WSOP Main Event Heads-Up Finale Preview: Joseph Hebert Vs. Damian Salas

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Although it’s technically 2021, the 2020 WSOP Main Event winner will finally be crowned tomorrow at the Rio in Las Vegas. And that individual will either be Joseph Hebert or Damian Salas.

WSOP Main Event poker
Will Damian Salas or Joseph Hebert win the 2020 WSOP Main Event? (Image: ESPN)

This year’s $10,000 buy-in world championship event is vastly different compared to the previous 50 years due to COVID-19. Not only did the event take place in December instead of the summer. But most of the tournament was played online instead of at the Rio.

GGPoker kicked off the event for the international players on Nov. 29 and then in Nevada and New Jersey ran the same tournament in December. The nine finalists of the GGPoker tournament met at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic for a live final table. And then the final table ran at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Each final table played down to a winner — Damian Salas won the GGPoker version and Joseph Hebert won the tournament. On Dec. 30, the two were scheduled to battle it out in Las Vegas for the 2020 WSOP Main Event title. But Salas had some travel issues getting to the US from Argentina. So, the match was rescheduled for Jan. 3, and now we’re finally ready to crown a world champion.

What to Know About the WSOP Main Event Finale

The WSOP Main Event heads-up finale begins at 4 pm PT Monday and ends as soon as one player has all the chips. There won’t be a live-stream available, but ESPN is broadcasting the event to televise later this winter.

Both Hebert and Salas won just over $1.5 million already at their respective final tables. One of them will win another $1 million on Monday. On top of that, the winner will also receive the coveted gold bracelet and become poker’s 2020 world champion, joining an exclusive group that includes Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Stu Ungar, and Chris Moneymaker.

Each player will start with 500,000 chips at the 500/1,000 blind level (500 big blinds). The blinds will increase every 20 minutes, The match could be a quick one as there will only be 100 total big blinds in play after just three hours.

Many heads-up matches in the WSOP Main Event have lasted four or more hours. But this year’s finale likely won’t last near as long considering the turbo nature of the heads-up match. In previous years, blind levels in the Main Event increased every 90-120 minutes.

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