Oleksandr Shcherbak wins the opening event at the 2017 World Series of Poker for €117K and his first gold bracelet.

ROZVADOV, Czech Republic (October 23, 2017) – Oleksandr Shcherbak has won the opening event of the 2017 World Series of Poker Europe. Shcherbak defeated a 561-player field to win €117,708 and his first career WSOP gold bracelet. He defeated Bulgaria’s Viliyan Petleshkov heads up, who was also chasing his first career gold bracelet. Petleshkov’s runner-up finish earned him a cash of €72,747. Shcherbak became the third Ukrainian player to win a gold bracelet and first one to do it on European soil.

Shcherbak is a professional poker player from Kiev, Ukraine. Not only was this his first WSOP gold bracelet, but this also marked Shcherbak’s first career WSOP cash. Shcherbak earned the honor of winning the first WSOP gold bracelet to ever be awarded in King’s Casino. There will be 10 more bracelets awarded over the remainder of the series.

The 29-year-old began the final day of play 7th in chips out of the 13 remaining players. Three players quickly busted early in the day before the tournament came to a screeching halt on the final table bubble. The final table bubble lasted over two hours and saw double up after double up. Shortly after 10-handed play began, Shcherbak doubled up two of his opponents to land himself as the short stack of the table. Shcherbak was down to his final four big blinds. Without much ammunition left in the clip and time running out, Shcherbak moved all-in with   . Two players called his all-in and his tournament life was at risk. Shcherbak hit an 8-out flush on the river to win the pot and triple up. He chipped up over the next hour and was fourth in chips by the time the final table was reached.

Shcherbak drew first blood at the final table, eliminating Ali Sameeian in 9th place. As time passed at the final table, Shcherbak’s chip stack grew. He eliminated Walter Treccarichi in 5th place and Sergio Fernandez in 3rd place to get himself in a heads up battle against Petleshkov. On hand #102 of the final table, Shcherbak called Petleshkov’s 37 big blind 4-bet shove with   . Petleshkov had    and it was a race for three-quarters of the chips in play. The flop came jack high. The turn brought the clinching card for Shcherbak. The turn was the   securing the hand and tournament for Shcherbak.

Shcherbak joined Oleksii Kovalchuk and Igor Dubinsky as the only Ukrainian bracelet winners. Kovalchuk is a two-time gold bracelet winner after winning bracelets in back-to-back years at the 2011 and 2012 WSOP’s in Las Vegas. Dubinsky won his bracelet in 2014 in Las Vegas after taking down the 2nd annual Little One for One Drop event.

The World Series of Poker is in Europe for the 9th time in its 47 year history. For the first time, World Series of Poker Europe is being held at King’s Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic. Prior to this series, WSOPE was held in London four times, Cannes twice, Paris and Berlin.

This series opening event featured three starting flights and had a €1,100 buy-in. King’s Casino and the WSOP tacked on a hefty €500,000 guarantee, which was narrowly surpassed on the final flight. The event ended up drawing 561 players to generate a €538,280 prizepool.


Final Table Results:

1st: Oleksandr Shcherbak - €117,708
2nd: Viliyan Petleshkov - €72,747
3rd: Sergio Fernandez - €49,929
4th: Carlo Savinelli - €34,869
5th: Walter Treccarichi - €24,787
6th: Peter Bstieler - €17,940
7th: Serge Danis - €13,225
8th: Ismael Bojang - €9,934
9th: Ahmad Ali Sameeian - €7,605

Full Results