Final 9 players of the 2020 WSOP No Limit Hold’em Main Event Domestic Championship; Upeshka De Silva gunning for fourth bracelet

The hunt for the 2020 World Series of Poker No Limit Hold’em Main Event champion continues on Monday, December 28 with the Domestic Final Table happening LIVE at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. This segment of the race was initially held online at where it attracted a respectable 705 players in just one starting day, which was 31 more than the international segment’s 674 field over two flights. With buy in at the usual US$ 10,000, a US$ 6,768,000 prize pool was generated. Portions of the pot were already claimed on Day 2. The final nine payouts will be determined at the Rio.

Entering with a commanding lead is Joseph “kolebear” Hebert. Triple bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva is also in the lineup. Awaiting the top two finishers are handsome seven digit payouts with the winner scooping up the motherlode US$ 1,553,256 first prize and a seat to the World Heads Up Championship where he faces international segment champion Damian Salas for the year’s most prestigious poker title, champions gold bracelet, and the added One Million Dollars courtesy of Caesar’s Entertainment Inc, and GGPoker.

Here’s a brief look at the finalists.

Joseph “kolebear” Hebert – 13,052,534

Joseph Hebert 2020 WSOP 696x464 1
Joseph Hebert – photo: Venetian Poker Room

Engulfing all others with an enormous stack is Joseph “kolebear” Hebert from Metairie, Louisiana. Hebert has been cashing at the WSOP since 2010 with 41 series payouts amounting to US$ 344,927. He reached ten final tables and had three near catches at a circuit ring; his largest career live cash was for US$ 140,932 at the 2013 WSOPC New Orleans where he finished 2nd at the US$ 1,675 No Limit Hold’em Main Event. Although he is still seeking his first WSOP win, he did ship several at various events around the United States. In January this year, Hebert won The Million Dollar Heater US$ 2,000 buy in High Roller event for US$ 74,000.

Shawn “shades927” Stroke – 5,252,000

shawn stroke poker
Shawn Stroke. Credit:

With Hebert pretty much on a tier of his own, the rest of the finalists is led by New Yorker Shawn “shades927” Stroke. Based on The Hendon Mob, Stroke has earned a modest 33 cashes since 2011 amounting to US$ 165,495. 17 of those were WSOP payouts with his largest of US$ 94,265 won at the 2018 49th Annual WSOP – Online No Limit Hold’em event – for 2nd place. That was also Stroke’s closest at a bracelet. Earlier that year, Stroke placed 2nd at the WSOPC Atlantic City Monster Stack #2 event, just missing a circuit ring. Wherever Stroke places at the upcoming final table, he will have pocketed his largest WSOP payout.

Ryan “Hagzzz021” Hagerty – 5,071,572

ryan hagerty poker
Ryan Hagerty. Credit: NJ Online Gambling

New Jersey will be represented by three players starting with third ranked Ryan “Hagzzz021” Hagerty. Hagerty may be considered a fairly young live player with cashes only since 2017 however his performance seems to embody a seasoned pro. He has accrued over US$ 340K with three victories earning him each five figures. His largest takedown was in August 2019 at the WPTDeepstacks New York Main Event for US$ 70,865. Wherever Hagerty places at the upcoming final table, he will have pocketed his largest tournament payout.

Ye “YUAN365” Yuan – 4,829,459

Flying the Chinese flag is fourth ranked Ye “YUAN365” Yuan who now resides in the United States. Yuan is another young player with just 12 cashes amounting to around US$ 9,300 since 2017. Reaching the final table is a big achievement for Yuan as it is his deepest ever WSOP run. No matter where he ends, he will have earned his largest career payout.

Michael “geNet1x” Cannon – 4,408,847

michael cannon poker
Michael Cannon. Credit:

Another East side player in the lineup with Pennsylvania’s Michael “geNet1x” Cannon wedged in the middle of the pack. Cannon’s live tournament cashes date back one decade, eight of which were earned at various WSOP festivals. His largest cash of US$ 72,842 was gained in January 2019 at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open in Atlantic City, finishing 9th at the Main Event. With the upcoming final table payouts starting at US$ 98,813, Cannon is already guaranteed an even larger career score.

Gershon “jets613” Distenfeld – 3,475,481

A second New Jersey representative with Gershon “jets613” Distenfeld ranked sixth in chips. Distenfeld only has 9 cashes to his name since his first post in 2018, five of them earned at the WSOP. This will be his first ever WSOP final table, and no matter where he places, it will be his largest tournament payout.

Ron “Samthedog76” Jenkins – 2,476,746

Ron “Samthedog78” Jenkins will try to bring more shine to the Golden State of California as he enters the final table ranked seventh. Jenkins has had prior WSOP experience with 18 cashes under his belt since 2007 amounting to US$ 142,342. Adding to that are earnings over US$ 200K at various events in the United States. HIs largest score was in 2010 at the Ho Ho Holdem Deepstack event where he shipped it for US$ 70,012. Like most players in the lineup, Jenkins is already guaranteed his biggest tournament payout no matter where he finishes.

Upeshka “gomezhamburg” De Silva – 2,151,969

Upeshka De Silva
Upeshka De Silva –

The most decorated player in the lineup is Upeshka De Silva who boasts of three WSOP bracelets and over US$ 3.1 million in live earnings. Born in Sri Lanka, De Silva has been a resident of Texas since childhood. He first emerged in the WSOP charts in 2011 with decent cashes until 2013 when he pocketed a big one. He finished 7th at the Millionaire Maker for US$ 175,713, the first of what would eventually be ten scores in the six digit range. At the WSOP, De Silva has already racked up 59 cashes. He clasped his first bracelet in 2015 at the US$ 1,500 No Limit Hold’em for US$ 424,577, his largest score to date. Two years after, he won the US$ 3,000 No Limit Hold’em Shootout for his second bracelet and US$ 229,923, then last year at the 50th Annual WSOP, De Silva won the Knockout Bounty Online Event for a third gold and US$ 98,263. At the upcoming final table, De Silva will have a lot work ahead to turn his short stack into a seven digit payout.

Harrison “Harrisond33” Dobin – 1,581,392

Bringing up the rear is Harrison “Harrisond33” Dobin, the third representative from New Jersey. With stats as young as 2016, most were earned at events in Atlantic City. He has 10 WSOP cashes with his largest win at this past summer’s 8-Handed Turbo Deepstack finishing 7th for US$ 22,222. Like most players in the lineup, Dobin is seeking his first ever WSOP title.

Main Event Details

Buy in: US$ 10,000
Players: 705
Prize pool: US$ 6,768,000
ITM: 71 places

Final table payouts

1st US$ 1,553,256
2nd US$ 1,002,340
3rd US$ 529,258
4th US$ 387,130
5th US$ 286,963
6th US$ 215,222
7th US$ 163,786
8th US$ 125,885
9th US$ 98,813

Stay tuned to Somuchpoker for the final table showdown of the 2020 WSOP Main Event World Championship.

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Tricia David

Tricia David has long experience as a recreational poker player and has been covering poker events since 2010 for numerous outfits in Asia. She spent one year working part time with Poker Portal Asia then became editor and lead writer for all event coverage of the Philippine Poker Tour (PPT). Under the PPT, she overlooked content for their website, and produced live updates on all their events. In addition, she served as the live and online events website content writer for the Asian Poker Tour. Currently, she does live events reporting in Asia for online news site Somuchpoker and is also one of their news contributors.

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