The World Series of Poker $10,000 No-Limit Hold-Em World Championship, better known to poker fans as the Main Event, crowned a domestic champion on Monday when Joseph Hebert of Metairie, LA outlasted the field of finalists at the in-person final table at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to win $1,553,256.
As the winner of the tournament’s domestic leg, Hebert will now go head-to-head for the title of World Champion against the international winner, Damian Salas of Argentina, who defeated Brazil’s Brunno Botteon for the top prize of $1,550,969atthe King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic on Dec. 15.
Due to unforeseen travel complications presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Heads-Up Finale will now be played on Sunday, Jan. 3, at the Rio. The World Champion will earn an additional $1 million and the most valuable trophy in the world of sports — the 2020 diamond and gold encrusted WSOP Main Event bracelet.
“It still hasn’t hit me yet; this is a life-changing experience,” Hebert said. “It feels like a dream. I felt like I was dreaming the whole time I was playing. I know my mom was here with me, and this was for her.”
The 38-year-old Hebert dominated the chip count from start to finish, but the victory was anything but easy. Hebert unexpectedly lost his mother in September. In their final exchange he told her his dream was to win a WSOP bracelet and he dedicated this incredible run to her memory.
“Certainly 2020 has been a year of challenges for so many and we experienced them in organizing this unique format for a poker tournament on two continents,” said Ty Stewart, WSOP’s executive director. “We are so proud of this event, and the showcase it will provide for poker on Jan. 3.