After an entertaining final table, Argentina’s Damian Salas has become WSOP Main Event winner in the International leg after the action concluded live and exclusive in Rozvadov at the world-famous King’s Casino.
Winning $1.5 million, the heads-up was an ironic meeting from two players from South America, who would have found it infinitely easier to travel to Las Vegas rather than the small town on the Czech-German border.
With only eight of the nine combatants who made it this far arriving at King’s, Chinese player Peiyuan Sun decided not to travel to Rozvadov, and while Sam Greenwood was one player who suggested maybe they should be blinded out, that didn’t happen, with Sun awarded the 9th place prize of $75,360 as contained in the GGPoker/WSOP rulebook and as reported from the scene by PokerNews.
That left eight to battle it out for the title, and the action was fast and friendly from the beginning. First out the door was Austrian player Hannes Speiser, who cashed for $109,982 when his queen-ten was crushed pre-flop by Salas’ pocket tens. Salas was building momentum, and he busted the next player to go, too, with Bulgarian Stoyan Obreshkov unable to live up to his namesake Stoyan Madanzhiev in winning a WSOP Main Event. Stay chilled, other Stoyans, and keep that powder dry – another WSOP Main Event could come along at any time!
Lithuanian player Dominykas Mikolaitis busted next and he was followed out of the King’s cardroom by Marco Streda, whose ace-king looked strong until Portuguese player Manuel Ruivo turned over pocket aces.
With eight nationalities competing at the truly cosmopolitan final table, Spaniard Ramon Miquel Munoz was next to go, before Ruivo himself busted in 3rd place. That left just the two South Americans heavyweights to clash for the title of International champion. Salas had the lead against Brazilian player Bruno Botteon entering the heads-up and it didn’t take long to close out victory.
Calling off a daring bluff by Botteon, Salas had top two pair and that was enough to give him $1.5 million and a ticket to ride all the way to Las Vegas to take on whoever wins the final table showdown that will take place on December 28th.
Salas will compete for the ‘Hybrid’ Heads-up Main Event title at the Rio for an extra $1 million, but Botteon result of $1,062,723 for runner-up wasn’t bad work for his week’s work.
For Salas, it was redemption for falling short three years ago when he finished seventh in the actual, bona fide 2017 WSOP Main Event.
After his victory, Salas told PokerNews that he may not have been the ‘best poker player’, but respected his opponent, calling Botteon “a very tough opponent with a winning mentality”.
With the international section of the Main Event complete at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov, the action moves on to Las Vegas on December 28th where we’ll find out who takes on Damian Salas for the title of WSOP World Champion.
WSOP International Main Event Final Table Results:
|4th||Ramon Miquel Munoz||Spain||$498,947|