BRACELET BASH: WSOP Main Event Numbers Score US Online Poker Record; Upeshka De Silva Returns as Chip Leader

December 14, 2020
BRACELET BASH: WSOP Main Event Numbers Score US Online Poker Record; Upeshka De Silva Returns as Chip Leader

The first day of the unique online and live hybrid of the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event wrapped up on Sunday for US-based players. Registration closed with 705 players from New Jersey and Nevada for a prize pool of $6.8 million.

That total tops the GGPoker portion of the tournament for international players. That half drew 674 players for a $6.5 million prize pool.

The 2020 Main Event establishes a new US record for an online poker tournament prize pool in legal, regulated markets. The prize pool easily eclipsed the $2 million for the WSOP Online championship in July.

Big numbers for WSOP online bracelet hunters

The winner and runner-up become the first players to win $1 million since US regulated online poker launched in 2013. The winner takes home $1,553,256 and runner-up earns $1,002,340.

When combined with first and second from GGPoker, four players will hit the million-dollar mark. 

“It’s a great result so far,” WSOP executive director Ty Stewart said in a news release. “I think considering the circumstances, 1,379 players is a strong field size that can stand up to the history of the event.

“It’s also an important milestone for regulated online poker. I can’t wait to see who will win this world championship bracelet.”  

The remaining eight GGPoker players convene for live play on Dec. 15 at King’s Casino in the Czech Republic (see more on that event below). Play resumes at on Monday with the final table playing out live at the Rio in Las Vegas on Dec. 28.

That’s followed on Dec. 30 by the heads-up battle at the Rio between the two winners at and GGPoker for $1 million.

Inside the first day of action at

When the dust settled on Monday, Upeshka “gomezhamburg” De Silva led the remaining 71 players left in the field. No stranger to poker success, De Silva has $3.1 million in live tournament winnings.

A three-time bracelet winner, this player from Katy, Texas, also has two World Poker Tour final table appearances and a WPTDeepstacks title. 

Upeshka De Silva returns as chip leader in the World Series of Poker $10,000 Main Event at (photo courtesy WPT)

A few other names stand out among those returning. Taylor von Kriegenbergh sits in fourth and has $2.2 million in live tournament winnings. He’s looking for his first bracelet, but won the WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown in 2011 for $1.1 million.

Galen Hall sits in seventh and will certainly be a player to watch. He snagged his first bracelet in 2018 in 888poker’s $888 Crazy Eights for $888,888. The New Yorker has $5.4 million in live tournament winnings.

Here’s a look at the top 10 chip counts:

2020 Main Event Day 1 Leaders

PlacePlayerChip count
1Upeshka "gomezhamburg" De Silva1,930,067
4Taylor "zeroto100" Von Kriegenbergh1,518,393
5Michael "vagab0nd" Youngman1,421,443
6Gershon "jets613" Distenfeld1,409,061
7Galen "turkmalloy" Hall1,271,362
8Keith "T1mB3y_B33F" Donovan1,255,452

Other interesting names from Day 1

Plenty of players in New Jersey and Nevada jumped in the action on Sunday, but only about 10% advanced. With action paused in the High Stakes Duel against Doug Polk, Daniel Negreanu cashed in the Main Event.

After stopping a run of bad cards and considerable downswing on Friday, he at least has some semblance of momentum. However, Kid Poker didn’t make it to Day 2 in the Main Event.

Some other big names that moved on to the second day of action include:

  • Mohsin “bubbletea3” Charania – 777,260 (bracelet winner, two-toime WPT champion)
  • Jason “haderade” Somerville – 692,314 (bracelet winner, poker streamer)
  • Darren “darrenelias” Elias – 632,176 (four-time WPT champion)
  • Nick “CashUsKlay” Schulman – 585,012 (three-time bracelet winner, poker commentator)
  • Dan “pepperprince” Zack – 420,146 (bracelet winner)
  • Ryan “Protential” Laplante – 391,535 (bracelet winner)
  • Maria “femmeonfelt” Ho – 342,441 (poker commentator, WPTDeepstacks winner)
  • Freddy “nevera” Deeb – 272,539 (two-time bracelet winner)
  • Ryan “BiTC0iN” Riess – 288,474 (2013 WSOP Main Event champion, WPT champion) 

Ho made her way to Vegas Sunday to take her Main Event shot at a friend’s place. She was pleased with the hospitality and no doubt pleased to advance to Day 2.


GGPoker final table player not expected to play

The final nine players have been set in the international half of the Main Event at GGPoker. However, one player won’t be making the trip to the Czech Republic.

Peiyuan “fish3098” Sun is from China and informed GG that he won’t be able to attend. He sat in eighth place with play paused for the live final table.

As per the terms and conditions of the tournament, Sun will be eliminated from the event in ninth place. GG representatives said he can still change his mind and make the trip.

As of Monday, that didn’t seem likely however. For ninth, Sun would win $75,360.

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