Mask Mandate Removed From 2021 WSOP

By Craig Klinski
January 23, 2022

WSOP 2021 Mask Mandate

If you questioned why the World Series of Poker was still requiring masks despite also requiring vaccinations, you may be pleased to learn about an amendment to the 2021 WSOP COVID policy. The requirement of masks from all attendees has been scrapped after a new Nevada Emergency Directive was released earlier this month by Governor Sisolak.

The new directive allows the WSOP to have mask-less events for seated players, provided they meet certain steps are made including having participants being fully vaccinated, requiring pre-registration, and requiring participants to submit vaccination proof.

Unvaccinated dealers and staff, who are being allowed to work the event, will be required to wear a mask if they have not been vaccinated.

It is not known how much waiving the mask requirement will affect attendance for the WSOP 2021.

Controversy still surrounds WSOP 2021 COVID policies

While many players have welcomed the COVID-19 restrictions for the 2021 WSOP, others have been vocal in their displeasure. Late last month, the WSOP first announced that all players, participants and attendees would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as submit proof prior to registering for any WSOP event.

Among the concerns brought up by players was perceived hypocrisy from the WSOP. Some noted that having COVID-19 antibodies should put them in the same group as vaccinated players, as they are not at high risk to contract the virus. Having antibodies to the virus is obtained by previously catching the virus.

Additional outcry has developed over the policy that the vaccination requirements are for attendees and do not apply to dealers at the event, who are touching the same cards as the players and are in long-term close proximity of the players. The World Series of Poker is answering some of these concerns by requiring dealers to wear masks, but for some players that is still not enough.

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