King's Casino Rozvadov
King's Casino Rozvadov was the location where 15 WSOP bracelets were won in stunning fashion, but who won them all?

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 KdJs lost to Christian Pocklow’s QsQh. The board of AdTs6c8d8s 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 9h4c4d2dJh, the river was where the real drama kicked off. After a bet from Konstas with AsQsTh4s for flopped trips, van Ruiten shoved with the flopped full house of AcTc9c9s. 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:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Yair van Ruiten Netherlands €85,405
2nd Ioannis Konstas Greece €52,772
3rd Christian Polkow Germany €36,531
4th Ran Ilani Israel €25,872
5th Marco Di Persio Italy €18,756
6th Rutger Johan Bosch Netherlands €13,297
7th Steve Galletti France €10,598
8th Manig Loeser Germany €8,270
9th Oleksii Kovalchuk Ukraine €6,622


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 9h8d lost out to Rolando Camardese’s Qh4d as the board came out in the Dutch player’s favor. After a flop of Td6d2s gave the all-in player a gutshot, the turn of Kc and river Js 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 3c3d and Calabro’s QhQd losing to Teho Schmitt’s AcQs 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 As8s couldn’t overtake the Dutchman’s ThTs, 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 AdJc lost to the eventual champion’s Kd3s after the board of 6h3h2cQd5s 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 Jh8s but that was well behind Maekelberg’s TdTc and stayed that way through the board of 9c8h6dAcTh, 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 7s7h, but couldn’t hold as Maekelberg won a flip to take the title with KcJc. The board of Kh6s3c had landed by the time the money went in, with the Th turn and Tc 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:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Karim Maekelberg Belgium €62,111
2nd Theo Schmitt Germany €38,375
3rd Brian Cornell U.S.A. €26,542
4th Rolando Camardese Netherlands €18,715
5th Dinesh Alt Austria €13,458
6th Aaron Duczak Canada €9,873
7th Antonino Calabro Italy €7,393
8th Hossein Ensan Germany €5,653
9th Balakrishna Patur U.S.A. €4,415


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 6d6s but was called by MEdh Caoui Roqai with QsQc. The Moroccan’s better pair had no trouble holding through the Th3h2sKcKh board.


Next to bust was the German player Thore Kunze. He was all-in with AcQd pre-flop, but although he started his final hand better than Johan Guilbert’s Td9d, the board of Kc5d3dTh5c 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 Qd4s but lost easily to the crushing overpair of Lyubovetskiy with AcAh. 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 3d3s, Roqai called with JdJc and survived the board of Qc7c4h2c7d 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 KdQs and was ahead of his rival Kovalchuk who had shoved with QcTd. But the board of 7c5c3c9s4c 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 AdTs. Lyubovetskiy held AhQs and held through the AcQd5d2dJc 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:

Place Player Country Prize
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