New World Champion
This morning in Vegas, the 9-day Main Event marathon of the World Series came to an end. For the first time in its history, this event experienced more than a two-year break and was held under severe restrictions.
For the second time in a row, the winner of the tournament was a German:
Live poker reg Koray Aldemir won his first bracelet and $8,000,000 in the WSOP 2021 Main Event.
During 6 flights, the tournament gathered 6,650 players and thus became the tenth in the history of the series. Over the past 10 years, three tournaments have had fewer participants, and three more have been very close. So, despite the situation with the COVID-19, the event has become quite popular, and not only among US citizens. Many poker players from Europe and other continents were also able to pay $10,000 buy-in.
The international status of the event was confirmed by the line-up of the final table. As in 2019, there were only four US representatives. Players were eliminated in the following order:
- Chase Bianchi ($1,000,000). The only bracelet holder among the TOP-9, a Boston programmer, managed to play only 5 hands. The last for him was KQ vs. AK all-in.
- Jareth East ($1,100,000). The British online reg reached the final table with just 10BB, so in the sixth hand, he shoved with AJ. He even got an ace on the flop, but his opponent George Holmes flopped a set of queens.
- Alejandro Lococo ($1,225,000). Argentine rapper and PokerStars ambassador committed "ICM-suicide" with the second stack of the table, while one of the opponents had just 8BB left. This hand was even honored with a dedicated video on the PokerGO YouTube channel:
- Hye Park ($1,400,000). The American, originally from Seoul and a former Marine, went all-in after losing a big pot. His 77 lost to Aldemir's AQ.
- Ozgur Secilmis ($1,800,000). The casual player from Turkey was that 8BB player who lasted longer than Lococo. It is quite possible that the Turk would have climbed even higher, but having made a good stack, he lost the big pot (KK < T9s) and then became another victim of Koray (K5s < 99).
- Joshua Remitio ($2,300,000). The American "dark horse" finished 4th in his first WSOP Main Event. He lost with J7s vs. A2.
- Jack Oliver ($3,000,000). The UK player was the youngest participant at the final table. Although he got into the TOP-3 with the second stack, he lost several pots to George Holmes, including the decisive one with A8 vs. QJ (a jack was dealt on the turn).
Koray Aldemir and George Holmes entered the final table with the largest stacks, and both ended up in a decisive showdown.
Reference. The American turned out to be the oldest participant in the TOP-9. The 49 years old works in the online payments industry. Commentators called him a "home game regular." He plays only the Main Events at the WSOP. In 2019, he took 213th place ($50K). This year, George built a big stack from just 1BB in the middle of Day 7.
His confrontation with Aldemir lasted about 4 hours (52 hands). For a very long time, the US player had fewer chips in his stack. But it changed after A8s vs. AK hand with an ace on the flop and 8 on the river. Holmes became a chip leader, winning the biggest pot of the tournament at the time.
For the next two hours, the game was relatively equal with a lot of postflop action, and due to deep stacks (over 80BB), it could go on for a very long time. As it often happens, the fate of the first place was decided by a hand in which both players could not afford themselves to fold. You can see the historic call on the river in this video:
Who is Koray Aldemir?
The future world poker champion grew up in Berlin and now lives in Vienna. He was engaged in business administration.
He started to play poker on the eve of 2006, played with friends, and also online at PokerStars under the nickname "Körrinho." In 2013, he met Fedor Holz and decided to start a professional career in live tournaments, having dropped out of his studies as a psychologist.
He won the first €200 buy-in live tournament back in 2012. Four years later, great success came to him when he took third place in the $111,111 One Drop event and earned $2,154,265. His other big wins include the 2017 Triton Series Main Event ($1,292,509) and the 2019 US Poker Open ($738,000).
After the WSOP 2021 ME triumph, his live tournament winnings totaled $20,334,110, which allowed him to enter the TOP-8 of the best German players.
On his Twitter account, the player wrote:
Interesting facts about Main Event
- Payout structure. There was almost a two-fold gap between 10th and 9th places. But all the final table participants ended up being millionaires. A total of 1,000 players finished ITM.
- The tournament bubble boy Kevin Campbell lost his decisive hand with pocket aces against A9s. The second 9 came on the river.
- Chris Moneymaker (2003) and Qui Nguyen (2016) performed best among the players who have already won ME before. They took 266th and 260th places, respectively.
- Phil Hellmuth, who won his 16th bracelet at this WSOP and cosplayed Gandalf, was not helped by the "white magic" this time. As a result, he could only reach 2,406th place.
- The godfather of poker, Doyle Brunson, who officially retired from his tournament career 3 years ago, participated in the Main Event for the first time in eight years.
The World Series will run until November 23. Some exciting events are left on its schedule: $10,000 Razz Championship Event #78 and three High Roller events ($100K and $250K - Hold 'em; $50K - Omaha).
We hope that the online poker industry will start delighting us with Christmas and New Year-related offers from the end of November.
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