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Coronavirus Spurs Poker Cancellations, Second Global Poker Awards Announced In Vegas

Poker Cancellations

The coronavirus has upended the world. 

Countries are in quarantine, flight restrictions are popping up everywhere and toilet paper is flying off the shelves. Naturally, poker has also been affected. Casinos across the world are shuttering voluntarily or by government demands, and cardrooms and poker rooms are also shutting their doors or suspending tournaments. As you could imagine, hundreds of people sitting around in close quarters passing around cards and chips all day isn’t highly recommended during a global pandemic. 

But before the virus brought the world to a grinding halt, there was almost a last hurrah in the poker world. The 2019 Global Poker Awards hosted its second annual awards ceremony in early March at the PokerGO Studio in Las Vegas. 

The Second Annual Global Poker Awards

The second Global Poker Awards were awarded on March 6, just days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down most of the poker world. There were 18 different award categories that ranged from Breakout Player to Streamer to Mid-Major Tour/Circuit of the Year. 

There were a few multiple nominees, including Joey Ingram, who led the pack with four nominations. Ingram ended up taking two awards: Journalist of the Year and Media Content of the Year - Video. 

Ingram won the second award for his video investigation into Mike Postle. The video also helped Ingram win the Journalist of the Year award. Robert Campbell, who won the WSOP Player of the Year Award after a miscalculation initially gave the award to Daniel Negreanu, won the GPI Breakout Player of the Year Award. Stephen Chidwick won Players Choice for Toughest Opponent while Lex Veldhuis won Streamer of the Year. Jennifer Shahade’s “The Grid” won Podcast of the Year while Martin Harris’ book “Poker and Pop Culture,” won Media Content of the Year - Written. 

Maria Ho and Drea Renee hosted the awards ceremony and it was a full gala with some of the top poker players and media personalities galavanting around in fancy clothing, sipping cocktails and enjoying fine foods. It’s an event that stands in stark contrast to where the poker world is just a few weeks later.

Coronavirus shuts down the poker world

The NBA suspended its season, Tom Hanks announced he was infected and the coronavirus broke its way into the national consciousness last week. The virus had been spreading and infecting tens of thousands of people since the start of the year, but it wasn’t until last week that it started upending life in the United States.

After the NBA suspended its season, the NHL followed and MLB announced it would delay the beginning of its season. March Madness was next to go and then a number of poker rooms and tournaments announced they were suspending or delaying games.  

PokerStars announced that they were suspending all European events until further notice. 888poker LIVE Bucharest and the WPT DeepStacks European Championship were also canceled. The cancelations also picked up across the United States. The WPT DeepStacks in Maryland was canceled as well as several WSOP Circuit events.

Several casinos are shutting their doors too. The Rivers Casino, Parx Casino, Commerce Casino and the Wynn all announced that they’re going to close for two weeks. There are bound to be more announcements as the coronavirus continues to spread and the CDC announced that it was recommending that all gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled for the next eight weeks.

As you might have noticed, the World Series of Poker is not on the list of canceled events. Poker players have been speculating and betting on the WSOP being canceled for a few weeks now. While it seems increasingly likely the event will be affected by the virus, there still hasn’t been an official announcement by the WSOP regarding any changes. 

We’ll keep you updated if anything does change.