The second Ukrainian to win a World Series of Poker Europe bracelet was crowned in Rozvadov this week as the 2022 WSOP Europe festival wound to an end with unbeatable drama. After a fun and frantic $1,000-entry Turbo No Limit Hold’em Event #15, it was Andrey Lyubovetskiy who held the golden WSOP bracelet aloft, his lifetime of poker work rewarded with a win in the most thrilling of circumstances.

Peluso Pushed Out of the Reckoning

With only nine players making the final table, it was vital to get off to a great start. Italian player Fabio Peluso was hoping to do so for more than the usual reason, having won the first WSOPE event this series. He was eight places away from bookending the festival with his own private party, crashing out in ninth instead.

Of the 211 players who took part, Peluso won $3,482 when he was out in ninth place, all-in with pocket sixes only for Medhi Chaoui Roqai’s pocket queens crushed him both pre-flop and post. The board of T-3-2-K-K provided very little hope and by the river, his two-outer hadn’t landed, sending the Italian home after an ultimately very profitable trip.

The next player to go was from one of the other two nations to bring two players to the final. German Thore Kunze shoved with ace-queen pre-flop but although he started the run-out ahead of his caller, French breakthrough player and Global Poker Award winner Johan Guilbert, who held ten-nine of diamonds, that didn’t stay the case. A flop of K-5-3 gave Guilbert the flush draw, but he didn’t even need that, the ten of hearts coming on the turn to vault him into the lead. An inconsequential five on the river meant nothing to the balance of power and Kunze exited for a cash of $4,320.

Kabrhel Last Czech to Bounce

Martin Kabrhel came into the final table knowing that the hopes of all Czech players were resting on his shoulders. With no homegrown players claiming bracelets in the series, it all rested on him, and as much as his ego loved that, in the end, that pressure told. The Max Verstappen of poker busted limply, his queen-four crushed by Andrey Lyubovetskiy’s pocket aces, but as he walked off to collect $5,517, at least he could do so – rightly – believing he’d lost out to the eventual winner.

French player Johan Guilbert was the man to miss out on the top five, busting with a pocket pair. All-in with pocket threes, Guilbert’s hand was some way behind Medhi Chaoui Roqai’s pocket jacks, and the flop of Q-7-4 did nothing to change that. The deuce on the turn was close but not close enough to giving Guilbert the set he needed, and another seven on the river condemned him to defeat and a score of $7,246 in sixth place.

Two Germans made the final five, but one left to rule himself out of the Fab Four quicker than John Lennon in 1970. Ben Stiefel was the player, losing out with a short stack shove of 645,000 chips with ace-deuce. This was behind Lyubovetskiy’s pocket nines and the board of K-5-5-4-8 couldn’t save him, as he left in fifth place for $9,783.

All-Ukrainian Heads-Up Closes Festival

With four players left, another Italian bowed out in fourth. Edolo Ghirelli cashed for $13,565 when he fell just before the podium places. Ghirelli was all-in for barely a big blind with five-fur of clubs and lost to Lyubovetskiy’s rivered nut flush, which also took some chips from Roqai’s stack too.

Three-handed, that made a difference to things as Roqai slid to third in chips and busted for $19,304 at the hands of Oleksii Kovalchuk, as the Ukrainian’s queen-ten overtook Roqai’s king-queen thanks to a flush. Kovalchuk held the queen of clubs and the board of 7-5-3-9-4 saw four clubs give the Ukrainian the chip lead going into heads-up, with Kovalchuk’s 3.7 million ahead of Lyubovetskiy’s 2.5 million chips.

The all-Ukrainian battle for the bracelet – and second for the war-torn country this series – was a short but exciting battle, as Lyubovetskiy took the lead and quickly made it count. Kovalchuk shoved for 2 million with ace-ten, and Lyubovetskiy, having got himself ahead, had an easy call with ace-queen, riding out the board of A-Q-5-2-J to win the title, the $45,606 top prize and his first-ever WSOP bracelet.

WSOP Europe 2022 Event #15 $1,000 Turbo NLHE Freezeout Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Andrey Lyubovetskiy Ukraine $45,606
2nd Oleksii Kovalchuk Ukraine $28,178
3rd Mehdi 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

After an amazing 2022 World Series of Poker Europe festival, here are all the bracelet winners by order of event.

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


Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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