The 2021 World Series of Poker is coming up soon in Nevada. Just a few days ago, officials of the series announced that players must be vaccinated to take part. Proof of vaccination is required upon initial registration and once players are signed in, there is no need to show proof again. Now, the WSOP has revealed that players will not have to wear a mask when competing at poker tables. This decision falls in line with the mask mandate protocols of the state.
No Mask Required
On Tuesday, a tweet was sent out by WSOP officials that stated there is no need to wear a mask while attending the series. Since everyone on-site will be vaccinated, those attending will be in compliance of the NV Emergency Directive 050. This directive was signed by the state governor and allows events to call for proof of vaccination. If this is followed, then masks are not a requirement.
Players will be allowed to take off their masks while sitting at the tables. This is not a full removal of masks, but a way to cut back while seated. It will be interesting to see if all players will remove their masks once seated or if they will continue to wear the covering. Vaccinated individuals can still spread the virus, so there is still a risk there, though it is lowered.
It was expected that the mask mandate would stay in place because the staff members of the event and the dealers would not have to be vaccinated. Caesars Entertainment has reached out to the media on this detail, stating that WSOP team members are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated. The company offers a simple process for vaccination making it a quick affair. Incentives are also being provided to encourage employees to be vaccinated.
Poker Player Response
When the vaccination requirement was announced, there was a mixed reaction from poker players. Some were relieved while others were angry or frustrated. With this latest detail, many players are skeptical of removing their mask around unvaccinated dealers and staff members for fear of contracting the virus.
This may be an issue that keeps some players from attending or at least not removing their mask while at the poker table.