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World Series of Poker Announces Plans for 2021

The World Series of Poker has recently announced much-anticipated plans for 2021, including the return of the live, in-person World Series of Poker event and $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em World Championship, best known as “The Main Event”.

The world-famous tournament series, which experienced record-smashing participation in 2019 and adjusted to a hybrid format to accommodate 2020, will be back in-person at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino this fall pending applicable state and/or regulatory approvals. Cards will be in the air for a diverse calendar of events beginning Thursday, Sept. 30 with all play concluding on Tuesday, Nov. 23.

The 2021 opening weekend is expected to feature a special charity event to benefit frontline health workers, a $25,000 H.O.R.S.E. and a $5 million GTD No-Limit Hold’em event billed as “The Reunion.” Further details and specifics on the complete schedule will be released this summer.

“The Main Event” is expected to begin Thursday, Nov. 4 and run through Wednesday, Nov. 17. Players will have their choice of four starting days on Thursday, Nov. 4, Friday, Nov. 5, Saturday, Nov. 6, or Sunday Nov. 7. Players participating on Thursday or Friday will have their Day 2 on Monday, Nov. 8 if they survive the first day with chips. Those selecting Saturday or Sunday for an opening flight will play their Day 2 on Tuesday, Nov. 9, with the fields combining on Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Hotel room reservations are now being accepted across Caesars Entertainment’s Las Vegas resorts, including the headquarters at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, with rates as low as $60 for existing Caesars Rewards members. Visit www.caesars.com using promo code “WSOPM” to make your room reservations. Online pre-registration won’t open until this summer, after all events have been determined and approved by regulators.

Specific COVID-19 safety protocols and other related 2021 tournament policies will be reviewed with gaming regulators in the lead-up to the event. The World Series of Poker will be compliant with all directives from the state of Nevada regarding social distancing and capacity limits on the tournament dates.

“This year, more than ever, we embrace our role at the WSOP to deliver memorable experiences and bring this community of poker lovers back together. In 2021, the theme is, get vaccinated and get back to Vegas,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP Executive Director.


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Pro Football Hall of Fame to Launch COVID-19 Vaccination Awareness Effort

The Pro Football Hall of Fame has launched a PSA campaign to educate people across the U.S. about the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a particular focus on communities of color. As part of the Centene family, Superior HealthPlan is engaging Texans to encourage them to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when available to help prevent the spread of the virus. The 30-second PSA, which can be viewed here, features Hall of Famer Drew Pearson, who played his NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys.

To achieve “herd immunity,” officials have said roughly 80% of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated. Multiple surveys have indicated many Americans are hesitant to receive the vaccine, especially within the Black community and other communities of color, which, along with access issues, has impacted immunization rates. Recent data show Blacks make up only 8% of those who had been vaccinated despite constituting 13% of the population and accounting for 15% of all COVID-19 deaths.

“As we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re a team and need to work together to stop the virus from spreading,” said David Baker, President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “We recognize there are a lot of questions out there about the vaccine, so we want to make sure we’re reaching as many people as possible. We thank Drew for encouraging everyone to get vaccinated for the sake of their loved ones.”

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is Centene’s Official Youth Wellness Partner. Through the “Strong Youth Strong Communities” program, Hall of Famers have discussed important issues with youth, including mental health, suicide, and bullying. During the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual youth summits on these topics have been held in a number of states. For its work on these issues, the Hall of Fame was the recipient of the 2019 Booker T. Washington award from the National Minority Quality Forum.


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Lou Williams joins Atlanta Hawks

Despite being traded, and seriously considering retiring, NBA vet Lou Williams finally decided to play with the Atlanta Hawks for the upcoming season.

The Hawks have won nine of 13 games, pushing into playoff contention in the tightly bunched Eastern Conference since Lloyd Pierce was fired and Nate McMillan took over as interim coach.

Williams joined the Atlanta Hawks ahead of their game Tuesday night in Phoenix against the Suns, nearly a week after he was dealt by the LA Clippers at the trade deadline for guard Rajon Rondo.

After four seasons in Los Angeles, Williams was admittedly shaken that the Clippers would decide to part with him. “It hurts,” he said on a videoconference call with reporters. “I had a lot of investment there. We had some success. We were gearing up for another deep run, a championship run. That was my mentality. I thought I would finish the season there.”


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Fenway Park Opens 2021 Season With New Plans to Keep Fans Safe

The Boston Red Sox have announced that they have teamed up with Reckitt, the maker of Lysol, to create enhanced disinfection and cleaning measures at Fenway Park. The organization will implement heightened sanitation procedures in advance of welcoming fans back to Fenway Park for the regular season.

This initiative comes at a time when over 56% of sports fans are willing to wait longer for sports to return if doing so means athletes and team employees are assuming less risk to their health.”1 We know everyone is eager to get back to the ballpark to watch their favorite players on the diamond, but we also know an uneasiness still exists,” said E. Yuri Hermida, Executive Vice President of North America Hygiene for Reckitt. “After initially partnering with Major League Baseball late last year, we’re thrilled to now welcome the Red Sox into the fold and look forward to seeing Red Sox nation back in Fenway Park this Spring.”

Reckitt will supply EPA-approved disinfection products, proven to kill 99.9% of germs, including SARS-CoV-22, the virus that causes COVID-19, to use across areas where germs are most prevalent. Additionally, dispensers with Lysol Disinfecting Wipes will be made available around the ballpark for fans to use at their own discretion.

“We’re implementing a number of fan safety protocols and procedures for the upcoming season to support the safe return of fans to Fenway Park, and our partnership with Lysol and the use of their disinfectant products helps support these important efforts,” said Red Sox Vice President of Facilities Management, Jonathan Lister. “The Lysol brand is familiar to our fans who use the products in their homes every day. We hope our use of Lysol products helps inspire confidence in our enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols.”


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Athlete Archive: Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova is a Russian retired professional tennis player. Although she played under the banner of Russia with the Women’s Tennis Association, she has lived in and been a United States permanent resident since 1994. Sharapova competed on the WTA tour from 2001 to 2020 and had been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won a silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Sharapova achieved a rare level of longevity in tennis, with several tennis pundits and former players calling Sharapova one of tennis’ best competitors.

Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on 22 August 2005, at the age of 18, becoming the first Russian female tennis player to top the singles rankings, and last held the ranking for a fifth time for four weeks from 11 June 2012, to 8 July 2012. She won five Grand Slam titles — two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, winning 36 titles in total, including the year-ending WTA Finals in her debut in 2004. She also won three doubles titles.

Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, and has been the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. In June 2011, she was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time and in March 2012 was named one of the “100 Greatest of All Time” by Tennis Channel. According to Forbes, she has been named highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned pro in 2001. In 2018, she launched a new programme to mentor women entrepreneurs.


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