LAS VEGAS (Jan. 4, 2021) - For the 51st consecutive year, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) $10,000 No-Limit Hold-Em World Championship, also known as the Main Event, crowned a world champion on Sunday, Jan. 3, at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino as international champion Damian Salas of Bueno Aires, Argentina, played head-to-head in a first-of-its-kind showdown against U.S. champion Joseph Hebert of Metairie, LA. At stake, the title of World Champion, an additional $1 million courtesy of Caesars Entertainment, Inc. and GGPoker, and the most valuable trophy in the world of sports - the 2020 diamond and gold encrusted WSOP Main Event bracelet. After 173 hands and nearly six hours of play, the final hand saw Salas call Hebert's all-in before the flop with king-jack against ace-queen. Salas flopped a pair of kings to give him the lead, the turn card was no help to Hebert, and the river card sealed the deal with another king to solidify Salas' victory.
'Joseph was a very hard opponent, and he played really well. In a few instances, he was about to win, it was a real fight and he never slowed down,' said Damian Salas. 'Going into the championship, I felt all the energy and support from my family and friends in Argentina tonight, and that helped me.'
Having placed seventh in 2017's Main Event, the 45-year-old South American powerhouse was focused on redemption during his 2020 run. With his eye on the ultimate prize, Salas won GGPoker's international leg of the 2020 Main Event, defeating Brazil's Brunno Botteon at King's Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic.
Salas' second time at the Final Table places him in elite company as the first Latin American champion and one of only a few players to ever make it to the final table more than once. While Salas has thrived as a poker player, he's still passionate about his day job and continues to be a practicing lawyer. The South American's nickname, earned during his youth playing football, is 'Pampa,' which means 'the wild one, the country man.' Salas is a family man through and through. After his historic win he proudly posed with both the official championship bracelet and the homemade version his daughter created, which he's kept with him throughout the tournament.
'Both these men are champions in their own right and were a pleasure to host for this unique match,' said Ty Stewart, Executive Director of the World Series of Poker. 'We thank everyone who participated in this chapter of WSOP history and can't wait to see you in Las Vegas later this year.'
The journey for Salas' U.S. counterpart, Hebert, was no easy feat. The 38-year-old dominated the Main Event's domestic leg in chip count from start to finish, winning $1,553,256 in dramatic heads-up play with runner-up Ron Jenkins at the live Final Table on Monday, Dec. 28. The champion unexpectedly lost his mother in September. In their final exchange, he told her his dream was to win a WSOP bracelet and dedicated this incredible run to her memory, #ForLinda. Hebert has been a long-time grinder, gradually earning a top 200 ranking in the Global Poker Index by playing mostly in smaller stake, regional tournaments, including a WSOP.com $300 satellite event in which he won his Main Event seat.
The 2020 Main Event established a new benchmark for prize pools in U.S. regulated markets, easily eclipsing the $2.019 million achieved for the 2020 WSOP Online championship in July 2020. Also of note, since regulations began for online poker in 2014, never had a player won $1 million or greater on a U.S. licensed poker site. The 2020 Main Event made millionaires of both first and second place for the domestic field, and when combined with first and second place payouts for the international bracket, saw four players hitting the millionaire mark from the tournament.
By The Numbers
Total Entrants - 1379
Total Prize Pool - $13,238,000 + $1,000,000 for the heads-up World Championship
Total Entrants on WSOP.COM - 705
Total Prize Pool on WSOP.COM - $6,768,000
Total Entrants on GGPoker - 674
Total Prize Pool on GGPoker: $6,470,000
Full Payouts Available - :https://www.wsop.com/2020-Main-Payouts
As has been the case each year since 2003, ESPN will air full coverage of the 2020 WSOP Main Event in February. To stay up to date on the latest WSOP news, visit: www.WSOP.com.
About the World Series of Poker
The World Series of Poker® is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world, having awarded more than $3.29 billion in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport's top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker's longest-running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970. In 2019, the event attracted 187,298 entrants from 118 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and awarded more than $293 million in prize money. In addition, the WSOP has formed groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media and corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent of WSOP Europe in 2007 and the WSOP Asia-Pacific in 2013 and the WSOP International Circuit Series in 2015. All WSOP events are subject to the then-current and applicable WSOP tournament rules. For more information, please visit www.wsop.com.
This press release includes 'forward-looking statements' within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our strategies, objectives and plans for future development or acquisitions of properties or operations, as well as expectations, future operating results and other information that is not historical information. When used in this press release, the terms or phrases such as 'anticipates,' 'believes,' 'projects,' 'plans,' 'intends,' 'expects,' 'might,' 'may,' 'estimates,' 'could,' 'should,' 'would,' 'will likely continue,' and variations of such words or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although our expectations, beliefs and projections are expressed in good faith and with what we believe is a reasonable basis, there can be no assurance that these expectations, beliefs and projections will be realized. There are a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements which are included elsewhere in this press release. These risks and uncertainties include: (a) the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency, including (i) the extent and duration of the impact of the global COVID-19 public health emergency and measures to contain the public health emergency or mitigate its impact on the Company's business, financial results and liquidity; (ii) the ability of the Company to modify its operations to comply with various state, tribal and local directives, mandates, and orders; (iii) the impact of actions the Company has undertaken to reduce costs and improve efficiencies to mitigate losses as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, which could negatively impact guest loyalty and our ability to attract and retain our employees; and (iv) changes and instability in global, national and regional economic activity and financial market activity as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the impact on consumer discretionary spending and travel; (b) the possibility that the proposed acquisition of William Hill and the announced and proposed dispositions are not consummated on the expected terms or at all; (c) risks related to the Merger of the Company and CEC and the proposed acquisition of William Hill and the integration of their respective businesses and assets; (d) potential adverse reactions or changes to business or employee relationships, including those resulting from the completion of the Merger and the proposed acquisition of William Hill; (e) the possibility that the anticipated benefits of the Merger and the proposed acquisition of William Hill, including cost savings and expected synergies, are not realized when expected or at all; (f) risks associated with increased leverage and additional rental expense resulting from debt financing undertaken in connection with the Merger and the proposed acquisition of William Hill and real estate transactions undertaken in connection with the Merger; (g) competitive responses to the Merger and the proposed acquisition of William Hill; and (h) additional factors discussed in the sections entitled 'Risk Factors' and 'Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations' in the Company's and CEC's respective most recent Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Other unknown or unpredictable factors may also cause actual results to differ materially from those projected by the forward-looking statements.
In light of these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this press release might not occur. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, even if subsequently made available on our website or otherwise, and we do not intend to update publicly any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date on which the statement is made, except as may be required by law.
Caesars Entertainment Inc. published this content on 04 January 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 04 January 2021 18:11:02 UTC