of Programming Dan Weinberg said. “This deal fits perfectly in our strategy to combine best-in-class events with our CBS Sports brand.”
Beyond live poker, the series has also scheduled the WSOP Online this summer from July 1 to Aug. 1 at WSOP.com. The series is meant to provide summer poker action and will award 33 gold bracelets. One highlight is the $500 Grand Finale, featuring a $1 million guarantee.