The 2021 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is finally over, with Koray Aldemir taking home the top prize of $8,000,000. The German poker pro is the latest winner of the prestigious WSOP Main Event championship after two weeks of action at the Rio which saw a total of 6,650 players compete for the coveted title.
Another Feather in Aldemir’s Cap
Aldemir is no stranger to the live poker tournament arena. Before his victory at this year’s WSOP Main Event, the 31-year-old had already amassed more than $12 million in live tournament winnings over the course of his career. During the past few years, the German pro has had huge success at various major poker festivals around the world.
He has won events at the World Poker Tour (WPT), Triton Poker Super High Roller, Aria High Roller, and US Poker Open. His previous biggest score came in 2016 when he finished 3rd in the WSOP $111,111 No-Limit Hold’em High Roller for One Drop for $2.1 million.
Now a WSOP champion, Aldemir’s live cashes jumped to more than $20 million, putting him 4th in his home country’s all-time money list.
Day 9 Action
Just three players returned on Day 9 on Wednesday, November 17, to play down to a winner, with Aldemir holding a massive chip advantage.
Everyone thought it would be an easy win for the German pro as he is more experienced in playing tournaments than the other two finalists, George Holmes and Jack Oliver, but this was proved wrong. Aldemir had to put in his maximum effort as his opponents also came prepared and just wouldn’t give up without a fight.
During the early stages of the game, the action was mainly between Holmes and Oliver who were fighting for a spot in heads-up play. The tight contest between both players went on for quite some time until Holmes finally sent Oliver out of the game three hours into Day 9. The British player walked away with $3 million for his 3rd-place finish.
Intense Heads-Up Play
Heads-up play began with Aldemir significantly ahead in the chip counts. Looking into Holme’s poker background, one can say that he is relatively inexperienced. The American player had only one recorded live cash when he entered the 2021 Main Event – he finished 213th in the 2019 Main Event for $50,855.
Holmes was understandably the underdog in the heads-up match but he showed everyone that he was there to win the title. He conquered numerous hands and climbed his way to the top, stealing the lead from Aldemir. The eventual winner acknowledged he was stressed when he lost the chip lead to Holmes, but he didn’t allow it to distract his gameplay. Given his extensive tournament experience, Aldemir isn’t someone who would easily crack under pressure.
After winning several consecutive hands, Koray Aldemir was back on track, but that didn’t stop Holmes from putting obstacles along his way. It was anyone’s game for the most part until the 223rd hand wherein Holmes eventually placed all of his chips in the middle and Aldemir called and the game was over.
Aldemir walked away with $8 million in first-place prize and captured his first WSOP bracelet. He now joins the ranks of poker greats Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, and Doyle Brunson. The German pro described his Main Event journey as a crazy experience and thanked all of the players who also did great.
Holmes may have fallen short of winning the title but it was still a great performance from the Georgia poker player who walked away with $4.3 million for his runner-up finish.