WSOP Main Event Reaches Final Three Players; Series Announces Move to Vegas Strip in 2022

November 17, 2021
WSOP Main Event Reaches Final Three Players; Series Announces Move to Vegas Strip in 2022

The World Series of Poker Main Event has reached the final table with Germany’s Koray Aldemir (pictured above)holding a massive chip lead. The final three players return to the Rio on Wednesday in Las Vegas to play to a champion.

All three players are guaranteed at least $3 million with $8 million and the coveted gold bracelet going to the winner. In other news, WSOP officials also announced a change in venue for 2022 and a return to summer.

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Knockouts come quickly at Main Event final table

Chase Bianchi shakes hands after getting knocked out in ninth place. (photo courtesy PokerGO)

When action got underway on Tuesday, the fireworks went off quickly. Within the first 15 minutes, Chase Bianchi moved his short stack all in with King-Queen. Jack Oliver made the call with Ace-King with the board pairing neither player and sending Bianchi out the door in ninth for $1 million.

On the next hand, Jareth East moved his short stack all in as well with Ace-Jack. George Holmes re-shoved from the button with pocket Queens and landed another Queen on the flop. East won $1.1 million for eighth.

Within a half hour, the field was down to seven and the next elimination proved surprising. Alejandro “MC Papo” Lococo sat second in chis and picked up pocket 10s with Aldemir holding pocket 9s. The flop brought JJ9♣, giving the chip leader a full house. 

Lococo checked and Aldemir bet 3.9 million and received a call. The 8 fell on the turn and Lococo again checked.

This time Aldemir bet 11.4 million and that was called. The 3♦ came on the river and Aldemir bet the size of the pot. Lococo then announced all in and Aldemir called.

The hand sent the Argentine freestyle rapper and PokerStars ambassador to the rail earlier than might have been expected. He scored $1.2 million for seventh but perhaps could have made much more.

Reaching the final three

Aldemir pressed the action much of the day, picking spots for raises to take advantage of smaller stacks. With some major pay jumps, players looked to move up to bigger payouts.

When challenged, as seen by Lococo, Aldemir seemed to have the goods. He’d be responsible for two of the final three eliminations of the day.

The next knockout came in the 86th hand when New Jersey’s Hye Park moved all in with pocket 7s. Aldemir made the call with Ace-Queen, catching a Queen on the turn to end Park’s run. He took home $1.4 million for sixth place.

With his stack dwindling, Turkey’s Ozgur Secilmis soon moved all in with K5♥. Aldemir once again had a nice hand, this time pocket 9s. Secilmis got no help, with two Aces landing on the flop and another Ace on the turn giving Aldemir a full house. Secilmis exited with $1.8 million for fifth.

Play had been expected to stop with four players remaining, but that changed and continued to a final three. Joshua Remitio was next to hit the rail after moving a short stack in with J7♥.

This time Jack Oliver did the dirty work, calling with A♠2♣. An Ace fell right on the flop, handing Oliver the pot. Remitio scored $2.3 million for fourth and play stopped for the night.

Oliver moved on to the final three after a late hand saw him triple up after riveting a flush. That brought quite a response from his rail.

Returning to the action

Holmes entered the final day with one of the thinnest poker resumés of the remaining players. A regular poker home game player, he came back with the goal of dodging tough spots and simply advancing along. He hoped to “just kind of survive. See if we can get to three or four handed. That’s all it was about.”

He did just that and now has at least a chance to rock the poker world.

“I feel awesome,” he said afterward. “I just want to go get some sleep so I can start off fresh tomorrow and be in good spirits.”

 Aldemir’s lead will certainly be difficult to overcome however. He has more chips than Holmes and Oliver combined, but comebacks are certainly possible in poker. Here’s a look at the final three players’ chip counts.

  1. Koray Aldemir – 264,400,000
  2. Jack Oliver – 77,300,000
  3. George Holmes – 57,400,000

The Main Event resumes on Thursday and poker fans can follow all the action on PokerGO. The final table gets underway at 6 pm (ET). 

WSOP moves to Strip in summer 2022; new role for Vince Vaughan announced

Viewers of the action on PokerGO also received some big news regarding next year’s series. The WSOP will once again return to the summer, but is shifting to the Vegas Strip for the first time in its 53-year history.

The 2022 festival will be held at the Bally’s and Paris properties from May 31 to July 19 following a 17-year run at the Rio. Series officials also announced that actor, comedian and card player Vince Vaughn will  serve as WSOP ambassador and master of ceremonies.

“As we approach the final table, we look back on yet another successful Main Event that exceeded expectations,” WSOP Vice President Ty Stewart said in a news release. “We are absolutely thrilled with this year’s turnout, both domestically and internationally. As we close out this chapter at the Rio, we are excited to have the iconic Vince Vaughn usher in a new era of WSOP at Bally’s and Paris next summer.”

Vince Vaughn (left) with WSOP Vice President Jack Effel on Tuesday. (photo courtesy PokerGO)

Following the news of WSOP’s move to the Caesars Entertainment Strip properties, Vaughn took the stage to announce his new role. The star of “Wedding Crashers” and “Swingers” also gave the official “shuffle up and deal.”

No stranger to Vegas, Vaughn has been an avid poker player for much of his life. He plans on playing in the WSOP next summer as well.

“I have such a strong connection to Las Vegas and am honored to be selected as the master of ceremonies for what is set to be the most anticipated WSOP tournament ever,” Vaughn said. “Poker has long been one of my favorite sports, so to be a part of something as historic as the WSOP finally moving to the Strip is an absolute dream. Vegas Baby, Vegas!”

The full 2022 WSOP schedule is expected to be released in January.

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