World Series of Poker During the Pandemic

The World Series of Poker Tournament was recently held from September 30, 2021, to November 23, 2021. They complied with an emergency directive from the state of Nevada that allowed them to allow players to take off masks while seated at the player tables if they could show proof of a complete vaccination. They stated in an article that they’d be complying with the state of Nevada’s directives for immunization, and they did a relatively good job, considering the circumstances.

Their website says that it’s mandatory for players to be fully vaccinated for at least 14 days prior to their participation date, so for the players who had signed up to start on the 30th of September, their vaccination needed to be complete by Thursday, September 16th. They disallowed negative COVID-19 tests as substitutes for vaccination and said that medical or religious exemption weren’t allowed as well.

That’s also not to say that they weren’t allowing masks at all. If they made you feel comfortable, they were also complying with the CDC’s guidelines to the appropriate face masks.

They also had guidelines that they followed, saying that if you answered yes to any of these questions, to please refrain from attending: 

  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have tested positive or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • Within 48 hours before attending WSOP, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);
  • Within 14 days before attending WSOP, you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

The tables are the only place they’ll be allowed to take masks off in the presence of other patrons. Nevada is currently under a mask order, so if you’re spectating or walking around, you would be required to wear a face mask.

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