In 2020, Unibet was the first major poker brand to cancel its live events and move them to the virtual felts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While restrictions have gradually been eased now and the live events scene is slowly reopening, Unibet is choosing to be on the safe side by deciding to host all of its Unibet Poker events on its online platform.
Unibet’s approach quite steers away from what the other major organizers are doing right now – returning to the live felts. The company’s Head of Events Nataly Sopacuaperu believes their decision is practical and reasonable, considering that the virus is still here and remains a threat to the health and safety of staff and players. Travel issues are also not going away anytime soon, with some jurisdictions continuing to implement localized lockdowns.
Unibet ambassador David Lappin said he was initially disappointed to learn that he and all the other players and fans of Unibet Open can’t go back to the live felts just yet to compete in the tournament. But the Irish poker pro is proud that the brand he is representing prioritizes player safety over everything else.
The first Unibet Open of 2021 will be held in late March, and will run as part of the €1 million-guaranteed Unibet Online Series. Unibet Open will serve as the Main Event of the series, featuring a €1,100 buy-in and a huge €250,000 guarantee. It will get underway on March 21.
Apart from the Main Event, the festival’s schedule will include a number of other popular Unibet Open events, such as the Unibet Opener (March 17), Unibet Open Warm-Up (March 20), and Unibet Open rebuy (March 21). Plenty of satellites are already running costing as low as €1.
World Poker Tour Back in Vegas
Meanwhile, the World Poker Tour (WPT) has returned to Las Vegas. The tour is currently holding a live festival at The Venetian Resort, headlined by a $5,000 buy-in Main Event which will crown a winner on March 9. The event attracted a total of 937 entrants to generate a massive prize pool of $4.3 million, smashing its initial guarantee of $1.5 million.
The ongoing tournament is the first WPT Main Event to be held in Vegas since 2019. The last WPT Main Event in the city, the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic which took place in December 2019, was won by Alex Foxen for $1.694 million.