WSOP Announces Sweepstakes for 2021 Main Event Seat

WSOP Announces Sweepstakes for 2021 Main Event Seat

The World Series of Poker announced a new promotion featuring a $10K seat to the 2021 WSOP Main Event, along with other perks accompanying an all-inclusive trip to Las Vegas.

This raises so many questions.

Promotion Details

The promotion requires no purchase or signups for the WSOP online poker site. It is a simple World Series of Poker sweepstakes.

The Ultimate Poker Champion Experience Sweepstakes is open for entries from February 15 to April 30. Players simply sign up via the WSOP website to be in the running.

The winner of the sweepstakes will receive a seat to the 2021 WSOP Main Event (worth $10K), along with roundtrip airfare to Las Vegas for two people. They will receive three nights in a suite at Caesars Palace, dinner at a “celebrity chef’s restaurant,” and a whiskey/cigar pairing at Montecristo Cigar Bar at Caesars Palace. Finally, the winner will receive $1K in spending money.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment will select the winner on May 6, 2021.

Will the 2021 WSOP Be Live or Online?

There is no way to answer that question. And there are hints at both options baked into the promotion.

The promotion itself makes it sound like the winner will be in Las Vegas for the WSOP.

Of course, the WSOP would like to host a live summer WSOP again after having had to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic. Some signs point to that possibility, such as Las Vegas increased gaming floor capacity to 35% on February 15. If all goes well, officials will increase that to 50% capacity on March 15.

Multiple Covid-19 vaccines are in production and distribution processes. President Joe Biden said last week that every American should have a vaccine secured by the end of July. As more people get vaccinated, the dangers of spreading the virus will decrease over time. All of this increases the chance of hosting a live World Series of Poker in 2021.

On the other hand, the winner of the promotion only gets three nights at Caesars Palace. That would be just enough time (barely) to play an online poker tournament and still have time for the cigar/whiskey pairing one night and a fancy dinner another night.

In addition, the winner must take the trip by December 30, 2021, as there is no cash alternative. This leaves a wide window open for hosting the WSOP live in the summer or later in the year.

Would a Live WSOP Be at Rio or Caesars?

The Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino would be the easiest option, it seems. The WSOP knows exactly how to use the pavilion space to host the series, and the Rio knows how to accommodate the activities and players.

When Eldorado Resorts announced its plan to buy Caesars Entertainment, rumors spread that Caesars would sell the Rio as a part of the deal. At that time in 2019 – when a pandemic wasn’t even a remote consideration – the WSOP’s Seth Palansky confirmed that the WSOP would take place at the Rio in 2020.

A few months later, Caesars Entertainment did, in fact, sell the Rio. A significant part of the sale, though, was that Caesars would operate the property for at least two years while paying rent, and the buyer (Dreamscape Companies) could extend the lease for a third year. This seemed to guarantee that the 2020 and 2021 WSOP would take place at the Rio.

Most recently, in mid-January 2021, the Nevada Gaming Commission announced a preliminary suitability finding for Dreamscape’s executives, which was based on a positive recommendation by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Company principals Eric Birnbaum and Thomas Ellis can now begin to work on plans for the remodeling of the Rio. Even so, Caesars is paying rent for the property through the end of 2021.

Despite the Caesars agreement, the WSOP is putting the sweepstakes winner up at Caesars Palace, also the location of the whiskey/cigar evening. It could be a precaution or a prediction.

Since the WSOP doesn’t like to give any information until it’s absolutely necessary, poker players and fans may need to wait another month or two for answers to their questions.


About Jennifer Newell

Jennifer began writing about poker while working at the World Poker Tour in the mid-2000s. Since then, her freelance writing career has taken her from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and back to her hometown of St. Louis, where she now lives with her two dogs. She continues to follow the poker world as she also launches a new subscription box company and finishes her first novel. Jennifer has written for numerous publications including and has followed the US poker and gaming market closely for the last 15 years. Follow Jen on Twitter

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