– General Introduction –
He’s best known for winning the WSOP Main Event for $8 million in 2021, the first time the series returned to the Rio after the hiatus caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. It was also the last WSOP held at that off-Strip casino. Overall, he has $20.334 million in live tournament cashes. That puts him in the top 5 on Hendon’s German all time money list.
Apart from his WSOP Main Event trophy, he’s won other high profile events as well, such as the Triton Super High Roller Series Philippines Main Event in 2017; the WPT L.A. Poker Classic also in 2017, and a $50K US Poker Open event in 2019.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2012: He starts cashing in live tournaments in Germany.
- 2017: He wins the HK$1,000,000 Main Event at the Philippines stop of the Triton Super High Roller Series for $1.293 million.
- 2021: He wins his first WSOP gold bracelet after finishing first in the Main Event for $8 million. That is also the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
– Koray Aldemir’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Pokernews.com published a short profile on him in April 2017. According to that piece, he first played poker in his life at age 16, at a New Year’s Eve party with his high school friends.
He took a liking to the card game, so he registered on PokerStars as soon as he turned 18 and started playing freerolls. He moved to Cottbus to study business administration in college. That is where he met a student who was playing poker professionally.
The idea of playing cards for a living was intriguing for the young Koray. So, he started studying and playing more to work towards that goal.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Aldemir has cashed for $20.334 million in live tournaments, according to his Hendon profile. That sum is the product of ITM finishes in 111 different live events over the course of 9 years. His impressive results put him in the #4 spot on the German all time money list, and in the top 40 on the overall all time money list.
The first recorded cash on his profile is from January 2012. And it was a victory right off the bat. He finished first in a €200 NLHE tourney in his hometown, Berlin, and won €3,375 (which equaled around $4,350 at the time).
In 2013, he moved to his current residence, Vienna, to further pursue his career in poker. There, in December of that year, he came in 7th in the €500 No Limit Hold’em event at the Concord Million III for €21,000 ($28,777). The next year, in March 2014, he took down the €990 NLHE Big Stack event at WPT Venice in Italy for €11,228 ($15,576). A year later, in March 2015, he finished 16th in the €5,300 Main Event at the Malta stop of the European Poker Tour for €35,800 ($38,726).
The first time Aldemir made a live score for over $100K was at the 2016 World Series in Las Vegas. Since then, he delivered a vast number of major cashes in the live tournament scene.
In February 2017, he finished first in the HK$1,000,000 Main Event at the Triton Super High Roller Series in Paranaque City, Philippines. He pocketed no less than HK$10.033 million ($1.293 million) for that victory. He beat the Spanish Sergio Aido heads-up for the title. You can read an exclusive interview he gave to our website shortly after.
Later that year, in August 2017, he came in 3rd in the €50,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Championship in Barcelona for €528,500 ($620,669).
In September 2018, he made a runner-up finish in the $52,000 NLHE event at the Poker Masters High Roller Series for $517,000. In February 2019, he won the $50,000 NLHE event at the US Poker Open for $738,000. Only a few months later, in May 2019, he came in 2nd in the €25,000 NLHE High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo and thus earned €655,840 ($734,086).
→ World Series of Poker ←
Koray Aldemir has won one WSOP gold bracelet so far.
However, that one bracelet is the most coveted one among them all – it’s the WSOP Main Event title. Aldemir entered a field of 6,650 players in the much anticipated Main Event in November 2021. A year before, in 2020, the Coronavirus pandemic canceled the usual summer WSOP. Therefore the annual Main Event was an odd online-live hybrid tournament with an international and a domestic (American) leg which was won by the Argentinian Damian Salas at the end.
So, poker fans were excited to have a “regular” Main Event be played fully live in the Rio again – even if it’s in the fall, not the summer. However, the lingering health crisis and the consequent vaccination mandate kept the attendance at average, as opposed to the originally expected record-shattering field size.
Aldemir fought his way through Days 1-6 and arrived at the final table as the chip leader. In the end, he faced George Holmes from Atlanta, Georgia heads-up for the title. In the last hand, Aldemir’s two pair beat Holmes’s pair of Kings at showdown, giving the German pro the Main Event title along with the $8 million first prize money. That is also Aldemir’s biggest single live tournament score to date.
Prior to his Main Event win, Aldemir reached the final table at the €10,350 WSOP Europe Main Event in Rozvadov, Czech Republic in 2018. He eventually busted in 7th place for €130,350.
He finished 2nd in the $1,500 Summer Solstice No Limit Hold’em event for $252,805 in 2016; and finished 3rd in the $111,111 High Roller for One Drop for $2.154 million also in 2016.
Overall, Aldemir has cashed in 33 World Series events for a total of $11.040 million combined.
Just woke up as world champion, what a luckbox I am!😂
I’ll write a few things as soon as my brain starts working normally again, might take a day or two though.
Ty for the incredible support and nice words I’ve been experiencing, walking around with a huge grin on my face today
— Koray Aldemir (@kooraay90) November 18, 2021
→ Live Cash Games ←
Aldemir has always focused on tournaments in over cash games his poker career. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he hasn’t appeared on any TV shows or live streams where he’d play live cash publicly.
→ Online Poker ←
As we wrote in our intro, Aldemir started his poker career by grinding freeroll tournaments on PokerStars. His favorite was the Hubble Freeroll.
The screen name of his Stars account is unknown. However, one thing is for certain: it was banned for a peculiar reason for many years.
According to Aldemir, an unknown player approached him at King’s Casino Rozvadov while he was playing a €1,000 buy-in event back in 2013. This mystery person asked Aldemir if he could use his laptop to send $200 to someone. Aldemir kindly obliged. Little did he know, he made a big mistake.
The next day, he was unable to log into his PokerStars account. He started emailing support and even was asked about the person who used his laptop in Rozvadov, whom Aldemir had never met before the encounter. However, after dozens of emails, his account remained locked. The issue was ultimately resolved in 2017 (4 years later!) when Aldemir started to get known in the poker world through his impressive live results, and thus was able to get his PS account back.