The final day of the US portion of the 2020 WSOP Main Event is still set for Monday, but it is not coming without some major drama.
On Sunday, Upeshka Silva, one of the nine finalists for the final table set for the Rio Casino and Hotel on Monday night has been disqualified after testing positive for COVID-19. According to the rules, for testing positive he is automatically disqualified from participating and will finish in 9th place with a $98,813 payout. Prior to being disqualified, he was going into the final table 8th in chips as he was seeking his 4th WSOP bracelet.
According to Joey Ingram on Twitter, he was quarantined on December 10th but tested positive for COVID on December 20th, negative on December 26th but positive again on December 27th.
With the WSOP Final Table set for Monday, De Silva was still hoping for a miracle on Monday that it could be delayed.
Would be a pretty great gesture if the other 8 final tablists all agreed to postpone, at least a couple of days, to see if @PadawanPesh tests negative and @WSOP should pay for rooms at Rio for anyone who traveled from out east.
— Ryan Leng (@RyanLeng9) December 28, 2020
Unfortunately for De Silva, the rules for COVID infections had been clearly stated in the official WSOP 2020 Main Event rules.
Any player who tests positive for Covid-19 prior to the start of the final table play will be disqualified and receive the minimum final table payout.
The rules didn’t stop some poker players from voicing their critisim of the way it was set up, including from 2003 WSOP Main Event Champion Chris Moneymaker:
all for being a nice guy but no way they agree to do this for amount of money at stake. The @wsop laid an egg with this event. glad i didn't participate
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) December 28, 2020
Joey Ingram was among those attempting to offer solutions:
Upeshka entered 8th in chips but will be paid out 9th in chips
Options I see:
•Other 8 players agree to postpone the final table
•Play event online
•Play online until Upeshka busts
I’m told the Covid protocols implemented had issues.
— Joey Ingram #PASSION (@Joeingram1) December 28, 2020
Barring an unexpected development, the remaining 8 players will head to the Rio Casino in Las Vegas where they will play down to a winner and award a guaranteed prize of $125,885, including a $1,553,256 first-place prize. Action will get underway at 6 PM ET/3 PM PT. Blinds are set for 75k/150k/150k for the first 60 minutes of play with levels lasting an hour.
Here is where the chip counts stand heading into the day:
|1||Joseph "kolebear" Hebert||13,052,534|
|2||Shawn "shades927" Stroke||5,252,000|
|3||Ryan "Hagzzz021" Hagerty||5,071,572|
|4||Ye "YUAN365" Yuan||4,829,459|
|5||Michael "geNe1x_" Cannon||4,408,847|
|6||Gershon "jets613" Distenfield||3,475,481|
|7||Ron "Samthedrog76" Jenkins||2,476,746|
|8||Upeshka "gomezhamburg" De Silva||2,151,969|
|9||Harrison "Harrisond33" Dobin||1,581,392|
The final eight prizes will break down like this:
The winner was then set to face off against international winner Damias Salas heads-up on December 30th for the WSOP Main Event bracelet and a $1,000,000 Winner-Take-All prize. That however, had been delayed to early January, due to Salas being denied entry into the United States, since he had been in Rozvadov in mid-December. He is expected to travel to the United States on Wednesday without issue.
Watching the WSOP Main Event
Since the event is being held live, there are no live streams of the event. ESPN will film the event and broadcast for “future release.” You can keep up with updates throughout the evening from WSOP.