On December 28, 2020, Joseph Hebert – a tournament grinder from Louisiana – became the 2020 WSOP Main Event Domestic Tournament champion. Hebert’s prize? $1,553,256 and a heads-up match against Damian Salas – the 2020 WSOP Main Event International Tournament champion – in early January 2021 to determine who the “World Champion” is. What is more, the winner of the Hebert vs. Salas heads-up will take home the main event bracelet and an additional $1 million dollars.
But wait, what the heck is a “domestic tournament champion”? Simply put, Hebert’s domestic title just means he is the winner of a tournament that only allowed poker players who were located in the United States of America. Similarly, Salas’ international title just means he is the winner of the non-American tournament.
For more information and clarity about how this event was held, please read below:
“The $10,000 No Limit Hold'em Main Event began on November 29 with the first of three starting flights on GGPoker. The surviving players from each flight combined for Day 2 on December 7 and played down to a final table of nine. The final table was held on December 15 at King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
For American players, the event began on December 13 on WSOP.com, with the final table taking place on December 28.
The Main Event on GGPoker attracted 674 players, creating a prize pool of $6,470,400. The top 80 players made the money, with the winner earning $1,550,969.
The WSOP.com Main Event had 705 entries and a prize pool of $6,768.000. The top 107 players made the money, with a first place prize of $1,553,256. In addition, the champion of the heads-up match between the GGPoker and WSOP.com winners will earn $1 million. The match was originally scheduled to take place on December 30 but was moved to January 3 after Damian Salas, winner of the Rozvadov final table, was denied entry into the United States.
Combined, the 2020 Main Event attracted 1,379 players.” (Wikipedia)
While Hebert deserves praise for becoming this year’s domestic WSOP champion, his win comes with some controversy, as Upeshka De Silva – the most well-known player at this final table in terms of poker accomplishments – was disqualified from the live final table at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, due to testing positive for Covid-19.
Our very own Joey Ingram explains things further on his Twitter page:
Not only did De Silva not get to play in the final table, WSOP automatically gave him 9th place, which meant that it was really an 8-man final table that saw everyone involved get a pay jump once the first hand was dealt.
The 2020 WSOP Main Event Domestic Tournament final table results:
1st Joseph Hebert $1,553,256
2nd Ronald Jenkins $1,002,340
3rd Michael Cannon $529,258
4th Ryan Hagerty $387,130
5th Ye Yuan $286,963
6th Harrison Dobin $215,222
7th Shawn Stroke $163,786
8th Gershon Distenfeld $125,885
9th Upeshka De Silva $98,813