What Sort of Poker Ambassador will Koray Aldemir Be in 2022?


Back in November, German poker player Koray Aldemir won the World Series of Poker Main Event for a top prize of $8 million. The German pro, who saw off a spirited fightback from George Holmes in second place, was the top professional who won the big one, and many observers claimed the right man won.

The WSOP Main Event winner is traditionally seen as something of a poker ambassador across the next year as they are heralded as world champion from every corner of the globe. But with the next WSOP kicking off in less than five months, will Aldemir have time to be remembered?

A Glorious Victory Explained on Twitter

Aldemir’s win came at the expense of the people’s champion, George Holmes, so the German’s popularity was perhaps not as high as it could have been in other years. Indeed, such was the fondness reserved for his heads-up opponent that Aldemir’s run was possibly not appreciated for the standard it set.

When Aldemir’s victory was confirmed, the initial feeling from many was that the wrong man won in terms of love from the people, but the right -and best – player took the title. This is unfair to Aldemir, who actually has a stellar reputation within the game. He’s well liked, professional courteous and polite.

On Twitter, Aldemir even took to the social media platform to explain that slower play at the final table shouldn’t upset poker fans as it showed how much the players cared about every hand. Not only is this take exactly right, but it revealed Aldemir’s character, the care for poker fans as well as a proud defense of players’ intentions in the heat of battle.

Aldemir the Brave?

Aldemir may sound like the warrior hero from a popular streamed TV series, but in reality, the modest pro is slim, short and could almost be in the background of the elite set if you went on reputation or personality alone.

Aldemir’s defense of players in general shows that he is a fierce defender of what is right, however. He wants poker players to be respected and the game itself to be held in the highest esteem. That displays a passion for poker that will last way beyond the years where he is remembered as the most recent champion or even the final winner at the Rio.

Koray Aldemir may not be the easiest name to recall perfectly the first time you hear it, but we’re going to hear it forever, as he was the final world champion to win at the venue for which much of the WSOP is remembered. The same place where Jonathan Duhamel, Ryan Riess, Martin Jacobsen and Qui Nguyen all won in the Thunderdome will always be remembered as the location Aldemir became the world’s biggest winner.

A Short Reign as World Champion

Aldemir could be a legendary ambassador, but if he is to represent poker as well as he played it back in November, he won’t have long to do it. The 2022 WSOP takes place just six months after the 2021 version finished, so Aldemir will be fresh in the minds of fans and players when he sits down to defend his title in Las Vegas in May.

Taking place at Bally’s and Paris, the WSOP moves to the Las Vegas Strip in just 22 weeks time, so the question does beg asking: what can Aldemir do in that time? Well, the German pro can certainly talk up European players participating in the big one more frequently. Along with Hossein Ensan, the last two world champions who have won tournaments that have played out in their entirety in Vegas hail from Germany.

The World Series of Poker needs to have the attendance of players from around the world in order to thrive, so Koray Aldemir can be the ‘European’ world champion and push more players over to the United States in order to compete in the greatest poker tournament in the world.

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