WSOP Weekly: Main Event Reaches Final Nine; Germany’s ​​Koray Aldemir Holds Massive Chip Lead

November 16, 2021
WSOP Weekly: Main Event Reaches Final Nine; Germany’s ​​Koray Aldemir Holds Massive Chip Lead

After seven days of action, the World Series of Poker Main Event reached the final table in Tuesday’s early morning hours in Las Vegas. The final nine players now return to action on Tuesday to play down to the final four with a winner then crowned from those on Wednesday.

The winner takes home the biggest prize in poker, the world championship bracelet and $8 million. All nine players remaining are guaranteed at least $1 million.

Germany’s ​​Koray Aldemir returns with a sizable chip lead over the field. He brings in 140 million chips, about 175 big blinds. Aldemir said things just seem to go his way, including a huge hand where an opponent rivered a flush and he hit a full house.

“To be honest, I got super lucky. I mean, I hit all the hands,” Aldemir told WSOP.com. “I mean, that big hand where I had queen-eight and he rivered a flush was kind of typical for the whole day: I hit the perfect river card! Yeah, sometimes poker is easy if you just hit all the hands.”

Beyond the Main Event, several other events are playing out as well. With just under a week left in the series, here’s a look at the news from the Rio in Las Vegas.

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Event 67: $10,000 Main Event World Championship

When play resumed on Tuesday, 36 players returned hoping for a shot at the final table. The tournament produced 6,650 players for a $62 million prize pool.

Plenty of eyes were on three-time bracelet winner Chance Kornuth on Monday. Kornuth already won a bracelet in Short Deck in October for $194,670 and looked to make an even bigger WSOP run.

Kornuth fell just short of a final table appearance however, finishing 16th for $305,000.  

“That was by far and away the most exhilarating experience I’ve ever had in poker and life,” he noted on Twitter. “I enjoyed every minute of it. Can’t wait to try again next year. Thank you all for the love and support this last week!”

Those returning will also be eyeing the massive Main Event bracelet, featuring 10 karats of yellow and white gold encrusted with 2,230 rubies and white and black diamonds.

Only one player at the final table has a bracelet and several don’t have the deepest of poker records. But the Main Event is where dreams come true and unknown players coming out of nowhere to win has happened before. Here’s a look at the final nine players remaining.

Koray Aldemir returns with a sizable chip lead on Tuesday in the WSOP Main Event. (photos courtesy PokerGO)

1 – Koray Aldemir, 140,000,000

While he may not have a bracelet yet, this German player has plenty of skins on the wall. That includes $12.3 million in live tournament winnings and $3 million alone at the WSOP.

Aldemir’s biggest WSOP finishes came in 2016. He finished runner-up in a $1,500 Summer Solstice NLHE event for $252,805. Just days later, he took third in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop, scoring $2.2 million.

The most-decorated player returning, Aldemir has some other huge scores as well. In 2019, he finished runner-up in the €25,000 EPT Monte Carlo High Roller for $734,086. The same year he won a $50,000 US Poker Open event for $ 738,000.

With plenty of experience in massive spots and a mountain of chips, this poker pro will be tough to beat. Look for aggression early as players try to move up the pay ladder.

George Holmes returns second in chips in the Main Event.

2 – George Holmes, 83,700,000

This player from Atlanta, Georgia, has notched his second Main Event cash after finishing 213th in 2019 for $50,855. That is the extent of his major tournament scores, according to Hendon Mob.

Originally from New Jersey, Holmes plays in a regular home poker game with friends back in Atlanta. On Monday, he’d been down to a single big blind at one point before battling back. He’ll be looking to create his own Moneymaker story if he can find the winner’s circle.

Freestyle rapper Alejandro “Papo MC” Lococo has made the final table of the Main Event after recently signing as an ambassador with PokerStars.

3 – Alejandro Lococo, 46,800,000

This may be the best-known player of the final nine. Lococo, also known as Papo MC, is a freestyle rapper and poker player from Argentina and has a big following in Latin America.

In August, Lococo actually signed as a PokerStars ambassador. With $118,127 in live tournament winnings, mostly in South America, this easily becomes the biggest score of his life.

Papo MC first gained some fame in 2011 in the Batalla de los Gallos in Argentina. The television show pits freestyle rappers in a competition and he came out on top. He’s now hoping for another big finish on poker’s biggest stage.

Joshua Remitio returns to the Main Event fourth in chips.

4 – Joshua Remitio, 40,000,000

This player from Arizona will be looking to make a huge name for himself. He comes into the final table with a grand total of $1,809 in live tournament winnings, according to Hendon Mob.

His biggest live tournament score to date is $650. This becomes his first WSOP cash and Remitio’s now hoping to make that even more special.

Jack Oliver returns as one of two players from the United Kingdom.

5 – Jack Oliver, 34,000,000

Hailing from the United Kingdom, Oliver is another player adding the biggest score of his poker career by far. He has only $117,414 in live tournament winnings and now has a chance to become the UK’s first Main Event champion.

Oliver has been steady and will be hoping to see some of the smaller stacks bust early in play on Tuesday. He should then hope to grab some more chips of his own to reach the final four.

Ozgur Secilmis enters the final table sixth in chips.

6 – Ozgur Secilmis, 24,500,000

Another less experienced player, the player from Turkey has $133,559 in live tournament winnings. Getting to the final four won’t be easy as he sits on one of the four shortest stacks.

The biggest tournament of his career came in 2018 in a $1,500 event in Cyprus for $41,645. He now adds to his poker record significantly and has a shot at even more.

Chase Bianchi heads to the Main Event final table as the only player left to have won a bracelet.

7 – Chase Bianchi, 14,100,000

As the only player with a bracelet, Bianchi at least has the WSOP experience to win a title. He just may not have the chips to get there.

This player from Columbia, Maryland, won a $1,000 NLHE event in 2016 for a bracelet and $316,920.

Another nice finish came in 2018 at the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open, where he finished seventh for $106,497. In total, Bianchi has $872,718 in live tournament winnings.

Hye Park served in the Marines and returns as a short stack.

8 – Hye Park, 13,500,000

With $471,504 in live tournament winnings, Park brings some experience to the table but faces a major chip disadvantage.

From Holmdel, New Jersey, Park had some WSOP.com success this summer and served in the US Marines from 2001-05.

He scored a championship ring in the online Summer Circuit Series for $14,398. He’ll be looking to double up early to gain some traction.

Jareth East returns as the shortest stack but is guaranteed at least $1 million if he finishes ninth.

9 – Jareth East, 8,300,000

The second player from the UK at this final table faces a major uphill climb. East has $149,925 in live tournament winnings and will need some luck on his side to move up the pay ladder.

He does have some Main Event experience on his side at least. East finished 293rd in 2015 for $29,329. Look for a quick all in (or more) to try and capture some chips early.

Where to watch the Main Event

PokerGO will once again have the Main Event action beginning at 4:30 pm (ET) on Tuesday. When play reaches four players, the platform will air the action beginning at the same time on Wednesday until there’s a winner.

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Event 68: $1,111 Little One for One Drop

Scott Ball took his second career bracelet in this event and scored $396,445 in the process. The player from Carlsbad, California, won his first bracelet in October.

That win in the $5,000 NLHE Six-Handed brought a score of $562,667 and Ball is certainly on a roll.

The Little One produced a field of 3,797 entries for a $3.8 million prize pool. Michael Shanahan finished runner-up for $245,068.

Event 69: $1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better

John Monnette and John Racener were both seeking bracelets, but it was New York’s Jermaine Reid who cashed in.

He won his first bracelet and $113,459 with New Jersey’s Peder Berge finishing second for $70,126. The event brought in 372 players for a $496,620 prize pool.

Event 71: $1,500 Bounty Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Handed

After returning as chip leader at the final table, France’s Mourad Amokrane parlayed that into his first bracelet and $132,844. Matt Mamiya, of Seattle, Washington, finished runner-up for $82,100. The tournament brought in 860 entries for a $1.1 million prize pool.

Event 72: $1,500 Mixed NLHE; Pot-Limit Omaha

This split format saw several players from outside the US rise to the top. The event drew 846 players for a $1.1 million prize pool with Japan’s Motoyoshi Okamura finding the winner’s circle.

Okamura took home his first bracelet and $209,716 with Brazil’s Rafael Mota taking runner-up for $129,621.

Online Event 8: $7,777 Lucky 7s High Roller

Sunday saw two online bracelets awarded at WSOP.com. The first saw Estonia’s Aleksejs “APonakov” Ponakovs take the crown for his first bracelet and $432,491.

Jaroslaw “johnnyloveit” Jaskiewicz, of Canada, finished runner-up for $267,232. The tournament attracted 183 entries for a $1.3 million prize pool.

Online Event 9: $777 Lucky 7s NLHE

The lower price point Lucky 7s event saw 1,122 entries for a $785,400 prize pool. Bulgaria’s Yuliyan “Dr.Feelg00da” Kolev topped Tim “uNORTH0doX” Reilly heads-up for the title. Kolev won his first bracelet for $146,163.

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Looking ahead

Several events continue on Tuesday with more final table action on the horizon. Some other events get started on Tuesday including the $1,500 Fifty Stack. Low ballers will also be out in force for the $10,000 Razz Championship. Here’s a look at what’s on tap in the coming days.

  • 77: $1,500 Fifty Stack NLHE – Nov. 16
  • 78: $10,000 Razz Championship – Nov. 16
  • 79: $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty – Nov. 17
  • 80: $3,000 Six-Handed PLO – Nov. 17
  • 81: $800 NLHE Deepstack – Nov. 18
  • 82: $250,000 Super High Roller – Nov. 18

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