Upeshka De Silva has been disqualified from this year’s WSOP Main Event final table over a positive COVID-19 test.
WSOP Gets Underway with Eight Players
After causing a stir earlier in December for annulling a previously-thought-of as Main Event, WSOP has made the headlines once again with Upeshka De Silva, a poker pro who qualified for the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event’s final table, testing positive for COVID-19.
De Silva’s triumph has been cut short by the unlucky diagnosis after he dominated a field of 705 players and was one of the several people to progress to the final stages of this year’s event with a hefty $10,000 buy-in. However, the event got underway yesterday, with De Silva sitting it out. Instead of nine players, only eight were present at the coveted table.
Rumors began to swirl on Sunday when podcaster Joey Ingram said that De Silva had to be removed from the event due to a positive PCR test and the player then followed up with a tweet on Monday, adding:
“I tested negative on a nasal swab PCR test Saturday the 26th, but positive on the official mouth swab PCR test at the Rio on the 27th.”
Prior to the confirmation by De Silva, Caesars also released an official statement in which the company detailed that COVID precautions had been implemented as one of the players had tested positive, referring to De Silva without mentioning him by name.
De Silva Gets 9th Place Finish
While De Silva’s situation is unfortunate, the other eight players were able to participate and started the final table without any symptoms. Caesars, though, won’t let De Silva leave empty-handed either, paying him out $98,813 for his ninth-place finish, a smidgeon of the $1,553,256 paid out to the winner, but still a worthwhile consolatory prize. De Silva’s has given no sign that his condition is serious, which is definitely a silver lining.
This year’s WSOP event saw a somewhat modest prize pool by all standards, with fewer people able to participate. In comparison, the 2019 event had 8,569 entries and the Main Event featured a $10 million prize for the winner, Hossein Ensan.
Prior to announcing that a WSOP Main Event will take place in person, WSOP ran an online event which was believed to be the Main Event and caused a bit of a stir after annulling the winner’s title.
It seemed that what was advertised as the “51st Annual World Series of Poker Main Event,” was just “a regular event”. Ironically, the online event paid out $3.9 million to the winner, Stoyan Madanzhiev, who protested the annulment of his title, prompting Daniel Negreanu to say that he “knew how he felt.”
The year has been full of unfortunate outcomes, but hopefully, things will normalize in 2021 as we are getting closer to a vaccine. If anything, online poker traffic has been going strong this year.