2020 WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg awards Main Event champion Roy Bitton ZAR 808,000 (~USD 52,779)

This year’s tournament schedules have been thrown into a complete disarray with the pandemic affecting much of the live poker action. With the 2020 WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg initially scheduled for April, the event was forced to postpone in lieu of public health and safety. Easing through the slow return of live poker, the festival however successfully carried out its festivities last November 26 – December 6, 2020.

The festival hosted by Shuffle Up Poker serves as the first WPTDeepstacks series since March, having taken place at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg, South Africa. Still under the threat of the current global health crisis, the events were solely meant to accommodate local players under certain limitations. Strict health and safety measures were likewise implemented to limit possible transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

Given the circumstances, a few changes were also made with “The Ultimate Poker Showdown” removing all previous guarantees. The six tournaments on schedule ran smoothly and was definitely well-received by the local poker community.


CEO of ShuffleUp Poker Gary Lentin shared a few sentiments on the recently concluded festival saying, “ShuffleUpPoker would like to thank every player, the staff and our partners for managing to arrange such a successful event in very difficult times. It was great to have live tournament poker again after a year away from the tables but the big incentive is hopefully having good old fashion poker back early on 2021.”

2020 WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Main Event: Roy Bitton – ZAR 808,000 (~USD 52,779)

wpt deepstacks south africa main event champ
Roy Bitton – WPTDeepStacks Main Event Champion

With three Day 1 flights each limited to a maximum of 120 players, the finalé Main Event recorded a total of 260 entries, only to award local player Roy Bitton another WPT Main Event win. Bitton took home a total of ZAR 808,000 (~USD 52,779) for his impressive victory as well as another WPT title to end the year.

Bitton, who also won the WPT Emperors Palace National Poker Championship Main Event back in 2017, cashed in on a slightly bigger win amounting to ZAR 932,000 (~USD 67,509) for his first title. The next year, Bitton busted a few places shy of making the WPTDeepStacks Main Event final table, having ranked in 11th for ZAR 85,000 (~USD 5,879). While Bitton’s list of cashes is mainly located in South Africa, it clearly shows that the local circuit remains profitable for the notable champion.

Buy-in: ZAR 15,000 (~USD 970)
Dates: December 2-6, 2020
Entries: 260
Prize pool: ZAR 3,432,000 (~USD 221,882)
ITM: 29 places

WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Main Event Final Table Results

Place Name Prize in ZAR
1 Roy Bitton 808,000 (~USD 52,779)
2 Gareth Kalil 568,000 (~USD 38,016)
3 Kosta Kotsikaris 352,000 (~USD 23,560)
4 Marcel Du Plessis 214,000 (~USD 14,323)
5 Sheldon Grove 165,000 (~USD 11,044)
6 Jarred Solomon 137,000 (~USD 9,170)
7 Rob Fenner 117,000 (~USD 7,831)

2020 WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg High Roller Event: David Rosenthal – ZAR 732,000 (~USD 49,018)

wpt deepstacks south africa high roller winner
David Rosenthal – WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg High Roller Champion

Having a structure of 45 minute blinds allows a lot more gameplay and postflop action to occur, which is exactly what played out for this year’s WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg High Roller Event. After over a six-hour final table battle for the ZAR 732,000 (~USD 49,018) top prize, local pro David Rosenthal emerged as the champion taking the biggest cut off of the ZAR 2,156,000 (~USD 144,377) prize pool.

Rosenthal is no stranger to live tournaments, with a long list of achievements and a total live earnings record of over USD 674k. Possibly on a heater, Rosenthal previously won the Monster Jam Poker Tour Main Event for ZAR 228,480 (~USD 14,619) just two weeks prior to his close to USD 50k score. His most recent win is also a great redemption to his last year’s runner-up finish in the WPTDeepStacks High Roller Supa Stack event for a little over USD 52k.

Buy-in: ZAR 35,000 (~USD 2,344)
Dates: November 30 – December 1, 2020
Entries: 70
Prize pool: ZAR 2,156,000 (~USD 144,377)
ITM: 10 places

WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg High Roller Event Final Table Results

Place Name Prize in ZAR
1 David Rosenthal 732,000 (~USD 49,018)
2 Wesley Wiegand 418,000 (~USD 27,991)
3 Moon Khan 261,000 (~USD 17,478)
4 Nic Sissou 176,000 (~USD 11,786)
5 Johan De Graaf 131,000 (~USD 8,772)
6 Rui De Gouviea 108,000 (~USD 7,232)
7 Gareth Edmonds 95,000 (~USD 6,362)

2020 WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Super High Roller Event: Nic Ioannoy – ZAR 430,000 (~USD 28,795)

wpt deepstacks south africa super high roller winner
Nic Ioannoy – WPTDeepstacks Super High Roller Champion

A much smaller field and a heftier buy-in, the Super High Roller event was only set to award the top three players of the tournament. After eliminating fourth and fifth players Ahmed Karrim and Jarred Solomon with pocket Kings, Nic Ioannoy held a chip lead over the two other remaining contenders. Defending champion Clive Kikia, however, put on a fight for another WPT title in a row having eliminated Huawei Sun in third place. It wasn’t until the final hand where Kikia shoved all-in preflop with Ace-five suited only to be called by Iaonnoy with pocket eights. Instantly landing a set on the flop, Iaonnoy secured the overall win and the top prize of ZAR 430,000 (~USD 28,795) for his WPT win.

Buy-in: ZAR 70,000 (~USD 4,688)
Dates: November 29-30, 2020
Entries: 14
Prize pool: ZAR 862,400 (~USD 57,750)
ITM: 3 places

WPTDeepStacks Johannesburg Super High Roller Event Full Payouts

Place Name Prize in ZAR
1 Nic Ioannoy 430,000 (~USD 28,795)
2 Clive Kikia 258,000 (~USD 17,277)
3 Huawei Sun 174,400 (~USD 11,679)

Other Results

● Event #1 Freeze-Out: Ivan Pakkiri – ZAR 220,000 (~USD 14,732)
Buy-in: ZAR 5,500 (~USD 368)
Date: November 26-28, 2020
Entries: 169
Prize pool: ZAR 818,000 (~USD 54,777)
ITM: 20 places

● Event #2 4 Max Semi-Turbo: Maciej Wilgosz – ZAR 58,000 (~USD 3,884)
Buy-in: ZAR 4,000 (~USD 268)
Date: November 27, 2020
Entries: 21
Prize pool: ZAR 148,000 (~USD 9,911)
ITM: 5 places

● Event #3 4 Card Pot Limit Omaha: Warrick Wiegand – ZAR 43,000 (~USD 2,880)
Buy-in: ZAR 3,000 (~USD 200)
Date: November 28, 2020
Entries: 14
Prize pool: ZAR 87,100 (~USD 5,833)
ITM: 3 places

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Janette Dee

Graduated from De La Salle University, Janette works as a full time teacher in Manila, Philippines. She has long joined the local poker community as a recreational player for the last decade. Having a natural love for the game, she decided to branch out into a different avenue of poker. Currently, Janette works for Somuchpoker as a content writer reporting local and international news for the site.

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