The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has announced that the annual invitational Global Casino Championship (GCC) will have to transition to an online format due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has paralyzed business, suspended global air traffic, and exposed health risks.
With the WSOP Circuit’s crowning event originally supposed to take place in August at the Harrah’s Cherokee casino, the hosts have decided against taking an unnecessary risk and trying to organize a large tournament, especially when all casinos are introducing restrictions as to the number of allowed players on site and at poker tables.
In Pennsylvania, casinos will reopen without poker tables, which is another red flag for the prescient people behind WSOP. The WSOP Circuit event will instead take place on WSOP NJ and WSOP NV on September 13. Pennsylvania may also soon see WSOP join with the help of 888poker, as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) is reportedly examining the platform.
The GGC Remains an Important Event in the WSOP Circuit
The GGC has been part of the WSOP Circuit since 2010/11, vastly seen as a crowning even of the circuit. Each year, at least 100 players have been entering for a shot at $1 million, with the prize pools growing well beyond the base prize.
There has been also some trouble with the qualifications. To make up for missed events, WSOP has had to organize two Super Circuit online events, one held on the WSOP/888 network in the United States and one organized by the GGNetwork for overseas players.
Both proved successful, also testing WSOP’s ability to host an online event and provide players with authentic and fair competition. WSOP is expecting to see a huge turnup and an event that may even rival the previously Super Circuit.
However, some conscientious observes have cautioned that while interest in the Super Circuit has been quite healthy, this may not extend to the online GCC. There are some infrastructural problems as well. GCC is only available to players from Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.
However, Delaware players can’t qualify for GCC which throws another spanner in the works for any tournament-seeking. Meanwhile, even if the rumors prove true and the PGCB is really looking to launch online poker in Pennsylvania, it’s not very likely that players or WSOP will have time to organize and play from the Keystone State.
One Minor Wrinkle with the GGC
The current solution is “a solution,” but it may not prove ideal. Players will effectively have to choose between traveling to another state or giving up on their $10,000 seat entry, assuming they have already gained entry into the invitational. Admittedly, many players already live in Nevada or New Jersey so this shouldn’t be too difficult, but overlooking this detail won’t win GGC or WSOP any praises.
Meanwhile, though, WSOP has announced 14 online bracelet events, offering players a chance to still catch up on some quality poker action over the next few months, with the original WSOP Main Event postponed for the fall.