PokerStars Cancels European Events as Coronavirus Fear Continues

PokerStars has followed in the footsteps of the WPT and Triton Poker in cancelling upcoming European Poker Tour tournaments in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to spread around the world as countries begin to implement safety precautions. Italy is on lockdown, big gatherings are being cancelled or postponed, and even universities are electing to implement online classes. The poker world is now also taking hits with the next round of tournaments being cancelled or postponed.

In early February, the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Jeju, South Korea, was postponed till further notice, and just a week later, the World Poker Tour either cancelled or postponed their upcoming Asia-Pacific events that included WPT Vietnam and WPT Taiwan. The WPT have now also postponed the WPT Barcelona festival and posted a statement on the Casino Barcelona website that reads:

“Following extensive discussions on the Coronavirus, Casino Barcelona and its partners the World Poker Tour and partypoker LIVE have together reluctantly taken the decision to postpone the upcoming WPT Barcelona festival which was due to take place March 27th – April 5th. Like other countries, the Coronavirus is spreading in Spain and our priority is, and always will be, the safety and experience of players and staff. All three parties are currently exploring the possibility of holding the event later in the year.”

Although the upcoming EPT Sochi is will continue as planned, PokerStars have decided to postpone all European events up until April 10, 2020. The events affected by the decision are the Road to PSPC events held Hamburg (Germany), La Grand Motte (France), and in Madrid Gran Via (Spain).

“The situation is highly dynamic and live tournaments are a big part of what we do,” states the announcement from PokerStars. “So we are endeavouring to strike a balance of catering to our players’ wants while also protecting attendees, and ensuring we act responsibly.

“We are reviewing every event on a case by case basis, and keeping up to speed on the latest developments alongside our casino partners.”

Other big events that have now been cancelled include the 2020 Irish Poker Open and the Winamax Poker Open Grand Final, while King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic, have placed temporary bans on players from Italy for their upcoming WSOP-Circuit stop while also removing prize pool guarantees.

There are currently no plans to cancel or postpone the 2020 World Series of Poker, and the WSOP have yet to detail any additional safety precautions they may implement as the Coronavirus continues to spread.

“We are monitoring COVID-19 developments very carefully and have no plans to cancel WSOP at this time,” said the WSOP verified Twitter account.

The Double Down team will continue to keep you updated on the Coronavirus and how it affects poker tours in Australia, New Zealand, and around the world.

Tim Duckworth
Tim Duckworth
Tim Duckworth is a freelance writer, born in Australia but now residing in Las Vegas, Nevada. Follow him on Twitter at @tRaMSt0p.

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