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Highlights From The 2021 World Series Of Poker Poker
Gutshot Editorial
Posted on 19 Jan, 2022
By Gutshot Editorial
On 19 Jan, 2022
By Gutshot Editorial
On 19 Jan, 2022

Highlights From The 2021 World Series Of Poker

The most prestigious series of poker tournaments, regarded as the largest poker event in the world, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) finally returned to live, in-person events, after more than a year of online tournaments.

Also known for breaking several records – in 2019, the year which last featured in-person events, the series reported more than 180,000 players and an astounding $300 million in prize money – the WSOP consisted of over 100 events in 2021, featuring most of the major poker variants.

The 2021 schedule featured the return of live, in-person competitions and events, and kicked off on 30th September, with several bracelet events taking place at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. The series concluded in November, with the Main Event (ME), the $10,000 No-Limit Hold‘em World Championship, which was won by Koray Aldemir in a thrilling final hand against George Holmes.

In 2020, the WSOP was forced to adjust to a hybrid format, due to lockdowns, social distancing measures, and health protocols imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, a number of new gold bracelet online tournaments was introduced, which contributed to a renewed interest in online poker – to venture into the world of online poker, players can check tools like Casino Help for reliable operators and trustworthy platforms.

This year’s edition of the WSOP also marked the final season at the Rio, as the series will be moved to a convention center on the Las Vegas Strip. With the conclusion of the 2021 WSOP after seven exciting weeks of poker action, it’s time to look back at some of this season’s best moments. 

Final season at the Rio

Highlights From The 2021 World Series Of Poker

The poker world has reached the end of an era with the conclusion of the 2021 WSOP. After playing host to the most prestigious poker event in the world for 17 years, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino has bid farewell to the WSOP with one of the most exciting series in recent years.

ALSO READ: Phil Hellmuth Makes A Gandalf Grand Entrance To 2021 WSOP Main Event

Next year, the series will travel down the road to the Las Vegas Strip – to the convention space between Bally’s and Paris, two Caesars Entertainment properties on the Strip – marking the first time the WSOP will be held somewhere other than the Rio since 2004, when it was held at Binion’s downtown.

Out of the 1,030 bracelets awarded at the Rio over the course of these 17 years, the final one went to Boris Kolev, who won event #88: $5,000 8-Handed No-Limit Hold‘em. The first bracelet ever won at the Rio was awarded on 3rd June 2005, when Anthony Nguyen won the $500 Casino Employees No-Limit Hold‘em tournament.

Phil Hellmuth, who won his 16th bracelet during the 2021 series, is the player who collected the most gold bracelets at the Rio, with six wins. Four others – Shaun Deeb, Brian Rast, Brian Hastings, and Jason Mercier – won five.

2021 WSOP Highlights

One of the series’ most exhilarating moments occurred towards the end of the season’s largest event. The 2021 WSOP ME had plenty of spectacular hands, but the last hand played between George Holmes and the champion, Koray Aldemir, was one for the books.

After 223 hands had been played in the final table, Holmes, who was holding K and Q, with the river showing 10, 7, 2, K, and 9, went all-in for 133 million. If Aldemir, who had 10 and 7, called the tournament would be over. But if he folded, Holmes would have a 2-1 chip lead. After a few minutes of tanking, Aldemir eventually made the call, shipped the pot, and took home the $8 million prize along with the coveted gold bracelet. 

Poker legend Phil Hellmuth didn’t win the WSOP Player of the Year award, but he did have one of the best series in poker history. By winning Event #31: $1,500 No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, the 1989 world champion improved his personal record to 16 bracelets, and he came close to winning a few additional tournaments in this year’s series. He concluded the 2021 WSOP with a record of seven final table appearances, including two second-place finishes, proving that at the age of 57, he obviously still has it.

Finally, one of the most memorable moments of the 2021 WSOP came when Doyle Brunson, at age 88 and three years removed since his last WSOP appearance, surprised the crowd by entering event #58: $1,000 Super Seniors No-Limit Hold‘em. Despite quickly exiting the event, the 10-time bracelet winner returned for the ME, in which he made it to Day 2.

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