Poker Pro Accuses WSOP Competitor of Hiding COVID-19 Virus
Justin Bonomo has accused a fellow WSOP competitor of having COVID-19 and playing anyway.
The World Series of Poker is in full swing at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The WSOP did not take place as it normally does in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, organizers decided to allow gameplay but with stipulations, including players must be vaccinated to take part. This did not sit well with some players, but for the most part, players were willing to take the vaccine or already had to compete.
One player has now accused another of having the virus but playing anyway despite the rules for player safety. On Twitter, poker pro Justin Bonomo decided to create a post, accusing a fellow player of breaching the protocols and competing while affected by the virus, essentially putting fellow players at risk.
Details of the Accusation
According to Bonomo, a player sat at the same table he did for two days while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Accepting that everything was relatively okay, Bonomo did not say anything to officials. However, he soon found out that the individual tested positive for the virus after the tournament was over.
Proof of vaccination is required to compete, but players with the vaccine can still spread the virus, knowingly or without their knowledge. Masks are not required, so having the virus and playing does put other players at risk because everyone is sharing cards and chips.
Once Bonomo made the Twitter post, people got to work trying to figure out who he was talking about. Eventually, Chris Hunichen came forward as the player. According to Chris, he was the player that Justin was talking about and that the whole issue was ‘dramatic and overblown’.
Chris says that he did not have the virus until after the event was over. After he played, he decided to visit a group of friends and was with his wife and cousin. He smoked with those in the group and that is apparently how he caught the virus.
Chris bought 40 rapid tests and everyone that was with him at the party tested negative. He says that since all of them were negative, then there is no way that he infected anyone during the $50k event.
Betting on COVID Deaths
This is not the first time that Chris Hunichen has been connected to COVID in a negative way. Last year, not long after the virus was spreading rapidly throughout the United States, he bet his followers on Twitter that over 100,000 people would die by September in the country from the virus.
He won $10,000 on the bet, one that he said he hoped he would lose. At the time, he said that he wanted to raise awareness about the virus who he said was not taking it seriously. However, many people looked at the bet as a negative and not a form of support or awareness.
The issue involving Bonomo and Chris does raise questions about hosting such big events. Should people with COVID-like symptoms be tested while attending the tournament? Should officials of the WSOP be aware of such symptoms and decide if a player should be secluded or removed from the competition?
It is certainly something to think about and consider. However, it does not seem likely that any changes will be made unless an individual has a fever and severe symptoms at the poker table. Surely at that point, officials would ask the individual to leave and no longer compete in the event.