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Five Questions Headed Into The 2021 WSOP Main Event Final Table

Final Table
The 2021 WSOP Main Event final table will award one player a life-changing $8 million first-place prize.

Only nine players remain in the hunt for the 2021 World Series of Poker Main Event’s $8 million top prize. It’s not only life-changing money that’s on the line for the players but also winning the Main Event locks up a spot in poker history.

That’s what makes watching the Main Event so special – the stakes are sky-high. The excitement for us watching is seeing how it will play out and getting answers to the questions that have presented themselves along the way. And this year, there’s plenty of questions. Who will spin it up, who will have a meltdown, and ultimately what will be that history-making moment we’ll talk about for years.

There are plenty of final table details that make this year an interesting one, but with the start just hours away, here are five questions and storylines we’ll be keeping a close eye on during the rest of the 2021 WSOP Main Event.

Can Koray Close?

German MTT crusher Koray Aldemir is this year’s name pro at the final table and he’ll start the march to the $8 million with an enormous chip lead. Aldemir has 140,000,000 in chips, 35% of the total in play, meaning that it’s going to be very difficult for most of his eight opponents to wrestle that chip lead away from him. His 175 big blinds are really only challenged by that of George Holmes, who has 83,700,000 in chips and has proven to be on a bit of a heater. Should the two get into a massive all-in confrontation early, they could switch positions, but that seems incredibly unlikely given the steep pay jumps that can be won deeper in the final table.

Recent history is on Aldemir’s side when it comes to taking down the Main Event. In 2019, Hossein Ensan sat down at his final table with an impressive chip lead and ended up winning it all. In 2018, it wasn’t the case for Nick Manion and Michael Dyer who started the day on the two biggest stacks (Tony Miles and eventual winner John Cynn played heads-up for the bracelet). But both Scott Blumstein (2017) and Joe McKeehen (2015) started their final tables with the lead and ended with the victory as well.

With $12.3 in live tournament earnings and far-and-away the most time spent in poker’s spotlight, Aldemir is in a prime position to become the next World Champ. The only two questions are will the cards cooperate and can he close the deal?

Will ‘Papo MC’ Drop A Beat?

If you’ve been watching the coverage of the Main Event on PokerGO then you can’t help but know that Alejandro Lococo is also known by his rap moniker “Papo MC”. While Aldemir may be the best-known player from the poker world, it’s safe to say that the Argentinian musician is the best-known overall player in the group thanks to his music which has brought him more than 817,000 followers on Twitter.

So, one can’t help but think what a win for Lococo could do for the game of poker in Argentina. Give it a boost? Certainly. A bonafide boom? Perhaps. But one look at some of his recent tweets, one in which he comes from behind holding the [ah][th] against the [qs][qh] of 11th place finisher Sean Ragozzini, has racked up over 11,000 likes.

He’s got game, he’s got bars, and he’s got one of the best poker tattoos on his right hand that you’ll ever see. But does he have enough beats in him to rise up from third in chips (46,800,000, ~59 big blinds) to bring the Main Event bracelet, and a new wave of poker fans, to his native Argentina?

Is Destiny Calling Ozgur Secilmis?

Ozgur Secilmis will already go down inWorld Series of Poker history. His quads over quads win over Chang Liu just before the money bubble will go down as one of the toughest beats delivered in any Main Event. It’s the kind of hand that not only propels one’s chip stack into the money but it’s the kind of luck that makes one feel like they have the poker gods on their side.

Secilmis proved to be a tough competitor over the next few days, being featured on the live stream throughout Day 7 as the field narrowed. He did his fair share of damage to get to the final table busting Mitchel Halverson in 15th place and PSPC winner Ramon Colillas in 14th. But earlier in the day, when he was sitting on a short stack, he was all-in and behind with one card to come. He was on the verge of hitting the rail when he spiked his saving card on the river and from there built his stack all the way back up from the felt to a seat at the final table.

He’ll need some more help if he’s to spin his 31 big blinds up into a championship run, but if he continues to pick up the right card at the right time, Turkey could have its first Main Event champion.

Is It Time For A British Invasion?

There’s never been a WSOP Main Event winner from the UK, despite plenty of top-tier talents from across the Atlantic making it to the final table. This year, there are two young pros from the UK with a seat at the final table, both guaranteed to enjoy a new high mark in their careers.

Jareth East, 31, has been playing the game since the day he was legal with Hendon Mob results dating back to 2011. But more telling as to his skill is his online results. Currently the #8-ranked pro from the UK (worldwide #154) East has more than $4.3 million in career online earnings including a PokerStars WCOOP title, a Full Tilt Poker FTOPS win, and a WPT Online DeepStacks victory for more than $557,000. East is the second short stack starting the day, with just 10 big blinds, but he might be the player with the best background to run it up.

Joining East is his countryman Jack Oliver, 26, who is the youngest player at the final table. Oliver has $117,000 in live tournament earnings but more importantly, he’s got 34,000,000 in chips (43 big blinds) and a shot at bringing the Main Event bracelet home.

Will Chase Bianchi’s Bracelet Run Cost Him?

Chase Bianchi already has a gold bracelet on his resume, and he’s got the experience to turn his 18 big blinds into a run at the Main Event. But even before he has a chance to play for the $8 million (with $1,000,000 locked up), his newfound fame is already costing him dearly.

Maybe not dearly, but for sure his landlord knows, right?

All of these questions, and more, will be answered over the next two nights at the final table of the Main Event plays out on PokerGO.

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