The international community has decided their players for the 2020 Hybrid WSOP Championship Event. Now it is the States of America’s turn to decide. This Sunday, WSOP.com in both New Jersey and Nevada will be utilized to fill out the remainder of the field for this unique tournament, playing their ONLY Day 1 and looking to bring an intriguing 2020 to a close.

$10,000 Buy In Freeze-Out Tournament Like the Live Event

On Sunday, players will have to be in either New Jersey or Nevada to take part in the action for the 2020 hybrid event. Unlike the international version of the tournament (more on this in a second), there will only be ONE Day 1 for those players in the States. They will begin play at 3PM Eastern Time/noon Pacific Time and there will be 20 levels played on Sunday. At that point, WSOP.com will pause the tournament, with it resuming on Monday at 3PM (Eastern)/noon (Pacific) and will play down to a final table.

Once that final table is reached, the players will then pack their bags (after following the appropriate COVID testing and procedures) for Las Vegas, where they will play the U. S. version of the final table. Those nine players will be seated at a real poker table on December 28, with the goal to play down to a singular player. That player will then go on to play the survivor from the international community’s action on December 30.

The COVID testing procedures for the players are quite stringent. Players will undergo a full health screening prior to coming to the tables. If they test positive for the virus, it will be a mighty expensive infection; the player will be disqualified from the tournament and receive the minimum payout from the remaining players. Additionally, if a player doesn’t feel comfortable traveling to Las Vegas to play, they will be disqualified and given the minimum payout from the final table.

International Stage is Already Set

The final table for the international players in the 2020 hybrid event has already been set through action on GGPoker. For some reason, international players were given THREE Day Ones to get their field put together, playing on November 29, December 5, and December 6. In the end, a total of 674 players stepped up for competition.

The survivors from that trio of Day Ones came together on Day Two online at GGPoker and briskly played down to the final nine players. With the lion’s share of the €6.7 million prize pool on the table, these nine players will come back on December 15 (Tuesday) at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic to play to a lone representative:

1. Brunno Botteon (Brazil), 10,317,743 chips
2. Manuel Ruivo (Portugal), 6,213,759
3. Damian Salas (Argentina), 5,653,528
4. ‘fullbabyfull’ (Liechtenstein), 4,232,560
5. Hannes Speiser (Austria), 3,515,744
6. Dominykas Mikolaitis (Lithuania), 3,165,440
7. Ramon Miquel Munoz (Spain), 3,035,940
8. Peiyuan Sun (China), 2,185,676
9. Stoyan Obreshkov (Bulgaria), 2,119,610

The eventual champion of this group will have a few days to rest before heading to the States (once again, pending the proper COVID clearances) to take on the winner from the WSOP.com segment of the hybrid event on December 30. The eventual victor in the heads-up game will be recognized as the “World Champion” (which is news to Stoyan Madanzhiev).

Smallest WSOP “Main Event” Since 2004

With only 674 players coming out to the international part of the hybrid event, this will be the smallest event since the mid-Aughts that is recognized by the WSOP as the “Championship Event.” In 2004, the WSOP Championship Event drew a then-record field of 2576 players for the tournament that was eventually won by Greg Raymer. Since that point, the WSOP Championship Event has never pulled in less than 5000 players. It is highly unlikely that there will be more than 4400 players who come to New Jersey or Nevada to play online poker, even for the World Championship, and it is seriously possible that the total number of players will fall short of even 2004.

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