The opening event of the 2022 Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party saw an incredible turnout provide the eventual winner, Vadzim Godzdanker, who took down the $1,100-entry MPP Open, a top prize of $150,000. The Belarussian won after a lengthy heads-up battle between him and Alessio Isaia, as the Italian just missed out on glory.

Margolin Misses Out on Late Stages

The final table of the Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party ‘MPP Open’ saw nine finalists battle it out for the victory.  First to go was Iosebi Laperashvili, who busted with ten-six of hearts after chasing a flush against Timur Margolin’s flopped middle pair. Laperashvili went out in ninth for $14,000 and at that stage, Margolin moved into second place on the leaderboard.

Out in eighth was Raoul Iancovici, who lost out with his short-stacked shove with king-deuce, called and eliminated by Selahaddin Bedir’s pocket aces. The queen-high board gave no hope to Iancovici, who was drawing dead to the river and cashed for $18,000.

Seven remained and the next elimination was a shock, as Israeli player Margolin went from hero to zero. After doubling up Vadzim Godzdanker who had pocket kings against Margolin’s pocket jacks, it didn’t take long for Margolin to hit the rail for $23,000. All-in with jack-ten, Margolin was bluffing on the river after a board of 3-2-2-Q-6 fell. Godzdanker had queen-four and used two-time bank cards, but eventually made the call and sent Margolin on his way.

Two Cypriots Crash Out

With six players remaining, two of them hailed from Cyprus, but within two bust-outs, no one did. Eleftherios Sinnos cashed for $28,000 when his ace-eight couldn’t win a flip against Bedir’s pocket sevens, as he finished in sixth place.

Out in fifth was Sinnos’ countryman Frederick Anastasiades, who shoved pre-flop with pocket fours. Anastasiades was behind Ben Hershkovich pre-flop, but the Israeli players checked to the river with Godzdanker who had also called with king-jack and lost the hand but not his stack. Anastasiades cashed for $35,000 but missed out on the top four after the board came A-7-3-6-8.

Hershkovich may have won that hand, but couldn’t make the podium places, cashing for $46,000 in fourth. Hershkovich was all-in and at risk with ace-queen, but Godzdanker made the call with pocket jacks and held with ease through the board of 9-7-4-J-9 for a rivered full house.

Bedir Loses Lead as ‘Godzdanker Mode’ Wins

Three players were left and it was an all-out battle for the title. Leading at the start of the day, Turkish player Selahaddin Bedir cashed for $63,000 in third place after missing out on heads-up. All-in with ace-queen, he was dismayed to see that Godzdanker had called with ace-king and the board of A-6-2-8-3 played out to leave the latter with almost a 3:1 lead heading into the final duel.

Alessio Isaia had played a subtly good game to clamber up the ladder to the final duo, but now had to go for the win and from a position of weakness too. He had grown his stack a little to around 14.6 million chips by the final hand, but Godzdanker had 30.4 million and could afford to make what turned out to be the fateful final call.

All-in with ace-jack, Isaia was up against Godzdanker’s king-nine, and on the flop of K-6-6, immediately fell behind. With a five of clubs coming on the turn to match two of the card on the flop and the ace in Isaia’s hand, there was a flush draw as well as aces on his list of outs, but the queen of hearts landed on the river to give a gobsmacked Godzdanker the title.

The Words of a Champion

“I have loved my time here. I enjoy the good food, the scenery the beautiful mountains, and the sea.”

With Isaia winning the $94,000 runner-up prize, Godzdanker claimed the $150,000 top prize and told PokerNews after the event of his shock and happiness at winning.

“I don’t understand how I won, but I am sure the elation will come in time.” Asked what he did between finishing the previous day at 4 am and returning to the felt at 12 noon the next day, he replied: “I relaxed in my room watching Manchester United versus Liverpool which helped me get off to sleep.”

Asked by PokerNews how he was enjoying the Merit Royal Diamond Resort as a venue, he said: “I have loved my time here. I enjoy the good food, the scenery the beautiful mountains, and the sea. I am planning to come back here again and again.”

After winning the biggest title of their career, why wouldn’t he?

Mediterranean Poker Party Open Event #1 Final Table Results:

Place Name Country Prize
1st Vadzim Godzdanker Belarus $150,000
2nd Alessio Isaia Italy $94,000
3rd Selahaddin Bedir Turkey $63,000
4th Ben Hershkovich Israel $46,000
5th Frederick Anastasiades Cyprus $35,000
6th Eleftherios Sinnos Cyprus $28,000
7th Timur Margolin Israel $23,000
8th Raoul Iancovici Romania $18,000
9th Iosebi Laperashvili Georgia $14,000


Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in

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