The Muck: What Happens if a Poker Player Tests Positive for COVID?

A player winning an online poker game starts to feel sick and chooses to take a COVID-19 check, which leads to a positive result. With the globe trapped in the grip of an apparently never-ending global epidemic, it is a situation that really is probable to appear on occasion.

What steps should game organizers take if this situation or similar happens?

A Twitter handle, “The Chainsaw,” has been informing all who sat at a desk with a COVID-positive gamer, as already informed by tournament staff. He conducted a poll for his followers to determine what level of liability staff should hold in notifying those people. Bonomo, on the other hand, tried to argue that tournament officials must have a strategy in place that makes a gamer get his/her money back from winnings if he or she tests positive for COVID-19 as during the event.

Both of these issues are critical for the poker community to confront. Many professionals responded to Kessler as well as Bonomo on social networking sites with some thoughtful answers. Judging by the reaction, it is clear that no matter what policies are implemented, there will be a large group of participants who disapprove. Kessler’s poll received 865 votes, with 58 percent in favor of the card room or tournament staff notifying opposition that a gamer at their table is COVID-19 positive. 

Every event really does have direct and/or indirect exposure. Every participant needs to enter an event with this knowledge. Many people may be unwilling to admit it.

The question is whether poker room or tournament staff have such a moral duty to notify gamers and distributors that they came into contact with someone who is COVID-19 positive, potentially for so many hours. Kessler chastised the World Poker Tour for misinforming all those who sat with Matt Stout during the recent WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic that he had been COVID-19 positive. In his tweet, Bonomo brought up a related but separate concern: giving the players who are testing positive in the middle of a tournament a fraction of the prize money.

As an instance, suppose a player develops symptoms after scooping a large stack on Day 2 of a 3-day event and progressing to the final table.

Would the sick player turn up sick but not notify the other gamers at the desk of the testing positive when there is no policy in place to make sure the ill participant is compensated fairly? However, not everybody appears to agree with Bonomo’s proposal.

If tournament officials end up having to pay gamers a fraction of the prize money after a COVID-19 positive test, they’ll have some flaws to work out.

During the 250,000 dollars Super High Roller event at the 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP), one player suggested a buy-in reimbursement to anybody who tested COVID-19 positive during the bracelet event. However, it is one of the few instances where such a strategy was implemented, but not every participant consented to it.

There is unlikely to be a simple answer to this question that will often arise in the pandemic period. And, if you want to know more about the latest poker news so, you can visit here to learn more.

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