Germany’s Koray Aldemir has won the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event, overcoming a massive field of 6,650 starters to claim the US$8 million first prize.
The 31-year-old, who entered the final table as a clear chip leader and dominated for the majority of play, eventually prevailed following a lengthy heads-up battle with American George Holmes. No stranger to tournament success, Aldemir already had around US$12 million in live career winnings under his belt but his first WSOP bracelet represents by far the biggest win of his career – comfortably topping the US$1.3 million he won in a Super High Roller event in the Philippines in 2017.
“It felt great,” Aldemir said. “It’s the biggest final table in the world, so it’s a dream come true. Probably every poker player thinks about this moment when they watch this, believing ‘maybe I could be there one day’.”
The German’s victory will also go down in history as the last WSOP Main Event to be decided at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino with organisers revealing this week that the WSOP would move to Bally’s and Paris Las Vegas in 2022.
WSOP owner Caesars Entertainment sold the Rio for US$516 million in September 2019.