Argentina’s Damian Salas Wins International Leg of the 2020 WSOP Main Event for $1.55 Million

The first final table winner of the 2020 World Series of Poker $10,000 (WSOP) Championship Main Event has been crowned! It is Argentina’s Damian Salas who took down the international portion of the World Series of Poker Main Event on Tuesday at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.

Salas, who has more than $2.6 million in career tournament earnings, had navigated his way through a field of 7,221 entries to make the final table of the WSOP $10k buy-in Main Event in 2017. He went on to finish 7th for $1,425,000, falling just a few spots shy of becoming the first-ever poker world champion from his country. Three years later, Salas has now another chance to get his name etched in the history books as he has taken down the international portion of the 2020 WSOP Main Event and will now come to Las Vegas to face the winner of the U.S. portion of the Main Event in the heads-up showdown for the title, the bracelet and an added $1 million on December 30 at the Rio.

Salas defeated Brazil’s Brunno Botteon in heads-up for the international title. In the final hand, Salas (Kd 8h) made two pair on the river and called Botteon’s bluff (7h 3h) with a missed flush draw. Botteon earned $1,062,723 as a runner-up, while Manuel Ruivo of Portugal took third for $728,177.

Final Table Played Live

This event began online, with three starting flights running on November 29 and December 5-6, drawing an impressive 674 entries. Day 2 began on December 7 with 179 players remaining. After over 10 hours of play, the field was narrowed down to a final table of nine, with Brazil’s Brunno Botteon bagging up the largest stack of 10,325,000. Salas entered the FT in third chip position.

The final table was held live at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Only eight of the final nine players made the trip to the Czech Republic, as China’s Peiyuan Sun opted to not attend the final table in person. As per the rules set for this Main Event, he finished in ninth place for $75,360.

Salas started the final table on a big note by scoring the first two eliminations, busting Hannes Speiser in eighth place and Stoyan Obreshkov in seventh place. He took a massive chip lead with 5 players left when he called another Botteon bluff with top pair against a missed straight draw.

Salas held a chip lead of about 24 million to 14 million over Botteon at the start of heads-up. While Day 2 chip leader Botteon played well and was able to chip up but Salas struck back to finally ship it.

Final Table Results

1- Damian Salas – $1,550,969
2- Brunno Botteon – $1,062,723
3- Manuel Ruivo – $728,177
4- Ramon Miquel Munoz – $498,947
5- Marco Streda – $341,879
6- Dominykas Mikolaitis – $234,255
7- Stoyan Obreshkov – $160,512
8- Hannes Speiser – $109,982
9- Peiyuan Sun – $75,360

The WSOP Main Event, the $10,000 buy-in No-limit Hold’em Championship, is being held in a hybrid online/live format this year due to the Covid-19. WSOP has divided the Main Event into two separate tournaments, one for U.S. players on and one for international players on GGPoker.

The final table of both the Main Event tournaments was set to be played live. A total of 705 players entered the U.S. portion of the Main Event, the field of which is down to the final table of nine where Louisiana’s Joseph “kolebear” Hebert (13,052,534) leads the final nine players who will come to Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino on December 28 to play it down to a winner.