De Silva DQ’d from WSOP US Final Table, Salas Denied US Entry

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Upeshka De Silva (left) has reportedly been disqualified from the WSOP Main Event while Damian Salas (right) was denied entry into the U.S. ahead of the December 30 Main Event heads-up showdown.

When the World Series of Poker announced that they would be crowning an official Main Event champion in 2020 with a hybrid online-live $10,000 buy-in tournament it was clear that the logistics of making that happen smoothly in the current state of the pandemic would be a challenge.

Some of those very challenges presented themselves just hours before the start of the domestic WSOP Main Event Final Table on Monday when it was reported that three-time WSOP bracelet winner Upeshka De Silva has been disqualified from the Main Event due to COVID-19 protocols.

De Silva Disqualified

Late Sunday night, poker pundit Joey Ingram broke the news that Upeshka De Silva, who was then sitting eighth in chips headed into the WSOP Main Event Final Table, had been disqualified due to testing positive for COVID-19.

De Silva has since laid out his story in a series of Tweets that started with him having “slight allergies” on December 15 and 16. After noticing that he’d lost his sense of smell, De Silva said he took a test on December 20 in which he tested positive for COVID-19. After alerting WSOP officials, he was told to still show up to the official test on December 27. The day before, on December 26, De Silva says he tested negative on a nasal swab test. However, ultimately, De Silva tested positive on the official mouth swab test that took place at the Rio on December 27.

According to the rules laid out by the WSOP prior to the tournament, De Silva will be regulated to ninth place and collect the $98,813 payday.

The news comes as a hit to the Main Event as De Silva is one of the final table’s most well-known players. A three-time bracelet winner, De Silva has earned more than $1.6 million in WSOP events in nearly a decade of attending the series.

Salas Denied Entry

Just hours after the story on De Silva broke, the WSOP’s plans took another detour as Codigo Poker reported that Damian Salas, winner of the international leg of the 2020 WSOP Main Event, was denied entry into the United States because he had traveled to Europe within the past 15 days.

 

Salas was due to be in Las Vegas to take on the winner of the U.S.-based Main Event on December 30 in a filmed for television million-dollar added heads-up battle that will determine the official winner of the Main Event. It appears that production will simply hold until Salas is able to enter the United States and is now expected to play out on Sunday, January 3.

The World Series of Poker has yet to comment on either situation at the time this story was posted.