What’s The Deal With WSOP Security? – How Security Works At WSOP

What’s The Deal With WSOP Security?

Being the
world’s biggest poker competition, the World Series of Poker invests a lot of
resources into its security.

But how do they prevent cheating and keep players safe?

In this article, we’ll look into various WSOP security aspects and how they dealt with the challenges of moving it online during the pandemic.

The Eye In The Sky And Huge Security Team

The World Series of Poker has moved to a new Strip location this year – the Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas Hotels and Casinos – after 17 years at the Rio Hotel and Casino.

Both are major gaming venues in Las Vegas, so at the WSOP there are all the standard security measures in place you’d expect in a casino.

The entire
gaming floor is covered by high-resolution surveillance cameras that follow everything
that goes on.

The security
teams behind the scenes keep their eyes peeled to the monitors and are ready to
react to any suspicious behavior.

Poker tables are
crowded and there are tens of thousands of players who come and go, so it may
seem virtually impossible to keep everything under control. But that’s just an
illusion.

Casino security
personnel are used to dealing with huge numbers of visitors and are experts at
their job. They know what things to look out for and can quickly spot someone up
to no good.

Of course, there
is also the security staff on the floor itself.

They observe
everything that’s going on and are ready to react if they get a signal from the
surveillance room. It’s all one big, well-oiled machine that operates around
the clock.

Without strict
security, it would be impossible for the WSOP to maintain the integrity of its
tournaments.

While most
players are fair and honest, what would prevent the dishonest ones from
stealing chips from other stacks or cheating in other ways?

To an untrained eye, it may seem like anything goes when there are several thousand people in the room.

But the WSOP’s security team is very alert and quick to react if there is anything questionable going on.

surveillance team at casinoImage: securitymagazine.com

The best proof
of this is that in over five decades, there’s not been a single major cheating
scandal at the series.

How Does WSOP
Protect Winners?

There is no
doubt that WSOP has got security covered inside the casinos, but what happens
once players step outside?

Tournament
winners and even those making a deep run can be carrying quite a bit of cash,
making them very desirable targets for criminals.

In 2019, there
was a fairly heated debate regarding this issue after one player shared a story
about being robbed at the Rio parking lot.

There was an
outcry from the community, asking the organizers to provide more security for players
to ensure these things didn’t happen again in the future.

As expected,
WSOP replied to these complaints and explained what resources are available to
players if they feel they need protection.

Reminder: WSOP offers security escorts to our parking areas to any guest who requests one. Please contact the nearest yellow-shirt security officer in WSOP areas. We also have safety deposit boxes for use in WSOP cage, as well as wire transfer and check as payment methods.

— WSOP (@WSOP) July 1, 2019

So, if you don’t
feel comfortable going alone, know that all players are allowed to ask one of
the WSOP security staff on the floor to accompany them to their car.

This service
will be provided with no questions asked.

There is also
enhanced security presence inside and outside of the venue during the series,
so there are more patrols going around.

Remember that WSOP
also offers other alternatives if you’re not comfortable carrying cash. You can
always ask the casino to wire your winnings or use one of the WSOP cages to store
your cash safely.

The second
option is very safe and quite convenient if you plan on playing more events, as
you’ll have cash on-site and can easily access it.

With all that
being said, it’s also important to stay alert and careful yourself.

It’s a huge
area, so security can’t be present everywhere at all times and you’ll need to
be vigilant.

Challenges Went The WSOP Moved Entirely Online

As you probably
know, the 2020 World Series of Poker was held almost entirely online thanks to
the Coronavirus outbreak.

Having online
WSOP events was nothing new.

For a few years
now, players have had an opportunity to compete for coveted bracelets via their
electronic devices in select events. However, this was the first time the
entire schedule took place online.

Plus, because of
the delicate situation with internet poker, we essentially had two WSOPs – one
for the US players and the other for the international player pool.

This created a
whole new set of security challenges and problems that the organizers had to
address.

One example being that online cheating techniques are much different from live ones and are often
not as easy to detect.

In fact, when
WSOP officials announced the online series, many members of the poker community
voiced their concerns over potential security issues. With so much money on the
line, there was plenty of incentive for cheating.

Online, some of
the biggest security threats include collusion, players using multiple
accounts, and using prohibited software.

Jeff Madsen was one of the more vocal players to raise concerns about WSOP online security issues. He put a particular emphasis on the fact that there were actual bracelets up for grabs.

In an online
environment, it’s all too easy for someone to take over a tournament at any
stage and continue playing under someone else’s name.

This practice, although technically against the rules, has been quite present in the online poker community. But with bracelets on the line, there are some obvious ethical concerns.

In live WSOP
events, there is a clear “one player per one hand” rule.

If you tried to
get advice from anyone while a hand was in progress, you’d probably end up with
a warning and penalty. If such behavior is repeated, you risk being
disqualified.

Online, though,
this practice is known as “ghosting” and it’s virtually impossible to
stop.

Without WSOP
dispatching guards to every person’s home to watch them while they play, they
can’t know if it’s a single person playing or if they have an entire team
behind them to help them make the best decisions.

However, the
organizers do have some tools available to them.

While it’s hard
for the WSOP to do much on the spot, every tournament is carefully reviewed
once the play is finished. Security experts look for unusual patterns and any
inconsistencies that could indicate any form of cheating.

If there are red
flags, accounts are subject to a detailed examination.

If cheating is
confirmed, the player will be disqualified, their account banned from the
platform, and their winnings confiscated and distributed to the legitimate
players.

This isn’t a
foolproof system, but it’s certainly a deterrent for a majority of those who
might think about cheating their way to a bracelet.

Top Security Measures In Place

The WSOP has the
experience and resources to keep players safe and its games fair, and there is
hardly a challenge they can’t deal with.

Most
importantly, whether you play live or online, you can rest assured you’re in
good hands and protected against cheaters of all kinds as much as is humanly
possible.

In poker, just like in life, nothing is guaranteed, but with a brand like WSOP running things behind the scenes, it’s probably as good as it gets.

Lead image: USA Online Casino

Author: Glen Ferguson