Vijayaratnam Takes Overall Chip Lead Into 2020 WSOP Main Event Day 2

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Canada's Senthuran Vijayaratnam went straight to the top of the chip counts by the end of Day 1C of the 2020 WSOP Main Event. (photo: World Poker Tour)

The 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event has arrived. The unique live-online hybrid solution to finding a successor to current reigning World Champion Hossein Ensan gives players, both in the United States and internationally, one final shot at winning a gold bracelet in 2020.

Last updated: Sunday, December 7, 2020

The tournament, which comes with a traditional $10,000 buy-in and is a true freezeout, will hold all of its starting flights online. Players in the United States can travel to Nevada or New Jersey to play in a single opening flight on WSOP.com while international players have three starting flights to choose from on GGPoker.

These two separate online tournaments will spawn two different final tables which will be played out live. The final nine from the WSOP.com player pool will determine a winner in Las Vegas as GGPoker’s final table will battle it out at King’s Casino in Rozvadov. Ultimately, the winner of each final table will face off in a winner-take-all heads-up battle in front of the ESPN camera on December 30 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The winner of that match will take home an additional $1 million and the title of WSOP World Champion.

WSOP Main Event Schedule (GGPoker)

DateEventSite
11-29Day 1AGGPoker
12-05Day 1BGGPoker
12-06Day 1CGGPoker
12-07Day 2GGPoker
12-15Final TableKing's Casino, Rozvadov

WSOP Main Event Schedule (WSOP.com)

DateEventSite
12-13Day 1WSOP.com
12-14Day 2WSOP.com
12-28Final TableRio, Las Vegas

Julian Menhardt Leads GGPoker Day 1A Survivors

The opening flights of the 2020 World Series of Poker are underway online. (photo: World Poker Tour)

The first flight of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event had 246 entries take their one-and-only shot in the $10,000 buy-in tournament. At the end of 16 30-minute levels, just 62 players advanced to day two with Germany’s Julian ‘VWgunther’ Menhardt bagging the chip lead with 534,490 chips (107 big blinds). Germany’s Paul ‘AsiaStylez’ Esau finished the day with 472,075 (94 bbs) for second in chips while the Netherlands Dirk Gerritse rounded out the top three with a 472,075 stack (91 bbs).

Plenty of star power entered and survived through Day 1A. This includes former WSOP Main Event standout Preben Stokkan, a pair of Brazil’s best in Brunno Botteon and former #1-ranked player Yuri Dzivielevski, Anatoly Filatov, Daniel Dvoress, and Russia’s Artur Martirosian among others.

For others though, the dream of becoming the WSOP Main Event champ will have to wait another year. Fedor Holz, Kristen Bicknell, Christian Rudolph, Julien Martini, and former #1-ranked players Steven van Zadelhoff and Andreas Nemeth were among those notable players who busted before the day was done.

Joining them on the rail are the likes of Pablo Brito Silva, Jans Arends, Ole Schemion, Rainer Kempe, Christian Jeppsson, Sebastian Sikorski, and Patrik Antonius.

The players that made it through to Day 2 of the WSOP 2020 Main Event will return to the online tables on December 7 and merge with the remaining fields of Day 1B and Day 1C to play down to a final table of nine.

Day 1A Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker)

RankNameChips
1Julian Menhardt534,490
2Paul Esau472,075
3Dirk Gerritse457,197
4Preben Stokkan446,677
5sunnyzyang1982'441,981
6Ilya Anatsky407,356
7Michal 'ml22322' Lubas397,579
8Sosia Jiang390,312
9Laurynas Levinskas389,628
10'WhatIfPIOswrong'386,050

Blaž Žerjav Takes Overall Chip Lead On Day 1B

The 2020 WSOP Main Event has a new chip leader after Day 1B. (photo: PokerFactor)

The World Series of Poker 2020 Main Event continued on December 5 as 171 players opted to take their $10,000 shot on Day 1B. After roughly nine-and-a-half hours of play, 16 total levels, just 42 players survived the day with their dream of becoming the next WSOP World Champion in tact.

Slovania’s Blaž Žerjav, third-place finisher in the 2018 partypoker MILLIONS Online, finished the day atop the chip counts with a stack of 639,394 (128 bbs), good for an overall chip lead through two flights. Žerjav was followed closely by Brazil’s #9-ranked player, Rodrigo Valente (592,043, 118 bbs) in second place and Isreal’s Amir Divr (538,003, 108 bbs) in third. Online poker’s former #1-ranked crusher from Russia, Artem ‘veeea’ Vezhenkov was the only other player to end the day with over 100bbs, finishing in fourth place with 551,114 in chips, good for 102 big blinds.

Day 1B saw its share of notable names make it through to Day 2 including World Series of Poker gold bracelet winners Simon Lofberg, Toby Joyce, and Barak Wisbrod. Joining them in advancing was the likes of PokerStars EPT Monte Carlo SHR winner Sergio Aido, Swedish pros Anton Wigg and Simon Mattsson, as well as PokerStars WCOOP winner Alex Difelice.

With nearly 3/4th of the field busting throughout the day, it’s fair to say that there was plenty of big-time talent that found themselves on the outside looking in. Some of those who shot and missed included GGPoker ambassadors Felipe Ramos and Kevin Martin, 888poker ambassador Daria Feshchenko, Team partypoker pro Dzmitry Urbanovich, Sylvain Loosli, Bert ‘girafganger’ Stevens, Jens Kyllonen, Ivan ‘zufo16’ Zufic, Adrian Mateos, and former #1-ranked Swedish pro Niklas Astedt.

Day 1B Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker)

RankName Chips
1Blaz Zerjav639,394
2Rodrigo Valente592,043
3Amir Dvir538,003
4Artem Vezhenkov511,114
5'crackers614'488,965
6'pleasehurtme'427,584
7Javier Gomez427,190
8Qibing Wang392,108
9Diego Flacone341,782
10David Cowling337,990

Senthuran Vijayaratnam Tops Day 1C, Takes Overall Chip Lead Into Day 2

The final starting day of the 2020 World Series of Poker Main Event on GGPoker saw another 257 players post their $10,000 buy-in to boost the field size to a three-day total of 674 runners. This landed the total prize pool at $6,470,400 assuring a seven-figure score of $1,550,969 for GGPoker’s eventual winner as well as awarding $1,062,723 for the runner-up.

At the end of another 16 levels, 75 players virtually bagged chips in Day 1C making for a total remaining field size of just 179 players who will return for Day 2 on Monday. Of those still in the hunt to become the 2020 WSOP World Champion, 80 will make the money and just nine will lock up a seat at the live final table, which set to take place at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on December 16.

Canada’s Senthuran Vijayaratnam leveraged the largest of the three starting flights to launch himself to the top of the overall chip counts. Vijayaratnam has a healthy lead on the field after dragging 966,714 (193 bbs) in chips, a number far above the tournament’s second-place player, the UK’s Jesse Wigan. Wigan just out chipped Day 1b chip leader Blaž Žerjav after finishing the day with 642,276 (128 bbs) in chips. Russia’s Viacheslav Buldygin rounds out the Day 1C top three, locking up 480,671 in chips to advance to Day 2.

Day 1C had its fair share of notable names who made their way to the end of the day including WSOP bracelet winners Jonas Lauck and Sung Joo Hyun. Joining them in advancing to Day 2 include the likes of Gediminas Uselis, Damian Salas, Alexandros Kolonias, Ludovic Geilich, Antonine Saout, and Gary Hasson among others.

Just like all of the other starting flights before it, Day 1C also saw plenty of big-time talent bust out before the end of the day. Eleven former bracelet winners failed to advance including GGPoker ambassador Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier, Davidi Kitai, Mike Leah, and 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev. It was the same fate for the notable names of Dietrich Fast, Patrick Tardif, Dario Sammartino, Benjamin Rolle, Maksim ‘MAMOHT_T’ Mamonov, Mikita Badziakouski, David Peters, Kitty Kuo, and 2014 WSOP Main Event winner Martin Jacobson.

Day 1C Top 10 Chip Counts (GGPoker)

RankName Chips
1Senthuran Vijayaratnam966,714
2Jesse Wigan642,276
3Viacheslav Buldygin480,671
4Ruben Gravlien459,031
5Gediminas Uselis433,859
6Daniel Smiljkovic405,085
7Fazel Dawood404,092
8Robin Hegele398,192
9Christopher Puetz394,051
10Oleg Ustinovich377,123

Day 1 Combined Top 10 Chip Counts

RankName Chips
1Senthuran Vijayaratnam966,714
2Jesse Wigan642,276
3Blaz Zerjav639,394
4Rodrigo Valente592,043
5Amir Dvir538,003
6Julien Menhardt534,490
7Artem Vezhenkov511,114
8crackers614'488,965
9Viacheslav Buldygin480,671
10Paul Esau472,075