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2021 WSOP Main Event Winner - Koray Aldemir

The 2020 WSOP Main Event was the strangest in history. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the year's festival had been reduced to 85 online Hold 'Em and Omaha tournaments. Desperate to have at least some live action for the $10,000 Main Event, the WSOP compromised with a multiphase, hybrid solution. An international event, hosted by GGPoker and a U.S. event, hosted at WSOP.com would each play down to a final table of 9 players. The international final table would then be played live at King's Casino, the recent home of the World Series of Poker Europe in the Czech Republic, while the U.S. final table would occur live at the Rio in Las Vegas.

By coincidence, each of the players who were eighth in chips missed their respective final tables. China's Peiyuan Sun opted against traveling for safety reasons, while Upeshka De Silva tested positive for COVID-19 and was eliminated in ninth place by rule.

German-born Koray Aldemir began the interational final table third in chips but overcame Brazil's Brunno Botteon and Portugal's Manuel Ruivo to advance to the heads-up finale against Joseph Hebert, who led the U.S. final table from wire to wire.

While Hebert and the Rio were ready to contest the final on December 30, one last twist pushed the match to January 3, 2021: Salas was denied entry into the U.S. because he had been in Europe playing his final table!

The heads-up battle began with equal stacks of 500,000 chips and blinds at 500 and 1,000. The lead swung back and forth several times before Hebert grabbed a commanding 9-to-1 chip lead. Salas inched closer over the next 53 hands, edging into a small lead in one hand, and taking a 2-to-1 lead with a straight on the next. Although the American closed the gap a couple of times, he trailed 7-to-2 before doubling up just before the final hand, when all the chips went in before the flop with Hebert's A♦Q♠ trailing Salas's K♦J♠. When the flop paired Salas's King, he took the title to South America for the first time and earned the $1,000,000 bonus.

2020 U.S. Final Table Results

FinishPlayerPrizeStartStart Chips
1stJoseph Hebert$1,553,256113,052,534
2ndRon Jenkins$1,002,34072,476,746
3rdMichael Cannon$529,25854,408,847
4thRyan Hagerty$387,13035,071,572
5thTony Yuan$286,96344,829,459
6thHarrison Dobin$215,22291,581,392
7thShawn Stroke$163,78625,252,000
8thGershon Distenfeld$125,88563,475,481
9thUpeshka De Silva$98,81382,151,969

2020 International Final Table Results

FinishPlayerPrizeStartStart Chips
1stKoray Aldemir$1,550,96935,653,528
2ndBrunno Botteon$1,062,723110,317,743
3rdManuel Ruivo$728,17726,213,759
4thRamon Miquel Munoz$498,94773,035,940
5thMarco Streda$341,87944,232,560
6thDominykas Mikolaitis$234,25563,165,440
7thStoyan Obreshkov$160,51292,119,610
8thHannes Speiser$109,98253,515,744
9thPeiyuan Sun$75,36082,185,676

2021 World Series of Poker Main Event Summary

DatesDecember 13 to January 3 [2021]
Players1,379 (187 cashed)
WinnerKoray Aldemir ($8,000,000, Germany)
Runner-UpJoseph Hebert ($1,553,256, U.S.)
Final Table Bubble BoysAnthony Spinella ($77,832, U.S.) & Thomas Macdonald ($50,131, International)
Money Bubble Boyunknown (108th U.S. & 81st International)
Last Champ StandingRyan Riess (~92nd [47th U.S.], $22,334)
Last Woman StandingMaria Ho (~43rd [22nd U.S.], $35,194)
Last Celebrity Standingnone
In 50 CharactersOnline due to COVID-19; four women win bracelets.

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