Finland's Joni Jouhkimainen was denied heads-up for the second time in less than a week, as Ukraine's Andriy Lyubovetskiy won his first WSOP bracelet in Event #10: €25,000 Platinum High Roller.
He topped a field of 72 players to win €518,430, after seeing off a final table that featured former bracelet winners Martin Kabrhel and Ole Schemion.
Jouhkimainen would have to make do with €320,415 in prize money, good enough for the second-largest cash of his career.
Event #10: €25,000 Platinum High Roller Final Table Results
|1||Andriy Lyubovetskiy||Ukraine||€ 518,430|
|2||Joni Jouhkimainen||Finland||€ 320,415|
|3||Tom-Aksel Bedell||Norway||€ 220,905|
|4||Martin Kabrhel||Czech Republic||€ 157,295|
|5||Jordan Westmorland||United States||€ 88,230|
|6||Didier Rabl||Switzerland||€ 69,675|
|7||Ole Schemion||Germany||€ 57,095|
|8||Thomer Pidun||Germany||€ 48,620|
A stunned Lyubovetskiy could scarcely believe what had happened following his victory over Jouhkimainen.
"At this moment, I don't think I've realised what's going on and what's just happened," he told PokerNews. "But I can tell you that I've been pursuing this dream for the whole 12 years that I've been playing poker.
"Unfortunately I couldn't go to Vegas because of visa problems, but it's my second WSOP final table at the WSOP Europe."
Lyubovetskiy was straight onto the three main ladies in his life — his mother, his girlfriend and his sister — to share with them the good news.
"I think I played my best poker ever. I'm pretty happy and just have no words right now."
Final Table Recap
It was an eventful start for the start-of-day short stack Lyubovetskiy, who doubled in only the second hand of the day to move ahead of several other short stacks including Thomer Pidun who would be the first casualty at the final table.
Tom-Aksel Bedell, another short stack, would double twice to stay alive, with Jordan Westmorland taking over the chip lead as a result. The chip lead would move to Jouhkimainen after he sent Ole Schemion to the rail in seventh, but after Jouhkimainen bluffed into the full house of start-of-day chip leader Martin Kabrhel, it was the two-time bracelet winner who returned to the top of the counts.
Lyubovetskiy's big move up the leaderboard would come with the elimination of Didier Rabl, followed swiftly by the elimination of Westmorland. After being left short, Westmorland enjoyed a run of three quick doubles but a fourth attempt with pocket kings didn't pan out and he was eliminated.
With the chip lead, Lyubovetskiy quickly sent Kabrhel to the rail to extend his lead further still, but Jouhkimainen managed to hold onto his coat tails after eliminating Bedell in third, and was only 2:1 down in chips ahead of heads-up play.
Heads-up began with Lyubovetskiy extending his lead, but Jouhkimainen would double into the chip lead with pocket kings to extend the contest.
The two stacks would level out, with the chip lead changing practically after every hand before the final hand came. However, Lyubovetskiy would open a massive chip lead thanks to a hero-call after both players missed flush draws, but the Ukrainian rivered a pair.
He followed that up by finishing off his opponent, to see out victory and claim his first WSOP bracelet.