The final three events of the 2022 WSOP Europe festival saw three winners from different countries, an all-Ukrainian heads-up match and a close call for a former Main Event champion. With events in Pot Limit Omaha and No Limit Hold’em, from bounty to turbo action, it was non-stop in Rozvadov.
Van Ruiten Wins Backed Bracelet
Dutchman Yair van Ruiten won his first-ever WSOP bracelet after a rollercoaster ride in Event #13 saw him claim victory in the €1,650-entry PLO/NLHE mixed game event. With a total of 251 entries and a prizepool of €357,675, the top prize of €85,405 was won after a gruelling 15-hour day at the felt.
With nine players reaching the final table, it was the Ukrainian player Oleksii Kovalchuk, who won €6,622 when he lost to the eventual winner whose pocket aces pre-flop were enough to help him to a valuable pot, with van Ruiten’s pocket queens unable to catch up. It wasn’t long before Manig Loeser of Germany joined him on the rail, cashing for €8,270 when his pocket aces in the hole lost out to van Ruiten’s two pair on the flop.
The Dutchman was running away with it, although he took an elimination off when Ioannis Konstas took care of French player Steve Galletti, who left in seventh place for €10,598. Next to go was the other Dutch player at the table, as Rutger Johan Bosch went out with a result worth €13,297 when his lost to Christian Pocklow’s . The board of sent the Dutchman home, with the German player Pocklow vaulting up the leaderboard.
Italian player Marco Di Persio missed out on the top four after he lost in PLO to Ran Ilani, cashing for €18,756. Despite taking out his opponent, however, Israeli Ilani was the next to bust, unable to make the podium places when he busted in fourth for €25,872. With the blinds going up, the bust-outs came quickly, and before three-handed poker had really got into a rhythm, the game was heads-up.
Polkow lost out in third place for €36,531 and again, it was in Pot Limit Omaha as his short stack disappeared, claimed by Greek player Konstas, which gave him 3.8 million chips. That put him within range of van Ruiten but was to prove pointless as a cooler of a final hand played out almost immediately in PLO too.
After chunky bets on the flop and turn of a board showing , the river was where the real drama kicked off. After a bet from Konstas with for flopped trips, van Ruiten shoved with the flopped full house of . Konstas couldn’t find the fold and when he called, guaranteed himself only the runner-up prize of €52,772, with van Ruiten, who was persuaded by his backer to play the event, took home the top prize of €85,405 and his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet.
WSOP Europe 2022 Event #13 €1,650 PLO/NLHE Final Table Results:
|1st||Yair van Ruiten||Netherlands||€85,405|
|5th||Marco Di Persio||Italy||€18,756|
|6th||Rutger Johan Bosch||Netherlands||€13,297|
Maekelberg Wins Only Belgian Bracelet of 2022 WSOPE Series
The only Belgian player to win a World Series bracelet this series was Karim Maekelberg, who conquered a crazy No Limit Hold’em Bounty Hunter Event #14 for a top prize of €62,111. The event, which had 436 entries, saw another entertaining nine players reach the final table again, this time including the WSOP Main Event winner of 2019, Hossein Ensan.
The first player to exit the final table was Balakrishna Patur. The American, one of two Stateside players of the final nine, left when his lost out to Rolando Camardese’s as the board came out in the Dutch player’s favor. After a flop of gave the all-in player a gutshot, the turn of and river ended the event for the American, as Patur cashed for €4,415.
A double elimination took place next as Antonino Calabro left in seventh place for €7,393, with the world champion of three years ago Ensan leaving for €5,653 in eighth. Both men had pocket pairs pre-flop, with Ensan’s and Calabro’s losing to Teho Schmitt’s when ace on the flop doomed both the German’s rivals including his famous countryman.
Well-known live circuit regular Aaron Duczak was the next to go, losing to Brian Cornell to cash for €9,873 in sixth place, before Dinesh Alt joined him on the rail. Camardese won again to bust a rival, as Alt’s couldn’t overtake the Dutchman’s , sending him home for €13,458, the first five-figure score, in fifth place.
Having won that hand, Camardese’s intentions of using it as a platform for glory floundered at the first opportunity. His lost to the eventual champion’s after the board of paired Maekelberg’s three and reduced the field to the same number.
Brian Cornell had enjoyed a fine run, but again showed that Americans could only get close to gold this series without claiming any of it, denied in third place for €26,542. His short stack went into the middle behind but that was well behind Maekelberg’s and stayed that way through the board of , with all the chips going in on the flop.
Heads-up, that pot gave Maekelberg a big lead, but he couldn’t hold onto it for long. Theo Schmitt took the lead from him, only for it to swing back the Dutch player’s way. Schmitt committed all of his chips with , but couldn’t hold as Maekelberg won a flip to take the title with . The board of had landed by the time the money went in, with the turn and river condemning Schmitt to second place and a consolation prize of €38,375, with Maekelberg the proud owner of a gold bracelet and his first WSOP bracelet.
WSOP Europe 2022 Event #14 €1,100 NLHE Bounty Hunter Final Table Results:
Lyubovetskiy Claims Final Bracelet and Double Joy for Ukraine
Ukrainian player Andriy Lyubovetskiy won his second WSOP bracelet in extraordinary fashion as he took gold against his countryman Oleksii Kovalchuk in Rozvadov. Bringing the curtain down on the tournament and the festival, the 15th WSOP bracelet of the series went East after 12 hours at the felt on the final day.
Italian player Fabio Peluso missed out in ninth place, earning €3,482 but falling short of the fairly incredible possibility of winning both the first and last bracelet events of the series. Peluso was all-in pre-flop with but was called by MEdh Caoui Roqai with . The Moroccan’s better pair had no trouble holding through the board.
Next to bust was the German player Thore Kunze. He was all-in with pre-flop, but although he started his final hand better than Johan Guilbert’s , the board of gave the French player a pair of tens on the turn.
A few minutes later, home country anti-hero Martin Kabrhel left the competition, dooming the hosts to zero winners from 15 bracelets. Kabrhel was short stacked when shoved with but lost easily to the crushing overpair of Lyubovetskiy with . The nine-high board sent Kabrhel home in seventh place for €5,517.
Guilbert may have won that hand, but soon after, he had joined the Czech pro on the rail. Shoving from the cutoff with , Roqai called with and survived the board of still ahead to reduce the field to five and send Guilbert home.
After German pro Ben Stiefel busted in fifth for €9,783, a second Italian went close in fourth place for €13,565. Edolo Ghirelli had a short stack and lost to Lyubovetskiy’s rivered nut flush, and a few minutes later, Roqai busted in third place for €19,304. He called with and was ahead of his rival Kovalchuk who had shoved with . But the board of gave Kovalchuk a four-flush on the river to send him into an all-Ukrainian heads-up match.
In the end, Lyubovetskiy won with a premium hand against another big one, with Kovalchuk committing his stack with . Lyubovetskiy held and held through the board, winning his second WSOP bracelet and the final top prize of €45,606.
WSOP Europe 2022 Event #15 €1,000 NLHE Turbo Freezeout Final Table Results:
|1st||Andriy Lyubovetskiy||Ukraine||€ 45,606|
|2nd||Oleksii Kovalchuk||Ukraine||€ 28,178|
|3rd||Medhi Chaoui Roqai||Morocco||€ 19,304|
|4th||Edolo Ghirelli||Italy||€ 13,565|
|5th||Benjamin Stiefel||Germany||€ 9,783|
|6th||Johan Guilbert||France||€ 7,246|
|7th||Martin Kabrhel||Czech Republic||€ 5,517|
|8th||Thore Kunze||Germany||€ 4,320|
|9th||Fabio Peluso||Italy||€ 3,482|
The 2022 World Series of Poker Europe’s latest series saw fifteen different winners from 12 different countries, with only Ukraine (2) and Germany (3) enjoying multiple winners.
|World Series of Poker Europe 2022 Event Winners|
|#||Buy-In||Event Details||Entries||Winner||Country||Top Prize|
|1||€350||NLHE Opener||2,454||Fabio Peluso||Italy||€95,670|
|2||€550||Pot-Limit Omaha 8-Max||566||Helmut Phung||Germany||€55,132|
|3||€1,350||NLHE Mini Main Event||1,431||Ilija Savevski||Macedonia||€245,319|
|4||€2,000||Pot-Limit Omaha||221||Anson Tsang||Hong Kong||€95,461|
|5||€550||NLHE Colossus||2,982||Lubos Laska||Slovakia||€170,568|
|6||€5,000||Pot-Limit Omaha||223||Roman Verenko||Ukraine||€247,288|
|7||€1,650||NLHE 6-Max||413||Max Kruse||Germany||€134,152|
|8||€25,000||NLHE Platinum High Roller||67||Paul Phua||Malaysia||€482,433|
|9||€2,200||Short Deck||91||Emil Bise||Switzerland||€49,521|
|10||€2,000||8-Game Mix||102||Thomer Pidun||Germany||€49,245|
|11||€50,000||NLHE Diamond High Roller||45||Orpen Kisacikoglu||Turkey||€748,106|
|12||€10,350||Main Event||763||Omar Eljach||Sweden||€1,380,129|
|13||€1,650||PLO/NLH Mixed||251||Yair Van Ruiten||Netherlands||€85,405|
|14||€1,100||NLHE Bounty Hunter||436||Karim Maekelberg||Belgium||€62,111|
|15||€1,000||NLHE Turbo Freezeout||211||Andrey Lyubovetskiy||Ukraine||€45,606|