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Several poker players catch COVID-19 at the 2022 WSOP

Several poker players catch COVID-19 at the 2022 WSOP

June 10, 2022

Juan Blanco


  • Several poker pros participating in the 2022 WSOP have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Among those who tested positive for the virus are Justin Bonomo and Phil Hellmuth
  • There are no clear guidelines yet on what players should do if they catch the virus

Many players are putting their quest for a gold bracelet on hold after testing positive for COVID-19.

The 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) festival at Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas has so far attracted thousands of players from around the world and the live setup and massive gathering has made it inevitable for some of them to catch the virus.

Increase in cases at WSOP 2022 and throughout Nevada

Among the personalities who had to self-isolate and temporarily avoid going to venues after contracting COVID-19 is a veteran commentator Lon McEacherntv personality Rene Nezhodaas well as poker pros David Boulanger and Justin Bonomo.

The state of Nevada lifted nearly all pandemic-related restrictions as early as February of this year, including the mask mandate. May 20, Governor Steve Sisolak ended the state of emergency, meaning things have since pretty much returned to normal.

When the 2022 WSOP was announced, the COVID-19 rules put in place weren’t as strict as the previous year – unvaccinated players are now allowed to enter although they are reminded to follow CDC guidelines ; participants are also not required to wear masks.

These relaxations could have led to an increase in positives and it’s not just happening at the WSOP, with the surge being seen across the state. Last week, Nevada recorded a seven-day average positivity test rate of 26.3%, up 11.9% from April 29 data.

At this time, the WSOP has yet to provide detailed information on what should be done in the event players catch the virus.

Apparently those who tested positive for COVID-19 were only asked to step down and self-isolate for five days. The virus has made its way to the current festival and more players are expected to be infected.

Phil Hellmuth tests positive for COVID-19

Just this week, Phil Hellmuth announced on Twitter that he too had caught the virus despite having been vaccinated three times. The Poker Brat, which is once again looking to break its own WSOP bracelet record this year, has been forced to skip some of the events on its schedule until it is clear of the virus.

Hellmuth shared that he is usually asymptomatic. Close contacts have tested negative so far, including his sons and mother. Hellmuth felt he missed one of his best chances to win his 17th bracelet, the $10,000 Omaha event that took place the same day he found out he had contracted the virus.