The bracelet-hunting action came to a close in the World Series of Poker Europe on Wednesday after 15 events from King’s Casino in the Czech Republic. Omar Eljach proved to be the big winner of the series, taking down the Main Event for €1.4 million.
The final week of action saw several first-time winners as well. Andrey Lyubovetskiy and Emil Bise also won their second bracelets and Shaun Deeb continued his successful run in the series.
A German pro soccer player even found a bracelet win. Here’s a look at the final week of play in the WSOPE.
Event 12: €10,350 Main Event
The championship event of the series brought in a hefty turnout of 763 players for a €7.2 million prize pool. After two starting flights and five days of action, Sweden’s Omar Eljach (pictured in lead image, courtesy WSOP) came out on top for €1.4 million and his first bracelet.
Eljack now has almost $2 million in live tournament winnings and came close to a bracelet earlier in the series. He finished runner-up in Event 6: €5,000 PLO for €152,827.
At the 2019 WSOPE, he also took runner-up in a €2,200 PLO event for €79,291. Eljack was pleased to now break through with a win.
“It’s really hard to describe,” he said. “So many emotions, all of them amazing. Such a draining battle. I feel relief, I feel incredible joy. Yeah … it’s an amazing feeling.”
France’s Jonathan Pastore just missed adding his second bracelet, finishing runner-up for €852,949. Shaun Deeb, of the United States, continued his nice run in the series, taking third for €607,531 and just missing out on his sixth bracelet.
During the series, Deeb scored two thirds, a 10th, and 15th for more than $1.1 million. He was sad that his time in the Czech Republic had come to an end.
Sad to be leaving kings casino love it here even before it helped me pass @golferjosh in lifetime earnings again so he can needle about one less thing
— shaun deeb (@shaundeeb) November 17, 2022
Here’s a look at the final table payouts.
- Omar Eljach – €1,380,129
- Jonathan Pastore – €852,949
- Shaun Deeb – €607,531
- Vladas Tamasauskas – €438,978
- Paul Covaciu – €321,838
- Armin Rezaei – €239,466
- Barny Boatman – €180,867
- Alexandre Reard – €138,702
- Timothy Adams – €108,024
Event 15: €1,000 No Limit Hold’em Turbo Freezeout
A pair of Ukrainians battled for the bracelet in this event that saw 211 entries for a €182,409 prize pool. In the end, Andrey Lyubovetskiy secured his second bracelet for €45,606.
The win denied Lyubovetskiy’s countryman Oleksii Kovalchuk his third bracelet. He took €28,178 for the second-place finish and also grabbed a runner-up in Event 10: €2,200 Eight-Game Mix.
Lyubovetskiy’s first bracelet came in 2021 also at the WSOPE, where he won the €25,000 Platinum High Roller for €518,430. He now has more than $1 million in WSOP earnings and more than $1.8 million overall.
Event 14: €1,100 Bounty Hunter
Belgium’s Karim Maekelberg took the win in the bounty-hunting action for a payday of €62,111 and his first bracelet. Prior to this, Maekelberg had only about $10,000 in live tournament winnings.
He’s now increased that significantly and was pleased to add a huge bullet point to his record after spending much of the last few years playing online poker.
“I started playing four years ago, took things seriously, but I mainly played online and just grind everything online,” he said after the win. “I studied, became better, and now I’m getting into the live scene.”
Germany’s Theo Schmitt finished runner-up for €38,375. The tournament attracted 436 entries for a €283,400 prize pool.
🥇🏆🥇Announcement of the Winner 🥇🏆🥇
Congratulations go to Karim Maekelberg from 🇧🇪 Belgium 🇧🇪, who has won the WSOPE NLH Turbo Bounty Hunter [BRACELET EVENT #14] and took home €62,111 ! 💰💰👏🎊
⭐️ Be the next winner! ⭐️
— King's Resort (@PokerroomKings) November 15, 2022
Event 13: €1,650 Pot Limit Omaha/NLHE Mixed
This split format tournament required some skill in poker’s most popular games. Dutchman Yair Van Ruiten took the top spot for his first bracelet and €85,405.
This marked only the second WSOP cash for Van Ruiten. He was one of the chip leaders for much of the tournament and rode that wave to the title.
Ioannis Angelou Konstas, of Greece, finished runner-up for €52,772 and now has more than $1.2 million WSOP cashes. The event brought in 251 entries for a prize pool of €357,675.
Event 11: €50,000 Diamond High Roller
Orpen Kisacikoglu, of Turkey, took the title in this nosebleed stakes affair for €748,106 and his first bracelet. A regular competitor in high roller events, he now has more than $10 million in live tournament winnings.
The win came after Kisacikoglu took third in Event 6: €25,500 Short Deck High Roller for €323,553. He also scored a runner-up finish in the €100,000 Super High Roller side event for €199,500.
The Diamond High Roller saw 45 entries for a €2.1 million prize pool. The United Kingdom’s Sam Grafton took runner-up for €462,363 and Deeb grabbed third for €313,919.
Event 10: €2,200 Eight-Game Mix
Germany’s Thomer Pidun took the top spot for €49,245 and his first bracelet in the mixed-game action. This capped a nice run through the series which included two fifth-place finishes as well as a sixth and an eighth.
Pidum now has almost $570,000 in WSOP winnings, which also included a nice 33rd-place finish in the Main Event in 2019 for $261,430.
Oleksii Kovalchuk finished runner-up for €30,430 and another German player, Philipp Krieger, took third for €21,311. The tournament produced a 102-entry field for a €179,265 prize pool. The battle against his two opponents came with some challenges for Pidum beyond the play on the table.
“I had big problems at three handed,” he said. “I had stomach issues and I thought I was going to puke on the table! I was thinking why now? But thankfully it calmed down and I managed to ride it out.”
Germany's Thomer Pidun takes down the €2,000 8-Game Mix to earn €49,245 and his first gold bracelet!
— WSOP – World Series of Poker (@WSOP) November 11, 2022
Event 9: €2,200 Short Deck
Emil Bise, of Switzerland, secured his second bracelet and €49,521 in this Short Deck tournament. The 91-entry field brought in a prize pool of €172,900 and Bise described the win as: “Beautiful, unbelievable!”
“I put my heart into WSOP every year, it’s very special to me and I’m so happy,” he added.
The Czech Republic’s Jakub Koleckar finished runner-up for €30,602. GGPoker ambassador Felipe Ramos, of Brazil, finished third for €21,416.
— Felipe Mojave Ramos (@FelipeMojave) November 16, 2022
Event 7: €1,650 NLHE Six-Handed
This event concluded on Nov. 9 with German professional soccer player Max Kruse scoring his first bracelet for €134,152. A regular at the WSOP tables, he now has more than $295,000 in live tournament winnings.
“I’m overwhelmed,” he said after the win. “It’s the greatest feeling to have finally won a WSOP bracelet. I’ve wanted to win for 10 years and, of course, it makes me proud.”
France’s Dorian Melchers finished runner-up for €87,059.