CardsChat Presents: Big Winners of the WSOP (Nov. 12

While the Main Event boiled down from 6,650 to the final nine, a dozen more bracelets were won. Brian Hastings continues to show the poker world that he’s an elite player by winning his fifth WSOP bracelet, while three players from France found their strides during the series’ final week.

But as the WSOP rolls to a close — the last live tournament of the series begins today — the real Big Winners are poker fans who got to watch these compelling people go for poker glory. All of us at CardsChat are already looking forward to the 2022 WSOP that begins in May.

Koray Aldemir WSOP

We’re wondering how the new Main Event champion, Koray Aldemir, is going to fit all of that cash into his wallet. (Image: WSOP)


koray aldemir wins wsop 2021

Koray Aldemir

$10K Main Event Championship
$8 million

It took 54 hands of heads-up play for the German-born pro (living in Austria) to defeat the amateur from Atlanta, Georgia, and claim the most-coveted title in poker, along with a hefty $8 million bankroll boost.


Scott Ball

$1,111 NLHE Little One for One Drop
$396,445

Winning his second bracelet of the Series, and his second overall, Ball bested a field of 3,797 entrants who anted up for a shot at poker glory and to help the One Drop foundation, which helps provide clean water to people around the world.


Jermaine Reid

$1,500 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo 8 or Better
$113,459

Snatching his first bracelet, the Bronx resident outlasted 371 and beat a final table that included John Monnette, John Racener, and Carol Fuchs.


Davis Moses

$888 Crazy Eights No-Limit Hold’em, Eight-handed
$888,888

The man known as Ruetama claimed his first bracelet while playing the part of the Grinch to the 5,251 other players who tried for the $888,888 guaranteed first-place prize.


Mourad Amokrane wsop

Mourad Amokrane

$1,500 PLO Eight-Handed
$132,844

Amokrane’s win makes him the second player to win a WSOP bracelet this year while also booking the biggest tournament score of his poker career.


Motoyoshi Okamura

Motoyoshi Okamura

$1,500 Mixed No-Limit Hold’em, PLO Eight-Handed
$209,716

The man from Japan won his first bracelet in this two-game mix tournament, outlasting 845 and a truly international final table with players representing Brazil, Chile, Israel, the Philippines, Germany, the US, and Canada.


Brian Hastings wsop

Brain Hastings

$10K Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo
$352,958

Hastings reestablished his position as one of the game’s elite players, joining names like Allen Cunningham, Michael Mizrachi, and Shaun Deeb in the WSOP’s five-timer’s club by being the last man standing out of 144 entrants in this split pot event.


Denis Strebkov

Denis Strebkov

$2,500 Mixed Big Bet Event
$117,898

Showing his skills in games ranging from Big O to No-Limit Hold’em, No-Limit 2-7 Lowball Draw, Pot-Limit Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better, No-Limit 5-Card Draw High, Pot-Limit Omaha, and Pot-Limit 2-7 Lowball Triple Draw, Strebkov bested a field of 212 players to claim the title and push his lifetime WSOP winnings to more than $500K.


Chad Himmelspach

Chad Himmelspach

$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout
$270,877

Making his eighth WSOP cash — and fifth of this year’s series — count, Himmelspach won his first WSOP bracelet by being the last of 1,191 standing.


Romain Lewis Winners' Photo

Romain Lewis

$10K Super Turbo Bounty No-Limit Hold’em Freezeout
$463,885

The Winamax-sponsored poker pro won his first bracelet — and the third for France this year — in the event that attracted 307.


Paulo Joanello

$1,500 No-Limit Hold’em
$321,917

The Brazilian with $13K in career tournament winnings before this event, won his first bracelet in the “Fifty Stack” tourney, where players start with 50K chips and play 30-minute blinds.


Aleksejs Ponakovs

$7,777 Online No-Limit Hold’em High Roller 
$432,491

The online pro from Latvia pushed his WSOP winnings over the $1.5 million mark by winning his first bracelet in the online Lucky 7s event, which attracted 183.


Yuliyan Kolev

$777 Online No-Limit Hold’em
$146,163

The man from Sofia, Bulgaria won his first bracelet in the online event that saw 732 punters going for the Sunday online bracelet.


Photos by Melissa Haereiti, Alec Rome, Haley Hotchstetler, and Katerina Lukina, courtesy of the WSOP.

Written by

Bob Pajich

Bob Pajich is a poker news reporter, creative writer, and poker player who never met suited connectors he didn’t like.

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