Salas On Course to Become the 2020 World Champion

Damian Salas won the international WSOP Main Event final table and is now one opponent away from becoming world champion

Argentina’s Damian Salas is one player away from becoming the 2020 WSOP Main Event champion. Salas triumphed in the international leg of the 2020 WSOP Main Event and banked $1,550,969. The Argentinian now faces the champion of the U.S edition of the 2020 WSOP Main Event.

The international leg’s final table took place at King’s Casino, Rozvadov, Czech Republic. One of the nine seats was empty because Peiyuan Sun decided against travelling due to COVID-19.

Sun hails from China and came to the conclusion it wasn’t safe to fly to the Czech Republic. Sun, therefore, finished in ninth-place and collected $75,360 as per the tournament’s rules.

Salas Flexes His Muscles Early On

Salas went into the final table third in chips. He has previous in the WSOP Main Event having finished seventh in 2017. Salas won the first pot of the final table, raising then four-betting to take it down. It was a sign of things to come.

Germany’s Hannes Speiser crashed out in eighth and at Salas’ hands. Salas raised to 425,000 with Th-Ts, Speiser three-bet all-in for 1,925,000 with Qc-Tc and Salas called. The Ad-Ac-Jh-9d-6s board sent Speiser to the cashier’s cage to collect $109,982.

Stoyan Obreshkov was eliminated in seventh-place with Salas striking the fatal blow. Obreshkov opened to 900,000 at the 100,000/200,000/200,000a level and called off his last handful of chips when Salas set him all-in. It was Ks-Th for Obreshkov against Ac-Tc. Both players paired their ten on the Td-9d97d-7s-As flop but Salas improved to two pair on the river. Obreshkov netted $160,512.

Six handed play didn’t last too long and ended with the elimination of Dominykas Mikolaitis. The action folded to Manuel Ruivo in the small blind and he moved all-in. Mikolaitis opted to call off his 2,500,000 stack with Ad-Jc. Ruivo showed 3c-3h and was flipping. That was until the 9c-5c-3d flop where he flew in front. The 7s turn locked up the hand for Ruivo with the 4c river completing the board. Sixth-place weighed in at $234,255.

South Americans Shine

Salas and Brazil’s Brunno Botteon began pulling away from the chasing pack. The South Americans seemingly winning more than their fair share of key pots.

They took a break from destroying opponents’ stack to allow Ruivo to bust Manuel Streda. Ruivo min-raised to 600,000 with Ac-Ad and called when Streda three-bet all-in for 27,000,000 with Ah-Kd. The Jc-8c-2c flop left Streda drawing extremely thin. He was drawing dead by the 7s turn, rendering the 4s river inconsequential. At least Streda banked $341,879 for his efforts.

Fourth place and $498,947 went to Ramon Miquel Munoz. The Spaniard was down to a mere two big blinds short stack and they went into the middle with As-6d. Botteon called with 3s-3d and won courtesy of a full house with the board running Kc-Th-3d-Ks-Ad.

Heads-up was set when Ruivo fell by the wayside in third, a finish worth $728,177. All the chips went into the middle on a 9c-4c-2d flop, Ruivo holding 9d-4h and Salas Tc-7c. The 8s turn gave Salas more outs with the 5c river completing his flush.

Salas held a 24,175,000 to 14,100,000 chip lead over Brazil’s Botteon going into heads-up. Botteon clawed his way back into contention and briefly took the lead. Salas, however, put his foot firmly on the gas and was a worthy winner.

The final hand saw the players head to the Kc-4c-2h flop in a limped pot. Both players checked the flop and the turn fell the 6h. Botteon checked, Salas bet 1,000,000 and called Botteon’s 2,800,000 check-raise. Botteon shoved for 6,650,000 on the 8c turn and Salas tanked before calling. Salas showed Kh-8h and Botteon could only muster 7h-3h for a bluff gone wrong!

2020 WSOP Main Event International Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Damian Salas Argentina $1,550,969
2 Brunno Botteon Brazil $1,062,723
3 Manuel Ruivo Portugal $728,177
4 Ramon Miquel Munoz Spain $498,947
5 Marco Streda Switzerland $341,879
6 Dominykas Mikolaitis Lithuania $234,255
7 Stoyan Obreshkov Bulgaria $160,512
8 Hannes Speiser Austria $109,982
9 Peiyuan Sun China $75,360*

*Sun chose not to travel for the live final and finished in ninth-place as per predetermined rules

The Argentinian is now in Las Vegas where he awaits the outcome of the U.S. edition of the WSOP Main Event final table. That final table’s champion takes on Salas in a $1 million winner-takes-all heads-up clash. Joseph Hebert leads that final table, which commences on December 28 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Matthew Pitt

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.

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