<
>

Upeshka De Silva says he tested positive ahead of WSOP final table

One of the remaining nine players in the World Series of Poker Main Event was disqualified ahead of the start of the final table Monday after testing positive for COVID-19.

On Monday morning, poker pro Upeshka De Silva, who was in eighth place entering the final table, wrote on Twitter that he had tested positive for the virus Sunday, after testing negative the previous day.

"I tested negative on a nasal swab pcr test saturday the 26th, but positive on the official mouth swab pcr test at the rio on the 27th," he tweeted.

Per WSOP protocols, De Silva will not be allowed to participate in the live final table, which begins at 6 p.m. ET at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

A spokesperson for Caesars Entertainment confirmed that one of the nine players to make the final table tested positive but did not identify who the player was.

"As a result of the COVID precautions implemented by the Company to help protect the players and team members, one of the nine players will not be able to participate in the US Final Table," the spokesperson told ESPN in a statement.

The terms and conditions for the live final table require players to undergo a COVID-19 screening prior to participating in the live event.

"Players who refuse the screening or any player who tests positive for COVID-19 will be excluded from the live event and awarded the minimum 9th place prize money," the tournament rules state.

As a result, De Silva will receive $98,813 in ninth-place prize money. The first-place finisher will win $1,553,256.

Joseph Hebert has the chip lead, with 13,952,534 entering the final table. Shawn Stroke (5,252,000) and Ryan Hagerty (5,071,572) are in second and third place, respectively.

Poker player and writer Joey Ingram first reported De Silva's disqualification Sunday night on Twitter. A number of prominent figures in the poker community weighed in, some suggesting that the final table should be postponed.

An attempt to reach De Silva on Monday was unsuccessful.

The $10,000 buy-in tournament was postponed this spring as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S. The rescheduled tournament attracted 705 entrants domestically and was conducted online until only nine players remained for the final table.