The first post-lockdown WPT gets 1,573 entries

Ilyas Muradi
Ilyas Muradi

While the rest of the poker world still wonders when they might be able to venture into a casino again, Florida acts like there never was a pandemic.

The World Poker Tour held its first event since the planet locked down at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The WPT Lucky Hearts Open attracted a staggering 1,573 across two starting days.

Given most of the world is in some form of lockdown right now the fact this tournament went ahead may leave many to scratch their head. All the players wore masks and played behind plexiglass, but Florida is averaging almost 12,000 new COVID cases a day right now.

Although highly questionable to host the event now, it does suggest that there is a massive thirst for the live game when the world opens up. 1,573 entries is big for a WPT event in normal times, so this result is remarkable in the current climate.

The eventual winner was Ilyas Muradi who qualified for the event in a $400 satellite and took it down for $809,515 after defeating Robel Andemichael heads-up.

World Poker Tour events are still taking place online at partypoker but next up for the live tour is the WPT Nagaworld Asia Pacific Championship in Cambodia in May.

Is the timing right for a big live event like the WPT in the current climate? Let us know in the comments:

Barry Carter

Barry Carter

Barry Carter is the editor of and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy

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