I’ve recently solicited guest posts to this poker blog, while feeling unmotivated to do much writing myself.
In a prior guest entry, “Bill” made the case for the World Series of Poker to go ahead and cancel this year’s WSOP. Now comes a rebuttal from a loyal reader, Paul Albino. Paul writes (with minor formatting edits):
I disagree with the recent ‘Cancel the 2020 WSOP’ column on several, no, ALL fronts; My rationales follow the original reasons to cancel, in point / counter-point style.
Bill’s point in previous post: “What is the WSOP waiting for? They need to go ahead and cancel this summer’s World Series of Poker. Not delay; just skip a year entirely. First of all, it’s going to be awhile before this corona-crisis is over. Nobody really knows how much longer.”
Paul’s counter-point: Nobody knows for sure how much longer. But, Poker WILL be played again. I am sure. And I am pretty darn sure I will be sitting at a poker table again by, say, late September. What is the need to COMPLETELY cancel something that might be fine to run in 6 months?
Bill: Second, moving it to another time of year won’t work. Too many other conferences and big events already scheduled in Las Vegas. Where are they going to find as much space as they use at the Rio, for seven uninterrupted weeks?
Paul: I’m sorry, Have YOU checked all the conference room space? At the Rio AND other hotels? Caesars has a LOT of properties. No one says the entire event HAS to be under one roof. Add to that the fact that OTHER conferences have a chance of being cancelled (and probably already have been!) for the Rio and other properties, and you have a plethora of possible times and venues. THIS reason doesn’t fly AT ALL.
Bill: Thirdly, travel plans! Instead of leaving poker players in limbo, they should make the only and obvious decision. How are international players supposed to make travel arrangements right now?
Paul: How long does it take to book/unbook a flight and a hotel?? This is NOT 1990 when I took my first poker trip to Vegas and I had to book through a travel agent, 3+ weeks in advance. Airfares will be dirt cheap AND refundable. Currently, I could book a late May flight from Boston to Las Vegas for $19.80. Oh, WSOP is cancelled/postponed? Oops, I lost $20. And that’s if I wait until THE DAY OF. I can cancel up to 48 hours in advance…for FREE….Is that a big deal? OK, so THAT reason is mucked.
Bill: Fourth, I cannot imagine the complexity of organizing the dealers, vendors and other support staff if the timing is a moving target. Too complicated for my little brain.
Paul: Even when poker comes back, it isn’t going to elastic-band-snap itself to where it was. The job market is probably going to be bad, and I’m sure there will be a LOT of poker dealers looking for work. A postponed WSOP will give work to those who want to deal. (and, remember…YOU said ‘little brain,’ not me….)
Bill: It’s time for WSOP leadership to “show their cards.”
Paul: I really see no reason for the WSOP to be forced to make a decision before the suggested late April early May date they promised… 75+% of the people who attend are US based and can easily make/cancel plans for May OR a Q4 event. If an international player hasn’t figured out that it will PROBABLY NOT be held in May, he should take off his N95 and smell the coffee.
Having a delayed WSOP, or even one with ‘only’ 40 or so events, would provide some needed stimulus back to a city that is getting hit with a 2-outer… Local food shops in the city will welcome the business in May, or October. I say, “Shuffle up and DEAL!”
Many thanks Paul, for a thoughtful entry!