WSOP Plans To Return To The Rio From Sept. 30 – Nov. 23

Written By Marc Meltzer on April 1, 2021

The World Series Of Poker (WSOP) is tentatively scheduled to return to Las Vegas this fall. The poker tournament is back at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino from Sept. 30 – Nov. 23. This year the WSOP will once again include the live, in-person $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, best known as “The Main Event”.

The plans are a step closer to normalcy for the tournament. WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart said:

“This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together. In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas.”

The current plan is tentative, as the world is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Governmental restrictions are changing frequently and the WSOP plans are pending applicable state and/or regulatory approvals.

There’s no word yet if fans will be able to watch the tournament in person at the Rio just yet.

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2021 WSOP scheduled for the fall

The WSOP is currently scheduled to begin on Thursday, Sept. 30. The opening weekend is expected to feature a special charity event to benefit frontline health workers.

Other noteworthy happenings include a $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. event and a $5 million guaranteed prize pool No-Limit Hold’em event billed as “The Reunion.”

The Main Event is set to begin Thursday, Nov. 4, and run through Wednesday, Nov. 17. Players will have their choice of four starting days:

  • Thursday, Nov. 4
  • Friday, Nov. 5
  • Saturday, Nov. 6
  • Sunday, Nov. 7

Players who participate in the Main Event on Thursday or Friday will have their Day 2 on Monday, Nov. 8 if they survive the first day with chips. Players starting on Saturday or Sunday will play their Day 2 on Tuesday, Nov. 9. The Main Event fields will combine on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

WSOP online 2021 runs this summer

WSOP has summer plans for poker players since the tournament won’t take place during the traditional schedule. This will follow 2020’s successful online WSOP events.

In 2020, WSOP’s online domestic series awarded nearly $27 million in prize money across 31 events. This was the biggest online tournament series in the history of U.S. regulated poker. will hold the domestic tournaments on its All-American Poker Network beginning Thursday, July 1. The online segment will conclude with a $1,000 championship. Buy-ins for online events this year will be available for as little as $1.

Complete information about the WSOP Online tournament schedule will be released on April 15, 2021. Details about the international online tournaments will be released shortly after.

WSOP Europe back for 2021 too

WSOP Europe 2021 is tentatively slated to return to King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic running from Friday, Nov. 19 through Tuesday, Dec. 8. Much like US events, this live event is subject to regulatory approval.

There are 15 gold bracelet events currently planned for the European tournament. Two tournament highlights include the 10,000 Euro buy-in WSOP Europe Main Event and a 50,000 Euro High Roller event.

2020 WSOP did not look like past series

The current plans for the WSOP this year should be a step closer to a normal version of the event.

The coronavirus pandemic forced the WSOP to shuffle up and deal a new format for the poker tournament in 2020. Last year WSOP held the first hybrid WSOP tournament.

The tournament was delayed and took place mostly online at with a few events taking place in person in December. The event was broken up into a domestic event where Justin Herbert won the domestic series. He was beaten by Damian Salas in January to win the Main Event World Championship.

WSOP beyond 2021

WSOP may not be held at Rio much longer. Caesars Entertainment, the owner of WSOP, sold the Rio in late 2019. The sale cleared last year and the new owners have plans that may or may not include the current casino operator.

The new owners of the Rio, Dreamscape, plan to renovate the property. Rio will be rebranded into multiple Hyatt full-service brands. Caesars currently leases the property from the new landlords. Neither Dreamscape nor Caesars has revealed plans for the future of casino operations at the Rio.

Caesars still owns the WSOP and rumors about future events have been flying since the sale was consummated. Caesars Forum (the new conference center behind The Linq), Planet Hollywood, Bally’s, and Caesars Palace have all been mentioned as potential landing spots for WSOP in the future.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He’s the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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