The Ultimate Hand of the 2021 WSOP Major Tournament (Research)

Prime stakes poker professional as opposed to fearless beginner…

It’s a matchup that occurs day-to-day on poker tables world wide. However it typically doesn’t occur with the Global Collection of Poker Major Tournament identify and $8,000,000 at the line.

Within the ultimate hand of the No Restrict Dangle’em championship, German professional Koray Aldemir held a slight chip lead over competitive beginner George Holmes.

Then, the most important pot of the event commenced.

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Blinds: 1.2M / 2.4M with a 2.4M giant blind ante

Stack sizes:

Koray Aldemir – 202.7M (84.5 giant blinds)
George Holmes – 194.2M (80 giant blinds)


1st position – $8,000,000
second position – $4,300,000


Holmes raises to 6M at the button with Okay♣ Q♠. Aldemir calls with T 7.

aldemir calls preflop

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Preflop Research

With a complete giant blind ante juicing the pot, each avid gamers will have to play somewhat somewhat looser preflop than in a standard heads-up fit.

Holmes makes a excellent increase with KQo, nevertheless it’s price noting that he will have to be enjoying round 100% of fingers at the button given his stellar pot odds. PioSolver likes enjoying a blended technique together with each limps and raises (click here to see the PioSolver range).

Aldemir has a transparent name with T7s within the giant blind. The solver likes 3-betting a lot of hands at differing frequencies, yet T7s isn’t certainly one of them. It’s the easiest just-calling hand.

Let’s see 3.


The flop comes T 7♠ 2 with 14.4M within the pot.

Aldemir exams. Holmes c-bets 6M. Aldemir check-raises to 19M. Holmes calls.

george calls flop

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Flop Research

Aldemir begins with a verify to the preflop raiser, as he will have to together with his whole vary.

Holmes couldn’t move improper in this flop — each c-betting and checking again are effective choices. PioSolver likes enjoying a blended technique with KQo on this spot, making a bet 65% of the time and checking 35% of the time. That mentioned, this explicit combo (Okay♣ Q♠) prefers to check round 61% of the time.

See the PioSolver solution for Holmes on the flop

In opposition to the guess, Aldemir will have to virtually all the time check-raise together with his two pair. In this dynamic flop, he desires to construct the pot together with his monster hand once conceivable and check out to get stacks in through the river (barring a horrifying runout).

See the PioSolver solution for Aldemir versus the c-bet

The verdict through Holmes to name the check-raise might appear free, nevertheless it’s in fact solver-approved. Aldemir has a monster hand on this example, yet he may just even have a semi-bluff (like 98o) or a most sensible pair hand going for skinny worth (like JT).

Holmes best wishes 21% fairness (risking 13M to win 49.4M) to name this increase profitably, and he definitely has that as opposed to a well-built check-raising vary. Certainly, the solver opts to proceed as opposed to this check-raise just about each time with KQ.

See the PioSolver solution for Holmes versus the check-raise

On the other hand, the solver assumes Holmes was once checking again with KQo a excellent chew of the time. If he all the time c-bets with it after which all the time calls the check-raise, he in all probability is enjoying overly free on this spot with KQo. However it definitely can’t be too dangerous to float as opposed to an competitive professional’s check-raise with two overcards.

Let’s see a flip.


The flip is the (T 7♠ 2) Okay♠ with 52.4M within the pot.

Aldemir bets 36.5M. Holmes calls.

Flip Research

Aldemir continues with a 70% pot-sized barrel (a solver-approved guess measurement). This units up stacks effectively for the river, on which he’ll find a way to shove for just a little greater than pot. He will have to be expecting to get referred to as through worse somewhat continuously with such a lot of attainable attracts and robust one pair fingers in Holmes’ vary.

Aldemir too can set the lure with a verify at the flip (which PioSolver opts for 37% of the time). Must Aldemir verify and face of venture, check-raising all-in could be his most popular play. Given the dynamic nature of the board, Holmes could be compelled to name — in idea, a minimum of — with stable one pair fingers like KQ and AA.

See the PioSolver solution for Aldemir on the turn

As opposed to the flip guess, Holmes has a clear-as-day name together with his newfound most sensible pair.

See the PioSolver solution for Holmes on the turn


The river is the (T 7♠ 2 Okay♠) 9♣ with 125.4M within the pot.

Aldemir exams. Holmes is going all-in for 132.7M. Aldemir calls.

River Research

It’s some distance from the scariest river card within the deck, however the 9♣ does whole plenty of attracts (QJ, J 8, J♠ 8♠, 8 6, 8♠ 6♠).

Aldemir has a couple of choices to believe.

  • Wager all-in. This permits him to get max worth from strong-but-inferior fingers (like T2s) or bluff-catching fingers (like JT) that Holmes might get sticky with.
  • Block bet for ~25% pot. This may occasionally induce some crying calls from fingers that will be not going to name a shove, equivalent to 98 or Tx.
  • Test. A cheeky verify might induce some bluffs if Holmes has neglected a draw, in addition to some worth bets from worse made fingers.

Since he determined to test, it’s rather protected to suppose that Aldemir didn’t assume Holmes would name down gentle right here and/or he idea it was once rather most probably Holmes would guess when checked to. Wager all-in and verify are the solver-approved choices right here.

See the PioSolver solution for Aldemir on the river

Confronted with a verify, Holmes has to make a decision whether or not or no longer his hand is price a worth guess. PioSolver opts to play a blended technique with KQo, making a bet all-in (for worth) 29% of the time and checking 71% of the time. And Holmes’ explicit combo of KQo likes betting, most likely as it doesn’t block the neglected flush attracts.

See the PioSolver solution for Holmes on the river

However let’s put the solvers to the facet for a second and believe this spot the usage of simple previous good judgment.

Imagine all the worse made fingers Aldemir may just doubtlessly have given his line:

Crew #1: Flopped most sensible pair that has no longer stepped forward
Particular fingers: QTs, QTo, JTs, JTo, T8s, ATo
Caveat: Aldemir received’t play those fingers this manner each time. He would most probably simply name at the flop or decelerate at the flip a minimum of one of the vital time. Moreover, he would most probably 3-bet the suited variations of QT/JT preflop.

Crew #2: Grew to become most sensible pair that check-raised the flop as a bluff
Particular fingers: K8o, K6s-K3s, neglected flush attracts that comprise a Okay
Caveat: If he would certainly check-raise them at the flop, Aldemir might make a selection to dam guess those fingers at the river (because the solver does).

Crew #3: Rivered 3rd pair that check-raised the flop as a bluff and barreled the flip
Particular fingers: J9o, 98o, 98s, 96s, neglected flush attracts that comprise a 9
Caveat: It kind of feels not going Aldemir would name with those fingers towards the river shove.

After reviewing this listing, it turns into clean that Holmes’ shove gets referred to as through worse somewhat from time to time. (The solver would name down with some fingers from all 3 teams, which might be tricky/not going name downs for a human to make in-game.)

But when Koray had probably the most Kx fingers from staff #2, there’s a cast probability Holmes could be your 2021 Major Tournament champion at this time.


koray aldemir wins

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Ultimate Ideas

It’s onerous to fault Holmes for going broke with most sensible pair for 80 giant blinds in a heads-up fit. If this was once a money sport hand, I might argue he performed this hand completely. However given the gravity of this case, he would were at an advantage checking.

A number of credit score to Holmes, even though — this was once an overly spectacular efficiency from a “house sport hero” towards a world-class professional.

What do you call to mind the best way this hand performed out?

Let me know within the feedback under.

Need extra event hand research? Take a look at Doug Polk Semi-Bluffs All-In With $3.7 Million at Stake (Analysis)

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Author: Bradley Watson