The World Series of Poker (WSOP) 2020 was a unique event due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The traditional live, in-person event in Las Vegas was postponed. However, the WSOP did not fully cancel the series; instead, they decided to create an online series of events, marking a historic shift in the tournament’s format.
The WSOP Online 2020 was held on two platforms due to gaming regulations: WSOP.com for players in Nevada and New Jersey, and GGPoker for international players. The online series ran from July 1 to September 6, featuring a total of 85 gold bracelet events.
The Main Event champion for the WSOP.com portion was Joe “fanofdapoker” McKeehen, who had previously won the WSOP Main Event in 2015. He won $361,919 in the 2020 online event.
For the GGPoker portion, the $5,000 Main Event created the largest prize pool for an online poker tournament ever, at $27,559,500. The winner was Bulgarian player Stoyan Madanzhiev, who took home a prize of $3,904,686.
However, due to controversy about the “real” Main Event of the year, in December 2020, WSOP organized an additional $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Main Event (also known as the Hybrid Main Event), split between online and live play. The international player Damian Salas and the U.S player Joseph Hebert won their respective tournaments and then faced each other in a heads-up duel at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Damian Salas won the heads-up, securing $1 million and the title.