Reigning World Champ Koray Aldemir Quietly Crushing it at 2022 WSOP

koray aldemir 2022 wsop

Koray Aldemir is off to a strong start at the 2022 World Series of Poker, a rare occurrence for reigning world champions.

Seven months ago, the German poker pro who resides in Austria won the WSOP Main Event for $8 million, life-changing money even for a player who was already an accomplished grinder.

At the 2022 WSOP, he's already racked up six cashes, reached two final tables, and entered Friday ranked sixth in the Player of the Year standings.

On the surface, what Aldemir's accomplished this summer might not seem so incredible or worth mentioning. But when you consider the past history of Main Event champs and how they performed at the WSOP the following year, you'll realize how rare his performance has been.

One Year After Winning: WSOP Champs Since 2007

The list of players crushing it at the World Series of Poker the year following a Main Event title is slim during the 21st century. In fact, most of the world champions since 2000 haven't gone on to accomplish much at the WSOP after their big win. Aldemir, on the other hand, is still crushing it and likely will for many years.

Prior to winning the Main Event, the German poker pro had over $12 million in live tournament cashes, according to Hendon Mob. So, he's cut from a different cloth than, say, Jerry Yang, the 2007 champion who has just eight cashes in bracelet events in the past 15 years.

WSOP Cashes in Year Following Main Event Title Since 2000

Winner YearPlayerCashes Following Year
2021Koray Aldemir6*
2020Damian Salas2
2019Hossein Ensan2
2018John Cynn0
2017Scott Blumstein1
2016Qui Nguyen0
2015Joe McKeehen5
2014Martin Jacobson2
2013Ryan Riess3
2012Greg Merson1
2011Pius Heinz2
2010Jonathan Duhamel2
2009Joe Cada0
2008Peter Eastgate1
2007Jerry Yang0
2006Jamie Gold2
2005Joe Hachem4
2004Greg Raymer3
2003Chris Moneymaker1
2002Robert Varkonyi0
2001Carlos Mortensen0
2000Chris Ferguson6

*Unfinished series

Aldemir already has more cashes than any other world champ since 2000 during the ensuing WSOP, except for Chris Ferguson, who had six cashes in 2001.

Ferguson, the 2017 WSOP Player of the Year, is the only Main Event winner this century to win a bracelet the year after. The average Main Event winner since 2000 has averaged just 1.85 cashes at the WSOP the following year. Aldemir's already more than tripled that average in less than three weeks.

On Friday, Aldemir had a rough day. He entered two bracelet events and failed to advance into the money in either. But he's already cashed for over $360,000 thus far at the 2022 WSOP, and we haven't yet reached the midway point in the series.

For his lifetime, Aldemir has over $21 million in live tournament cashes, one bracelet, and 40 cashes at in World Series of Poker events. At age 32, he's on pace for a Hall of Fame career one day.

2022 World Series of Poker Hub

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