Play was slated to get underway at 5 p.m. PST, but as is often he case with television productions things have been delayed a bit. The good news is the players are in the house doing some pregame interviews. It shouldn't be too much longer until cards are in the air.
|Blinds||25,000 / 50,000|
Players Info - Day 1
It's been a year unlike any other and a World Series of Poker Main Event unlike any other. After poker's most popular series was forced online due to the coronavirus — resulting in a summer full of online bracelet events — the Main Event will crown it's champion live inside the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Tonight, two men will return to battle for poker's most coveted prize: Joseph Hebert and Damian Salas.
Hebert, winner of the domestic portion of the event, and Salas, winner of the international one, will duke it out for $1 million (on top of their previous winnings), the gold bracelet and the chance to go down in poker history as the official 51st winner of the WSOP Main Event, following in the footsteps of Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Stu Ungar, Phil Hellmuth and 2019 champ Hossein Ensan.
Originally scheduled to play out on Dec. 30th, the event was postponed to tonight as Salas' entry to the U.S. was delayed due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Joseph Hebert: Doing It #ForLinda
While this hasn't been a traditional event, to say the least, those left standing are certainly worthy of being crowned the new champ. Hebert crushed the domestic portion of the event, starting the final table off with a massive chip lead and never surrendering it along the way to win $1,553,256.
The 38-year old from Louisiana, who won his entry into the $10,000 freezeout through a $300 satellite on WSOP.com, is doing it #ForLinda, his mother who passed away over the summer following a pulmonary embolism. Teary-eyed, Hebert addressed the media after his earlier victory on Dec. 28.
"I really felt like I was dreaming," he said. "And I thought about my mom, and I know that she was here and this was for her. She would be so excited to see it, so I'm just so happy I got it for her."
Damian Salas: A Shot at Redemption
Following his victory, Hebert knew who his opponent would be as Salas already claimed his spot on Dec. 15 after winning the international portion of this event live in King's Resort in Rozvadov. That tournament originally started with 674 entrants on GGPoker.com — slightly shy of the 705 that entered on WSOP.com side — and Salas ultimately defeated the red-hot Brunno Botteon to win $1,550,969.
Salas hails from Chascomús, Argentina, about 80 miles south of Buenos Aires. During his soccer playing days, he received the nickname "Pampa" which stuck. He's a part-time poker player, which he combines with his regular work as a lawyer. Despite not being a full-time professional, Salas sports quite an impressive poker resumé with nearly $2.7 million in lifetime winnings according to The Hendon Mob.
Where Hebert is doing it #ForLinda, Salas has thrived on the support of his family and friends back home and carried a picture of his three children and wife with him during the live portion in King's. His daughter Sol even created a handmade bracelet, which he wore for the winner's photos.
"I was already a winner because I received all this energy," he said after his victory.
Salas' poker winnings are highlighted by two big cashes: the one from three weeks ago, of course, and another the one from the 2017 WSOP Main Event where he finished seventh for $1,425,000. Tonight, Salas gets a shot at redemption and a rare second chance at the Main Event bracelet. Can he follow in the footsteps of John Cynn, who won the event in 2018 after finishing 11th two years earlier?
Details of the Final Heads-Up
The action will kick off at 5 p.m. local time inside the Amazon Room of the Rio in Las Vegas. The heads-up finale will offer up a $1,000,000 prize added by WSOP and GGPoker, which will be on top of the ~$1.5M each that both players have already won. Play will start off with 500,000 in chips (500 big blinds) and levels will be 20 minutes throughout the night.
There will not be a live stream of the action; ESPN will film all final tables, which are scheduled to be broadcasted at a later date. PokerNews, as always, will be on deck to bring you blow-by-blow coverage as we will crown the winner of poker's most decorated tournament tonight.
|Level||Small Blind||Big Blind||BBs per player|
2020 WSOP Main Event WSOP.com Final Table Results
|5||Ye “Tony” Yuan||$286,963|
|9||Upeshka De Silva||$98,813|
2020 WSOP Main Event GGPoker Final Table Results
|4||Ramon Miquel Munoz||Spain||$498,947|
|1970||7||Johnny Moss||United States||-||-|
|1971||6||Johnny Moss||United States||-||$30,000|
|1972||8||Thomas "Amarillo Slim" Preston||United States||$80,000|
|1973||13||Walter "Puggy" Pearson||United States||$130,000|
|1974||16||Johnny Moss||United States||$160,000|
|1975||21||Brian "Sailor" Roberts||United States||$210,000|
|1976||22||Doyle Brunson||United States||$220,000|
|1977||34||Doyle Brunson||United States||$340,000|
|1978||42||Bobby Baldwin||United States||$210,000|
|1979||54||Hal Fowler||United States||$270,000|
|1980||73||Stu Ungar||United States||$385,000|
|1981||75||Stu Ungar||United States||$375,000|
|1982||104||Jack Straus||United States||$520,000|
|1983||108||Tom McEvoy||United States||$540,000|
|1984||132||Jack Keller||United States||$660,000|
|1985||140||Bill Smith||United States||$700,000|
|1986||141||Berry Johnston||United States||$570,000|
|1987||152||Johnny Chan||United States||(born in China)||$625,000|
|1988||167||Johnny Chan||United States||(born in China)||$700,000|
|1989||178||Phil Hellmuth||United States||$755,000|
|1991||215||Brad Daugherty||United States||$1,000,000|
|1993||220||Jim Bechtel||United States||$1,000,000|
|1994||268||Russ Hamilton||United States||$1,000,000|
|1995||273||Dan Harrington||United States||$1,000,000|
|1996||295||Huck Seed||United States||$1,000,000|
|1997||312||Stu Ungar||United States||$1,000,000|
|1998||350||Scotty Nguyen||United States||(born in Vietnam)||$1,000,000|
|2000||512||Chris Ferguson||United States||$1,500,000|
|2001||613||Carlos Mortensen||Spain||(born in Ecuador)||$1,500,000|
|2002||631||Robert Varkonyi||United States||$2,000,000|
|2003||839||Chris Moneymaker||United States||$2,500,000|
|2004||2,576||Greg Raymer||United States||$5,000,000|
|2006||8,773||Jamie Gold||United States||$12,000,000|
|2007||6,358||Jerry Yang||United States||(born in Laos)||$8,250,000|
|2009||6,494||Joe Cada||United States||$8,547,042|
|2012||6,598||Greg Merson||United States||$8,531,853|
|2013||6,352||Ryan Riess||United States||$8,361,570|
|2015||6,420||Joe McKeehen||United States||$7,683,346|
|2016||6,737||Qui Nguyen||United States||(born in Vietnam)||$8,005,310|
|2017||7,221||Scott Blumstein||United States||$8,150,000|
|2018||7,874||John Cynn||United States||$8,800,000|
Day 1 Started