WSOP 2021: Koray Aldemir Tops Main Event After Day 5, Scott Ball Wins Little One for One Drop

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Koray Aldemir leads the final 96 players in the 2021 WSOP Main Event. (photo courtesy: PokerGO)

Another dramatic day in the 2021 WSOP Main Event saw big names bust and other stars rise high on Day 5 as Chris Moneymaker busted the Main, Koray Aldemir and Ramon Colillas continued to crush and some of the best poker of the World Series of Poker so far took place in between.

Koray Aldemir Leads Final 96 In Main Event

Day 5 of the most popular poker tournament in the world saw 292 players reduced to under 100 hopefuls as German pro Koray Aldemir grabbed the chip lead by the last level of the day inside the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. On a day of big bust-outs, especially involving pocket aces, the German professional who has over $12 million in live tournament earnings is in the best position in his career to add a WSOP Main Event title and $8 million to his legacy in a few days’ time.

To do that, he’ll have to get through some of the best players in the world, with modern legends such as Stephen Chidwick and Chance Kornuth both surviving Day 5 with chips. Any one of those three players, along with everyone else, will have to avoid the kind of awful luck suffered when aces were shot down by ace-king as the player with the latter pronounced ‘Ace king owes me!” upon winning the hand.

David Williams spoke for many in his incredulity at the situation.

When the chips were bagged up, it was Aldemir who held the chip lead, bagging up 14.3 million chips, a decent amount ahead of Spanish player Ramon Colillas (12 million) and Jonathan Dwek (12.1 million), both of whom finished in podium positions. There are some serious contenders very close by, however, with Jesse Lonis (8.9 million), Chance Kornuth (5.9 million), Stephen Chidwick (3.7 million), Stephen Song (2.7 million) and Yuri Dzivielevski (2 million) all capable of being chip leader at the end of Day 6 with the skills they possess.

One man who won’t be playing Day 6 is Jason Koon, who busted along with Chris Moneymaker on Day 5. Koon tweeted his feelings on the matter…

… as did the 2003 WSOP Main Event champion.

Plenty of others couldn’t get a thing going and busted, but some players were doing great until, as is often the case in no limit hold’em, a few hands sent them to the rail in brutal fashion.

WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 Main Event Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Koray Aldemir – 14,325,000
  2. Ramon Colillas – 12,000,000
  3. Jonathan Dwek – 10,125,000
  4. Zachary Mcdiarmid – 9,700,000
  5. Jesse Lonis – 8,995,000
  6. Roongsak Griffeth – 8,925,000
  7. Andreas Kniep – 8,515,000
  8. Tonio Röder – 8,000,000
  9. Alejandro Lococo – 7,805,000
  10. Stephen Gerber – 7,700,000

Scott Ball Wins Little One For One Drop

In Event #68, the Little One for One Drop, Scott Ball overcame overnight chip leader Michael Shanahan as he won $396,445 and his first bracelet after a thrilling denouement to the popular event.

With the $1,111-entry event, which raises money for charity alongside building a bumper prize pool, having 3,797 total entries, there were 10 players left in no time at all on the final day to bring about the final table. At that stage, Shanahan had over 42 million chips, more than double his nearest challenger as he looked to run over his final nine adversaries, but as so often in poker, things didn’t work out like that.

The first player to bust, Spanish player Jose Latorre, did so in 10th for $33,939 and was all-in with the best hand, holding AsKd, but Sorel Mizzi’s Ks6s overtook him on a dramatic board of 9h2d2s5h6d.

The Canadian Mizzi, cashing in a WSOP event for the first time since 2018, was on the rise and proving that he is still one of the best poker players out there on his day. He wasn’t the only player looking up the leaderboard rather than down as Sebastian Medina from Colombia eliminated another player to vault up the ranks.

Medina had the dominating hand of KhTc against Frank Marasco’s JsTh and a runout of Ac5s3sAh6s saw the American bust in ninth place for $42,389. Next to depart was Seth Fischer, who busted in $53,343 with KdQh as David Jackson’s Kh5c overtook him on a board of 9c7s5dJsAd with all the chips going into the middle pre-flop.

At that stage, Medina had taken the lead, but Mizzi gained more ground after busting Petro Zakusilov in seventh place for $67,592. The Ukrainian was all-in pre-flop with Ad8d but was called in two places and Sorel Mizzi’s 5c2c eventually won after he and the overnight leader Shanahan checked down a board of QdJc3sTh2s.

Soon after, Ronnie Ballantyne was out of the event in sixth place for a score of $86,249 as his Tc8s lost out when all-in pre-flop against Scott Ball’s AcTs. The board of AhKcJhKhJc was a crusher for Ballantyne and the same fate befell David Jackson in fifth for $110,827 just a couple of minutes later as he lost a race with 6s6c against Mizzi’s AcTd on a board of Th7h3c2d9h.

Shanahan was the lowest stack of the four remaining men, but after an extended period of play, everything had turned around and Medina was on the rail in fourth for $143,399. Medina’s pre-flop shove for 13 big blinds with KcJs was called by the chip-dominant Shanahan with As6h. On the board of AhQh2sQsQd, Shanahan made a full house of queens over aces and took the chip lead for the first time since just after the final table began.

Mizzi was next to go, busting in third place for $186,824 as his tournament ended as he was dominated and delivered from the event. Mizzi was all-in with 3s3h and needed a lot of help, with Ball holding JhJs. The board of Ac8s7h2h7s saw Mizzi depart and Ball take the chip lead into heads-up with 94 million playing against Shanahan’s 57.8 million chips.

Heads-up was a brief but exciting affair. Scott Ball won a series of pots at the beginning of the bout to take a 2:1 chip lead into the final hand. Shanahan shoved with Ac8h but when Ball called with QsQc, the overnight chip leader would need a lot of help. The flop of Kh8d3d gave Shanahan an eight, but after the Kd turn, the 2c river ended the event in Ball’s favor, winning him his first WSOP bracelet and $396,445, condemning Shanahan to second place and $245,068.

WSOP 2021 Event #68 $1,111 Little One for One Drop Final Table Results:

  1. Scott Ball – $396,445
  2. Michael Shanahan – $245,068
  3. Sorel Mizzi – $186,824
  4. Sebastian Medina – $143,399
  5. David Jackson – $110,827
  6. Ronnie Ballantyne – $86,249
  7. Petro Zakusilov – $67,592
  8. Seth Fischer – $53,343
  9. Frank Marasco – $42,389

Mourad Amokrane Scores Gold

Another bracelet was won in Event #71, but French player Mourad Amokrane was incredibly dominant at the last as he took just one hand of heads-up play to complete a remarkable victory at the $1,500 Bounty PLO final table.

Amokrane, an optician from France, seemed to have X-Ray specs as he took apart the competition, with players such as Kao Chieng Saechao (8th for $13,610) and Jeff Gross (7th for $17,712) both missing out on podium places.

With a massive $132,844 top prize and the first bracelet of his amateur career, Amokrane, one of the most modest winners of the series, said he would continue to help people see better after showing us his PLO Bounty skills in the clearest way possible.

WSOP 2021 Event #71 $1,500 Bounty PLO Final Table Results:

  1. Mourad Amokrane – $132,844
  2. Matt Mamiya – $82,100
  3. Matthew Humphrey – $58,733
  4. Matthew Mlsna – $42,604
  5. Dustin Nelson – $31,344
  6. Paulo Villena – $23,392
  7. Jeff Gross – $17,712
  8. Kao Chieng Saechao – $13,610
  9. Nikolay Yosifov – $10,616

Things Are Getting Crazy

In Event #70, another huge Day 1 took place as Day 1c saw 1,907 players reduced to just 87 by the close of play. Only 287 of those made the money, with Justin Arwine (3,280,000) the chip leader. Arwine was followed in the counts by fellow podium placers Eric Baldwin (2,825,000) and Irish player David Lappin (1,940,000), who followed his exit from the Main Event in 242nd place by immediately registering the event and running up a big stack.

Others to make the cut included Natalie Hof-Ramos (1,700,000), Michael Cordell (940,000), Tom Hall (740,000) and Ari Engel (725,000) who could still make a push for WSOP Player of the Year with a strong showing in this event.

WSOP 2021 Event #70 $888 Crazy Eights Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Justin Arwine – 3,280,000
  2. Eric Baldwin – 2,825,000
  3. David Lappin – 1,940,000
  4. Paul Fehlig – 1,880,000
  5. Wayne Harmon – 1,800,000
  6. Alex Visbisky – 1,775,000
  7. John Jenkins – 1,740,000
  8. Alan Ferraro – 1,710,000
  9. Natalie Hof-Ramos – 1,700,000
  10. Kharlin Sued – 1,675,000

Mota Leads Event #72 Final Table

In Event #72, the $1,500 Mixed NLHE/PLO event, Brazilian Rafael Mota bagged a huge lead going into the eight-handed final tomorrow, with six other countries represented in his seven talented opponents.

With 7,515,000 chips, Mota’s stack dwarfes even his closest challenger Motoyoshi Okamura (3,835,000), but with players like Nick Yunis (3,190,000) also attempting to take the title and win a WSOP bracelet, nothing is guaranteed ahead of the final day of the event.

WSOP 2021 Event #72 $1,500 Mixed NLHE / PLO Final Table Chipcounts:

  1. Rafael Mota – 7,515,000
  2. Motoyoshi Okamura – 3,835,000
  3. Nick Yunis – 3,190,000
  4. Leonid Yanovski – 2,070,000
  5. Mike Takayama – 1,900,000
  6. Jordan Spurlin – 1,740,000
  7. Marc Lange – 535,000
  8. Tim Grau – 360,000

Big Names Bag In $10K Stud 8 Championship

In Event #73, the first day of action in the $10,000-entry Seven Card Stud Championship took place, with Gary Benson (331,000) of Australia leading the field at the end of the day, with Adam Owen (289,500) and Denis Strebkov (274,000) close by. With stars of the mixed game circuit such as Shaun Deeb and Scott Seiver (both of whom have 256,000) lurking in the top 10, a tough Day 2 will be in the offing for everyone, especially as players can still register right up to the start of play.

Players to bust the event on Day 1 included Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth, Robert Campbell, Kevin Gerhart, Joe Hachem, John Racener, Nathan Gamble, Ben Yu and Allen Kessler.

WSOP 2021 Event #73 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Top 10 Chipcounts:

  1. Gary Benson – 331,000
  2. Adam Owen – 289,500
  3. Denis Strebkov – 274,000
  4. Eli Elezra – 263,000
  5. Shaun Deeb – 256,000
  6. Scott Seiver – 256,000
  7. Alex Livingston – 215,000
  8. Mike Watson – 207,000
  9. Brett Richey – 187,500
  10. Yuval Bronshtein – 183,500

Finally, Greg Jennings highlighted an anomaly in the Matrix as he mentioned how Matt Berkey seems to get taller when he is sitting down, particularly at feature tables, it would appear. Just how tall is Berkey? We wouldn’t bet a single chip on it.