Is Stoyan Madanzhiev the WSOP Main Event champion?

If you spent any time on social media over the weekend you will have seen that a lot of people are not happy about the hybrid live and online World Series of Poker Main Event announced on Friday. The majority of the criticism is the fact that players will have to travel during a pandemic with lockdowns in place all over the world.

A second debate is raging about what this means for Stoyan Madanzhiev the winner of the $5,000 Main Event during the online World Series of Poker at GGPoker in September. At the time whether he was the ‘real’ Main Event champion was debated and here we are once again.

The consensus seems to be that he is the reigning World Series of Poker Main Event and he is getting unfairly treated by this announcement that would crown a new Main Event champion in 2020. Indeed the man himself took to Twitter to point out that his bracelet presentation from the WSOP referred to him as the 51st World Series of Poker Main Event champion:

One person saying otherwise is Daniel Negreanu who (despite having signed the above document) argued that it was niche Main Event like the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event:

Very few people agreed with him but Nick Jones pointed out that most of the marketing messages leading up to the online WSOP and afterwards did state that a live WSOP Main Event was planned for the end of the year:

The debate will rage on and the next couple of months are going to be very interesting to see if the WSOP can pull off a Main Event that looks and feels like the ones we are used to every year. That will probably be the telling factor on whether we conclude if Stoyan Madanzhiev or somebody else is the player we call champ as we head in to 2021.

Perhaps the best way to clear up the debate is this suggestion from Joe Ingram, who returned to Twitter last week:

Is Stoyan Madanzhiev the real WSOP Main Event champion?

Barry Carter

Barry Carter

Barry Carter is the editor of and the co-author of The Mental Game of Poker 1 & 2, Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy

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