Koray Aldemir has become the most recent 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event Champion. The 31-year-old German took the reins from defending champion Damian Salas this Wednesday night. Aldemir navigated his way through a field of 6,550 opponents and was awarded $8,000,000 for his victory alongside the gold WSOP bracelet. The winner was determined on the 223rd hand of the final table during the heads-up play against George Holmes. Now Aldemir sits on top of the poker mountain. At least until July 2022.
The massive prize of $8,000,000 propelled Aldemir into fourth place in Germany’s all-time tournament winnings with almost $20 million in cash. That is $12 million less than Fedor Holz. This victory has also allowed Koray Aldemir to join an exclusive club of the world champions, which includes such legends as Phil Hellmuth, Stu Ungar, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson. Here is what Aldemir had to say moments after his victory:
“It’s the one tournament family and friends know of basically. It does mean a lot to me to win it,”
Read on for a detailed overview of Koray Aldemir’s 2021 WSOP victory.
Despite the situation with COVID-19, the 2021 WSOP has become quite popular, and not only among the US players. The international status of the event was reflected in the final table line-up. Here is how the events unfolded at the final table.
Chase Bianchi was the first player to be eliminated. He was the only WSOP bracelet holder among the TOP-9 players. The programmer from Boston lasted only 5 hands. His run was over when he want all-in with KQ against AK. Chase Bianchi was awarded $1,000,000 for his ninth-place finish.
Jareth East followed after Bianchi. East entered the final table with just 10BB and was eliminated in the sixth hand when he shoved with AJ but was outplayed by George Holmes and his set of queens. Jareth East was awarded $1,100,000 for his eight-place finish.
Alejandro Lococo is an Argentian rapper and a PokerStars ambassador. He was eliminated by the future champion, Koray Aldemir, and his full house. What’s notable is that Lococo was the second-largest stack at that moment. Alejandro Lococo was awarded $1,225,000 for his seventh-place finish.
Hye Park was the next player to hit the showers. A former marine from Seoul went all-in after losing a big pot. His pocket sevens turned out to be weaker than Aldemir’s AQ. Hye Park was awarded $1,400,000 for his sixth-place finish.
Ozgur Secilmis is a casual player from Turkey. Even though he had only 8BB at the moment when Lococo was eliminated, he was able to limp his way to the fifth-place. But, unfortunately for Secilmis, he was unable to climb any higher and was knocked out by Koray and his pocket nines. Ozgur Secilmis was awarded $1,800,000 for his fifth-place finish.
Joshua Remitio was considered to be a “dark horse” during the 2021 WSOP Main Event final table. But, the “dark horse” was able to climb all the way into fourth place. Remitio and his J7 were knocked out by A2. Joshua Remitio was awarded $2,300,000 for his fourth-place finish.
Jack Oliver was the last player to be eliminated before the heads-up play. This player from the UK was also the youngest participant at the final table. Even though he had a large stack, Oliver lost several pots to George Holmes and was eventually eliminated with A8 against Holmes’ AJ. Jack Oliver was awarded $3,000,000 for his third-place finish.
The heads-up play between Koray Aldemir and George Holmes was set. Holmes’ only prior live tournament cash was 213th place in the 2019 WSOP Main Event for $50,855. But you will be making a mistake thinking that George Holmes did not put up a fight in the heads-up of the poker’s most prestigious event. At the start of the heads-up play, Koray Aldemir had a confident 2-1 chip lead. However, George Holmes was able to battle his way back. He would win pot by pot and even grab a small lead. Here is what Aldemir said about losing the chip lead during the heads-up:
“I was pretty stressed, to be honest. After 10 days of poker, especially the last five or six days were all super stressful. Not a lot of sleep, like five hours a day. All those people watching me play. It’s not easy. Respect to all the other players too who all played great. Crazy experience.”
It was definitely a stressful situation for Koray Aldemir. At the end of the day, it was the first time in two days when Aldemir was not well ahead of the competition at the final table. But this setback was unable to stop Germany’s poker superstar momentum. That is where he has let his experience and composure shine.
Soon enough, Aldemir was able to jump right back into the chip lead by winning several hands in the row. However, George Holmes continued to play solid and confident poker. Even though Holmes did not have that much tournament experience, he has forced Aldemir to earn every chip and keep the score close for quite some time. But, the winner was determined on the 223rd hand of the final table. At the 1,200,000/2,400,000 blind level, Holmes raised to 6,000,000 with K Q and Aldemir called with suited 10 7. The flop showed 10 7 2 and Holmes made a continuation bet of 6,000,000. Aldemir check-raised to 19,000,000 and Holmes called. A king came out on the turn and Aldemir bet 36,500,000. Holmes called. The river showed nine of clubs and Aldemir checked. After a short pause, Holmes went all in for 133,000,000. The German poker star had a tough decision to make but finally opted to call. Holmes was awarded $4,300,000 for his second-place finish and Koray Aldemir was awarded $8,000,000 for his win at the 2021 WSOP Main Event. Here is what Aldemir had to say about his final day:
“On the flop, I kind of have the nuts almost all the time. On the turn still happy. My plan was to check-call on the river because he showed he was capable, but I had to think about it because it’s a big moment obviously. If I lose the hand I don’t have much left. I’m glad I made the call.”
And here are the 2021 WSOP Main Event final table results:
|2||George Holmes||United States||$4,300,000|
|3||Jack Oliver||United Kingdom||$3,000,000|
|4||Joshua Remitio||United States||$2,300,000|
|6||Hye Park||United States||$1,400,000|
|8||Jareth East||United Kingdom||$1,100,000|
|9||Chase Bianchi||United States||$1,000,000|