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The first event of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe i.e. €1,100 NLHE MONSTER STACK has crowned a champion. The event attracted a total of 561 runners over the course of three starting flights to make for a total prize pool of €538,280. Oleksandr Shcherbak (cover image) from Kiev, Ukraine emerged victorious to win the first bracelet of the series and pocketed the top prize of €117,708.
Shcherbak mentioned that he is a professional poker player but only had one recorded cash prior to this win. Hence, the finish not only got him his first WSOP bracelet, but also his very first WSOP score.
Some notables who missed the money were 14-time WSOP bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth, Chris Ferguson, Kristen Bicknell, Alex Foxen, Kenny Hallaert, and Roberto Romanello.
Those who made to Day 2 and managed to score include Valentin Vornicu (14th place – $4,726), Ryan Hughes (21st place – $3,184), Scott Stewart (26th place – $3,184), Jan Bendik (29th place – €2,697), Maxim Lykov (32nd place – €2,697), Sander van Wessemael (47th place – €2,065), Allen Kessler (€2,065), James Akenhead (57th place – €1,868), Mike Leah (62nd place – €1,868), and Ryan Hefter (67th place – €1,730).
The official nine-handed final table assembled after almost three hours of play on the final day.
There were many who entered the final table with under 20 big blinds, Germany’s Ali Sameeian was one of them and became the first casualty of the final table. He moved all-in with pocket fours and ran into the pocket kings of the eventual champion Shcherbak.
Not long after, another German exited the table. Ismael Bojang got a cooler with ace-king against Walter Treccarichi’s pocket aces.
For a good time, Serge Danis was the shortest stack and managed to climb the pay jump to seventh place but eventually fell victim to the blinds.
Peter Bstieler was in thick of action making impressive moves but couldn’t extend his run further as Shcherbak sent him packing in sixth place. Shcherbak pocket nines’ beat Bstieler pocket sevens. Bstieler seemed to have caught lightning in a bottle with a seven on the flop, but a nine on the river ruined everything for him, sending him packing in sixth place.
Walter Treccarichi was the next shortest stack and flipped for his tournament life against Shcherbak only to fall.
Carlo Savinelli showed the most aggression on the final table but eventually bowed out in fourth place.
Three-handed play lasted the longest as the trio – Shcherbak, Petleshkov & Fernandez traded chips back and forth. Sergio Fernandez began the final table in the chip lead but lost a huge pot to Shcherbak to become the short stack. He next moved all-in with and got the call from Shcherbak who tabled . Shcherbak hit a king on the turn and took down the pot, eliminating Fernandez in the process.
Shcherbak continued to dominate in the heads-up match against Bulgarian Viliyan Petleshkov and raced out to lead, changing gears continuously. He lost some after doubling up Petleshkov but didn’t lose hope and continued his bullying to take back the lead. Finally the last hand of the event saw Shcherbak’s against Petleshkov’s . Shcherbak turned a set to lift the trophy!
Final Table Results (EURO)
1. Oleksandr Shcherbak – €117,708
2. Viliyan Petleshkov – €72,747
3. Sergio Fernandez – €49,929
4. Carlo Savinelli – €34,869
5. Walter Treccarichi – €24,787
6. Peter Bstieler – €17,940
7. Serge Danis – €13,225
8. Ismael Bojang – €9,934
9. Ali Sameeian – €7,605
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