The World Poker Tour has been forced to cancel a string of events across the world and in America, shifting its focus entirely on online events and promoting the ClubWPT.
Coronavirus Pandemic Forces WPT to Suspend Events Globally
The World Poker Tour (WPT) has had to cancel a string of events across every major market one of the world’s largest poker organization operates in. After postponing or outright cancelling events in Asia and Europe due to the coronavirus outbreak, the company has now suspended tournaments in the United States.
Specifically, the company cancelled the WPT main tour as well as the WPTDeepStacks over the last two months. The organization hopes that players will be able to participate in the few events still left on the calendar for May, but this may be subject to change as the novel coronavirus death toll is rising with stricter measures put in place.
On the plus side, this has been an opportunity for the WPT to consolidate its online standing. One major partnership has been struck with partypoker in a bid to extend online poker options in several important markets as well as boost awareness for ClubWPT.
WPT Events Hit Across the Board
Over a dozen of important events have been postponed or cancelled so far, including the WPT Venetian and WPT Barcelona as well as the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown held in Florida. With the entire casino industry in the United States and across the world brought to a halt, the WPT has no venues to hold its events in.
The WPTDeepStacks has been one of the most heavily affected events due to the global footprint of the event. Both WPTDS Vietnam and WPTDS Amsterdam have been postponed, followed by WPTDS Maryland, the WPTDS Championship and the WPTDS European Championship.
More tournaments have been postponed, including the WPTDS Johannesburg, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Taiwan and others.
On the plus side, the World Poker Tour has been keeping an updated list of all events and their status, making it easy for the community around the world to stay informed.
Shifting the WPT Focus Online
With the land-based segment suffering a great deal, the WPT has shifted its focus on the online segment. The company announced the WPT Online Series hosted by partypoker for May 10 through May 26, a first. The event will guarantee a whopping $15 million
No tournament has been left behind after a similar solution was introduced to the WPTDS with the addition of the WPTDeepStacks Online Series again hosted by partypoker. This event will focus on the French and Spanish markets with 44 tournaments held between April 5 through April 20.
The company has also used the opportunity to draw more attention to its online products by promoting ClubWPT. In essence, ClubWPT is a subscription service that allows players to pay a monthly fee and then access free-play chips.
Admittedly, there are no tournaments, but players can still compete and win $100,000 by the WPT each month.