The poker rooms at Bally’s and Flamingo will remain closed for the next two months as table dealers from the two rooms have been transferred to the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) which starts from Sep 30 and will run till Nov 23. The Bally’s and Flamingo poker room will remain closed till Nov 26.
The WSOP is the biggest live poker tournament in poker history and runs for six weeks each year during the months of May and June. Each year, the WSOP faces challenges with its table dealers as a lot of poker dealers tend to quit midways through the long poker tournament as they face burnout.
The 2021 WSOP has also run into problems with dealer shortage which might be compounded due to the COVID-19 situation. The WSOP has made it mandatory for all poker players to be fully vaccinated in order to gain entry to the WSOP. There are bound to be several poker dealers who feel uncomfortable taking the risk to be a part of such a large poker tournament even with the mandatory vaccination in place.
While the WSOP has placed a mandatory vaccine on all poker players, there is no such mandatory requirement on table dealers. The WSOP has confirmed that they will be hiring unvaccinated dealers which could be one of the reasons why some table dealers are thinking twice of joining the WSOP as they face the possibility of working together with unvaccinated dealers.
There were reports circulating earlier that the WSOP was offering a cash incentive of $250 to all WSOP dealers who took the jab during the WSOP. The WSOP declined to confirm or deny this promotion. If the promotion is in place, then the WSOP should expect to lose more dealers during the tournament as individuals who get vaccinated can often feel under the weather for a day or two and might require time off.
WSOP Does Not Admit To Dealer Shortage
Ty Stewart, executive director of the WSOP did not admit to having any problems with dealer shortage at the 2021 WSOP. Stewart did say that recruiting table dealers is always a challenge which is one of the reasons why they decided to increase the hourly wage this year.