With just a month and a half to go, the 2020 World Series of Poker has yet to be cancelled, despite the country it would take place in being under stack in the worst week so far for American. ESPN will also film the Heads-Up Championship, which will determine the 2020 WSOP Main Event winner. That event has been rescheduled for January 3rd with an announcement still to be made of when poker fans can tune in.
2020 Wsop Main
After months of speculation, it was announced via news release today that Caesars Entertainment Corp. has sold off the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino while at the same time confirming that the 2020 World Series of Poker will continue to be hosted at the venue despite the sale.
The property that sits just west of the Las Vegas Strip has been sold to Impersonal Companies, a New York-based real estate company for $516.3 million in a deal that is subject to approval by regulators. The 2,500-suite hotel and casino opened in 1990 and has played host to the World Series of Poker since 2005 when it moved from its original home, Binion’s Horseshoe on Fremont street.
The sale of the Rio has been in the works for quite some time as Caesars itself is in the process of being acquired by Eldorado Resorts for $17.3 billion. During an earnings call in June, Eldorado CEO Thomas Reeg said that one or two properties were likely to be sold off as part of their deal and said he hoped to close on those deals by the first quarter of 2020.
About the sale and the implications for the World Series of Poker, Tony Rodio, CEO of Caesars Entertainment, said: “The retention of the World Series of Poker and retention of Caesars Rewards customers are all factors that make this a valuable transaction for Caesars.”
For at least the next two years, Caesars will rent the Rio at a cost of $45 million per year, indicating that the WSOP will remain in its current home for at least two more years and a $52 million option for the third year of control.
Beyond 2022, it looks as though the rumors of a potential new destination for poker’s biggest festival will continue to swirl. In an interview with Cardplayer, WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky pointed out that finding a new home for the 62-day event every summer will be a daunting task and that the Rio is a logical place to host the series while other locations on the Strip, including the new convention center at The Linq, might not be as appealing as the rumors want to suggest.
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If you’re among the thousands of players that have been wondering about the future of the World Series of Poker at the Rio, wonder no longer. According to both an article on CardPlayer and tweets from WSOP VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky, the WSOP will not be moving for at least two years.
Palansky Confirms 2020 WSOP at the Rio
One constant rumor that’s been floating around Las Vegas for years now is the pending sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Vegas blog Vital Vegas has been claiming for a while that the sale of the Rio is underway.
They have also been claiming that the World Series of Poker will be relocating to the new Caesars Forum that’s scheduled to open in 2020. This rumor has persisted and people have been regularly questioning WSOP officials as to whether the 2020 WSOP will indeed move.
WSOP VP of Corporate Communications Seth Palansky put that rumor to be over Twitter on September 13th when he stated that he can “100% confirm @WSOP will take place at the Rio in Las Vegas in 2020.”
This can be looked on as good news for those wanting to lock down plans for next summer and bad news for those that are sick of dealing with the Rio.
Palansky Also Confirms 2021 WSOP at the Rio
Erik Fast of CardPlayer Magazine followed up on this story with Palansky and spoke with him about the WSOP rumor. When asked why Palansky could confirm that the 2020 WSOP would be held at the Rio, he revealed that the booking of facilities for the WSOP is done years in advance.
Palansky continued telling Fast that “people should feel confident that the 2021 WSOP will be at the Rio as well. He then confirmed that these things are booked years in advance and then addressed whether new ownership at the Rio would impact those plans.
He admitted that a new owner at the Rio could change things if the new owner decides not to honor contracts. Palansky then said that the new Caesar’s Convention Center really wasn’t a realistic option for the WSOP. He stated that the WSOP is not incredibly profitable and that the Convention Center would be better suited for short-term conventions rather than a two-month ordeal.
WSOP Feels Rio Still a Good Fit
For those that want to believe that the WSOP would love a new home, Palansky revealed otherwise. He stated that “we love the Rio” and continued praised the property for their cooperation in helping them to set up the event.
He then concluded the interview stating, “even if the property were to change hands, you think a new owner wouldn’t want to have the WSOP there, based on what it’s brought into the property for all these years? It’s a known quantity in a slow time period for convention business and the city in general.”
Some Will Not Be Pleased by This News
For those of you that are hoping for a new home for the WSOP, don’t hold your breath. Even if the Rio is sold, it appears that WSOP officials are looking to continue their relationship with the property. This is surely disappointing for those that have problems with the Rio as a venue.
Over the years there have been many complaints regarding parking, security, and general player safety. Every summer you hear stories about assaults and robberies in the property amongst other issues that some feel are inherent to the casino.
Wsop 2020 Main Event Results
For at least the next two years, players will have to continue tolerating the Rio. After that, we may see a change in venue, but it may not be the Caesars Forum as has been assumed in the past.