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2015 46th Annual World Series of Poker

Monday, June 22, 2015 to Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em

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  • Buy-in: $1,500
  • Prizepool: $2,234,250
  • Entries: 1,655
  • Remaining: 0


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Thursday, June 25, 2015 3:11 PM Local Time

Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
Entries: 1,655
Prize Pool: $2,234,250
Places Paid: 171
First Place Prize: $424,577 + WSOP Gold Bracelet
Dates: Monday, June 22 through Thursday, June 25


Upeshka De Silva Runs Over Final Table to Capture His First Career WSOP Gold Bracelet

Latest Champ Knocks Out 7 of 8 Finalists


Name: Upeshka De Silva
Age: 27
Residence: Katy, TX
Occupation: Professional Poker Player
Number of WSOP Cashes: 10
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances: 2
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories: 1
Best Previous WSOP Finish: 7th (2013 in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker)
Total WSOP Earnings: $651,462

[The above stats include De Silva's Event #45 victory]


Las Vegas (June 25, 2015) — Absolute domination. That's the best way to describe Upeshka De Silva's final table performance. The 27-year-old came to the final table as the chip leader and knocked out seven of his eight opponents to earn his first career WSOP gold bracelet and the first place prize money of $424,577.

“This is surreal, that’s the best way to describe how I feel right now,” De Silva said afterward. “I waited my whole life for this. When you imagine how the last hand will be played out, that’s what I experienced. It was like a dream coming true.”

At the beginning of the final day of play (Day Three), two of the best No-Limit Hold'em players in the world sat at the top of the chip counts. Jason Koon sat as the chip leader and Barry Hutter was second in chips. All eyes were on those two as they sat as the two biggest favorites to come away with gold. De Silva sat under the radar and sixth in chips. Hutter's day would end with a 12th place finish, but Koon made the final table and was arguably the biggest obstacle standing between De Silva and the gold bracelet.

De Silva didn't have to worry about Koon for long because he knocked him out in 9th place. With Koon being the first elimination from the final table, the path to victory was more open than ever for De Silva. De Silva held the lead throughout the final table and never was in eminent danger of being knocked out. He really turned up the heat midway through the final table when he knocked out three players in the span of six hands. De Silva eliminated Bobby Moore in 6th place. With that elimination, De Silva had more than half of the chips in play with just five players remaining. Just two hands later, De Silva sent Ilkin Amirov to the rail in 5th place. His heater wasn't over quite yet. Three hands after knocking out Amirov, De Silva busted Patrick Rojek in 4th place. The three bust outs earned De Silva enough chips to have more than three quarters of the chips in play with three players remaining.

Things finally slowed down for De Silva and his two opponents, but eventually De Silva was able to notch his sixth and seventh knockouts at the final table by eliminating 2010 November Niner, John Dolan, in third place and Dara O'Kearny in second place. It took an unscheduled extra day of play for the heads-up battle between De Silva and O'Kearny to be completed.

The final hand came when De Silva won a race against O’Kearny. His A-K bested O’Kearny’s pocket deuces in an unusual way. The board ran out with two pair – tens and sixes. That meant De Silva’s ace played as the fifth card, counterfeiting O’Kearny’s small pair.

“No doubt about it, I ran really well at the final table,” De Silva said. “But also, it was being prepared for this moment that made a difference. My friends and I talk about poker and situations all the time. So, when it happens in the tournament it’s not like you are seeing it for the first time. We apply the science to the situations. So, none of this is new when you have prepared yourself for it.”

When asked to elaborate on a specific situation where his preparation made a difference, De Silva noted that when the tournament was in the midst of pay jumps, he was able to take advantage of some tightness and weakness at the table by more timid players.

De Silva was born in Sri Lanka. He moved with his parents to the United States when he was two-years-old. He is a professional poker player from the Houston suburb of Katy, Texas. In fact, De Silva graduated from the University of Houston with degrees in political science and history.

This marks his 10th career WSOP cash and is his second career final table. De Silva's first final table came two years ago when he finished in seventh place in the inaugural Millionaire Maker event for $175,113. Until now, that was De Silva's largest ever WSOP cash.

Event #45 was the 45th of 68 events on the 2015 WSOP schedule. The $1,500 no-limit hold’em tournament drew a field of 1,655 players generating a $2,234,250 prize pool. Each of the top 171 finishers received prize money with a min-cash awarding $2,949. Notable in-the-money finishers included Jason Koon (ninth, $30,095), Barry Hutter (12th, $23,660), Phil Hui (13th, $18,857), Tyler Patterson (18th, $15,215), Andrew Lichtenberger (47th, $7,283), Eric Baldwin (55th, $6,255), Tim West (67th, $5,451), Nacho Barbero (69th, $5,451), Martin Staszko (74th, $4,803), Steve Sung (75th, $4,803), Aaron Massey (108th, $3,485), Loni Harwood (116th, $3,485), and Alex Kravchenko (165th, $2,949).

The event played out over a four-day stretch beginning Monday, June 22 and concluding during the fourth day on Thursday, June 25th.

Here’s a look at the final table results:

1st: Upeshka De Silva - $424,577 + WSOP gold bracelet
2nd: Dara O'Kearny - $262,502
3rd: John Dolan - $172,752
4th: Patrick Rojek - $124,537
5th: Ilkin Amirov - $91,157
6th: Bobby Moore - $67,697
7th: Jorden Fox - $50,985
8th: Vasily Tsapko - $38,920
9th: Jason Koon - $30,095


The 1,655-player field was made up of 1,593 males and 62 females

The average age of participants was just over 39 years old

The field was made up of players from 57 different countries (1,220 from the U.S. and 435 international players)

Players from 48 different states participated in this event.


For this event’s results, visit:

For Upeshka De Silva official player profile page, visit:

For the Live Reporting Log for this event, please visit:

For photos from this event, please visit:

For official winner photo, please visit:

For the live stream archive of this event, please visit:

(Note: Will appear 48 hours after event concludes)

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:35 PM Local Time

Dara O'Kearney shoves all-in on the button and Upeshka Desilva (pictured) quickly calls.

Dara O'Kearney:   
Upeshka Desilva:   

The flop comes     and O'Kearney is in the lead with his two pair, twos and sixes.

But unfortunately for O'Kearney the board pairs when the turn comes the   giving Desilva the lead with two pair and his ace high.

The   river does not improve O'Kearney's hand and he is eliminated in second place.

Upeshka Desilva is the winner of event #45 and takes home $424,577.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:30 PM Local Time
Upesha Desilva shoes all-in and Dara O'Kearney folds. 
Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:29 PM Local Time
Dara O'kearney folds and Upesha Desilva takes the pot. 
Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:28 PM Local Time

Upesha Desilva calls on the button and Dara O'kearney checks his option.

The flop comes    .  O'Kearney checks, Upeshka Desilva bets 120,000 and O'Kearney calls. 

The turn is the  .  O'Kearney checks, Upeshka Desilva bets 240,000 and O'Kearney folds.

Velo 690x150
Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:26 PM Local Time

Dara O'kearney calls on the button and Upesha Desilva checks the big blind. 

The flop comes     and both players check.

The turn is the   and again both players check.

Both players also check the   river. 

Dara O'Kearney shows    and Desilva folds

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:24 PM Local Time

Upesha Desilva calls on the button and Dara O'kearney checks his option. 

The flop comes    .  O'Kearney checks, Desilva bets 120,000 and O'Kearney folds 

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:23 PM Local Time
Dara O'kearney raises on the button to 1,200,000 and Upeshka Desilva folds.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:22 PM Local Time

Upesha Desilva calls on the button and Dara O'kearney checks his option. 

The flop comes    . O'Kearney checks, Desilva bets 120,000 and O'Kearney calls.

The turn is the  .  O'Kearney checks, Desilva bets 240,000 and O'Kearney folds.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:19 PM Local Time

Dara O'Kearney calls the big blind on the button.

The flop comes    . Both players check.

The   comes on the turn.

Upeshka Desilva checks, O'Kearney bets 120,000 and Desilva calls.

The river is the  . Both players check.

Both players show queen high for a chopped pot.

Thursday, June 25, 2015 1:17 PM Local Time
Level: 32
Blinds: 60,000/120,000
Ante: 15,000
Thursday, June 25, 2015 11:28 AM Local Time

Final Table

Welcome to Day 4 of the $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em event.

Today it's heads up between Dara O'Kearney and Upeshka Desilva. The tournament began on Monday, with 1,655 players, starting with 7,500 in chips.

Tuesday saw a return of 260 players. Those returning with the biggest stacks included Brayden Fritzshall (194,700), Justin Kindred (183,000) Jorden Fox (147,600).

Upeshka Desilva and Dara O'Kearney returned with just 50,900 and 58,400 respectively, yet both players ultimately out ran Day 2's starting chipleaders, with Fritzshall eliminated in 20th place ($12,422), Kindred in 24th place ($12,422) and Fox in 7th place ($50,985).

Day 3 saw a return of just 24 players, with Jason Koon (1,405,000), Barry Hutter (1,096,000) and David Jackson (1,059,000) returning with the most chips. Dara O'Kearney returned in 16th place with 329,000 and Upeshka Desilva returned in 6th place with 729,000, yet again, both players out ran the day's starting chipleaders.

Koon was eliminated in 9th place, winning $30,095, Hutter was knocked out in 12th place, taking home $23,660 and Jackson was bust out in 10th place, also taking home $23,660.

Tablemates of Fox, Koon, Desilva and O'Kearney on Day 3's final table were Vasily Tsapko, who was eliminated in 8th place ($38,920), Bobby Moore who was knocked out in 6th place ($67,697), Ilkin Amirov, who bust out in 5th place ($91,157), Patrick Rojek who went out in 4th place ($124,537) and John Dolan who made it to 3rd place ($172,752).

The final levels of Day 3 saw O'Kearney and Desilva heads up, after knocking out their tablemates and 1,653 other players, including bracelet winners Barry Hutter, Phillip Hui, Carlos Mortensen and Loni Harwood,

As they played heads up, Desilva's friends cheered riotously from the rail and there was no mistaking their support. O'Kearney's biggest fans were behind the scenes, with his wife Mireille and children Fiona, Paddy and Oisin watching the live stream from an airport in France. Representing in person, the lungs of fellow Irishman Andy Black more than competed with the crew behind Desilva.

O'Kearney returns today with 2,180,000 and Desilva comes back with 10,250,000.

Tune in from 1pm for live updates as they play heads up, battling for a bracelet.