Stoyan Madanzhiev Reacts: I’ll Play Damian Salas for WSOP World Title

Stoyan Madanzhiev, winner of the WSOP’s $5,000 summer Main Event, is willing to play Damian Salas heads-up, even if it’s just for bragging rights.

Stoyan Madanzhiev

Stoyan Madanzhiev believes he’s the 2020 WSOP World Champion and told CardsChat he’s willing to play Damian Salas heads-up for bragging rights. (Image: Bet Kings)

The Bulgarian came under attack from WSOP commentator Norman Chad last night after staking his claim as the true 2020 World Champion.

Madanzhiev stated some facts, Chad likened him to Donald Trump, and, eventually, all hell broke loose.

Madanzhiev is Ready to Play

We spoke to Madanzhiev to get his reaction. He told CardsChat that he doesn’t feel there is much more to say on the subject.

In his view, all the arguments have been made regarding who should be called the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion. The topic was even the subject of two point and counterpoint articles on CardsChat.

For his part, Madanzhiev is happy to settle the debate with a straight shootout: champion vs. champion.


“I would play Salas! Even if it’s not an official match, I would love to do it in the name of the game,” Madanzhiev told CardsChat.


The summer champion also said, despite searching online, he hasn’t been able to contact Salas. If, however, he can speak to the Main Event 2.0 winner, Madanzhiev is more than willing to arrange something.

WSOP Main Event Debate Rages On

Regardless of whether it was for the unofficial title or something sanctioned by the WSOP, a match between Madanzhiev and Salas would generate some interest.

Chad’s January 5 tweet (see below) not only triggered his critics but reignited the Main Event debate.

Madanzhiev’s position is clear, as is that of fellow “mad” man, Jeff Madsen.

Rafał Gładysz also took exception to Chad’s comments. He believes the WSOP considered Madanzhiev the World Championship before creating an unexpected second Main Event. Others believe 2020 should be a wash and everyone should see Madanzhiev and Salas as winners under unique circumstances.

Whatever position you take, there’s still life in the debate. Executives at the WSOP were trying to do their best in a tricky situation but, on reflection, postponing the Main Event may have prevented some of the recent backlash.

Alternatively, hosting two Main Events may have been a masterstroke. If there’s enough interesting in a showdown between Madanzhiev and Salas, the WSOP could parlay that into a televised match.

We know that Madanzhiev is ready to play. The question now is whether Damian Salas is willing to accept the offer of one final match?

If Mr. Salas or anyone that knows him is reading this, Madanzhiev (@Stoyan_Mad) is waiting to hear from you on Twitter!

Daniel Smyth
Written by
Daniel Smyth
Dan Smyth is a poker media journeyman who politely reminds CardsChat readers that poker is played all around the world, not just America.

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