Remember last year’s World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion? Yes, we’re talking about the one and only Koray Aldemir. The defending champ returned to WSOP 2022 ME for another shot at the prestigious title. While he couldn’t repeat his last year’s victory, he ended up setting a record for going unbeaten for 135 hours straight on the ME! Incredible!
Even though he clinched the title last year, Aldemir returned to the life felts to have a go at it again. This year, he ran deep once again but did not even bust out once in the six days he was grinding on the Main Event. He eventually finished in 75th place for $101,700.
While his comeback was already talked about, it was Day 4 of the Main Event where the buzz around Aldemir started to get louder. Even Aldemir was taken back to his stint at last year’s WSOP, “Some memories of last year came flooding back. I think around Day 4 or so — the money bubble burst on Day 3, so on Day 4 when I moved back above one million chips. And then two million chips! But I had a way bigger stack last year, so it was a little different this year,” recalled Aldemir.
The Main Event had a total of 8,663 entries, out of which 1,300 players made the money. The WSOP ME champ was, of course, one of them. This was a feat in itself, and with the field growing smaller by the hour, he made sure to manage his expectations.
“I was just trying to take it hand by hand,” he said. “But I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought of winning or making the final table again. But I knew it was unlikely, so it’s totally fine to bust, of course.”
The poker pro reached Day 6 and took to his Instagram stories to express his excitement. Telling his followers, “It is getting exciting…played two weeks straight on the Main (Event) without busting. Today is officially Day 6, which is pretty crazy.” He also recalled his previous years’ experience, saying, “It’s very different than last year where I was the big chip leader going into Day 6, now I have less than an average stack.”
While his deep run eventually ended, Aldemir was content with his performance. “Of course, I couldn’t expect to win it again, so getting to Day 6 was already pretty cool,” said Aldemir.
He said about his incredible 135 hours straight run, “I know it’s a privilege. I know ‘run good’ with the cards plays such a big role. I mean, if I run kings into aces at some point on Day 1, I’m just out! So, I’m a little proud that I might be the longest without busting the Main. It is kind of cool.”
At Level 26, he played one of the outer feature tables, with a chip stack of 3,800,000 and the blinds at 40,000/80,000. He maintained his stack size on Level 27 with blinds at 50,000/100,000. He was slightly in the danger zone on Level 28 after being down to less than 3 million chips.
In Level 28 on Day 6, Aldemir saw his run end. With blinds at 60,000/120,000 the poker pro shoved his last 1,680,000 with Pocket Nines into the pot after Brian Kim raised to 260,000. Kim then called Aldemir’s raise with Ace-Queen off-suit, putting the latter in the danger zone.
The board then ran out 2d 2s Qd 6c 8h, and Kim won the post as he flopped queens and deuces. With this, Aldemir was eliminated, and his journey to defend his title came to an end.
Aldemir was active on his Instagram throughout the event and posted his thoughts on the platform. He admitted he was a little disappointed but was glad about his deep run. He also thanked his supporters and the nice words he received from people.
We sure hope Aldemir will be able to repeat his Main Event success in the future, and if not, there are always other WSOP tournaments that he can ship. What did you think about Aldemir’s run? Let us know in the comments below.
Donna Amo is a writer at Gutshot Magazine. She is a graduate from Sophia College of Women, Mumbai with a degree in English Literature. When this October born foodie is not writing content or poetry, she spends her time laughing at memes or watching series. Based out of Mizoram, she is drawn to all things nature and has a soft spot for puppies.
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