Koray Aldemir: Back-to-Back WSOP Main Event Runs "A Privilege"
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It's a record that will take some beating. In total, Koray Aldemir spent approximately 135 hours straight unbeaten in the World Series of Poker Main Event.
After winning it in 2021, Aldemir then ran deep again in this year's Main Event, finally falling in 75th place for $101,700.
Memories Flooding Back
Much has already been written about Aldemir's stellar return to the WSOP, but the likelihood of another mega-deep run a year after he took down poker's biggest title wasn't in the conversation.
That was, according to Aldemir, until Day 4 of the 2022 WSOP Main Event.
"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 of course last year so it was a little different this year."
"I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought of winning again or making the final table again"
Aldemir was one of 1,300 players who made the money from a field of 8,663 — a feat in itself — and he says he was attempting to manage expectations as the field grew ever smaller.
"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 again or making the final table again. But I knew it was unlikely, so it's totally fine to bust, of course."
The run did come to an end, but Aldemir remains content with such a deep run.
"Bittersweet probably describes it the best," he told PokerNews. "Of course, I couldn't expect to win it again, so Day 6 again was already pretty cool.
"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 bit proud that I might be the longest without busting the Main. It is kind of cool."
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Other Deep Back-to-Back Runs
Aldemir isn't the only person who has enjoyed deep WSOP Main Event runs in back-to-back years. Check out this list of players who have also enjoyed sensational runs:
One of the most famous poker feats of all time, with Mark Newhouse finishing ninth in back-to-back years. Immortalized in arguably the most famous poker tweet of all time, Newhouse cashed for a combined $1,463,949 for his two deep runs.
Fun Fact: Across his two deep runs, Newhouse spent approximately 142 hours in the Main Event, around eight hours longer than Aldemir's back-to-back runs.
Just bought into the main event day 1c. Not fucking finishing 9th again— mark newhouse (@mark_hizzle)
"Action" Dan Harrington is a walking WSOP Main Event record book. The Hall of Famer won the 1995 WSOP Main Event, and then followed that up with a 17th-place finish in 1996.
The following decade, he finished third out of 839 players in the 2003 WSOP Main Event, the year Chris Moneymaker rose to fame with his historic victory. The following year, and with the Main Event having ballooned to 2,576 entries, he finished fourth for combined cashes of over $2 million.
Michael Ruane finished fourth in the 2016 WSOP Main Event for $2,567,003 and then narrowly missed out on a spot at the final table the following year, finishing 10th for $825,001. This year, he went on another tear, ultimately making it late into Day 5 for a 147th place finish worth $62,500.
In fact, three of his 12 cashes on Hendon Mob have come in the WSOP Main Event — two of which are top-ten finishes.
And let's not forget about Alejandro 'PapoMC' Lococo who is still in with a chance of sensational back-to-back WSOP Main Event final tables. At time of writing, with 56 players remaining, Lococo still sits with a healthy stack of 13,700,000.
Of course, the list wouldn't be complete without a nod to the master himself, Johnny Chan. The "Orient Express" remains the last person to win the Main Event back-to-back to date, winning it in '87 and '88 before famously losing heads-up to a 24-year old kid from Madison, WI in '89.
As Norman Chad would state it, it would be beyond fairy tale and inconceivable if such a run were ever to be duplicated in today's bumper Main Event fields. Aldemir 135 consecutive hours ultimately came scarily close to accomplishing the improbable.
Will Shillibier is based in the United Kingdom. He started working for PokerNews as a freelance live reporter in 2015 and joined the full-time staff in 2019. He graduated from the University of Kent in 2017 with a B.A. in German. He also holds an NCTJ Diploma in Sports Journalism.
In this Series
- 1 Officials Offer First Look at 2022 WSOP; Answer Several Lingering Questions
- 2 Bally's & Paris: Your Guide to the New Home of the World Series of Poker (WSOP)
- 3 Negreanu, Deeb (as Expected) Highest Bids in $25k WSOP Fantasy Draft
- 4 WSOP Transportation Guide: Riding the Las Vegas Strip Monorail
- 5 Let the Games Begin: 2022 WSOP is Officially Underway
- 6 Phil Hellmuth Misses 2022 WSOP Opener After Bout of Traveler's Diarrhea
- 7 Kenney, Schindler & Imsirovic Arrive at 2022 WSOP Despite Recent Cheating Allegations
- 8 Phil Ivey is Back! Poker G.O.A.T. Cashes First 2022 WSOP Event
- 9 Baltimore Raven Calais Campbell at WSOP: "We Have Super Bowl Potential"
- 10 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Katie Kopp Becomes Bally's First-Ever Bracelet Winner
- 11 WSOP Player of the Year Race One Week In: Defending Champ Arieh Off and Running
- 12 ClubGG Offers Bubble Protection For Eight 2022 WSOP Events
- 13 Doyle Brunson Skipping 2022 WSOP Due to COVID-19 Concerns
- 14 Retired NBA Star Paul Pierce Allegedly Won't Pay His Poker Debts
- 15 Scott Seiver Pays $43k to Enter $1k WSOP Event, Fails to Cash
- 16 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Lara Eisenberg Talks Poker's Impact on Dementia
- 17 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Depaulo vs. Hellmuth, a Pure One Outer & a Royal Flush
- 18 Reigning World Champ Koray Aldemir Quietly Crushing it at 2022 WSOP
- 19 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 2: Jeremy Ausmus Wins Third Bracelet in 9 Months
- 20 Hellmuth Controversy at WSOP: Poker Brat's Chips Swiped on Break
- 21 Security Mistakenly Tries to Kick Out Neymar Jr. After He Cashes First WSOP Event
- 22 Breaking News: Phil Ivey Closing in on Elusive 11th WSOP Bracelet Tonight
- 23 Doyle Brunson Becomes a WPT Ambassador, Might Play WSOP Main Event
- 24 World Series of Daniel's? Zack, Weinman (But Not Negreanu) Lead POY Race
- 25 WSOP $250,000 Super High Roller Kicks Off; Ivey, Negreanu and Kenney All Enter
- 26 Ali Imsirovic Busts WSOP $250K Super High Roller on Brutal Cooler
- 27 Cruising in the $250k, Is 2022 One of Phil Ivey's Best WSOP's Ever?
- 28 Runner-Runner Bad Beat Tilts Negreanu; Poker Star Out of WSOP $250k
- 29 Navy Vet Reps Military Charity During WSOP Salute to Warriors Event
- 30 2022 WSOP Featured Females: Meet Wendeen Eolis, 1st Woman to Ever Cash Main Event
- 31 Dan Zack Still Leads WSOP POY Race; Ivey, Deeb within Striking Distance
- 32 888poker Pro Ian Simpson Gears Up for 2022 WSOP Main Event
- 33 Poker Players Who Have Defended Their WSOP Bracelet
- 34 How to Make Day 2 of the Million Dollar Bounty
- 35 Poker Player Wins WSOP Main Event Satty in His Sleep...Literally
- 36 Josh Arieh Flushed Out of WSOP Main Event Early; Four Past Champs in Day 1a
- 37 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Yuvee Loses $50K to Pair of Deuces; Ivey Hits Ace from Space
- 38 BREAKING: Phil Hellmuth at 2022 WSOP $3,000 NLH Final Table, Chasing 17th Bracelet
- 39 Will the 2022 WSOP Main Event Smash the Attendance Record?
- 40 Barstool Sports' Cracking Aces Podcast Hosts Crush it on Main Event Day 1
- 41 WSOP Main Event Railbird Pays Back Daniel Negreanu Four-Year "Debt"
- 42 Matt Glantz Finds the $1 Million WSOP Bounty
- 43 BREAKING: WSOP Main Event Day 2 Schedule Altered
- 44 Aces Bust Kings 15 Minutes into Day 1b of WSOP Main Event
- 45 The Muck: Ike Haxton Takes on Barstool Sports' Poker Invasion
- 46 2022 WSOP Player of the Week 5: Jessica Teusl Wins First Bracelet at First WSOP
- 47 2022 WSOP Main Event Draws Massive Field, Almost Breaks All-Time Record
- 48 Phil Hellmuth's World Series of Poker Entrance Met w/ a Chorus of Boos
- 49 Robert Lipkin is the 2022 WSOP Main Event Bubble
- 50 SO SICK! Kings vs. Kings Cooler Busts 888poker's Sam Abernathy from the WSOP Main Event
- 51 Koray Aldemir: Back-to-Back WSOP Main Event Runs "A Privilege"
- 52 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 53 Former World Champ Tom McEvoy Shares his Poker Samadhi Wisdom
- 54 Did Alejandro Lococo Pull Off Best WSOP Main Event Bluff Since Moneymaker?
- 55 The Muck: Did Mike Matusow Really Have a Blow Up in the WSOP Main Event?
- 56 Dan Zack Claims 2022 WSOP Player of the Year Honors
- 57 How Much Money Players at 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Table Really Made
- 58 Espen Jorstad Wins 2022 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10,000,000
- 59 Las Vegas Active Shooter Rumors Spark Panic; WSOP Impacted, Negreanu Injured
- 60 Quads Dooms Asher Conniff at WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 61 Aces Cracked! Souki Busts from WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 62 Espen Jorstad Holds Commanding Lead in Pursuit of WSOP Main Event Title
- 63 Not Su's Day: From Chip Leader to Out in 9th Place
- 64 A Look at All the 2022 WSOP Online Michigan Bracelet Winners
- 65 Five Memorable Hands from the 2021 WSOP Main Event Final Table
- 66 Where Are They Now: Ron “The Carolina Express” Stanley Battled Stu Ungar at 1997 WSOP
- 67 WATCH: One of the Best Folds in WSOP Main Event History?
- 68 Adrian Attenborough Just Made Two of the Gutsiest Plays of the 2022 WSOP
- 69 Can Karim Rebei Click his Way to a WSOP Main Event Title?
- 70 Cool, Calm & Collected Efthymia Litsou is WSOP Main Event's Last Woman Standing
- 71 2022 WSOP Hands of the Week: Quads, Quads, Quads, Quads!
- 72 Brutal River! Aces, Queens, & Jacks All In Preflop in WSOP Main Event
- 73 Daniel Negreanu Wraps 2022 World Series of Poker Down $1.1 Million
- 74 How the 2022 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Will Be Remembered
- 75 PN Podcast: 2022 WSOP Main Event Final Thoughts; Interviews w/ Main Event Final Three