World Series of COVID

1 month ago
World Series of COVID
27 Jun

We’re only three weeks into the 2022 World Series of Poker and already there has been a slew of players testing for COVID-19. None other than David Baker and Phil Hellmuth were the first big names to tweet their bad luck with many more following suit.

Fortunately, there is no talk of an overreaction from either the organisers or local politicians that threatens to derail the event. Common sense is prevailing at last.

COVID Craziness

David Baker was first to announce his positive test, writing that he actually felt okay but wanted to make it known out of respect for those he had come into contact with in recent days.

With more than $6 million in live tournament earnings and two WSOP gold bracelets he was the first big name to have his series interrupted.

Then, as he does every year, Phil Hellmuth was telling the media how motivated he is to do well this year to challenge for yet another bracelet—a record 17th in this case—and also break his duck in the WSOP Player of the Year race.

That idea hit a snag almost immediately when the “Poker Brat” reported that he was missing Event #2: $100K High Roller Bounty with an upset stomach after travelling back from Mexico.

A week later, Hellmuth had recovered enough to play but then came another high-profile positive test for COVID at the WSOP.

KL Cleeton is another well known character in the game who tested positive and was forced to miss a part of his planned schedule.

Christian Harder is the latest well-known player to tweet that he will be isolating after already racking up four cashes in the 2022 WSOP.


One case that stands out is that of the 2021 Ladies Championship winner, Lara Eisenberg. The American tweeted advice that anyone else testing positive should isolate quietly and not inform hotel staff of the situation else possibly face eviction.

It was never confirmed which hotel she was referring to but did say she was forced to vacate her room with the offer of transportation to a budget hotel off The Strip.

One sad consequence of all of this is that ageing Doyle Brunson has cancelled his plans to play in Las Vegas this summer. The legend had planned to play some events but with two unvaccinated people in his household he felt it wasn't worth the risk.

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Mark from London in the UK is a professional cash game player, and part time journalist. A massive chess fan and perpetual traveller.Read more


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