Another World Series of Poker (WSOP) is in the books and the 2021 edition was arguably one of the best yet; full of twists and turns and enough interesting storylines to warrant this article.
Here we’ll break down all of the biggest stories from the WSOP 2021, including a BBZ student who took down her first gold bracelet for $115K.
Koray Aldemir wins Main Event for $8M
The $10K WSOP Main Event remains the pinnacle of the live poker calendar and once again the entire poker world followed along to find out who would become the 51st champion.
The 2021 edition attracted 6,550 entries and when the dust settled after nine days of play it was Germany’s Koray Aldemir who emerged victoriously, winning $8 million and his first gold bracelet.
Aldemir not only had the high rolling résumé to make him the favourite heading into the final table, but he also had a big chip lead and navigated the final table expertly.
1. Koray Aldemir (Germany) – $8,000,000
2. George Holmes (United States) – $4,300,000
3. Jack Oliver (United Kingdom) – $3,000,000
4. Joshua Remitio (United States) – $2,300,000
5. Ozgur Secilmis (Turkey) – $1,800,000
6. Hye Park (United States) – $1,400,000
7. Alejandro Lococo (Argentina) – $1,225,000
8. Jareth East (United Kingdom) – $1,100,000
9. Chase Bianchi (United States) – $1,000,000
Click here to find out how Aldemir put himself in the position to win the Main Event.
Michael Addamo cements position as best in the world
What an incredible year it continues to be for Michael Addamo. Just a few weeks ago we were telling you how he crushed not only the Poker Masters but also the Super High Roller Bowl. Since then he’s won another two WSOP bracelets, taking his total to four, and both his 2021 wins were in high roller events.
Addamo first won a $50K High Roller for $1.13 million, then right at the end of the series he took down the $100K High Roller for $1.95 million.
Between the 17th September 2021 and 21st November 2021–a 66-day stretch–Addamo has won six major titles, finished second and third in others, and cashed for $9.41 million. That amount alone would be enough to put Addamo 104th on poker’s all-time money list. Instead, Addamo now has $17.7 million in career earnings, good for 45th all-time.
Find out how to become the best player in the world, as Addamo did.
Maiden bracelets for poker superstars
Every year there’s a ‘Best player to have never won a bracelet’ poll, and all of the following names would easily have been on it. But now you can scratch them off next year’s ballot.
Long time crusher Jason Koon took down his first bracelet in 2021, winning the $25K Heads-Up Championship for $243K, as did one of the best cash games players of all time, Dan “Jungleman” Cates. Cates’ victory came in the prestigious $50K Poker Players Championship for $954K, proving that he’s a master of all the poker variants.
We also saw high roller and online wizard Ole “wizowizo” Schemion claim his first piece of silverware in the $1,979 Poker Hall of Fame Bounty tournament, which he won for $172K. Then as the series drew to a close, another elite player by the name of Mikita Badziakouski won his maiden bracelet in a $50K High Roller, good for $1.46 million.
Crushers add more silverware to their trophy cabinets
Many of poker’s shining stars added more bracelets to their already impressive tallies in 2021.
Adrian Mateos won his fourth WSOP bracelet (he’s only 27!) in the biggest buy-in event of the series: the $250K High Roller. He earned $3.26 million for that win and lord knows what his ceiling is for someone still so young.
Mixed game master Benny Glaser also claimed his fourth with a win in the $10K Razz for $274K, while Anthony Zinno won two bracelets this summer to take his total up to four: the first in the $10K Seven-Card Stud Championship ($182K) and the second in a $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. event ($160K). Ben Yu also won a fourth this year in the $10K 6-Max Championship ($721K).
Meanwhile, Brian Hastings, Brian Rast and Shaun Deeb all joined the five-time WSOP bracelet club. Hastings won the $10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better Championship for $352K, Rast took down a $3K NLHE 6-Max for $474K, and Deeb claimed the $25K PLO High Roller title for $1.25 million.
Phil Hellmuth wins bracelet #16
White magic was in the WSOP air once again this year as the series’ record bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth won an incredible 16th title.
His victory came in the $1,500 No Limit 2-7 Draw and came with a first-place prize of $84K. But that wasn’t the only highlight of Hellmuth’s summer.
The Poker Brat also finished second in the $10K Dealer’s Choice event for $153K and got another runner-up finish in the $50K PLO Championship for which he banked $734K.
So close, but Hellmuth will have to wait until 2022 to claim bracelets #17 and #18. Still, all those cashes and seven final table appearances surely put him at the top of the WSOP Player of the Year standings, right?
Well, not quite.
Check out some things we learned from Hellmuth in a recent interview.
Josh Arieh beats Hellmuth to win Player of the Year
It was Josh Arieh who won the traditional PoY leaderboard after a successful series which saw him win two bracelets (taking his total to four), make five final tables, and cash 11 events.
Arieh’s first win of the summer came in a $1,500 PLO event for $204K and he followed that up with victory in the $10K PLO Hi-Lo Championship for $484K.
“It’s just really cool, it’s weird,” Arieh told PokerNews about his run to WSOP Player of the Year. “My whole life and my career, whatever I do, I build momentum, so when I’m going good, I’m really good. When I’m going bad, I go really bad. It means a lot because my daughters will be really proud.”
Arieh finished the series with 4,194 points while Phil Hellmuth had to settle for second place once again with 3,720 points. This is the fourth time Hellmuth has finished second in the WSOP PoY race.
BBZ student Lara Eisenberg wins bracelet
The entire BBZ community was thrilled to see hard-working student Lara Eisenberg take down her maiden WSOP bracelet in the $1K buy-in Ladies Event for $115K.
Eisenberg battled through a field of 644 entries to win the title, which meant a lot to her. “This really feels like validation that if you put in the time and effort, you will eventually see the reward,” she told us.
Read our interview with Lara Eisenberg here.