It may be 2021, but a winner of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event has finally been crowned after a week that saw one final tablist disqualified and the Heads-Up match delayed after one of the winners was denied entry into the U.S.
But that was all put aside on Sunday when Damian Salas (the international victor) met Joseph Hebert (the U.S. winner) from the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino.
Argentina’s Damian Salas was victorious against Joseph Hebert during the 2020 Heads-Up Championship, and as a result, is the official winner of the 2020 WSOP Main Event. The heads-up battle lasted for 173 hands over the course of six hours.
For the final hand, Salas called an all-in from Joseph Hebert with KJ against Hebert’s AQ with a pair of kings after the flop. The turn came up a blank and river card gave Salas another King to cement the win and the gold bracelet for Salas.
Here was how Salas reacted to the win in the moments after the hand:
— GGPoker – HOME OF ONLINE POKER'S LARGEST PRIZEPOOL (@GGPoker) January 4, 2021
For his efforts, Salas wins an extra $1 million prize added by WSOP, for a total prize of over $2.5 million.
Perhaps most importantly, Salas wins the 2020 WSOP Main Event bracelet, joining an exclusive list of players such as Phil Hellmuth, Doyle Brunson and Chris Moneymaker.
The path to the WSOP 2020 championship
This was hardly Salas’ first foray into live poker. Before the 2020 Main Event, Salas accumulated $2.6 million in lifetime earnings according to the Hendon Mob. He is perhaps most famously known as making the final table of the 2017 WSOP Main Event, where he finished in 7th place with a $1.4 million prize. In winning the 2020 tournament, he becomes one of just a handful of players to have made it to two WSOP final tables.
Although Salas didn’t have to go through the typical huge field, the runs both players made was impressive.
Salas outlasted 674 players online on GG Poker before coming out on top of a final table at King’s Casino in the Czech Republic.
For his part, Hebert beat a field of 705 players on WSOP.com before winning the final table against seven other accomplished players. Salas won a $1,550,969 first-place prize — before the heads-up championship — to take down the international tournament in the Czech Republic while Hebert won’t go empty handed either with his $1,553.256 win earned at the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
The path to crown the 2020 champion has been a long one, even after the tournament itself got underway:
|Event||Location||Date||Notes||Players Entered/Remaining After Day||Chip leader from day|
|Day 1a of International Tournament||GG Poker||November 29th||Open to all players outside of the United States on GG Poker||246/62||Julian Menhardt|
|Day 1b of International Tournament||GG poker||December 5th||171/42||Blaz Zerjav|
|Day 1c of International Tournament||GG Poker||December 6th||257/75||Senthuran Vijayaratnam|
|Day 2 of International Tournament||GG Poker||December 7th||Day will play down to the final 9||674/9||Brunno Botteon|
|Day 3 of International Tournament (Final Table)||King's Casino, Czech Republic||December 15th||Winner crowned, will move on to Las Vegas||9/1||Damian Salas|
|Day 1 of USA Tournament||WSOP.com||December 13th, 2020||Players must be physically in New Jersey or Nevada to play||705/71||Upeshka De Silva|
|Day 2 of USA Tournament||WSOP.com||December 14th, 2020||Day will play down to the final 9||71/9||Joseph Hebert|
|Day 3 of USA Tournament (Final Table)||WSOP.com||December 28th, 2020||Winner crowned, will move on to Las Vegas||9/1||Joseph Hebert|
|Heads-Up Championship||Rio Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas||January 3rd, 20201||The winner of International and USA tournament will be WSOP Main Event champion||Damian Salas vs Joseph Hebert||Damian Salas|
Watch the 2020 WSOP Main Event next month
The 2020 WSOP Main Event didn’t have the hype of previous events due to a large portion being held online, as well as a video broadcast not being available (at least yet).
Both the final tables for the international tournament and the U.S. tournament, as well as the heads-up match between Damian Salas and Joseph Hebert were filmed for ESPN cameras. There were no live streams, but before the final tables, it was announced that cameras would be present and shown at a later date.
Now we have an idea when poker fans can tune in. On Sunday, the World Series of Poker revealed that ESPN will air full coverage in February.
More details will be put forward in the coming weeks as this must-see poker TV hits the airwaves.