Home Entertainment The Big Winners at this Year’s World Series of Poker

The Big Winners at this Year’s World Series of Poker

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The 2021 World Series of Poker has just come to a close, and it’s been a memorable tournament for many reasons. This marked the first in-person running of the tournament since 2019 due to the pandemic bringing a hiatus to proceedings last year. And on top of this excitement, we saw records extended, new winners crowned, and most importantly fans allowed to return as the grip of the virus continues to loosen in the U.S.

The 52nd edition of the competition, held at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, was arguably one of the most hotly anticipated in many years. This was in part because more people have taken to playing poker online, with record-setting numbers entering tournaments during the pandemic. But it’s also because of the excitement about the WSOP’s return from hiatus –– because there’s nothing quite like the biggest in-person tournament in the world. The World Series of Poker is a massive spectacle known for making household names of some of the world’s greatest poker players. From Phil Ivey, the man many think of as the single most devastating tournament player in history, to Daniel Negreanu, the six-time WSOP winner whose success in poker has seen him progress to appearing in blockbuster movies, the event produces stars.

So, who has been the big winner this year? And whose name is now etched into the history books?

Phil Hellmuth

It’s been another record-breaking year for the most successful player in the history of the tournament. Hellmuth won his 16th title at this year’s tournament, (putting him six ahead of Phil Ivey). His victory added almost $85,000 to his bank balance early in this year’s competition, and he made the final table in six other games he entered finishing runner-up twice. Hellmuth’s seventh appearance at the final table broke a record set by An Tran, who made six final tables back in 1993. All in all, this wave of success led to “The Poker Brat” taking home more than $1.2 million at the 2021 World Series of Poker.

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Koray Aldemir

This year, German-born Aldemir was the biggest single winner at the World Series of Poker after scooping the $8 million first prize in the main event. The 31-year-old who started playing poker online back in 2006 won his first bracelet in Las Vegas at his fourth final table visit. His previous highest cash haul came back in 2016, when he finished third in a one drop high roller event where he collected $2.1 million.

Leo Margets

Spain’s Leo Margets won her first World Series bracelet this year, taking home a prize of more than $376,000 and becoming the first woman to win an open-entry event at the 2021 series. She is one of a few prominent women playing professionally in world poker, and her triumph this year marked improvement on an impressive second-place finish back in 2018. It was the biggest single prize Margets has won in her 13-year career to date.

Daniel Lazrus

Lazrus is another example of an online player taking his game to the max when heading into live play in Las Vegas. The American player from Long Beach was the first person at this year’s tournament to take home a seven-figure sum when he won the millionaire maker no-limit Hold’em tournament, fending off 5,300 players who entered the same competition. Lazrus is one of a growing list of players who have now won online and in live play at the World Series.

Time will tell just how many triumphs like these Hellmuth can wrap up, and whether Aldemir, Margets, or Lazrus can join the ranks of the greats. But in 2021, these were some of the event’s biggest winners.

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