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Koray Aldemir, the 31-year-old professional tournament grinder from Germany, outlasted the field of 6,550 runners in the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event to win his first career gold bracelet, the enormous $8 million first-place prize, and the title of World Champion. For the better part of three days, Aldemir was in control of the final table. He finished Day 7 with a healthy chip lead and only extended it during the first day of the final table as the final nine played down to three-handed. It wasn’t until heads-up play against eventual runner-up George Holmes that he lost the lead for the very first time. But after a back-and-forth battle with Holmes, it was Aldemir who relied on his extensive experience in high-pressure spots to make a tough call to walk away as the World Champion. “It means a lot as you can tell,” an emotional Aldemir said immediately after his win. “It’s the dream of every poker player. I don’t know what to say, it feels great.” Although he was obviously thrilled to celebrate the win, Aldemir was quick to praise Holmes in the aftermath. “George was so tough to play against, he played really, really well so I’m very happy that I could beat him,” Aldemir said. “It was an incredibly stressful week for all of us, I think. I’m sure I made a lot of mistakes, everybody did probably, but I just tried to stay calm and play as good as possible.” As the runner-up, Holmes earned his fair share of fans over the course of his time in the Main Event with fearless plays and his “home game hero” persona. “Unbelievable,” George Holmes said of his runner-up finish. “I still can’t put it into words. Maybe a week from now I’ll be able to tell you how I feel. It’s been a grueling week-and-a-half and [Koray Aldemir] was amazing, tough all night. That’s about it.” The final table action started on Monday evening and it was just five hands into play before the first elimination of the night took place. With the blinds at 400,000/800,000 (800,000 ante), Jack Oliver opened to 1.6m holding the [poker card="ad"][poker card="kc"] and George Holmes called from the small blind. Then Chase Bianchi three-bet jammed his final 9.7m in from the big blind with his [poker card="ks"][poker card="qc"]. Oliver, four-bet shipped forcing Holmes to fold and the cards were on their backs. The board ran out [8d[poker card="8h"][poker card="6s"][poker card="td"][poker card="jc"] shipping the pot to Oliver and sending Bianchi home in ninth place for an even $1 million. The very next hand, PocketFiver Jareth East open-shipped his final eight big blinds holding [poker card="as"][poker card="jh"]. This time Holmes wouldn’t fold as he three-bet shipped his stack with his [poker card="qd"][poker card="qc"]. Holmes spikes a set on the [poker card="ad"][poker card="qh"][poker card="7h"] flop and it held through the [poker card="4d"] turn and [poker card="6c"] river. East was eliminated in eighth place for $1.1 million. The next bust out will be one that will be discussed for quite some time. Nearly two hours after East departed, a clash between the two of the biggest stacks at the table got set the poker world abuzz. The blinds climbed to 500,000/1,000,000 (1,000,000 ante) and Alejandro ‘Papo MC’ Lococo made it 2,000,000 to go with [poker card="tc"][poker card="ts"]. From the cutoff, Aldemir made it 5,600,000 to go with his [poker card="9h"][poker card="9d"] and Lococo called. The flop came [poker card="jh"][poker card="jc"][poker card="9c"] giving Aldermir a flopped full house. Aldemir fired 3,900,000 on the flop and Lococo made the call with his tens. The [poker card="8h"] hit the turn and Lococo added a straight draw to his outs. Lococo checked it over to Aldemir who continued to fire, this time for 11,400,000 and again Lococo called. The [poker card="3d"] completed the board and after Lococo checked for the third time, Aldermir shipped enough to put Lococo all-in for his remaining 46 big blinds. In an instant, Lococo called it off and was shown the winner. Aldemir soared to more than 220 million in chips and Lococo exited in seventh place for $1,225,000. Aldemir went back to work in the next level. After a short break, the blinds were at 600,000/1,200,000 (1,200,000 ante) and Day 6 chip leader Hye Park was down to under 20 big blinds. When it folded to Park in the small blind, he completed holding [poker card="7s"][poker card="7c"] and was quickly raised by Aldemir in the big blind to 3,800,000 with his [poker card="ac"][poker card="qd"]. Park then three-bet shipped for just over 20,000,000 and Aldemir quickly called putting Park at risk. The flop came [poker card="kd"][poker card="8h"][poker card="2d"] keeping Park in the lead. But the [poker card="qh"] on the turn, flipped the script. When the [poker card="9d"] came on the river, Park was saying his goodbye, eliminated in sixth place for $1,400,000. Ozgur Secilmis had a wild ride in the Main Event, from his instant classic quads-over-quads hand right before the money bubble to nearly being eliminated on multiple occasions only to hit the very card he needed to stay alive. It looked like he was on the verge of another dramatic comeback when he got his [poker card="ks"][poker card="kc"] in against the [poker card="td"][poker card="9d"] of Joshua Remitio, but after the board ran out [poker card="ts"][poker card="tc"][poker card="7s"][poker card="jd"][poker card="ad"], Secilmis was on the short stack instead of the ladder up. Just a few hands after that clash, Secilmis found himself all-in preflop with [poker card="kh"][poker card="5h"] against Aldemir’s [poker card="9h"][poker card="9s"]. He showed some life after the [poker card="ad"][poker card="ah"][poker card="jh"] flop. But the heart draw was taken away with the [poker card="as"] on the turn. It was all over when the [poker card="8c"] hit the river and the jovial Secilmis’ run ended with a fifth-place payday of $1,800,000. Play was supposed to end for the night with four players remaining, but WSOP officials insisted that the four complete the level. After a short break it was determined that the four would play on. In the extra time, with the blinds at 800,000/1,600,000 (1,600,000 ante) a huge hand took place. Oliver moved all in from the cutoff holding the [poker card="jd"][poker card="9d"] for 20,500,000. Remitio reshoved from the small blind for just over 27,000,000 with his [poker card="ah"][poker card="js"]. Then Aldemir woke up with [poker card="qs"][poker card="qh"] and, covering the table, also moved all-in with the opportunity for a double knockout. The flop came [poker card="td"][poker card="9h"][poker card="8s"] giving Oliver middle pair and an open-ended straight draw. Remito held the same straight draw and an overcard while Aldemir kept the lead with his pocket queens. The [poker card="3d"] turn, added a flush draw for Oliver which came in on the [poker card="7d"] river. Oliver tripled up, but the river gave Remitio a straight so he was left with a short stack. The very next hand, Oliver took Remitio out when they got their stacks all-in preflop. Remitio held [poker card="jh"][poker card="7h"] and Oliver had him covered with his [poker card="as"][poker card="2c"]. The board ran out [poker card="as"][poker card="tc"][poker card="7d"][poker card="4s"][poker card="2c"] ending Remitio’s tournament in fourth place for $2,300,000 and it ended play for the rest of the night. The final three players returned the next afternoon to determine a winner with Aldemir holding a massive chip lead. The three players finished off the level from the night before, plus another two hours after which Oliver has slipped to just under 20 big blinds. The end for Oliver came just a few hands after the first break when, with the blinds at 1,000,000/2,000,000 (2,000,000 ante), he open-shipped his final 35,700,000 holding [poker card="ac"][poker card="8d"] from the small blind and Holmes opted for a call with his [poker card="qs"][poker card="js"]. The flop came [poker card="8h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="5s"] giving Oliver top pair, but leaving Holmes with two overs and a backdoor flush draw. When the [poker card="jc"] came on the turn, Holmes improved to top pair and left Oliver looking for help to survive. However, the river was the [poker card="9h"] and Oliver’s dream of being the first Main Event champion from the UK came to an end in third place for a massive $3,000,000 payday. “I can’t complain can I?” Oliver said in his exit interview. “There are six thousand something other people that didn’t make it this far so what have I got to complain about? I think I played well and that kind of all that matters really. That’s all you can do in this game.” At the start of heads-up play, Aldemir held a two-to-one chip advantage over Holmes. But it wasn’t long before Holmes closed the gap and took over the chip lead. After that, it was hours of back-and-forth play with each player taking turns seizing control of the chip lead. With the blinds at 1,200,000/2,400,000 (2,400,000 ante) and Aldemir with a slim lead, Holmes opened to 6,000,000 off his 94 million chip stack with the [poker card="kc"][poker card="qs"]. Aldemir made the call and the pair took a flop of [poker card="th"][poker card="7s"][poker card="2h"]. Aldemir checked and Holmes slid out another 6,000,000. Aldemir check-raised to 19,000,000 and, after a moment, Holmes made the call. The [poker card="ks"] hit the turn and Aldemir put out 36,500,000 and, now having top pair, Holmes again called. The river came the [poker card="9c"] and Aldemir checked it over to Holmes who moved in for the remainder of this stack. Aldemir spent roughly three minutes in the tank before deciding to call for it all. As Holmes turned over top pair, Aldemir showed down his two pair, and just like that it was all over. An emotional Koray Aldemir ran to celebrate with his rail as the new WSOP Main Event World Champion and winner of the $8 million first-place prize. Aldemir returned to shake hands with George Holmes whose incredible run fell just one spot short, finishing as the runner-up for $4,300,000. 2021 WSOP Main Event Final Table Results Koray Aldemir - $8,000,000 George Holmes - $4,300,000 Jack Oliver - $3,000,000 Joshua Remitio - $2,300,000 Ozgur Secilmis - $1,800,000 Hye Park - $1,400,000 Alejandro Lococo - $1,225,000 Jareth East - $1,100,000 Chase Bianchi - $1,000,000
With just nine players remaining, the WSOP Main Event final table is set, and it is German player Koray Aldemir who will go into the final two days of the biggest poker tournament in the world with a huge chip lead. Here's Your November Nine With players such as Chance Kornuth, Andreas Kniep, and Jesse Lonis busting across a dramatic day at the felt, the final table of the WSOP Main Event was reached in the early hours of the morning, with Matt Berkey looking like a savant when he called the time and was just a few minutes out. https://twitter.com/berkey11/status/1460464671073341440 It didn’t take long from the kick-off of the day’s action for the bust-outs to keep coming, with Chance Kornuth’s one of the biggest of the day. Kornuth’s conqueror, George Holmes ended the day second in chips with 83.7 million chips, but at one point had less than two big blinds to his name, spinning his stack up to eventually knock out the most experienced player in the field when his [poker card="As"][poker card="Ac"] triumphed against Kornuth’s [poker card="Ah"][poker card="Ks"]. The final hand of the day played out when Canadian player Demosthenes Kiriopoulos bubbled the final as his [poker card="As"][poker card="3s"] lost out to the chip leader’s [poker card="Qd"][poker card="Tc"], with Aldemir’s fans on the rail going crazy when the board of [poker card="Qs"][poker card="9s"][poker card="5h"][poker card="7h"][poker card="Jc"] gave the German another knockout and the overwhelming chip lead heading into the final nine. Only one player already has a WSOP bracelet to their name and that man is Chase Bianchi (12,100,000), who couldn’t be more excited about the potential checking off of one of his life’s goals. https://twitter.com/Chase_Bianchi/status/1460563523960934408 With two British players also surviving, Jack Oliver (30,400,000) and Jareth East (8,300,000) will both be hoping to become champion in two days time just as all the nine finalists will. Tomorrow at 4 pm local time, the final table begins. It will end in two nights time with a new world champion. WSOP 2021 Event #67 $10,000 Main Event Final Table Chipcounts: Koray Aldemir - 140,000,000 George Holmes - 83,700,000 Alejandro Lococo - 46,800,000 Joshua Remitio - 40,000,000 Jack Oliver - 30,400,000 Ozgur Secilmis - 24,500,000 Hye Park - 13,500,000 Chase Bianchi - 12,100,000 Jareth East - 8,300,000 Six Remain In Crazy Eights In the Crazy Eights tournament, just six players remain from a field of 237 who started the penultimate day of the event. It is Leonid Yanovski who leads the final table, with a whopping 62.2 million chips, some way clear of closest challengers David Moses (49.1 million) and Paul Fehlig (48.7 million). On a busy day for final tables that should see four tournaments conclude and the Main Event reach three players, Yanovski will also face the challenge of short-stack Timo Kamphues (7.4 million), as well as former bracelet winners Georgios Sotiropoulos (21.8 million) and Sejin Park (14.6 million). WSOP 2021 Event #70 $888 Crazy Eights Final Table Chipcounts: Leonid Yanovski - 62,200,000 David Moses - 49,100,000 Paul Fehlig - 48,700,000 Georgios Sotiropoulos - 21,800,000 Sejin Park - 14,600,000 Timo Kamphues - 7,400,000 $10K Stud 8 Needs One More Day In the $10,000-entry Event #73, the Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship, Yuval Bronshtein leads the final four combatants after the final table was started but abandoned halfway through the story being told. It’s some story, as with four remaining, Bronshtein (3,320,000) is shooting for another WSOP bracelet, with two of his three opponents each holding bracelets in their back catalogs too. With nine players remaining, WSOP Player of the Year leader Josh Arieh bowed out, before being followed from the event by Gary Benson and Erik Seidel, who missed the chance to capture his tenth WSOP crown. After the elimination of John Monette in sixth place, Marco Johnson was the final player to miss out on the denouement of the tournament. WSOP 2021 Event #73 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Final Table Results: 5. Marco Johnson - $79,073 6. John Monnette - $59,545 7. Erik Seidel - $46,140 8. Gary Benson - $36,821 9. Josh Arieh - $30,290 The four remaining players share nine bracelets between them, with only Ian O’Hara (2,120,000) yet to win one. Scott Seiver (1,665,000) is aiming for his fourth title in WSOP history, with Brian Hastings going for his fifth gong. WSOP 2021 Event #73 $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship Final Table Chipcounts: Yuval Bronshtein - 3,320,000 Ian O'Hara - 2,120,000 Scott Seiver - 1,665,000 Brian Hastings - 1,535,000 Denis 'aDrENalin710' Strebkov Leads $2,500 Big Bet Mix In Event #74, the $,2500-entry Big Bet Mix, Denis Strebkov of Russia took a massive chip lead into the final day with just 14 players remaining. Strebkov piled up over 1.4 million chips to lead by a big margin from Shanmukha Meruga (877,000) and Scott Bohlman (827,000), with every other one of the 11 players having less than half of Strebkov’s chips with one day to play out. Just 91 players started the day, but 77 busted, with James Chen, Yuri Dzivielevski, John Racener, Matt Waxman, Ryan Laplante, Eli Elezra, and Chris Brewer among them. WSOP 2021 Event #74 $2,500 Big Bet Mix Top 10 Chipcounts: Denis Strebkov - 1,402,000 Shanmukha Meruga - 877,000 Scott Bohlman - 827,000 Hooman Nizad - 512,000 Patrik Ciklamini - 498,000 Anthony Ribeiro - 479,000 Noah Boeken - 455,000 Jon Turner - 415,000 Asher Lower - 375,000 Amnon Filippi - 371,000 $1,500 Freezeout Kicked Off In Event #75, Day 1 of the $1,500-entry Freezeout event took place, with Rennei Liu (889,000) also a big chip leader. Other prominent names such as Bin Liu (610,000), Asi Moshe (604,000), Artan Dedusha (504,000), Joe Serock (436,000), Nadya Magnus (414,000), Patrick Tardif (239,000), Gabriel Andrade (180,000), Sherry Hammers (139,000) and Angelina Rich (124,000) all remain in contention, while stars such as Barny Boatman, Daniel Strelitz, and Barry Greenstein exited before the close of play. WSOP 2021 Event #75 $1,500 Freezeout NLHE Top 10 Chipcounts: Rennei Liu - 889,000 Bin Liu - 610,000 Asi Moshe - 604,000 David Pham - 572,000 Stefan Reiser - 537,000 Armin Rezaei - 529,000 Kartik Ved - 523,000 Nicholas Hubers - 510,000 Naor Slobodskoy - 505,000 Artan Dedusha - 504,000 Chidwick, Sammartino, Timoshenko Survive Super Turbo Bounty Finally, seven players only remain in contention for the 76th WSOP event bracelet, namely the players who survived a brutal Day 1 of the $10,000-entry Super Turbo Bounty event. In what was a stacked field, Stephen Chidwick made up for busting out of the WSOP Main Event yesterday by racking up 2,270,000 chips, with the Brit only behind runaway leader Aditya Agarwal (8,750,000) and Barth Melius (3,550,000). Romain Lewis (2,050,000), Dario Sammartino (1,930,000), Uri Reichenstein (1,795,000), and Yevgeniy Timoshenko (1,065,000) all made the final table too as the overall field of 307 was reduced by 300 in one 10-hour shove fest marathon. With the $463,885 top prize one of the bigger prizes on offer in the Rio over the final few days of the 2021 World Series of Poker, finding out who wins is sure to be an exciting watch. WSOP 2021 Event #76 $10,000 Super Turbo Bounty Final Table Chipcounts: Aditya Agarwal - 8,750,000 Barth Melius - 3,550,000 Stephen Chidwick - 2,270,000 Romain Lewis - 2,050,000 Dario Sammartino - 1,930,000 Uri Reichenstein - 1,795,000 Yevgeniy Timoshenko - 1,065,000 One person who sadly won’t be part of the commentary team for the final days of the WSOP Main Event is Nick Schulman, who tested positive for COVID-19. It appears he’ll miss Ali Nejad... well, a bit. https://twitter.com/NickSchulman/status/1460429518837936128 Finally, players were being careful and getting tested in general, but like every situation in poker, there’s always a player who takes it too far. https://twitter.com/_dmock9888/status/1460432721566584838
Only nine players remain in the hunt for the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event’s $8 million top prize. It’s not only life-changing money that's on the line for the players but also winning the Main Event locks up a spot in poker history. That’s what makes watching the Main Event so special - the stakes are sky-high. The excitement for us watching is seeing how it will play out and getting answers to the questions that have presented themselves along the way. And this year, there’s plenty of questions. Who will spin it up, who will have a meltdown, and ultimately what will be that history-making moment we'll talk about for years. There are plenty of final table details that make this year an interesting one, but with the start just hours away, here are five questions and storylines we’ll be keeping a close eye on during the rest of the 2021 WSOP Main Event. Can Koray Close? German MTT crusher Koray Aldemir is this year’s name pro at the final table and he’ll start the march to the $8 million with an enormous chip lead. Aldemir has 140,000,000 in chips, 35% of the total in play, meaning that it’s going to be very difficult for most of his eight opponents to wrestle that chip lead away from him. His 175 big blinds are really only challenged by that of George Holmes, who has 83,700,000 in chips and has proven to be on a bit of a heater. Should the two get into a massive all-in confrontation early, they could switch positions, but that seems incredibly unlikely given the steep pay jumps that can be won deeper in the final table. Recent history is on Aldemir’s side when it comes to taking down the Main Event. In 2019, Hossein Ensan sat down at his final table with an impressive chip lead and ended up winning it all. In 2018, it wasn’t the case for Nick Manion and Michael Dyer who started the day on the two biggest stacks (Tony Miles and eventual winner John Cynn played heads-up for the bracelet). But both Scott Blumstein (2017) and Joe McKeehen (2015) started their final tables with the lead and ended with the victory as well. With $12.3 in live tournament earnings and far-and-away the most time spent in poker’s spotlight, Aldemir is in a prime position to become the next World Champ. The only two questions are will the cards cooperate and can he close the deal? Will ‘Papo MC’ Drop A Beat? If you’ve been watching the coverage of the Main Event on PokerGO then you can’t help but know that Alejandro Lococo is also known by his rap moniker “Papo MC”. While Aldemir may be the best-known player from the poker world, it’s safe to say that the Argentinian musician is the best-known overall player in the group thanks to his music which has brought him more than 817,000 followers on Twitter. So, one can’t help but think what a win for Lococo could do for the game of poker in Argentina. Give it a boost? Certainly. A bonafide boom? Perhaps. But one look at some of his recent tweets, one in which he comes from behind holding the [ah][th] against the [qs][qh] of 11th place finisher Sean Ragozzini, has racked up over 11,000 likes. https://twitter.com/PapoMcArg/status/1460616250321735691?s=20 He’s got game, he’s got bars, and he’s got one of the best poker tattoos on his right hand that you’ll ever see. But does he have enough beats in him to rise up from third in chips (46,800,000, ~59 big blinds) to bring the Main Event bracelet, and a new wave of poker fans, to his native Argentina? Is Destiny Calling Ozgur Secilmis? Ozgur Secilmis will already go down inWorld Series of Poker history. His quads over quads win over Chang Liu just before the money bubble will go down as one of the toughest beats delivered in any Main Event. It’s the kind of hand that not only propels one's chip stack into the money but it's the kind of luck that makes one feel like they have the poker gods on their side. Secilmis proved to be a tough competitor over the next few days, being featured on the live stream throughout Day 7 as the field narrowed. He did his fair share of damage to get to the final table busting Mitchel Halverson in 15th place and PSPC winner Ramon Colillas in 14th. But earlier in the day, when he was sitting on a short stack, he was all-in and behind with one card to come. He was on the verge of hitting the rail when he spiked his saving card on the river and from there built his stack all the way back up from the felt to a seat at the final table. He’ll need some more help if he’s to spin his 31 big blinds up into a championship run, but if he continues to pick up the right card at the right time, Turkey could have its first Main Event champion. Is It Time For A British Invasion? There’s never been a WSOP Main Event winner from the UK, despite plenty of top-tier talents from across the Atlantic making it to the final table. This year, there are two young pros from the UK with a seat at the final table, both guaranteed to enjoy a new high mark in their careers. Jareth East, 31, has been playing the game since the day he was legal with Hendon Mob results dating back to 2011. But more telling as to his skill is his online results. Currently the #8-ranked pro from the UK (worldwide #154) East has more than $4.3 million in career online earnings including a PokerStars WCOOP title, a Full Tilt Poker FTOPS win, and a WPT Online DeepStacks victory for more than $557,000. East is the second short stack starting the day, with just 10 big blinds, but he might be the player with the best background to run it up. Joining East is his countryman Jack Oliver, 26, who is the youngest player at the final table. Oliver has $117,000 in live tournament earnings but more importantly, he’s got 34,000,000 in chips (43 big blinds) and a shot at bringing the Main Event bracelet home. Will Chase Bianchi’s Bracelet Run Cost Him? Chase Bianchi already has a gold bracelet on his resume, and he’s got the experience to turn his 18 big blinds into a run at the Main Event. But even before he has a chance to play for the $8 million (with $1,000,000 locked up), his newfound fame is already costing him dearly. https://twitter.com/Chase_Bianchi/status/1460600006801453062?s=20 Maybe not dearly, but for sure his landlord knows, right? All of these questions, and more, will be answered over the next two nights at the final table of the Main Event plays out on PokerGO.