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EPT Snowfest Main Event

  • Mar 20, '11 - Mar 25, '11
  •  

 
 

Updates on Final Day (Mar 25, 11)

 
 

Vladimir Geshkenbein, flamboyant champion of EPT Snowfest

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You might think the idea of staging a major poker tournament in an Alpine ski resort would detract somewhat from the real business at hand. With ski slopes just a short walk away, and with winter sports leaflets glossily presented to every hotel guest, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Alpine Palace hotel in Hinterglemm, wasn’t really a poker kind of place. Well, any doubts were erased today by one of season seven’s best final tables.

The short version of the day’s story is that Vladimir Geshkenbein is the new EPT Snowfest champion, winner of €390,000 and a seat in the Champion of Champion event, having beaten Kevin Vandersmissen heads-up.

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EPT Snowfest winner Vladimir Geshkenbein


The long version is an epic tale of engagement, of ego, of stubbornness and Twitter, as characters collided in a nine-hour scramble that added together was about more than a simple game of poker.

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Geshkenbein now reigns, one of the European Poker Tour’s most unusual champions. The Russian may have started the day fourth in chips, but few doubted that he was the player to watch. Wildly unpredictable, fantastically cheeky and maddeningly smug, Geshkenbein at times dominated, at times infuriated, but always looked the champion he now is.

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Geshkenbein victorious


But despite such astounding levels of swagger, no one should have been in any doubt as to Geshkenbein’s instinctive talent, as his friends who lifted him onto their shoulders at the bell, certainly felt.

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The final table


This day started just after 2pm this afternoon. Morten Mortensen started things off in admirable spirit, shoving on the first hand to no avail. He may not have got business, but when Italian Giacomo Maisto tried the same thing he doubled up – twice – first against Vandersmissen, then Philip Meulyzer. Suddenly the impulsive Italian was a contender again. No one would know it at the time but this five minute spell would be pivotal, shaping the final for the next seven-and-a-half-hours of play.

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Morten Mortensen


Mortensen went first, departing in eighth place when his eights fell to the ace-jack of Koen de Visscher. A short while later Irishman Denis Murphy would follow, this time taken out by Vandersmissen.

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Denis Murphy


The short stacks continued to struggle, Philip Meulyzer, assuming the role and going next in sixth place, countryman Vandersmissen dispatching him when his queen-jack made two pair to topple Meulyzer’s ace-king.

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Philip Meulyzer


As the final developed, two players began to take key roles.

First Geshkenbein. So raw with confidence, he seemed to believe that if he simply thought he was the best player – and he arguably was – that would be enough. In the levels before the dinner break he began to struggle, as if he’d started to believe his own propaganda. That cost him, losing hands to Cristian Dragomir, an arch rival from earlier main event days.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


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Giacomo Maisto


He also spent much of the day combating Vandersmissen, both on the table and off. On the table, the two seemed up for a scrap. Away from the table, that extended to Twitter also, where Geshkenbein fired off some un-pleasantries. Vandersmissen, in response, did what anyone else under attack would do – he returned the fire.

Vladimir Geshkenbein: Up to two mil.. Valuetowned a fat Belgium guy.

Kevin Vandersmissen’s response: Valuetowned the russian alcoholic! 6.6mill now play resumes in 5 min.

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Kevin Vandersmissen


It made for some interesting dramatic irony, as anyone with a smartphone picking up the free hotel wireless knew exactly what was going through the minds of the two main protagonists.

The other key player was Maisto. Written off as the weaker player, playing tight to edge deeper in the money, it’s unwise to write off his performance as an anomaly. Maisto filled the roll of fourth place finisher ably, and, as suggested, his double double-up gave him the ammunition to be the thorn in the side of everyone, even Geshkenbein, who had the knack of scaring everyone but couldn’t always challenge Maisto’s habit of re-raising the Russian off of hands.

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Giacomo Maisto


Dragomir would go in fifth place but until Maisto was dispatched he took on the role of kingmaker, and until his elimination in fourth place the others played the waiting game, fearful that the Italian would snatch the top-three finish they believed they rightfully deserved.

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Cristian Dragomir


So it was a backhanded compliment when, following on from his departure, the other three players celebrated with a €600 bottle of Dom Perignon Rose Vintage 1998. Liberated, and now friends, play loosened, and soon big towers of chips went into the middle. Ultimately De Visscher gave way.

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Geshkenbein toasts a top three finish


A word on De Visscher, who throughout the event never engaged in the petty recriminations that had created rivalries aplenty. Instead he put in a solid performance, worthy of at least third place, taking his champagne and prize money to the rail with the instruction to his friends, paraphrased I should add, that they should perhaps, energetically, have another drink or two.

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Koen de Visscher


Heads-up, and with chips relatively equal, there was every chance that play would go on into the early hours of Saturday morning. Instead it was all done within half an hour, the coup de grace delivered by Geshkenbein in five minutes, first when his two pairs snatched him the lead (“Don’t be sad,” Geshkenbein had said to Vandersmissen. “second place is good as well.”), and then again five minutes later with the chips in the middle. The Russian flopped two pairs and Vandersmissen was beaten for good.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein waits…


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Vladimir Geshkenbein wins…


It was a final not to be missed, and you can find every inch of detail of the whole day by clicking on the links below, and the complete list of prize winners on the prize winners page. If you weren’t here first time around it’s well worth the read.

Level 24 (cont.) & 25 updates


Level 26 & 27 updates


Level 28 updates

If you’re more inclined to read all this in another language then we have just the thing, with equivalents in German, Dutch, French and Italian. A final thanks this week to photographer Neil Stoddart who more than once grabbed his cameras to rush to the final table only to find a false alarm when he got there. It was hilarious.

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The winner’s trophy


That’s it then from EPT Snowfest. Alas we never got to go skiing but we did fill our boots with goulash. The European Poker Tour now takes a week off before reconvening in Berlin a week on Monday.

Until then, thanks for reading our live coverage. The Australia and New Zealand Poker Tour is under way in Perth, with coverage currently available on the blog courtesy of Mr Heath Chick. Our money is on Tony Hachem.

Until Berlin, it’s goodnight from Hinterglemm.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 28 updates (blinds 40,000-80,000, 5,000 ante)

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10.36pm: Maisto getting active


Giacomo Maisto’s tight image might be paying dividends here. He has shoved all-in a few times now without a call. Both Kevin Vandersmissen and Vladimir Geshkenbein have been shoved on by the Italian but this time it was Vandersmissen’s turn. He opened for 200,000 and was moved in on for under 2 million. — RD

10.30pm: Back from the break

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50,000-100,000, ANTE 10,000


10.13pm: Break time


There players are on a 15 minute break. Here’s how they stand:

Kevin Vandersmissen, Holland — 6,955,000


Vladimir Geshkenbein, Russia — 2,715,000


Koen de Visscher, Holland — 2,515,000


Giacomo Maisto, Italy — 2,150,000

10.05pm: Italian chatter in the stands


Giacomo Maisto’s loyal supporters love a natter but I’ve no idea what they’ve been talking about. They were banging on about something or other just as Vladimir Geshkenbein opened to 175,000 under-the-gun and Maisto announced that he was all-in from the big blind. Geshkenbein looked back at his cards again, gave a resigned sigh and mucked his hand.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” shouted out one of Maisto’s supporters. Ahhh, so that’s what they were chatting about. — RD

10.05pm: Geshkenbein slipping, Vandersmissen taking charge


With pre-flop betting of 175,000 and a flop of 10Diamond Suit6Heart SuitAHeart Suit Vladimir Geshkenbein bet 225,000. His opponent, once again, was Kevin Vandersmissen, who’s is beginning to take a clear lead, and who called now for a 8Club Suit turn. Both checked, and did the same on the QDiamond Suit river. Vandersmissen showed KHeart Suit10Heart Suit which was good. Geshkenbein mucked and is now down to less than 2,000,000. – SB

10.02pm: Those two again


Kevin Vandersmissen just won a couple of small pots off Vladimir Geshkenbein. In one hand he three-bet Geshkenbein’s open raise 175,000, up to 425,000. Fold. The very next hand he kept up the pressure by raising to 160,000 into Geshkenbein’s big blind. The Russian didn’t take the bait, and folded. — MC

9.58pm: Vandersmissen sticks it in Geshkenbein’s eye


It sometimes seems as if Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kevin Vandersmissen have forgotten that there are two other players at the table. While Giacomo Maisto and Koen de Visscher keep relatively low profiles Geskenbein and Vandersmissen keep going at it hammer and tongs.

It was Vandersmissen’s turn to score a telling blow. He opened for 160,000 from the cut-off and when the Russian three-bet to 420,000 Vandersmissen’s announced that he was all-in for 5.75 million. Geshkenbein smiled and passed. He drops to near the chip average with 3.1 million. — RD

9.53pm: Gaining some


Vladimir Geshkenbain just clawed a little back from Kevin Vandersmissen, after the Belgian opened for 160,000. Geshkenbein called for a flop of AHeart Suit3Heart SuitQSpade Suit which he then checked. Vandersmissen then bet 150,000 which Geshkenbein called for a 8Heart Suit turn. Both checked that for a 6Diamond Suit river card. Yet more checking. The Russian took the pot showing ASpade Suit6Heart Suit. – SB

9.49pm: Geshkenbein takes another knock


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 175,000 from the button which Kevin Vandersmissen called from the big blind. On the flop of 3Diamond Suit6Heart Suit10Club Suit Vandersmissen checked to Geshkenbein, then called for a QHeart Suit turn.

Again Vandersmissen checked leaving it to Geshkenbein to bet 550,000. Once more Vandersmissen went to his stack and called.

On the QClub Suit river Vandersmissen checked one last time and, looking defeated, Geshkenbein did too, mucking his cards when the Belgian showed 9Diamond Suit10Heart Suit.

Geshkenbein down to 3,100,000 now while Vandersmissen moves up to 6,700,000. – SB

9.45pm: Not many flops


The action has settled down somewhat in the last five minutes. Most of the pots have been won with pre-flop raises, although Giacomo Maisto and Vladimir Geshkenbein did make it to a flop.

Maisto completed from the small blind and Geshkenbein checked his big blind option. The flop came down 7Spade SuitAHeart SuitJHeart Suit and a Maisto lead was enough to get the Russian to fold.

The next hand a Maisto button raise to 180,000 was enough to get Geshkenbein and Koen de Visscher to fold from the blinds. — MC

9.42pm: Twitter war


There seems to be a (mainly) good natured twitter war taking place between Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kevin Vandersmissen that mirrors the battle taking place at the table. Both players have claimed to have taken the other to Value Town – as well as a few other things…

In this case it was Geshkenbein who was the winner. Vandersmissen had opened the button for 160,000 and Geshkenbein had defended his big blind. Play checked through to the 3Spade Suit9Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit4Club Suit turn at which Geshkenbein led for 250,000. Vandersmissen made the call.

On the 5Heart Suit river Geshkenbein made a large tower of orange 25,000 chips, a total of 650,000, and started to push them across the line. But as doing so the stack started to crumble. He quickly clawed his hands around to get the bet across. Maybe this should have indicated to Vandersmissen that he really wanted to get those chips in. Vandersmissen made the call and was shown KDiamond Suit9Spade Suit.

“I’m not the only resident of Value Town,” said Geshkenbein with a twinkle in his eye. Vandersmissen simply smiled and passed the chips over. Geshkenbein up to 3.3 million. — RD

9.33pm: One for Vandersmissen


Kevin Vandersmissen took one pot uncontested then opened the next for 225,000 from the small blind. Giacomo Maisto called for a flop of JSpade Suit3Diamond SuitAHeart Suit but the hand went no further than a Vandersmissen bet of 250,000. Maisto insta-folded. – SB

9.31pm: Unusual line works for Maisto


Giacomo Maisto just took an unusual line against Koen de Visscher, but it worked as he won the pot.

De Visscher raised to 160,000 and Maisto called from the big blind to go to a 4Club Suit9Diamond Suit9Heart Suit flop. He check-called a 150,000 bet before he led out for 150,000 on the JClub Suit turn. De Visscher gave him a querying look and slid his cards into the muck. — MC

9.27pm: One for De Visscher, one for Vandersmissen


The Belgians just took one pot apiece. Koen de Visscher opened from the cut-off to 160,000 and took the blinds and antes before passing some of them onto Kevin Vandersmissen on the next hand. De Visscher defended his big blind before check-folding on the 6Spade Suit9Spade Suit7Club Suit flop. — RD

9.24pm: Maisto still kicking


Koen de Visscher opened for 160,000 on the button, getting a caller in Giacomo Maisto. Before the flop De Visscher pointed at Maisto’s stack, asking how much. The answer, about 1,500,000.

The flop came 2Spade SuitADiamond Suit6Spade Suit. Masito checked before De Visscher bet 150,000. Called. Now the 10Spade Suit which both players checked. It was the same again on the 9Spade Suit river, Maisto showing 6Spade Suit7Club Suit to win the hand. — SB




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Giacomo Maisto is refusing to lay down




9.20pm: Geshkenbein shoves


Vandersmissen opened for 160,000 from under-the-gun before Vladimir Geshkenbein moved all-in from the small blind. Koen de Visscher paused in the big blind before folding. Then Vandersmissen did the same. – SB

9.18pm: Maisto looks and turns away


Vladimir Geshkenbein raised from the button and Giacomo Maisto defended his big blind to see the 5Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit4Heart Suit flop. He checked to the Russian, who continued his aggression with a 225,000 bet. Call. The turn came 8Spade Suit and both players checked through to the QSpade Suit river. Maisto checked and folded before Geshkenbein could bet the 360,000 he had planned to. — MC

9.13pm: Geshkenbein three-bet shoves


Kevin Vandersmissen opened from the button for 160,000 and Vladimir Geshkenbein instantly moved all-in from the big blind for a touch over 2 million.

“It’s kind of big, isn’t it?” asked Vandersmissen.

“I don’t know,” replied Geshkenbein knowing full well how much he was shoving for.

Vandersmissen passed as Geshkenbein added 200,000 to his stack uncontested. — RD

9.05pm: For starters


Five hands, four of them taken with a pre-flop raise and take, first Koen de Visscher, two for Kevin Vandersmissen then one for Vladimir Geshkenbein.

Geshkenbein was involved in the next hand, opening for 175,000 from under-the-gun. Giacomo Maisto fiddled with his chips a bit then suddenly announced all-in. Geshkenbein closed his eyes, taking in another poke from the Italian.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


Geshkenbein can boast of being the better player, but in terms of Maisto the Italian has proven his nemesis, a unnecessary menace distracting him from his master plan. Geshkenbein had to pass. – SB

8.55pm: Level 28 update


Play is about to restart after the 60 minute dinner break, although so far only Giacomo Maisto is in his seat. No sign of the others.

Those others are as follows:

Kevin Vandersmissen, Belgium, 6,455,000


Koen de Visscher, Belgium, 3,655,000


Vladimir Geshkenbein, Russia, 2,450,000


Giacomo Maisto, Italy, 2,090,000

The last two levels have featured terrific displays from some while others, notably fifth placed finisher Cristian Dragomir, have departed. The clear leader in chips is Kevin Vandersmissen, but the leader in terms of confidence is Russian Vladimir Geshkenbein, whose swagger has matched only by his talent since the start today.

How this will work out for both is hard to say right now. There’s no love loss between the two of them. It should make for a perfect finale. — SB

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The winner’s trophy


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Snowfest (in order of plates of food eaten during the buffet): Rick Dacey (3), Marc Convey (3), Stephen Bartley (2).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 28 & 29 updates (blinds 50,000-100,000, 10,000 ante)

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11.50pm: Vladimir Geshkenbein wins EPT Snowfest and €390,000


The next hand Geshkenbein folded from the button but it was all over one hand later. Kevin Vandersmissen raised to 250,000 only to face a three-bet up to 550,000 from Vladimir Geshkenbein. His response was to move all-in for just under five million. Geshkenbein snap called and jumped to his feet knowing this could be it.

Geshkenbein: 9Diamond SuitAHeart Suit


Vandersmissen: KDiamond Suit10Spade Suit

The board ran ASpade Suit8Diamond Suit9Heart SuitKSpade Suit5Diamond Suit to send the tittle and the trophy back to Russia. He was swamped by his supporters on the rail who lifted him up and sang some cheesy tunes.

Congratulations must also go to a worthy runner-up in the shape of Vandersmissen who played valiantly from the first day. He takes home €260,000 for his efforts this week. — MC

11.45pm: Geshkenbein keeps up the needle


Vladimir Geshkenbein has taken a lead in this heads-up encounter after getting two streets of value with two-pair. Kevin Vandersmissen raised to 250,000 and Geshkenbein called to see the 3Diamond SuitASpade Suit4Spade Suit flop where both checked. The turn came 6Club Suit and Geshkenbein led for 400,000. Call. The river came KSpade Suit and Geshkenbein said, “I’m going to bet one million” and he drew two 500,000 stacks with each hand and smashed them together over the line.

He looked up at his opponent and added, “You can’t call one million”.

Vandersmissen did call but he mucked upong seeing the Russian’s 3Spade Suit4Club Suit for two-pair. The Belgian is down to less than five million.

Just to rub salt into the wound Geshkenbein added, “Don’t be sad, second place is good as well.” — MC




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Kevin Vandersmissen: heads up for the title




11.50pm: Back to even


There has been some chip movement but it’s keeps returning to where it started, Vladimir Geshkenbein ahead by the tiniest of margins. The latest return to that state was by Kevin Vandersmissen three-betting to 500,000 and getting shoved on by Geshkenbein. Fold. — RD

11.35pm: Get your needle on


The two are defending their big blinds by re-raising a lot at the moment. Vladimir Geshkenbein is just about getting the better of this battle and after one hand he said to Kevin Vandersmissen, “Will you ever cheer up? Why do you sit like that? I bet you wouldn’t cheer up even if you won!” — MC

11.25pm: Heads up begins


“You play much heads up, my friend?” asked Vladimir Geshkenbein, a player who won a televised heads up tournament for $120,000. If Kevin Vandermissen was intimidated he didn’t show it, three-betting Geshkenbein from 225,000 to 550,000 and blasting another half-million into the QDiamond Suit8Heart Suit8Spade Suit flop. The game is well and truly on. — RD

11.20pm: Toasting De Visscher’s exit


“Cheers guys.” This was Vladimir Geshkenbein. Yes, the champagne has arrived. All three toasted each other, took sips and then took second sips to allow the flurry of photographers to get a “spontaneous” picture.

When cards were dealt Koen de Visscher moved all-in from the small blind but got no takers. On the next hand though he did the same from the button. Kevin Vandersmissen passed but Geshkenbein thumbed his lucky monkey (reminder: it’s a small stuffed toy) and said call, turning over JSpade SuitJClub Suit.

De Visscher could only manage 7Club SuitAClub Suit. Someone in the crowd called for an ace, so Geshkenbein called for one too. But the board ran KDiamond Suit7Diamond Suit8Diamond Suit2Spade Suit10Spade Suit. De Visscher out to handshakes and champagne, the third place finisher earning €147,000. – SB

11.17pm: Vandersmissen bluffs Geshkenbein


Kevin Vandermissen managed to get away with a bluff against Vladimir Geshkenbein, just. He raised pre-flop to 250,000, bet 330,000 on the flop, 760,000 on the turn and 1,450,000 on the river. Geshkenbein snap called every bet and almost snap called the river. He stopped to think about it and said, “I should call you with ace high”.

He folded though and said to Vandersmissen, “Show me your bluff”.

The Belgian did just that with his JDiamond Suit10Heart Suit for jack high. — MC

11.10pm: Change in atmosphere


Three-handed there’s talk of champagne. These three have cheered up since the short break and everyone seems friends again. Vladimir Geshkenbein thinks this might be a champagne moment and a waiter is sent for.

Meanwhile Kevin Vandersmissen bet 250,000 on the button and Geshkenbein called for a flop of 3Club Suit3Heart SuitJClub Suit. Both checked for a 8Diamond Suit turn at which point Geshkenbein lumped in 500,000. Vandersmissen called for a 2Club Suit river, at which point Geshkenbein lumped in 1,500,000. Vandersmissen got the message and folded.

The waiter arrived and Geshkenbein ordered some Dom Preignon. It’s on the way. Play is loosening up. – SB




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Breaking out the Dom, yo




11.05pm: Back into the action


The last three players are back into the action.

1. Kevin Vandersmissen – 6,005,000


2. Vladimir Geshkenbein – 5,995,000


3. Koen de Visscher – 2,515,000

The title is within grasp but De Visscher will need to get some chips quickly if he’s going to. — RD

10.55pm: Maisto out in fourth (€100,000)


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened to 210,000 and Giacomo Maisto made the call from the big blind. Geshkenbein c-bet the QClub Suit8Club Suit9Spade Suit flop for 275,000 and Maisto check-raised all-in. Both players had a little over 2.5 million total.

“How much is it?” asked Geshkenbein before quickly adding: “It doesn’t matter. I call.”

Geshkenbein: QDiamond Suit4Diamond Suit


Maisto: QSpade Suit10Club Suit

Geshkenbein was in horrible shape drawing to three outs. The 2Spade Suit didn’t help. The 4Heart Suit river did. The look of shock on Geshkenbein’s face was reminiscent of McCauley Culkin in Home Alone. Maisto stormed up from his chair shouting in Italian.

“Nice call,” he said angrily to Geshkenbein as he returned, understandably annoyed about the outdraw.




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Giacomo Maisto, unlucky to get knocked out in fourth




The chips were counted out, Geshkenbein had him covered. Maisto, now a little calmer, shook hands with his opponents and received a warm round of applause. The remaining players are now taking a short break. — RD




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Vladimir Geshkenbein gettiong congratulated on his outdraw




10.48pm: They’ve been too nice recently


Kevin Vandersmissen and Vladimir Geshkenbein have be too nice to each other recently and maybe that’s why Vandermissen just showed his Russian opponent a stone-cold bluff.

He raised to 200,000 from the button and Geshkenbein defended from the big blind to see a QHeart Suit10Club Suit10Heart Suit flop. The action went check-check. The turn fell JDiamond Suit and Geshkenbein check-folded to a 425,000 bet. Vandersmissen smiled and flashed 7Club Suit4Club Suit. — MC

10.45pm: Maisto lives


Two raise-and-takes, one for Vladimir Geshkenbein, the other for Koen de Visscher. As that happens a new trophy arrives, to stand alongside the official EPT trophy. It’s a hand carved lump of wood, shaped into a hand, holding a pair of aces. It’s a stunning and unique memento, well worth the baggage excess for the winner.

After that Giacomo Maisto moved all-in, but got no takers, then Vandersmissen opened for 200,000 from under-the-gun. Miasto moved all-in again from the button. De Visscher asked how much and the dealer dragged out the chips to count, first calling it as 2,200,000 then correcting the count to be 2,730,000. De Visscher thought a bit more but passed. – SB

10.36pm: Maisto getting active


Giacomo Maisto’s tight image might be paying dividends here. He has shoved all-in a few times now without a call. Both Kevin Vandersmissen and Vladimir Geshkenbein have been shoved on by the Italian and this time it was Vandersmissen’s turn again. He opened for 200,000 and was moved in on for less than 2 million. — RD

10.30pm: Back from the break

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 50,000-100,000, ANTE 10,000


10.13pm: Break time


There players are on a 15 minute break. Here’s how they stand:

Kevin Vandersmissen, Holland — 6,955,000


Vladimir Geshkenbein, Russia — 2,715,000


Koen de Visscher, Holland — 2,515,000


Giacomo Maisto, Italy — 2,150,000

10.05pm: Italian chatter in the stands


Giacomo Maisto’s loyal supporters love a natter but I’ve no idea what they’ve been talking about. They were banging on about something or other just as Vladimir Geshkenbein opened to 175,000 under-the-gun and Maisto announced that he was all-in from the big blind. Geshkenbein looked back at his cards again, gave a resigned sigh and mucked his hand.

“That’s what I’m talking about!” shouted out one of Maisto’s supporters. Ahhh, so that’s what they were chatting about. — RD

10.05pm: Geshkenbein slipping, Vandersmissen taking charge


With pre-flop betting of 175,000 and a flop of 10Diamond Suit6Heart SuitAHeart Suit Vladimir Geshkenbein bet 225,000. His opponent, once again, was Kevin Vandersmissen, who’s is beginning to take a clear lead, and who called now for a 8Club Suit turn. Both checked, and did the same on the QDiamond Suit river. Vandersmissen showed KHeart Suit10Heart Suit which was good. Geshkenbein mucked and is now down to less than 2,000,000. – SB

10.02pm: Those two again


Kevin Vandersmissen just won a couple of small pots off Vladimir Geshkenbein. In one hand he three-bet Geshkenbein’s open raise 175,000, up to 425,000. Fold. The very next hand he kept up the pressure by raising to 160,000 into Geshkenbein’s big blind. The Russian didn’t take the bait, and folded. — MC

9.58pm: Vandersmissen sticks it in Geshkenbein’s eye


It sometimes seems as if Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kevin Vandersmissen have forgotten that there are two other players at the table. While Giacomo Maisto and Koen de Visscher keep relatively low profiles Geskenbein and Vandersmissen keep going at it hammer and tongs.

It was Vandersmissen’s turn to score a telling blow. He opened for 160,000 from the cut-off and when the Russian three-bet to 420,000 Vandersmissen’s announced that he was all-in for 5.75 million. Geshkenbein smiled and passed. He drops to near the chip average with 3.1 million. — RD

9.53pm: Gaining some


Vladimir Geshkenbain just clawed a little back from Kevin Vandersmissen, after the Belgian opened for 160,000. Geshkenbein called for a flop of AHeart Suit3Heart SuitQSpade Suit which he then checked. Vandersmissen then bet 150,000 which Geshkenbein called for a 8Heart Suit turn. Both checked that for a 6Diamond Suit river card. Yet more checking. The Russian took the pot showing ASpade Suit6Heart Suit. – SB

9.49pm: Geshkenbein takes another knock


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 175,000 from the button which Kevin Vandersmissen called from the big blind. On the flop of 3Diamond Suit6Heart Suit10Club Suit Vandersmissen checked to Geshkenbein, then called for a QHeart Suit turn.

Again Vandersmissen checked leaving it to Geshkenbein to bet 550,000. Once more Vandersmissen went to his stack and called.

On the QClub Suit river Vandersmissen checked one last time and, looking defeated, Geshkenbein did too, mucking his cards when the Belgian showed 9Diamond Suit10Heart Suit.

Geshkenbein down to 3,100,000 now while Vandersmissen moves up to 6,700,000. – SB

9.45pm: Not many flops


The action has settled down somewhat in the last five minutes. Most of the pots have been won with pre-flop raises, although Giacomo Maisto and Vladimir Geshkenbein did make it to a flop.

Maisto completed from the small blind and Geshkenbein checked his big blind option. The flop came down 7Spade SuitAHeart SuitJHeart Suit and a Maisto lead was enough to get the Russian to fold.

The next hand a Maisto button raise to 180,000 was enough to get Geshkenbein and Koen de Visscher to fold from the blinds. — MC

9.42pm: Twitter war


There seems to be a (mainly) good natured twitter war taking place between Vladimir Geshkenbein and Kevin Vandersmissen that mirrors the battle taking place at the table. Both players have claimed to have taken the other to Value Town – as well as a few other things…

In this case it was Geshkenbein who was the winner. Vandersmissen had opened the button for 160,000 and Geshkenbein had defended his big blind. Play checked through to the 3Spade Suit9Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit4Club Suit turn at which Geshkenbein led for 250,000. Vandersmissen made the call.

On the 5Heart Suit river Geshkenbein made a large tower of orange 25,000 chips, a total of 650,000, and started to push them across the line. But as doing so the stack started to crumble. He quickly clawed his hands around to get the bet across. Maybe this should have indicated to Vandersmissen that he really wanted to get those chips in. Vandersmissen made the call and was shown KDiamond Suit9Spade Suit.

“I’m not the only resident of Value Town,” said Geshkenbein with a twinkle in his eye. Vandersmissen simply smiled and passed the chips over. Geshkenbein up to 3.3 million. — RD

9.33pm: One for Vandersmissen


Kevin Vandersmissen took one pot uncontested then opened the next for 225,000 from the small blind. Giacomo Maisto called for a flop of JSpade Suit3Diamond SuitAHeart Suit but the hand went no further than a Vandersmissen bet of 250,000. Maisto insta-folded. – SB

9.31pm: Unusual line works for Maisto


Giacomo Maisto just took an unusual line against Koen de Visscher, but it worked as he won the pot.

De Visscher raised to 160,000 and Maisto called from the big blind to go to a 4Club Suit9Diamond Suit9Heart Suit flop. He check-called a 150,000 bet before he led out for 150,000 on the JClub Suit turn. De Visscher gave him a querying look and slid his cards into the muck. — MC

9.27pm: One for De Visscher, one for Vandersmissen


The Belgians just took one pot apiece. Koen de Visscher opened from the cut-off to 160,000 and took the blinds and antes before passing some of them onto Kevin Vandersmissen on the next hand. De Visscher defended his big blind before check-folding on the 6Spade Suit9Spade Suit7Club Suit flop. — RD

9.24pm: Maisto still kicking


Koen de Visscher opened for 160,000 on the button, getting a caller in Giacomo Maisto. Before the flop De Visscher pointed at Maisto’s stack, asking how much. The answer, about 1,500,000.

The flop came 2Spade SuitADiamond Suit6Spade Suit. Masito checked before De Visscher bet 150,000. Called. Now the 10Spade Suit which both players checked. It was the same again on the 9Spade Suit river, Maisto showing 6Spade Suit7Club Suit to win the hand. — SB




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Giacomo Maisto is refusing to lay down




9.20pm: Geshkenbein shoves


Vandersmissen opened for 160,000 from under-the-gun before Vladimir Geshkenbein moved all-in from the small blind. Koen de Visscher paused in the big blind before folding. Then Vandersmissen did the same. – SB

9.18pm: Maisto looks and turns away


Vladimir Geshkenbein raised from the button and Giacomo Maisto defended his big blind to see the 5Diamond Suit4Diamond Suit4Heart Suit flop. He checked to the Russian, who continued his aggression with a 225,000 bet. Call. The turn came 8Spade Suit and both players checked through to the QSpade Suit river. Maisto checked and folded before Geshkenbein could bet the 360,000 he had planned to. — MC

9.13pm: Geshkenbein three-bet shoves


Kevin Vandersmissen opened from the button for 160,000 and Vladimir Geshkenbein instantly moved all-in from the big blind for a touch over 2 million.

“It’s kind of big, isn’t it?” asked Vandersmissen.

“I don’t know,” replied Geshkenbein knowing full well how much he was shoving for.

Vandersmissen passed as Geshkenbein added 200,000 to his stack uncontested. — RD

9.05pm: For starters


Five hands, four of them taken with a pre-flop raise and take, first Koen de Visscher, two for Kevin Vandersmissen then one for Vladimir Geshkenbein.

Geshkenbein was involved in the next hand, opening for 175,000 from under-the-gun. Giacomo Maisto fiddled with his chips a bit then suddenly announced all-in. Geshkenbein closed his eyes, taking in another poke from the Italian.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


Geshkenbein can boast of being the better player, but in terms of Maisto the Italian has proven his nemesis, a unnecessary menace distracting him from his master plan. Geshkenbein had to pass. – SB

8.55pm: Level 28 update


Play is about to restart after the 60 minute dinner break, although so far only Giacomo Maisto is in his seat. No sign of the others.

Those others are as follows:

Kevin Vandersmissen, Belgium, 6,455,000


Koen de Visscher, Belgium, 3,655,000


Vladimir Geshkenbein, Russia, 2,450,000


Giacomo Maisto, Italy, 2,090,000

The last two levels have featured terrific displays from some while others, notably fifth placed finisher Cristian Dragomir, have departed. The clear leader in chips is Kevin Vandersmissen, but the leader in terms of confidence is Russian Vladimir Geshkenbein, whose swagger has matched only by his talent since the start today.

How this will work out for both is hard to say right now. There’s no love loss between the two of them. It should make for a perfect finale. — SB

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The winner’s trophy


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Snowfest (in order of plates of food eaten during the buffet): Rick Dacey (3), Marc Convey (3), Stephen Bartley (2).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 26 updates (blinds 25,000-50,000, 5,000 ante)

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6.45pm: Dragomir busts out in fifth place (€81,000)


Cristian Dragomir was left with just 170,000 after that huge call against Vladimir Geshkenbein at the end of last level. He passed his first hand but jammed under-the-gun on the next and was instantly raised to 270,000 by Koen de Visscher.

“Thank you, " said Dragomir who shook De Visscher by the hand, thankful for the isolation. Unfortunately it turned out not to be much help as his KSpade Suit3Diamond Suit was heavily dominated by De Visscher’s KHeart SuitQSpade Suit. Neither hit and the queen kicker played.

Dragomir has been an emotional player and after that huge pot against Geshkenbein he also proved that he has miles and miles of heart. — RD




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Cristian Dragomir: miles of heart




6.38pm: Play resumes


The players are back in their seats. How long will Cristian Dragomir survive? — MC

6.23pm: Huge hand to finish the level


PokerStars qualifier Cristian Dragomir and Vladimir Geshkenbein have been clashing throughout this tournament it has made for great viewing. The two just went head to head in the largest pot of the tournament so far and it was a classic.

Geshkenbein raised to 110,000 from the cut-off and called when Dragmomir three-bet to 250,000 from the button. The flop came down JHeart Suit2Diamond Suit6Heart Suit, Geshkenbein checked to face a 255,000 c-bet from Dragomir and then check-raised all-in for 2,405,000.

“I thought we were friends?” asked Dragomir. Geshkenbein just shrugged.

“I think I might call and look stupid”, he added. “Tough hand. Tough, tough, tough, it’s a tough hand.”

At this point Geshkenbein picked up his monkey mascot and twirled it in his hand. “The monkey? You think it will help you now?” He still wasn’t getting much reaction from the Russian.

“If I fold, will you show?” he asked Geshkenbein .

Geshkenbein uttered his first words when he responded, “If you show too, but you show first.”

“So, you will show?” checked Dragomir.

Geshkenbein paused before answering, “Only one.”

“Only one? Okay, I call”, he said and slammed down 8Club Suit8Diamond Suit.

He was ahead, Geshkenbein turned over the flushing KHeart Suit10Heart Suit, which also gave him two overs.

As the dealer prepared to deal the turn and river the table was swamped by supporters and press. Rather than watch the flop Geshkenbein stared wide eyed into their faces as if this was his arena.

The turn came 4Spade Suit and the river 9Heart Suit to make Geshkenbein his flush. He now has a chip leading 5,310,000 stack and poor Dragomir has just 170,000 remaining. — MC




Vladimir Geshkenbein celebrates




6.20pm: Love lost


There’s a real feeling to this final table now, and it’s not all good. When Giacomo Maisto opens Vladimir Geshkenbein, or someone, is there to take him on. This time when Giacomo bet 110,000 form the cut off, Geshkenbein raised before the Italian had even got his chips in.

“Two-sixty,” announced Geshkenbein in that way he does, raising from the button. With the action back on Maisto the Italian absent-mindedly clicked some chips together and called, for a flop of 7Spade Suit3Club Suit6Spade Suit.

Both checked. The turn came KSpade Suit. To check again Maisto banged the table. Geshkenbein immediately announced a bet of 300,000. While this kind of move by the Russian has given others pause for thought, the Italian wastes little time in signalling what he intends to do, announcing “raise.”

Geshkenbein rolled his eyes, rolled his head, and looked deeply irritated, watching as Maisto lumped 600,000 into the middle. Maisto was taking on Geshkenbein, doing what the others were weary of.

“Fold,” said Geshkenbein. Maisto showed him an 8Club Suit. Turning red, steaming, the Russian couldn’t let it rest. “Eight-eight?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Maisto, possibly oblivious to Geshkenbein’s rage.

“Why would you raise the flop with eight-eight,” said Geshkenbein, for his own benefit more than anyone else’s. Maisto didn’t answer.

Maisto up to 3,200,000, Geshkenbein down to 3,600,000. – SB

6.18pm: “I check back like a little girl”


The pressure of the big money has rolled in. Cristian Dragomir opened the button for 100,000 and was called by Kevin Vandersmissen in the big blind. The Belgian proceeded to check-call the first two streets for 200,000 and 300,000 on the 8Club SuitAHeart SuitJHeart Suit7Spade Suit4Heart Suit board. Both players checked the river with Dragomir checking behind with 9Diamond Suit10Heart Suit for the nut straight (but no flush).

Dragomir back up to 2.8 million. — RD

6.08pm: Getting tense


The tension grows, most of it fuelled by Vladimir Geshkenbein. He and Kevin Vandersmissen played a hand to showdown, checking it down and both showing king-ten. Then Geshkenbein made it 135,000 from the small blind. Cristian Dragomir called from the small blind for a flop of 5Spade Suit9Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit.

“One-seven-five,” announced Geshkenbein, causing Dragomir to check again and fold his 3Club Suit4Spade Suit.

“Nice fold,” said Geshkenbein. “I had the best hand.”

“I know,” replied Dragomir. “I had four high…” – SB

6.05pm: De Visscher reverses into Value Town


When Koen De Visscher’s c-bet had been called on a 2Club Suit7Club Suit10Spade Suit flop the Belgian must have thought he was done with the hand. Giacomo Maisto had check-called 110,000 on the flop after defending his big blind from a De Visscher button raise.

Both players checked the 4Heart Suit turn before Maisto check-called a larger 340,000 bet on the 6Diamond Suit river. De Visscher showed 6Spade Suit4Spade Suit for a backdoor two pair, to Maisto’s QSpade Suit10Club Suit top pair. — RD

6pm: Dragomir gaining confidence


Cristian Dragomir is gaining confidence and chips at the moment. He won a nice pot off Kevin Vandersmissen before giving a needle to Vladimir Geshkenbein.

In the hand he won off Vandersmissen, Dragomir raised to 105,000 from the cut-off and Vandersmissen called from the small blind. Both checked the QClub Suit8Heart SuitAClub Suit flop before the Belgian led for 140,000 on the 2Club Suit turn. Call. The river came QDiamond Suit and Vandersmissen led for 270,000. Dragomir was shaking his head but made a quick call with AHeart Suit9Club Suit. It was good as Vandersmissen could only muster JSpade Suit10Spade Suit and dropped to just below four million chips.

The next hand Giacomo Maisto raised to 100,000 from the button and was called by Geshkenbein before Dragomir three-bet to 400,000 from the big blind. Maisto folded but Geshkenbein questioned Dragomir’s hand strength as he raised so much. Dragomir put him in his place and told him to fold as he was wasting time. Geshkenbein didn’t fold and Dragomir asked if he could go for a cigarette while he thought. Geshkenbein took small offense to this but folded and Dragomir said he was only needling him. He’s up to 2,500,000 chips now. — MC

5.52pm: Maisto won’t be moved


Vladimir Geshkenbein raised and took one pot then it was Giacomo Maisto opening, making it 100,000. Cristian Dragomir was happy to take him on, raising to 275,000, which the Italian called.

The flop came ASpade SuitAClub SuitKSpade Suit. Both checked as Geshkenbein left them to it, getting up to talk to a sunblessed waitress on the rail. The turn came 4Diamond Suit. Maisto bet 375,000 to force Dragomir to fold.

Maisto may be held up as the easy target, but so far he’s holding his own. – SB

5.45pm: Misclick by Vandersmissen?


Vandersmissen opened from the button for 100,000 and was three-bet by Geshkenbein to 270,000. Vandersmissen then put what looked like 370,000 across the line, an insufficient amount to raise. The dealer made him put 440,000 in, a min-raise. Had he just meant to call? Geshkenbein looked a little confused and matched the four-bet.

The KClub Suit4Diamond Suit7Club Suit flop was checked by the Russian over to Vandersmissen who bet 245,000. Geshkenbein quickly announced “All-in,” in a sing-songy voice. Snap-fold from Vandersmissen.

“You want to see one?” asked Geshkenbein. Vandersmissen wasn’t interested but Gehkenbein obviously wanted to show, so turned over the 8Club Suit. Geshkenbein is up to 2.9 million. — RD

5.42pm: Dragomir stops the rot


Giacomo Maisto has just doubled-up Cristian Dragomir in a great spot for the Romanian. Down to 1.1 million Dragomir opened for 100,000 and was called in the big blind by Giacomo Maisto. Dragomir c-bet 115,000 into the 5Club Suit9Diamond Suit2Heart Suit flop and Maisto moved all-in for his remaining 900,000. Dragomir snap called.

Dragomir: KHeart SuitKSpade Suit for an over pair


Maisto: QSpade Suit5Heart Suit for middle pair

Dragomir faded the turn and river and doubled up to around 2.2 million. — RD

5.39pm: Dragomir leaks more chips


Cristian Dragomir is down to about a million chips after losing a pot to Vladimir Geshkenbein.

Geshkenbein raised to 110,000 from the cut-off and was called by the Romanian on the button to go to a 5Spade Suit9Club Suit10Spade Suit flop. Geshkenbein c-bet for 130,000 and Dragomir called. Those were all the chips that made it into the middle as the 6Diamond SuitQSpade Suit turn and river were checked down.

Geshkenbein tabled 10Heart Suit3Heart Suit for a pair of tens. It was good as Dragomir folded. It’s a worrying downward trend for the Romanian right now. — MC

5.33pm: Vandersmissen takes on Dragomir


After raise and takes for Vladimir Geshkenbein and Cristian Dragomir, Kevin Vandersmissen opened for 100,000 from the cut off. Cristian Dragomir in the big blind looked, once, twice, three times at his cards before calling for a flop of KClub Suit6Diamond SuitAHeart Suit.

Dragomir checked to Vandersmissen who bet 120,000. Dragomir called for a 9Diamond Suit turn card, after Vandersmissen asked him how much he had left (1,500,000). Then he checked to the Belgian, who made it 260,000 to play. A quick fold by Dragomir. – SB

5.28pm: Maisto the master?


Giacomo Maisto opened for 105 from under-the-gun. Vladimir Geshkenbein in the seat next to him announced “two-fifty,” and tossed in the chips. For a few moments it looked like Koen de Visscher would get involved from the small blind but he folded, as did big Kevin Vandersmissen in the big.

Back on Maisto, he wasted no time in raising to 605,000, getting a quick fold from Geshkenbein. – SB

5.28pm: Geshkenbein on the defensive


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 110,000 on the button. Koen de Visscher then raised to 255,000 in the big blind causing the Russian to sit up for a better look at the Belgian’s stack. Close to a million. Fold. – SB

5.25pm: House full of chips for Vandermissen


Kevin Vandersmissen just got all those chips he lost to Vladimir Geshkenbein back in the very next hand. Koen de Visscher raised to 100,000 from first position and was called by Vandersmissen and Cristian Dragomir in the big blind.

The flop came down 8Club SuitQSpade SuitQDiamond Suit and Vandersmissen bet 175,000 when his two opponents checked to him. The turn came KDiamond Suit and both players checked to the QHeart Suit river. Dragomir checked again and tank-called Vandersmissen’s 260,000 bet. The Belgian tabled KHeart SuitJHeart Suit for a full house and took the pot Dragomir folded. — MC

5.15pm: Geshkenbein holds firm to scoop 1,400,000 pot


Vladimir Geskenkenbein just raked in a 1,400,000 pot from chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen after holding firm in the face of Belgian aggression (now, that’s not something you hear very often).

Geshkenbein defended his big blind from Vandersmissen’s 100,000 button raise and check-raised the KDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit2Heart Suit flop from 110,000 to 260,000. Vandersmissen called the raise and levelled 330,000 at the 2Diamond Suit turn after Geshkenbein checked. The Russian looked slightly pained but made the call before checking the pot over to Vandersmissen on the 7Spade Suit river. He checked behind and Geshkenbein showed KHeart Suit6Heart Suit to get back up to 2.2 million.

“Ship it,” he said loudly. Geshkenbein no longer the shortest stack. — RD

5.10pm: Early skirmishing


The first couple of pots have been fairly innocuous; Giacomo Maisto taking one with a delayed c-bet againt Cristian Dragomir and the other a raise-and-take by Vladimir Geshkenbein. — RD

5.07pm: The level 26 update


At the start of Level 25 the final table landscape is already looking very different. We’ve had three eliminations during the previous level and a bit, Morten Mortensen departing first in eighth place, followed by Denis Murphy in seventh and Philip Meulyzer, who busted just prior to the break when his ace-king was topped by Kevin Vandersmissen’s queen-jack, which made two pairs on the river.

So we’re down to just five players, best of which being Kevin Vandersmissen with 5,405,000 ahead of Italian Maisto with 3,405,000. The counts for the other remaining players, including the interesting pair of Cristian Dragomir and Vladimir Geshkenbein, can be found on the official chip count page. Now back to the studio…- SB

And if you want a recap on the week, rather than just the last couple of hours, Gloria Balding has a recap of everything that’s happened so far at EPT Snowfest…


5.05pm: Five play on


We’ve down to five players at the EPT snowfest final table after less than two full levels of play.

1. Kevin Vandersmissen – 5,405,000


2. Giacomo Maisto – 3,405,000


3. Vladimir Geshkenbein -1,450,000


4. Cristian Dragomir – 2,215,000


5. Koen de Visscher – 2,085,000

Check out the bust outs and the coming pay outs by clicking here. First place pays €390,000. — RD

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Kevin Vandersmissen is back in control

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT London (in order of ‘in order of’ vetoes this week): Stephen Bartley (one), Rick Dacey (zero) and Marc Convey (zero). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 26 & 27 updates (blinds 30,000-60,000, 5,000 ante)

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7.56pm: Dinner break


One and all are on a 60 minute dinner break. The chips have been updated on our chips count page here. — MC

7.55pm: Taken to value town?


Vladimir Geshkenbein has dropped further down the pecking order after paying off Kevin Vandersmissen in a hand.

The hand before Geshkenbein successfully three-bet Vandersmissen off a hand and this hand started with a three-bet the other way around. Geshkenbein called from the button to see a 9Heart SuitADiamond Suit9Club Suit flop where he called Vandersmissen’s 340,000 c-bet. Both checked the 5Heart Suit turn to go straight to the JHeart Suit river. The Belgian found his betting shoes again and slid forward 860,000.

“You taking me to value town, huh? Asked Geshkenbein before making the call.

Vandermissen tabled AClub SuitJClub Suit for two-pair. Geshkenbein slid his cards to the dealer in an agry fashion and he drops to 2,470,000. Vandermissen reclaims the chip lead with 6,455,000. — MC




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Kevin Vandersmissen has grabbed a firm chip lead with 6.455 million




7.51pm: Geshkenbein up a little


Koen de Visscher opened for 130,000 from under-the-gun and Geshkenbein called for a flop of KClub Suit2Heart Suit6Heart Suit. De Visscher added another 110,000 into the middle which Geshkenbein raised to 285,000. De Visscher then called for a 2Spade Suit turn card.

Now Geshkenbein assembled a tall, wobbly tower of chips worth 600,000, and pushed it forward. The rail moved in as De Visscher considered his options. The option he took was to fold.

De Visscher down to 3,300,000. Geshkenbein up to 3,600,000. – SB

7.49pm: Geshkenbein opens again


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 135,000 from under-the-gun which Kevin Vandersmissen called from the small blind for a flop of 9Diamond Suit5Spade Suit9Heart Suit. Vandersmissen checked to Geshkenbein who doesn’t really do inactivity. He bet another 160,000 which Vandersmissen called for a 6Club Suit. Both checked that, getting a 7Diamond Suit river card in return. With a straight on the board Vandersmissen won the pot with a bet of 375,000. – SB

7.45pm: Maisto attacks Vandersmissen


Kevin Vandersmissen opened to 120,000 from the cut-off and Giacomo Maisto three-bet from the small blind to 360,000. Last time he re-raised in this spot Vandersmissen moved all-in on him. Not so this time, the Belgian passed.

Maisto is up to 2.1 million, Vandersmissen – back in the lead – has around 4.5 million. — RD

7.42pm: The Italians rush for nothing


A three-bet pot just played out between Vladimir Geshkenbein and Koen de Visscher and for some reason the Italian contingent on the rail rushed forward to see what was happening. One of the rail must’ve though Maisto was involved and that triggered a whole wave of motion forward (As of my colleagues said, “That’s how stampedes start”).

The pot itself was fairly uneventful. Vladimir Geshkenbein raised to 135,00 from the button and called when De Koen three-bet to 285,000. The flop came 5Spade Suit8Diamond Suit10Spade Suit and Geshkenbein folded to a 275,000 c-bet from his opponent. — MC





7.33pm: Geshkenbein, Geshkenbein, Geshkenbein


Barely a hand goes by without some input from Vladimir Geshkenbein. He took a pot uncontested after raising from under-the-gun, then in the next hand got a walk in the big blind. In the next, he folded to Koen de Visscher when the Belgian bet on a flop of 8Heart Suit3Spade SuitKDiamond Suit.

Same again on the next hand. Geshkenbein opened for 135,000 on the button which De Visscher called from the small blind for a flop of JHeart Suit8Club Suit10Spade Suit. Both checked that for a turn card 3Spade Suit. De Visscher then bet another 190,000 which the Russian called.

On the 4Spade Suit river, Geshkenbein looked at his cards again while waiting for De Visscher to act. De Visscher waited a moment then bet 410,000, which Geshkenbain flash-called, mucking at once on seeing De Visscher turn over ASpade Suit9Spade Suit.

Geshkenbein still on 4,200,000 while De Visscher moves up to 3,350,000. – SB

7.27pm: Vandersmissen’s four-bet shove


Kevin Vandersmissen opened from the cut-off to 120,000 and was three-bet to 270,000 by Giacomo Maisto. Vandersmissen asked the Italian how much he had left, I didn’t hear the answer but it was around 2.1 million. The Belgian moved all-in and Maisto passed after a small pause.

Maisto is getting slowly ground down. — RD

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Giacomo Maisto is on the decline

7.25pm: Geshkenbein gives up


I don’t mean in the tournament, just the last hand he played.

Koen de Visscher raised to 140,000 and both blinds called to see the 3Diamond Suit2Spade SuitKSpade Suit flop. Maisto checked from the small bind and Geshkenbein bet 150,000 from the big blind. De Visscher called but the Italian passed. The turn came 6Diamond Suit and both players checked to the 4Club Suit river where they checked again. Geshkenbein gave a funny smile and threw his cards into the muck, allowing De Koen to win without showdown. — MC

7.20pm: The great wall of Geshkenbein


With his chips stacked up in a great semi-circular wall, Vladimir Geshkenbein called Giacomo Maisto’s opening small blind bet of 175,000 from the big blind. The flop came 8Diamond SuitKDiamond SuitJHeart Suit which Maisto checked before Geshkenbein bet 200,000. Maisto, undaunted by the Russian, slid forward a tower of orange chips worth 500,000.

Geshkenbein reacted like a soccer player might had the opposition team (who provided the ball) decided from now on their team could use their hands. He rolled his eyes, grinned, and left it to Maisto. – SB

7.15pm: Four-handed action


There are no real short stacks among this final four. Koen de Visscher, the current shortest stack with 2.4 million, was the player to claim Cristian Dragomir’s remaining stash.

Play has been understandably cagey with with each of the four players raising-and-taking a pre-flop pot in succession. — RD

7.07pm: Vandersmissen versus Maisto


Kevin Vandersmissen and Giacomo Maisto are sitting next to each other but haven’t clashed all that much today. They did just play out two hands in-a-row though, each taking a pot.

The first hand saw Vandersmissen raise to 175,000 from the small blind and Maisto peel from the big blind to see a 2Heart SuitQClub Suit2Spade Suit flop. The Belgian c-bet for 220,000 and Maisto called to the KDiamond Suit turn. Vandersmissen fired again, for 400,000, and that did the trick as his Italian opponent folded.

In the next hand Vandersmissen raised to 120,000 to face a three-bet to 360,000 from Maisto. He smiled in a, “I know you’re getting revenge,” type of way, and folded. — MC

6.55pm: Vandersmissen all-in


Koen de Visscher opened for 130,000 from under-the-gun which Kevin Vandersmissen raised from the button to 295,000. After several minutes thought De Visscher took back his initial bet and replaced it with a raise to 550,000 total. Vandersmissen then announced “all-in”, forcing a quick fold from De Visscher. – SB

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Kevin Vandersmissen


6.50pm: All Geshkenbein


One, two, three for Vladimir Geshkenbein, opening three pots in a row. He won the first betting on the flop against Koen de Visscher, then the second from Kevin Vandersmissen.

The Russian opened for 130,000 from the button which Vandersmissen raised to 280,000 from the big blind. Geshkenbein called in a matter of fact way for a flop of 10Spade Suit6Diamond Suit5Spade Suit.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


Vandersmissen bet another 300,000 which Geshkenbein took six seconds to call for a 10Diamond Suit turn. Both checked that for a 9Spade Suit river card. More checking, Geshkenbein’s AHeart Suit5Diamond Suit toppling Vandersmissen’s ASpade SuitQClub Suit.

The third? He took that raise and take. – SB

6.45pm: Dragomir busts out in fifth place (€81,000)


Cristian Dragomir was left with just 170,000 after that huge call against Vladimir Geshkenbein at the end of last level. He passed his first hand but jammed under-the-gun on the next and was instantly raised to 270,000 by Koen de Visscher.

“Thank you, " said Dragomir who shook De Visscher by the hand, thankful for the isolation. Unfortunately it turned out not to be much help as his KSpade Suit3Diamond Suit was heavily dominated by De Visscher’s KHeart SuitQSpade Suit. Neither hit and the queen kicker played.

Dragomir has been an emotional player and after that huge pot against Geshkenbein he also proved that he has miles and miles of heart. — RD

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Cristian Dragomir: miles of heart

6.38pm: Play resumes


The players are back in their seats. How long will Cristian Dragomir survive? — MC

6.62pm: From the tournament floor


The midday update with Gloria Balding, talking to Cristian Dragomir…


LEVEL UP: BLINDS 3,000-6,000, ANTE 500


6.23pm: Huge hand to finish the level


Cristian Dragomir and Vladimir Geshkenbein have been clashing throughout this tournament and it has made for great viewing. The two men just went head-to-head in the largest pot of the tournament so far, and it was a classic.

Geshkenbein raised to 110,000 from the cut-off and called when Dragmomir three-bet to 250,000 from the button. The flop came JHeart Suit2Diamond Suit6Heart Suit, Geshkenbein checked to face a 255,000 c-bet from Dragomir and then check-raised all-in for 2,405,000.

“I thought we were friends?” asked Dragomir. Geshkenbein just shrugged.

“I think I might call and look stupid”, he added. “Tough hand. Tough, tough, tough, it’s a tough hand.”

At this point Geshkenbein picked up his monkey mascot and twirled it in his hand. “The monkey? You think it will help you now?” He still wasn’t getting much reaction from the Russian.

“If I fold, will you show?” he asked Geshkenbein .

Geshkenbein uttered his first words when he responded, “If you show too, but you show first.”

“So, you will show?” checked Dragomir.

Geshkenbein paused before answering, “Only one.”

“Only one? Okay, I call”, he said and slammed down 8Club Suit8Diamond Suit.

He was ahead, Geshkenbein turned over the flushing KHeart Suit10Heart Suit, which also gave him two overs.

As the dealer prepared to deal the turn and river the table was swamped by supporters and press. Rather than watch the flop Geshkenbein stared wide-eyed into their faces. This was his arena.

The turn came 4Spade Suit and the river 9Heart Suit to make Geshkenbein his flush. He now has a chip leading 5,310,000 stack, and poor Dragomir has just 170,000 remaining. — MC

Vladimir Geshkenbein celebrates

6.20pm: Love lost


There’s a real feeling to this final table now, and it’s not all good. When Giacomo Maisto opens Vladimir Geshkenbein, or someone, is there to take him on. This time when Giacomo bet 110,000 form the cut off, Geshkenbein raised before the Italian had even got his chips in.

“Two-sixty,” announced Geshkenbein in that way he does, raising from the button. With the action back on Maisto the Italian absent-mindedly clicked some chips together and called, for a flop of 7Spade Suit3Club Suit6Spade Suit.

Both checked. The turn came KSpade Suit. To check again Maisto banged the table. Geshkenbein immediately announced a bet of 300,000. While this kind of move by the Russian has given others pause for thought, the Italian wastes little time in signalling what he intends to do, announcing “raise.”

Geshkenbein rolled his eyes, rolled his head, and looked deeply irritated, watching as Maisto lumped 600,000 into the middle. Maisto was taking on Geshkenbein, doing what the others were weary of.

“Fold,” said Geshkenbein. Maisto showed him an 8Club Suit. Turning red, steaming, the Russian couldn’t let it rest. “Eight-eight?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Maisto, possibly oblivious to Geshkenbein’s rage.

“Why would you raise the flop with eight-eight,” said Geshkenbein, for his own benefit more than anyone else’s. Maisto didn’t answer.

Maisto up to 3,200,000, Geshkenbein down to 3,600,000. – SB

6.18pm: “I check back like a little girl”


The pressure of the big money has rolled in. Cristian Dragomir opened the button for 100,000 and was called by Kevin Vandersmissen in the big blind. The Belgian proceeded to check-call the first two streets for 200,000 and 300,000 on the 8Club SuitAHeart SuitJHeart Suit7Spade Suit4Heart Suit board. Both players checked the river with Dragomir checking behind with 9Diamond Suit10Heart Suit for the nut straight (but no flush).

Dragomir back up to 2.8 million. — RD

6.08pm: Getting tense


The tension grows, most of it fuelled by Vladimir Geshkenbein. He and Kevin Vandersmissen played a hand to showdown, checking it down and both showing king-ten. Then Geshkenbein made it 135,000 from the small blind. Cristian Dragomir called from the small blind for a flop of 5Spade Suit9Diamond Suit6Diamond Suit.

“One-seven-five,” announced Geshkenbein, causing Dragomir to check again and fold his 3Club Suit4Spade Suit.

“Nice fold,” said Geshkenbein. “I had the best hand.”

“I know,” replied Dragomir. “I had four high…” – SB

6.05pm: De Visscher reverses into Value Town


When Koen De Visscher’s c-bet had been called on a 2Club Suit7Club Suit10Spade Suit flop the Belgian must have thought he was done with the hand. Giacomo Maisto had check-called 110,000 on the flop after defending his big blind from a De Visscher button raise.

Both players checked the 4Heart Suit turn before Maisto check-called a larger 340,000 bet on the 6Diamond Suit river. De Visscher showed 6Spade Suit4Spade Suit for a backdoor two pair, to Maisto’s QSpade Suit10Club Suit top pair. — RD




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Koen de Visscher, mayor of Value Town




6pm: Dragomir gaining confidence


Cristian Dragomir is gaining confidence and chips at the moment. He won a nice pot off Kevin Vandersmissen before giving a needle to Vladimir Geshkenbein.

In the hand he won off Vandersmissen, Dragomir raised to 105,000 from the cut-off and Vandersmissen called from the small blind. Both checked the QClub Suit8Heart SuitAClub Suit flop before the Belgian led for 140,000 on the 2Club Suit turn. Call. The river came QDiamond Suit and Vandersmissen led for 270,000. Dragomir was shaking his head but made a quick call with AHeart Suit9Club Suit. It was good as Vandersmissen could only muster JSpade Suit10Spade Suit and dropped to just below four million chips.

The next hand Giacomo Maisto raised to 100,000 from the button and was called by Geshkenbein before Dragomir three-bet to 400,000 from the big blind. Maisto folded but Geshkenbein questioned Dragomir’s hand strength as he raised so much. Dragomir put him in his place and told him to fold as he was wasting time. Geshkenbein didn’t fold and Dragomir asked if he could go for a cigarette while he thought. Geshkenbein took small offense to this but folded and Dragomir said he was only needling him. He’s up to 2,500,000 chips now. — MC

5.52pm: Maisto won’t be moved


Vladimir Geshkenbein raised and took one pot then it was Giacomo Maisto opening, making it 100,000. Cristian Dragomir was happy to take him on, raising to 275,000, which the Italian called.

The flop came ASpade SuitAClub SuitKSpade Suit. Both checked as Geshkenbein left them to it, getting up to talk to a sunblessed waitress on the rail. The turn came 4Diamond Suit. Maisto bet 375,000 to force Dragomir to fold.

Maisto may be held up as the easy target, but so far he’s holding his own. – SB

5.45pm: Misclick by Vandersmissen?


Vandersmissen opened from the button for 100,000 and was three-bet by Geshkenbein to 270,000. Vandersmissen then put what looked like 370,000 across the line, an insufficient amount to raise. The dealer made him put 440,000 in, a min-raise. Had he just meant to call? Geshkenbein looked a little confused and matched the four-bet.

The KClub Suit4Diamond Suit7Club Suit flop was checked by the Russian over to Vandersmissen who bet 245,000. Geshkenbein quickly announced “All-in,” in a sing-songy voice. Snap-fold from Vandersmissen.

“You want to see one?” asked Geshkenbein. Vandersmissen wasn’t interested but Gehkenbein obviously wanted to show, so turned over the 8Club Suit. Geshkenbein is up to 2.9 million. — RD

5.42pm: Dragomir stops the rot


Giacomo Maisto has just doubled-up Cristian Dragomir in a great spot for the Romanian. Down to 1.1 million Dragomir opened for 100,000 and was called in the big blind by Giacomo Maisto. Dragomir c-bet 115,000 into the 5Club Suit9Diamond Suit2Heart Suit flop and Maisto moved all-in for his remaining 900,000. Dragomir snap called.

Dragomir: KHeart SuitKSpade Suit for an over pair


Maisto: QSpade Suit5Heart Suit for middle pair

Dragomir faded the turn and river and doubled up to around 2.2 million. — RD




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Vital double up for Dragomir




5.39pm: Dragomir leaks more chips


Cristian Dragomir is down to about a million chips after losing a pot to Vladimir Geshkenbein.

Geshkenbein raised to 110,000 from the cut-off and was called by the Romanian on the button to go to a 5Spade Suit9Club Suit10Spade Suit flop. Geshkenbein c-bet for 130,000 and Dragomir called. Those were all the chips that made it into the middle as the 6Diamond SuitQSpade Suit turn and river were checked down.

Geshkenbein tabled 10Heart Suit3Heart Suit for a pair of tens. It was good as Dragomir folded. It’s a worrying downward trend for the Romanian right now. — MC

5.33pm: Vandersmissen takes on Dragomir


After raise and takes for Vladimir Geshkenbein and Cristian Dragomir, Kevin Vandersmissen opened for 100,000 from the cut off. Cristian Dragomir in the big blind looked, once, twice, three times at his cards before calling for a flop of KClub Suit6Diamond SuitAHeart Suit.

Dragomir checked to Vandersmissen who bet 120,000. Dragomir called for a 9Diamond Suit turn card, after Vandersmissen asked him how much he had left (1,500,000). Then he checked to the Belgian, who made it 260,000 to play. A quick fold by Dragomir. – SB

5.28pm: Maisto the master?


Giacomo Maisto opened for 105 from under-the-gun. Vladimir Geshkenbein in the seat next to him announced “two-fifty,” and tossed in the chips. For a few moments it looked like Koen de Visscher would get involved from the small blind but he folded, as did big Kevin Vandersmissen in the big.

Back on Maisto, he wasted no time in raising to 605,000, getting a quick fold from Geshkenbein. – SB

5.28pm: Geshkenbein on the defensive


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 110,000 on the button. Koen de Visscher then raised to 255,000 in the big blind causing the Russian to sit up for a better look at the Belgian’s stack. Close to a million. Fold. – SB

5.25pm: House full of chips for Vandermissen


Kevin Vandersmissen just got all those chips he lost to Vladimir Geshkenbein back in the very next hand. Koen de Visscher raised to 100,000 from first position and was called by Vandersmissen and Cristian Dragomir in the big blind.

The flop came down 8Club SuitQSpade SuitQDiamond Suit and Vandersmissen bet 175,000 when his two opponents checked to him. The turn came KDiamond Suit and both players checked to the QHeart Suit river. Dragomir checked again and tank-called Vandersmissen’s 260,000 bet. The Belgian tabled KHeart SuitJHeart Suit for a full house and took the pot Dragomir folded. — MC

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What’s at stake, plus €390,000

5.15pm: Geshkenbein holds firm to scoop 1,400,000 pot


Vladimir Geskenkenbein just raked in a 1,400,000 pot from chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen after holding firm in the face of Belgian aggression (now, that’s not something you hear very often).

Geshkenbein defended his big blind from Vandersmissen’s 100,000 button raise and check-raised the KDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit2Heart Suit flop from 110,000 to 260,000. Vandersmissen called the raise and levelled 330,000 at the 2Diamond Suit turn after Geshkenbein checked. The Russian looked slightly pained but made the call before checking the pot over to Vandersmissen on the 7Spade Suit river. He checked behind and Geshkenbein showed KHeart Suit6Heart Suit to get back up to 2.2 million.

“Ship it,” he said loudly. Geshkenbein no longer the shortest stack. — RD

5.10pm: Early skirmishing


The first couple of pots have been fairly innocuous; Giacomo Maisto taking one with a delayed c-bet againt Cristian Dragomir and the other a raise-and-take by Vladimir Geshkenbein. — RD

5.07pm: The level 26 update


At the start of Level 25 the final table landscape is already looking very different. We’ve had three eliminations during the previous level and a bit, Morten Mortensen departing first in eighth place, followed by Denis Murphy in seventh and Philip Meulyzer, who busted just prior to the break when his ace-king was topped by Kevin Vandersmissen’s queen-jack, which made two pairs on the river.

So we’re down to just five players, best of which being Kevin Vandersmissen with 5,405,000 ahead of Italian Maisto with 3,405,000. The counts for the other remaining players, including the interesting pair of Cristian Dragomir and Vladimir Geshkenbein, can be found on the official chip count page. Now back to the studio…- SB

And if you want a recap on the week, rather than just the last couple of hours, Gloria Balding has a recap of everything that’s happened so far at EPT Snowfest…


5.05pm: Five play on


We’ve down to five players at the EPT snowfest final table after less than two full levels of play.

1. Kevin Vandersmissen – 5,405,000


2. Giacomo Maisto – 3,405,000


3. Vladimir Geshkenbein -1,450,000


4. Cristian Dragomir – 2,215,000


5. Koen de Visscher – 2,085,000

Check out the bust outs and the coming pay outs by clicking here. First place pays €390,000. — RD

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Kevin Vandersmissen is back in control

PokerStars Blog reporting team at EPT Snowfest (in order of ‘in order of’ vetoes this week): Stephen Bartley (one), Rick Dacey (zero) and Marc Convey (zero). Photos by Neil Stoddart.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table player profiles

Welcome to the final day of the EPT Snowfest main event. Just eight players remain from the original field of 482 and the goal today is a first place prize of €390,000. All the finalists through are guaranteed a minimum of €35,000.

If you’ve been following the live coverage with us all week you’re no doubt familiar with our final table cast but if you’re not allow us to introduce them to you with their personal details below…

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Chips, chips…


Seat 1: Kevin Vandersmissen, 22, Sint Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels, Belgium – 4,512,000


Vandersmissen is a former construction worker and has been playing poker for two-and-a-half years, the last 12 months as a full-time pro. He specializes in online no-limit hold’em cash games but is also keen to learn pot-limit Omaha so he can play more events during this summer’s World Series, where his aim is to win a bracelet.

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Kevin Vandersmissen


Vandersmissen’s best result to date was €150,000 in a €3,000 tourney in Barcelona, last December, and since turning pro has won more than $440,000. Vandersmissen is good friends with Belgian Team PokerStars Pros Matthias and Christophe De Meulder, along with the other two Belgian finalists. He aims to be the first Belgian winner of an EPT but of the money he says he already has everything he wants. “The money is just a bankroll boost,” he said.

Seat 2: Giacomo Maisto, 39, Caserta, near Napoli, Italy – 986,000


Maisto took up the Italian five-card version of poker some 15 years ago, but switched to Texas hold’em in 2006. Although a sponsored player, poker is not his full-time occupation and he runs a string of businesses, including a call centre.

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Giacomo Maisto

Maisto only played one EPT event last season, in Prague, but didn’t cash until EPT Copenhagen this year, where he won the DKK 15,000 side event last month, earning approximately €48,000. He also had deep runs at EPT Vilamoura and EPT Vienna.

Maisto is being cheered on at Snowfest by a group of friends that includes serial EPT casher Nicolo Calia, and, true to form, every Italian player still in Hinterglemm. Maisto’s wife, Antonietta, is supporting him from home where she is looking after the couple’s two young sons.

Seat 3: Vladimir Geshkenbein, 22, Russia – 1,678,000


As entries into the poker world go, beating ten-time World Series winner Johnny Chan heads-up at a PokerStars APPT high roller is hard to top. Geshkenbein, who was not yet out of his teens when he won that $266,705, in 2009, has also proved to be a mercurial talent at Snowfest.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


The Russian, who grew up in Switzerland but who now lives in Malta, broke through Day 1 as overall chip leader, proving to be an aggressive and constant threat at every table at which he’s played. Away from the live tournament circuit Geshkenbein can usually be found playing $25/$50 cash games, and so far has scored $417,740 in live winnings.

Seat 4. Philip “meuli4” Meulyzer, 27, Antwerp, Belgium – 1,758,000


Meulyzer started playing poker in 2004 when he discovered the game with friends, thinking it would be cool to smoke big cigars and drink whisky while playing cards. He soon discovered online poker, kicking off in small stakes cash games.

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Philip Meulyzer


Now he is a full time pro specializing in $2/$4 cash and occasionally $3/$6 and $5/$10 and also enjoys playing the Sunday online tourneys. Besides poker, he loves movies and is a keen soccer fan. He’s an admin on various poker sites and a prolific poster on poker forums. He says Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is one of the players who inspired him to improve his game.

Seat 5: Denis Murphy, 30, Cork, Ireland – PokerStars qualifier – 991,000


Murphy has been playing poker for four years, the last two of those as a full-time pro. His game of choice is online 6-max cash games, either 400 no-limit or sometimes 600 no-limit. His best live result was fourth place from a 3,289-strong field in a World Series $1,000 tournament in 2010 where he won $162,568.

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Denis Murphy

Murphy, who won his seat to Snowfest in a $22 re-buy on PokerStars, has reached the final after an up-and-down Day 4. He was planning on leaving Hinterglemm on Friday but those plans will now have to be shelved.

Seat 6: Morten Mortensen, 21, Copenhagen, Denmark – 780,000


Mortensen started playing poker almost three years ago. In 2010 he reached a handful of final tables, his biggest cash being for $67,000. He played his first EPT event in Copenhagen, last month, busting late on Day 2. He now plans to play a lot more EPTs, most likely Berlin and San Remo, as well as this summer’s World Series.

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Morten Mortensen

“It’s always a problem with the tax in Denmark, but Vegas is a good experience for me as a poker player,” he said.

Despite all of these trips his bread and butter remain online tournaments, where he has already achieved numerous five figure cashes.

Seat 7. Cristian Dragomir, 32, Bucharest, Romania – 2,293,000


When Dragomir first took up poker seven years ago he thought, mistakenly, he was the only full-time player in Romania. Actually there were about 30 Romanian pros at the time but very little live poker action.

In 2007 Dragomir enjoyed his first taste of fame when his team came second in the PokerStars World Cup of Poker. Of that he said; “That was a turning point for Romanian poker because it was on TV. People still talk to me about it as if it was yesterday.”

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Cristian Dragomir

The team stayed very close and included Cristian Tardea, who Dragomir reluctantly busted yesterday in tenth place. In 2008, Dragomir gained some notoriety when he was involved in an infamous hand in the World Series Main Event against Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth had raised with ace-king and Dragomir had called with 10-4, hitting a 9-10-7 flop. Hellmuth proceeded to call Dragomir an “idiot” and “the worst player in history,” and earned himself a penalty which was later overturned. Dragomir went on to finish in 29th place, his best result to date.

Dragomir has played eight EPTs to date but this is his first cash. His wife Madalina is supporting him from home with the couple’s young son Sasha.

Seat 8. Koen De Visscher, 25, Wilsele, Belgium – 1,543,000


De Visscher started playing poker on holiday in April 2006 and has been playing regularly ever since. He began playing €5 home games with friends but after a year switched to playing online. He’s now a full time player and has focused on tournaments for the last 12 months.

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Koen de Visscher


One of De Visscher’s other hobbies is traveling, which he can combine perfectly with poker. If he wins the tournament he will consider buying an apartment, but his main motivation is to keep playing. He lives with his girlfriend in Wilsele near Leuven.



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 24 (cont.) updates (blinds 15,000-30,000, 3,000 ante)

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3.10pm: Bravo for Maisto


Giacomo Maisto has become the first player to risk his tournament life as he was all-in against Kevin Vandersmissen. Vandersmissen raised to 60,000 from second position and before the Italian three-bet to 147,000 from the next seat along. The action folded back around to Vandersmissen who four-bet all-in and Maisto snap called.

Vandersmissen: QSpade SuitQDiamond Suit


Maisto: KClub SuitKSpade Suit

Maisto clapped his hands together after seeing he was in front and he had very vocal support from the Italian crowd.

The board ran 10Club Suit2Heart Suit9Diamond Suit4Heart Suit7Heart Suit and Maisto doubled to 1,775,000 chips. — MC

3pm: Longest hand of the main event


Two quick hands were followed by what was perhaps the longest so far. Morten Mortensen opened a pot for 62,000 which was folded around, as was Kevin Vandersmissen’s opener for 60,000 in the next.

Koen de Visscher opened for 60,000 in early position which Philip Meulyzer called from the button. The flop came 7Heart Suit2Club Suit5Club Suit and De Visscher fired again, 85,000 this time which the Belgian called for a 4Club Suit turn.

De Visscher gave it another go, 172,000 this time. Meulyzer waited 33 seconds and then called for a 10Club Suit river card. Once more De Visscher went to his chips, slowly this time, sliding 292,000 into the middle, the dealer swapping blue chips worth 10,000 for orange chips worth 25,000 on each street.

Meulyzer waited again, went to his chips, lined up 600,000, 650,000, 675,000, 677,000, which he pushed forward. This triggered De Visscher’s seven minutes in the tank.

De Visscher didn’t move for much of that time and with his face obscured by a hood, glasses and his hand it was hard to gauge any reaction from the Belgian as he gently riffled a few red chips, some of the million chips he had back. As he did that Meulyzer looked back and forth between the chips in the middle and those in front of De Visscher. In the distance some Romanians talked loudly on the rail.

For his part Meulyzer had 550,000 in reserve. He waited, dead still but for his chest moving up and down quite quickly. The dealer conformed the amount once more and De Visscher went to his chips, separating 400,000 form the rest.

Vladimir Geshkenbein looked around, amused at the whole scene, sipped a drink through a straw and then called time. Giacomo Maisto checked share prices on his iPad.

“Thirty seconds,” said the tournament director. De Visser took a sip of drink and folded.

“Sorry,” said Geshkenbein. “Nothing personal.”

“No,” replied De Visscher. “I understand.”

Meulyzer up to 2,250,000. – SB

2.50pm: Geshkenbein stakes his claim


Vladimir Geshkenbein, alongside Cristian Dragomir, was the player most likely to start the first argument at this final table. He’s just given it a try but his opponent, chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen, failed to bite.

Vandersmissen opened his button for 60,000 and was called by Geshkenbein in the big blind. Both players checked through to the 10Heart SuitKDiamond Suit8Spade Suit7Diamond Suit turn which Geshkenbein led into for 90,000. The Belgian made the call.

The 8Club Suit river paired the board and Geshkenbein pulled out a large 202,000 bet. Vandersmissen quickly made the call and was shown KHeart SuitJClub Suit.

“Your lucky streak is over,” said Geshkenbein to Vandersmissen.

“I don’t think so,” mumbled Vandersmissen looking unhappy to have given a large chunk of chips to the Russian.

Geshkenbein is closing in on second place with 2 million. — RD

2.40pm: Mortensen not willing to fade away


Morten Mortensen has been a constant source of three-betting, I’d say the most virulent three-bettor of the tournament that I’ve seen. That hasn’t changed at this final table which he started as the short stack. Two of the first four hands he has upped the action. This time it was Philip Meulyzer he attacked. The Belgian had opened to 60,000 and Mortensen came back over the top for 145,000. He’s got himself up to nearly a million.

Cristian Dragomir has also taken the blinds with a button raise and Koen De Visscher has also won a three-bet pot pre-flop. — RD

2.33pm: All-in first hand


The play kicked off with around 45 minutes left of level 24 and it didn’t take long at all for the action to get going at this final table. The action folded around to Denis Murphy on the button and he raised to 62,000, only for Morten Mortenesen to move all-in from the small blind for 737,000. Murphy checked his cards once more and folded, smiling.

When Mortensen shoved Vladimir Geshkenbein shouted out, "Boo yeah! That’s how we like it. — MC

2.05pm: Slight delay to the start


A slight delay to the start of the final table. The players have been removed from the tournament room and whisked upstairs tot he roof top Sky Bar for their pre-match photos. We expect play to start in about 15 minutes. — SB

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The hills are alive with the sound of the final table players


1.45pm: Welcome to the final table


Welcome back to the final day of the EPT Snowfest main event. Just eight players remain from the original field of 482 and the goal today is a first place prize of €390,000. All the finalists through are guaranteed a minimum of €35,000.

If you’ve been following the live coverage with us all week you’re no doubt familiar with our final table cast but if you’re not allow us to introduce them to you with their personal details below…

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Chips, chips…


Seat 1: Kevin Vandersmissen, 22, Sint Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels, Belgium – 4,512,000


Vandersmissen is a former construction worker and has been playing poker for two-and-a-half years, the last 12 months as a full-time pro. He specializes in online no-limit hold’em cash games but is also keen to learn pot-limit Omaha so he can play more events during this summer’s World Series, where his aim is to win a bracelet.

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Kevin Vandersmissen


Vandersmissen’s best result to date was €150,000 in a €3,000 tourney in Barcelona, last December, and since turning pro has won more than $440,000. Vandersmissen is good friends with Belgian Team PokerStars Pros Matthias and Christophe De Meulder, along with the other two Belgian finalists. He aims to be the first Belgian winner of an EPT but of the money he says he already has everything he wants. “The money is just a bankroll boost,” he said.

Seat 2: Giacomo Maisto, 39, Caserta, near Napoli, Italy – 986,000


Maisto took up the Italian five-card version of poker some 15 years ago, but switched to Texas hold’em in 2006. Although a sponsored player, poker is not his full-time occupation and he runs a string of businesses, including a call centre.

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Giacomo Maisto

Maisto only played one EPT event last season, in Prague, but didn’t cash until EPT Copenhagen this year, where he won the DKK 15,000 side event last month, earning approximately €48,000. He also had deep runs at EPT Vilamoura and EPT Vienna.

Maisto is being cheered on at Snowfest by a group of friends that includes serial EPT casher Nicolo Calia, and, true to form, every Italian player still in Hinterglemm. Maisto’s wife, Antonietta, is supporting him from home where she is looking after the couple’s two young sons.

Seat 3: Vladimir Geshkenbein, 22, Russia – 1,678,000


As entries into the poker world go, beating ten-time World Series winner Johnny Chan heads-up at a PokerStars APPT high roller is hard to top. Geshkenbein, who was not yet out of his teens when he won that $266,705, in 2009, has also proved to be a mercurial talent at Snowfest.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


The Russian, who grew up in Switzerland but who now lives in Malta, broke through Day 1 as overall chip leader, proving to be an aggressive and constant threat at every table at which he’s played. Away from the live tournament circuit Geshkenbein can usually be found playing $25/$50 cash games, and so far has scored $417,740 in live winnings.

Seat 4. Philip “meuli4” Meulyzer, 27, Antwerp, Belgium – 1,758,000


Meulyzer started playing poker in 2004 when he discovered the game with friends, thinking it would be cool to smoke big cigars and drink whisky while playing cards. He soon discovered online poker, kicking off in small stakes cash games.

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Philip Meulyzer


Now he is a full time pro specializing in $2/$4 cash and occasionally $3/$6 and $5/$10 and also enjoys playing the Sunday online tourneys. Besides poker, he loves movies and is a keen soccer fan. He’s an admin on various poker sites and a prolific poster on poker forums. He says Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is one of the players who inspired him to improve his game.

Seat 5: Denis Murphy, 30, Cork, Ireland – PokerStars qualifier – 991,000


Murphy has been playing poker for four years, the last two of those as a full-time pro. His game of choice is online 6-max cash games, either 400 no-limit or sometimes 600 no-limit. His best live result was fourth place from a 3,289-strong field in a World Series $1,000 tournament in 2010 where he won $162,568.

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Denis Murphy

Murphy, who won his seat to Snowfest in a $22 re-buy on PokerStars, has reached the final after an up-and-down Day 4. He was planning on leaving Hinterglemm on Friday but those plans will now have to be shelved.

Seat 6: Morten Mortensen, 21, Copenhagen, Denmark – 780,000


Mortensen started playing poker almost three years ago. In 2010 he reached a handful of final tables, his biggest cash being for $67,000. He played his first EPT event in Copenhagen, last month, busting late on Day 2. He now plans to play a lot more EPTs, most likely Berlin and San Remo, as well as this summer’s World Series.

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Morten Mortensen

“It’s always a problem with the tax in Denmark, but Vegas is a good experience for me as a poker player,” he said.

Despite all of these trips his bread and butter remain online tournaments, where he has already achieved numerous five figure cashes.

Seat 7. Cristian Dragomir, 32, Bucharest, Romania – 2,293,000


When Dragomir first took up poker seven years ago he thought, mistakenly, he was the only full-time player in Romania. Actually there were about 30 Romanian pros at the time but very little live poker action.

In 2007 Dragomir enjoyed his first taste of fame when his team came second in the PokerStars World Cup of Poker. Of that he said; “That was a turning point for Romanian poker because it was on TV. People still talk to me about it as if it was yesterday.”

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Cristian Dragomir

The team stayed very close and included Cristian Tardea, who Dragomir reluctantly busted yesterday in tenth place. In 2008, Dragomir gained some notoriety when he was involved in an infamous hand in the World Series Main Event against Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth had raised with ace-king and Dragomir had called with 10-4, hitting a 9-10-7 flop. Hellmuth proceeded to call Dragomir an “idiot” and “the worst player in history,” and earned himself a penalty which was later overturned. Dragomir went on to finish in 29th place, his best result to date.

Dragomir has played eight EPTs to date but this is his first cash. His wife Madalina is supporting him from home with the couple’s young son Sasha.

Seat 8. Koen De Visscher, 25, Wilsele, Belgium – 1,543,000


De Visscher started playing poker on holiday in April 2006 and has been playing regularly ever since. He began playing €5 home games with friends but after a year switched to playing online. He’s now a full time player and has focused on tournaments for the last 12 months.

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Koen de Visscher


One of De Visscher’s other hobbies is traveling, which he can combine perfectly with poker. If he wins the tournament he will consider buying an apartment, but his main motivation is to keep playing. He lives with his girlfriend in Wilsele near Leuven.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Snowfest (in order of time spent Para-gliding this morning): Marc Convey (25 minutes), Rick Dacey (0 minutes) and Stephen Bartley (0 minutes).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Final table, level 24 (cont.) & 25 updates (blinds 20,000-40,000, 4,000 ante)

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4.52pm: End of the level


Players are now on a 15 minute break.

4.51pm: Philip Meulyzer eliminated in sixth place, earning €65,000


Kevin Vandersmissen opened what would be a five-handed pot for 80,000, which Giacomo Maisto missing with three minutes to play in the level. Philip Meulyzer then moved all-in for 317,000.

“It’s going to be close,” said Vandersmissen. “I think it’s close.”

Call.

Vandersmissen turned over QDiamond SuitJDiamond Suit while Meulyzer was ahead with ADiamond SuitKSpade Suit. The flop was fine for Meulyzer, coming 7Diamond SuitJHeart SuitAClub Suit, so too the 4Club Suit turn, and both players joked with each other during the hand. But then the QClub Suit river card gave Vandersmissen two pairs.

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Philip Meulyzer


Meulyzer was out, giving handshakes all around. From out of nowhere a man, wearing what looked like pyjama trousers and wearing baseball cap wrong, rushed up to Vladimir Geshkenbein to rub his shoulders. Meulyzer meanwhile becomes our sixth place finisher. – SB

4.49pm: And again…


Dragomir opened for 80,000 in middle position and Kevin Vandersmissen raised to 192,000 on the button. Dragomir, the action back on him, asked how much Vandersmissen had left (in the millions) and called for a flop of ADiamond Suit7Diamond Suit10Spade Suit.

Dragomir checked, then folded as Vandersmissen bet 170,000. – SB

4.48pm: Dragomir opens again


Cristian Dragomir opened for 110,000 in the cut off and got no takers. He showed his hand to Koen de Visscher and the dealer insisted he show everyone. Dragomir slammed two tens onto the table. – SB

4.47pm: Short stacked Meulyzer gets it through


Philip Meulyzer open shoved 275,000 from the cut-off and none of the remaining players could find a call. The additional 80,000 puts him up to 355,000 – still less than ten big blinds. — RD

4.44pm: Geshkenbein snap calls


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened from the hijack to 85,000 and was called in the big blind by Koen de Visscher. Both players checked the flop down to the QSpade SuitASpade Suit6Club SuitAHeart Suit7Club Suit river, which De Visscher tried to steal with a 90,000 thrust. Geshkenbein snapped it off with QDiamond SuitJSpade Suit. — RD

4.43pm: Denis Murphy eliminated in 7th place (€49,000)


When you’re waiting for a bus, none will come for ages and then two will arrive straight after each other. A similar scenario happened here as a few double-ups started off this final today and now we’ve had our second bust out, very soon after the first.

Kevin Vandersmissen min raised from mid position and snap called when Denis Murphy shoved for 677,000 from the big blind. Murphy winced when the cards were revealed:

Murphy: AClub SuitJDiamond Suit


Vandersmissen: ASpade SuitKHeart Suit

The board ran 7Diamond SuitKClub Suit2Heart Suit4Club SuitQSpade Suit meaning it was over by the turn. Murphy received a generous round of applause as he left the roped off final table area. EPT Snowfest is now a 6-max tournament. — MC

4.40pm: Maisto B’Twixed Dragomir


Cristian Dragomir opened for 80,000 from the cut off. Koen de Visscher, on the button, didn’t immediately fold and after some thought he called, as someone from the rail hurled a Twix at Giacomo Maisto.

Maisto was in the big blind and, swallowing a finger of Twix whole, shuffled in his seat to look at his cards, then, cheeks full and snapping chips together to make a noise, he called.

The flop came 6Club Suit10Diamond Suit6Heart Suit.

Maisto bet 80,000, swallowing the last of the chocolate, before Dragomir moved 200,000 into the middle without fan-fair. De Visscher quickly folded while Maisto played with his chips, Dragomir staring at him intently. Maisto looked at his cards again, making elaborate facial gestures, then, realizing he was beaten, passed.

A triumphant Dragomir flung down his ADiamond Suit9Club Suit with all the grace of prison ballet. Proud, he shouted something in Romanian to pals on the rail. He’s has around 2,000,000. – SB

4.35pm: No value bet?


Koen de Visscher opened for 83,000 from the cut-off and was called by Giacomo Maisto in the small blind and Vladimir Geshkenbein in the big. The JDiamond SuitKSpade Suit2Diamond Suit flop was checked round before Geshkenbein bombed 100,000 into the 3Spade Suit turn. Both players called.

The 5Spade Suit river was quickly checked by Maisto who did so by leaning forward and loudly wrapping the table. Both of his opponents cautiously checked behind.

Masito tabled JSpade Suit9Spade Suit for the flush and pulled in the 550,000 pot. Geshkenbein rolled his eyes. — RD

4.30pm: Geshkenbein and Dragomir clash once more


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 85,000 from early position. The action was folded to Cristian Dragomir, where things stopped. Once more Dragomir wanted to take on the Russian, straightening his cards and dropping a red chip on top. He raised, making it 210,000 total.

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Cristian Dragomir


The blinds folded and it was back on Geshkenbein. He took off his hat, elaborately kissed the small monkey he has on top of his stack and with wild abandon announced “All-in.”

“What’s the name of the monekey?” asked Dragomir from the other end of the table.

“Lucky monkey,” replied Geshkenbein.

“I’m scared of it,” replied Dragomir folding. “You win.”

“Scared, eh?” asked Geshkenbein.

“Of the monkey…” replied Dragomir. – SB

4.24pm: No luck for the Irish


Denis Murphy takes a turn opening a pot, making it 80,000 from the button. Cristian Dragomir in the small blind asked the Irishman how much he had behind (800,000) and took a minute to think, finally raising to 205,000 to win the pot. —SB

4.21pm: Geshkenbein uses his position well


Vladimir Geshkenbein has stopped the rot to his stack by taking a smallish pot down. He called a Giacomo Maisto raise to 85,000 as did Cristian Dragomir in the big blind. The flop came down ADiamond Suit6Club Suit10Spade Suit and all three players checked. The turn came JClub Suit and the action was checked to Geshkenbein who bet 160,000 and that was enough as both players folded. He’s up to 1,250,000 chips. — MC

4.15pm: Morten Mortensen out in 8th (€35,000)


Morten Mortensen took his time deciding whether he wanted to shove his pocket pair over the top of Koen de Visscher’s early position raise of 83,000. He finally decided that he did and moved all-in for 714,000. It was now the Belgian that had the decision to make for a large chunk of his chips. Call he did.

Mortensen: 8Heart Suit8Club Suit


De Visscher: ASpade SuitJClub Suit

It was a major flip for the young Dane and one that turned sour on the JSpade SuitQSpade SuitJHeart Suit flop. The 10Diamond Suit turn and 4Club Suit river did nothing to change Mortensen’s fortunes. As well as raking in €35,000 he should take a lot of pride in his performance, he’s been one of the breakthrough players of EPT Snowfest in our eyes. One to watch for sure.

De Visscher is now up to 2.7 million. Seven players remain. — RD

4.05pm: Geshkenbein and Dragomir clash on the river


Vladimir Geshkenbein opened for 80,000 and opened again from under-the-gun. Cristian Dragomir was waiting in the cut off and raised to 200,000 and the action was folded back around.

Interestingly, Dragomir appears to be the player least enjoying himself at the final table, whereas Geshkenbein seems to be the exact opposite, playing with a perpetual grin. He called and the flop came 9Club Suit5Spade Suit6Club Suit. Both checked.

The turn came QHeart Suit and again both checked for a 6Diamond Suit river card. Geshkenbein announced “I bet,” paused for a moment and arranged some chips. The 200,000 in blue chips he stacked seemed calculated, as did the 50,000 in yellows. But the reds were random, whatever fitting into his hand as he grabbed them. The total bet being 277,000.

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Cristian Dragomir


Dragomir replied by going to his stack, assembling his own raise in good order, and making it 690,000 total to play.

Geshkenbein smiled again, not his usual one but a bewildered look. He removed his hat. “What the hell was that…?” he said to himself, before settling in to think, his face showing his complete confusion, as if the natural order of things were falling apart in front of him.

A total of 413,000 to call, which Geshkenbein eventually did. Dragomir showed KHeart SuitKClub Suit. Geshkenbein said “nice hand,” and mucked, still smiling, rubbing his chin. He’s down to around 1,000,000 while Dragomir shoots back up to 2,450,000. – SB

4pm: Slow and steady


Denis Murphy opened a pot for 80,000 from the cut off. Low and behold there were no takers. In the next hand the action was folded harmlessly to the blinds. Koen de Visscher was in the small blind and called, only to watch Kevin Vandersmissen raise 100,000. De Visscher passed, both players seeing the funny side. – SB

3.55pm: Raise and take


There have been three back-to-back raise and takes; Koen De Visscher twice and Vladimir Geshkenbein once. Cristian Dragomir also received a walk. Not much to report beyond that. — RD

3.50pm: The second barrel works against Geshkenbein


Vladimir Geshkenbein seems like a tough character and one that can’t be finished off with a single bullet. Kevin Vandersmissen had two loaded in the barrel though and that was enough.

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Vladmir Geshkenbein

He raised to 80,000 from the button and Geshkenbein defended from the big blind to see a AClub SuitKSpade Suit7Heart Suit flop, on which he quickly checked. Vandersmissen c-bet for 84,000 and the Russian snap-called. The turn came AHeart Suit and Geshkenbein checked again to face a 122,000 bet. He muttered something under his breath and folded. — MC

3.45pm: A change for Geshkenbein


There’s different element to the final table on the return from the break; Vladimir Geshkenbein’s cowboy hat, a battered one that, judging by its unfamiliar shape, looks like it has been used as a dog’s toy for some time.

He opened a pot from middle position, getting no takers, as his next drink was delivered, a glass of McCallan’s fine oak.

As he paid Cristian Dragomir opened a hand from the button (no takers) before Geshkenbein made it 85,000 from under the gun in the next. Play was folded around to Giacomo Maisto on the big blind who looked at the Russian. Geshkenbein suggested to Maisto that he shove. He didn’t. Looked into the eyes of Geshkenbein he mucked his hands. — SB

3.40pm: Two hands in


Kevin Vandersmissen took the first hand back from the break with a raise to 80,000 and the second was won by short stack Philip Meulyzer, who shoved all-in from the cut-off. He took the blinds and antes which are worth a pick up of 92,000 now. That takes him back up to 550,000. — RD

3.35pm: Play restarts


We’re into level 25…

LEVEL UP: BLINDS 20,000-40,000, ANTE 4,000


3.20pm: De Visscher doubles going into break


All of the players had gone on their first 15 minute break except Koen de Visscher and Cristian Dragomir, who were involved in a heads-up battle.

Dragomir raised to 60,000 and called when his neighbour three-bet to 140,000. The flop came 2Heart Suit6Diamond Suit4Club Suit and Dragomir check-raised De Visscher’s 175,000 c-bet all-in. De Visscher made a very quick call and the cards were on their backs.

Dragomir tabled 10Spade Suit10Heart Suit but was behind to his opponent’s JSpade SuitJDiamond Suit. The AClub Suit7Heart Suit turn and river didn’t change anything and Dragomir offered De Visscher his hand as more than a third of his stack was taken from him. He’s down to 1,360,000 while De Visscher is up to 1,939,000. — MC

3.19pm: Others take a turn


Cristian Dragomir takes a turn opening a pot, finding no takers, as does Giacomo Maisto in the next hand, played while conversing with a friend a few feet away on the rail.

In the next Morten Mortensen opened for 62,000 in early position which Kevin Vandersmissen raised to 144,000 from the button. The action was folded through he blinds back to Mortensen, who folded. – SB

3.15pm: Maisto running hot again, takes chip lead


Two major set-ups have propelled Giacomo Maisto towards the top with 3,600,000 chips. After getting his stack in with kings against queens, Maisto managed, on the very next hand, to get his aces in against Philip Meulyzer’s pocket kings.

Maisto opened for 73,000 and was three-bet by Meulyzer to 186,000 and Maisto quickly announced he was al- in for 1,700,000. Meulyzer slowly made the call, correctly, fearing the worst. The Italian dodged a third king and backdoor flush draw to edge ahead of Kevin Vandersmissen and into the chip lead, after wildly celebrating with the Italian rail. That included a lot of cheek pulling, perhaps the first incident of that happening at any EPT final table. — RD

3.10pm: Bravo for Maisto


Giacomo Maisto has become the first player to risk his tournament life, moving all-in against Kevin Vandersmissen.

Vandersmissen raised to 60,000 from second position before the Italian three-bet to 147,000 from the next seat along. The action folded back around to Vandersmissen who four-bet all-in. Maisto snap called.

Vandersmissen: QSpade SuitQDiamond Suit


Maisto: KClub SuitKSpade Suit

Maisto clapped his hands together after seeing he was in front and had very vocal support from the Italian crowd.

The board ran 10Club Suit2Heart Suit9Diamond Suit4Heart Suit7Heart Suit and Maisto doubled to 1,775,000 chips. — MC

3pm: Longest hand of the main event


Two quick hands were followed by what was perhaps the longest so far. Morten Mortensen opened a pot for 62,000 which was folded around, as was Kevin Vandersmissen’s opener for 60,000 in the next.

Koen de Visscher opened for 60,000 in early position which Philip Meulyzer called from the button. The flop came 7Heart Suit2Club Suit5Club Suit and De Visscher fired again, 85,000 this time which the Belgian called for a 4Club Suit turn.

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Koen de Visscher


De Visscher gave it another go, 172,000 this time. Meulyzer waited 33 seconds and then called for a 10Club Suit river card. Once more De Visscher went to his chips, slowly this time, sliding 292,000 into the middle, the dealer swapping blue chips worth 10,000 for orange chips worth 25,000 on each street.

Meulyzer waited again, went to his chips, lined up 600,000, 650,000, 675,000, 677,000, which he pushed forward. This triggered De Visscher’s seven minutes in the tank.

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Philip Meulyzer

De Visscher didn’t move for much of that time and with his face obscured by a hood, glasses and his hand it was hard to gauge any reaction from the Belgian as he gently riffled a few red chips, some of the million chips he had back. As he did that Meulyzer looked back and forth between the chips in the middle and those in front of De Visscher. In the distance some Romanians talked loudly on the rail.

For his part Meulyzer had 550,000 in reserve. He waited, dead still but for his chest moving up and down quite quickly. The dealer conformed the amount once more and De Visscher went to his chips, separating 400,000 form the rest.

Vladimir Geshkenbein looked around, amused at the whole scene, sipped a drink through a straw and then called time. Giacomo Maisto checked share prices on his iPad.

“Thirty seconds,” said the tournament director. De Visser took a sip of drink and folded.

“Sorry,” said Geshkenbein. “Nothing personal.”

“No,” replied De Visscher. “I understand.”

Meulyzer up to 2,250,000. – SB

2.50pm: Geshkenbein stakes his claim


Vladimir Geshkenbein, alongside Cristian Dragomir, was the player most likely to start the first argument at this final table. He’s just given it a try but his opponent, chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen, failed to bite.

Vandersmissen opened his button for 60,000 and was called by Geshkenbein in the big blind. Both players checked through to the 10Heart SuitKDiamond Suit8Spade Suit7Diamond Suit turn which Geshkenbein led into for 90,000. The Belgian made the call.

The 8Club Suit river paired the board and Geshkenbein pulled out a large 202,000 bet. Vandersmissen quickly made the call and was shown KHeart SuitJClub Suit.

“Your lucky streak is over,” said Geshkenbein to Vandersmissen.

“I don’t think so,” mumbled Vandersmissen looking unhappy to have given a large chunk of chips to the Russian.

Geshkenbein is closing in on second place with 2 million. — RD

2.40pm: Mortensen not willing to fade away


Morten Mortensen has been a constant source of three-betting, I’d say the most virulent three-bettor of the tournament that I’ve seen. That hasn’t changed at this final table which he started as the short stack. Two of the first four hands he has upped the action. This time it was Philip Meulyzer he attacked. The Belgian had opened to 60,000 and Mortensen came back over the top for 145,000. He’s got himself up to nearly a million.

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Morten Mortensen


Cristian Dragomir has also taken the blinds with a button raise and Koen De Visscher has also won a three-bet pot pre-flop. — RD

2.33pm: All-in first hand


The play kicked off with around 45 minutes left of level 24 and it didn’t take long at all for the action to get going at this final table. The action folded around to Denis Murphy on the button and he raised to 62,000, only for Morten Mortenesen to move all-in from the small blind for 737,000. Murphy checked his cards once more and folded, smiling.

When Mortensen shoved Vladimir Geshkenbein shouted out, "Boo yeah! That’s how we like it. — MC

2.05pm: Slight delay to the start


A slight delay to the start of the final table. The players have been removed from the tournament room and whisked upstairs tot he roof top Sky Bar for their pre-match photos. We expect play to start in about 15 minutes. — SB

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The hills are alive with the sound of the final table players


1.45pm: Welcome to the final table


Welcome back to the final day of the EPT Snowfest main event. Just eight players remain from the original field of 482 and the goal today is a first place prize of €390,000. All the finalists through are guaranteed a minimum of €35,000.

If you’ve been following the live coverage with us all week you’re no doubt familiar with our final table cast but if you’re not allow us to introduce them to you with their personal details below…

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Chips, chips…


Seat 1: Kevin Vandersmissen, 22, Sint Pieters-Leeuw, near Brussels, Belgium – 4,512,000


Vandersmissen is a former construction worker and has been playing poker for two-and-a-half years, the last 12 months as a full-time pro. He specializes in online no-limit hold’em cash games but is also keen to learn pot-limit Omaha so he can play more events during this summer’s World Series, where his aim is to win a bracelet.

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Kevin Vandersmissen


Vandersmissen’s best result to date was €150,000 in a €3,000 tourney in Barcelona, last December, and since turning pro has won more than $440,000. Vandersmissen is good friends with Belgian Team PokerStars Pros Matthias and Christophe De Meulder, along with the other two Belgian finalists. He aims to be the first Belgian winner of an EPT but of the money he says he already has everything he wants. “The money is just a bankroll boost,” he said.

Seat 2: Giacomo Maisto, 39, Caserta, near Napoli, Italy – 986,000


Maisto took up the Italian five-card version of poker some 15 years ago, but switched to Texas hold’em in 2006. Although a sponsored player, poker is not his full-time occupation and he runs a string of businesses, including a call centre.

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Giacomo Maisto

Maisto only played one EPT event last season, in Prague, but didn’t cash until EPT Copenhagen this year, where he won the DKK 15,000 side event last month, earning approximately €48,000. He also had deep runs at EPT Vilamoura and EPT Vienna.

Maisto is being cheered on at Snowfest by a group of friends that includes serial EPT casher Nicolo Calia, and, true to form, every Italian player still in Hinterglemm. Maisto’s wife, Antonietta, is supporting him from home where she is looking after the couple’s two young sons.

Seat 3: Vladimir Geshkenbein, 22, Russia – 1,678,000


As entries into the poker world go, beating ten-time World Series winner Johnny Chan heads-up at a PokerStars APPT high roller is hard to top. Geshkenbein, who was not yet out of his teens when he won that $266,705, in 2009, has also proved to be a mercurial talent at Snowfest.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


The Russian, who grew up in Switzerland but who now lives in Malta, broke through Day 1 as overall chip leader, proving to be an aggressive and constant threat at every table at which he’s played. Away from the live tournament circuit Geshkenbein can usually be found playing $25/$50 cash games, and so far has scored $417,740 in live winnings.

Seat 4. Philip “meuli4” Meulyzer, 27, Antwerp, Belgium – 1,758,000


Meulyzer started playing poker in 2004 when he discovered the game with friends, thinking it would be cool to smoke big cigars and drink whisky while playing cards. He soon discovered online poker, kicking off in small stakes cash games.

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Philip Meulyzer


Now he is a full time pro specializing in $2/$4 cash and occasionally $3/$6 and $5/$10 and also enjoys playing the Sunday online tourneys. Besides poker, he loves movies and is a keen soccer fan. He’s an admin on various poker sites and a prolific poster on poker forums. He says Team PokerStars Pro Lex Veldhuis is one of the players who inspired him to improve his game.

Seat 5: Denis Murphy, 30, Cork, Ireland – PokerStars qualifier – 991,000


Murphy has been playing poker for four years, the last two of those as a full-time pro. His game of choice is online 6-max cash games, either 400 no-limit or sometimes 600 no-limit. His best live result was fourth place from a 3,289-strong field in a World Series $1,000 tournament in 2010 where he won $162,568.

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Denis Murphy

Murphy, who won his seat to Snowfest in a $22 re-buy on PokerStars, has reached the final after an up-and-down Day 4. He was planning on leaving Hinterglemm on Friday but those plans will now have to be shelved.

Seat 6: Morten Mortensen, 21, Copenhagen, Denmark – 780,000


Mortensen started playing poker almost three years ago. In 2010 he reached a handful of final tables, his biggest cash being for $67,000. He played his first EPT event in Copenhagen, last month, busting late on Day 2. He now plans to play a lot more EPTs, most likely Berlin and San Remo, as well as this summer’s World Series.

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Morten Mortensen

“It’s always a problem with the tax in Denmark, but Vegas is a good experience for me as a poker player,” he said.

Despite all of these trips his bread and butter remain online tournaments, where he has already achieved numerous five figure cashes.

Seat 7. Cristian Dragomir, 32, Bucharest, Romania – 2,293,000


When Dragomir first took up poker seven years ago he thought, mistakenly, he was the only full-time player in Romania. Actually there were about 30 Romanian pros at the time but very little live poker action.

In 2007 Dragomir enjoyed his first taste of fame when his team came second in the PokerStars World Cup of Poker. Of that he said; “That was a turning point for Romanian poker because it was on TV. People still talk to me about it as if it was yesterday.”

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Cristian Dragomir

The team stayed very close and included Cristian Tardea, who Dragomir reluctantly busted yesterday in tenth place. In 2008, Dragomir gained some notoriety when he was involved in an infamous hand in the World Series Main Event against Phil Hellmuth.

Hellmuth had raised with ace-king and Dragomir had called with 10-4, hitting a 9-10-7 flop. Hellmuth proceeded to call Dragomir an “idiot” and “the worst player in history,” and earned himself a penalty which was later overturned. Dragomir went on to finish in 29th place, his best result to date.

Dragomir has played eight EPTs to date but this is his first cash. His wife Madalina is supporting him from home with the couple’s young son Sasha.

Seat 8. Koen De Visscher, 25, Wilsele, Belgium – 1,543,000


De Visscher started playing poker on holiday in April 2006 and has been playing regularly ever since. He began playing €5 home games with friends but after a year switched to playing online. He’s now a full time player and has focused on tournaments for the last 12 months.

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Koen de Visscher


One of De Visscher’s other hobbies is traveling, which he can combine perfectly with poker. If he wins the tournament he will consider buying an apartment, but his main motivation is to keep playing. He lives with his girlfriend in Wilsele near Leuven.

PokerStars Blog reporting team in Snowfest (in order of time spent Para-gliding this morning): Marc Convey (25 minutes), Rick Dacey (0 minutes) and Stephen Bartley (0 minutes).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

Kevin Vandersmissen heads EPT Snowfest final table

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After a tense and prolonged day at the European Poker Tour Snowfest, Kevin Vandersmissen takes the main event chip lead into the final day, the leader of eight players who will return tomorrow to play to a new mountain champion.

With the strange combination of bright warm sunshine and alpine skiing taking place outside, inside the last 24 convened at the Alpine Palace tournament room for a straightforward day of attrition, where fierce rivalries were cemented and camaraderie exposed as merely superficial.

That Vandersmissen leads is testimony to his wise head, a head that spent the day propped up lazily on his left arm as he played with the insouciance of youth.

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Chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen


The Belgian, one of four returning today, knew when to strike and when to let others risk their chips, starting today with 803,000 and finishing on 4,512,000 some two million plus ahead of second place Cristian Dragomir with 2,293,000. The gap was further still to third placed Philip Meulyzer with 1,758,000.

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Vandersmissen in action


Notable was his achievement of this despite the many distractions that cropped up, rivalries that may be the defining element of tomorrow’s final, one that will line up like this…

1. Kevin Vandersmissen – 4,512,000


2. Giacomo Maisto – 986,000


3. Vladimir Geshkenbein – 1,678,000


4. Philip Meulyzer – 1,758,000


5. Denis Murphy, PokerStars qualifier – 997,000


6. Morten Mortenesen – 740,000


7. Cristian Dragomir, PokerStars qualifier – 2,293,000


8. Koen De Visscher – 1,543,000

From that cast there should be enough positive charge to spark some kind of showpiece. Romanian Cristian Dragomir, no stranger to table talk (just ask Phil Hellmuth), for one, as well as player he clashed with more than once today, Russian prodigy Vladimir Geshkenbein.

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Cristian Dragomir


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Vladimir Geshkenbein


Giacomo Maisto, who spent much of the day checking share prices on his iPad, failed to emulate his Day 3 form today, dropping instead from 1,548,000 to 986,000 (remember inflation). But, as an unorthodox Italian player, he could still cause trouble, like a wounded boar.

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Giacomo Maisto

Koen de Visscher took his punishment well, dusting himself off after several beatings. Morten Mortensen, Philip Meulyzer and Irishman Denis Murphy remain the dark horses capable of upset.

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Denis Murphy


It was not to be a repeat of last year’s Vilamoura event for Pierre Neuville. The amiable Friend of PokerStars, who missed nearly half a level yesterday having mistakenly believed there to be a dinner break, got stuck in again today, reaching 11th place before Vandersmissen sent him to the rail.

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Pierre Neuville


There were other notable performances including that of Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko, with a personal EPT best 15th place finish, and that of Hans Erlandsson of Sweden, who at one stage let himself make a bluff too far, stripping him of all but 38,000 of his once six-figure stack. Erlandsson mounted a swift comeback, one that stretched late into the day where he was ultimately dispatched by Geshkenbein.

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Alex Kravchenko


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Hans Erlandsson


Geshkenbein may prove to be the most watchable player tomorrow. The Russian, who won an APPT High Roller event in 2009, aged just 19, led the event earlier in the week and never really dropped too far down the leader board, remerging today with the same manic unpredictability.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


His black leather jacket and cropped hair, along with his icy-blue eyes, reinforced his image of an unpredictable maverick, not unlike the Top Gun Pete Mitchell kind, the type to pull off scenes of spectacular wonderment, all while upsetting the brass. All of it was performed with a grin, bordering on a smirk as he irreverently tore through opponents. He upset Dragomir, and stirred trouble when he could. He may just be the ingredient that makes tomorrow’s showdown a classic.

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The Geshkenbein stare


His main rival may just be Dragomir, perhaps the most experienced player at the table, and one who caused his own brand of commotion. It’s fair to say the Romanian – actually the Romanians – are this event’s vocal chords. There always seems to be a vacancy and he and Cristian Tardea filled it well, glad handing each other as if poker had suddenly become a team game.

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Cristian Dragomir


There were moments when it bordered on unsporting, notable on De Visscher who lost two pots, to great oppositional cheer, without uttering a word of protest. But perhaps something should have been done, and the joy shared by the countrymen does raise the question of what would happen when they play each other. If they play each other.

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Koen de Visscher


Funnily enough that question was answered late in the day when it was a tearful Dragomir (yes, tearful) who maintained the game’s authenticity by sending Tardea to the rail in tenth place.

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Cristian Tardea


Any other questions will be answered tomorrow. If you’re looking for something to keep you occupied until then check out the links below detailing all of the day’s eliminations and incidents. You can also find profiles of the finalists on the relevant page.

Level 19 (cont.), 20 & 21 updates


Level 22, 23 & 24 updates

As usual direct your foreign friends to our sister blogs where all of this is available in German, Dutch, French and Italian. Thanks also to our photographer Neil Stoddart, who along with taking pictures did at least one coffee run.

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“And my stack was THIS big…”


Just the final table to go then, starting tomorrow at 2pm. Until then, it’s goodnight from Hinterglemm.




This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 

EPT Snowfest: Day 4, level 22, 23 & 24 updates (blinds 15,000-30,000, 3,000 ante)

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8.55pm: Iemina out in ninth, play ends for the day


Manilo Iemina had less than 15 big blinds and all of those chips, some 412,000, went over the line with his 4Diamond Suit4Heart Suit. The action passed to Philip Meulyzer who re-shoved from the button for 1.4 million. Both Denis Mirphy and Morten Mortensen passed in the blinds.

Iemina’s hope to be flipping was quickly crushed. Meulyzer turned over ASpade SuitAClub Suit and the board ran out 9Heart Suit10Diamond Suit5Club Suit5Spade Suit10Spade Suit to end play for the day. Meulyzer, for the first time that I’ve seen, allowed himself a smile.

Chip counts and full wrap of the day’s play to come shortly. — RD

8.50pm: Only playing the nuts


PokerStars qualifier Cristian Dragomir just made a promise to the table that he would only be playing the nuts. This came after he raised from early position, took the blinds and then revealed pocket tens.

Vladimir Geshkenbein responded by saying, “So if I moved all-in, you would fold there?”

Dragomir responded, “No, I swear at you and call. I’d swear in Russian though as I don’t want a penalty.”

Two hands later, Morten Mortensen raised from early position and Dragomir three-bet from the next seat. The action folded back to Mortensen who passed. Do you think he had aces or kings there or was just trying to use some psychological warfare? — MC

8.35pm: Final table draw

We’ve got one more player to bust before play stops for the night and the following nine players all still have a shot at becoming the next EPT Snowfest champion, following in the footsteps of Allan Baekke, last year’s winner.

1. Kevin Vandersmissen – 4,300,000


2. Giacomo Maisto – 1,083,000


3. Vladimir Geshkenbein – 1,600,000


4. Philip Meulyzer – 1,489,000


5. Denis Murphy, PokerStars qualifier – 829,000


6. Morten Mortenesen – 900,000


7. Cristian Dragomir, PokerStars qualifier – 1,685,000


8. Manilo Iemina – 566,000


9. Koen De Visscher – 1,630,000

There are plenty of aggressive players at that table so we don’t expect play to go on too much longer today. — RD

8.30pm: No friends at the poker table as Tardea busts in tenth


Cristian Dragomir has been a very vocal supporter of fellow Romanian Cristian Tardea today, but when it came to the crunch that support was, understandably, nowhere to be seen.

Tardea raised with pocket jacks and Dragomir set him all-in with pocket fours. Tardea called for his tournament life but couldn’t fade the two-outer. Dragomir was so distraught at knocking out his friend that he went to the corner of the room and burst into tears.

The remaining nine players will re-draw and will play at one table until we lose one more player. We’ll post up that draw as soon as we have it. — MC

8.25pm: Play resumes

8.20pm: All things Austrian


Know anything about Austria? Find out if the players do too…


8.10pm: Break time


Level 23 has come to an end and the players are on a 15 minute break. — MC

8.05pm: Plenty of aggression but no busts


Play hasn’t really slowed down in the approach to the final table but there haven’t been two big hands that have collided for some time. Philip Meulyzer took a pot from chip leader Kevin Vandersmissen. Denis Murphy took some from Koen De Visscher, but gave others away to a three-bet from Mortern Mortensen.

One more player to fall and we’ll go to a nine-handed table. One more after that and our final table of eight is set. — RD

7.55 pm: Three hands with Geshkenbein


Vladimir Geshkenbein is a very active player who seems to need to be in the action so we followed him for three hands in-a-row:

Hand 1. Kevin Vandersmissen opened to 48,000 from under-the-gun and Geshkenbein three-bet to 132,000 from the next seat. When the Belgian came back with a four-bet to 300,000, Geshkenbein snap folded.

Hand 2. Geshkenbein got straight back on the horse by raising to 50,000 into the big blind of Vandersmissen. He took the blinds and antes as all folded.

Hand 3. Geshkenbein called a 48,000 raised from Philip Meulyzer to see a 5Heart Suit5Club Suit8Spade Suit flop. He check-called a 55,00 bet to go to the 6Spade Suit turn where both players checked. The river came 9Club Suit and Geshkenbein’s 100,000 bet was good to take the pot down. — MC

7.45pm: Pierre Neuville is out in 11th (€11,000)


Pierre Neuville has just missed out on his second EPT final table. The chips all went in on the river of a 10Spade SuitQDiamond SuitADiamond Suit5Spade SuitQDiamond Suit board with Neuville’s ASpade Suit8 crushed by Kevin Vandersmissen’s (who else?) QClub SuitJHeart Suit. — RD

7.34pm: Another scalp for Geshkenbein as he busts Sarkisyan in 12th


Vladimir Geshkenbein is up to around 1,500,000 after he busted fellow Russian Karen Sarkisyan. Sarkisyan was very short and shoved for about 250,000 from first position and was called by Geshkenbein.

Geshkenbein: AClub SuitAHeart Suit


Sarkisyan: 10Spade Suit9Spade Suit

Before the board was dealt Geshkenbein said, “That’s the best hand to have against aces, equity wise.”

The Russian’s point was almost proven as the flop fell 9Club Suit10Diamond SuitQSpade Suit to make Sarkisyan two-pair. Geshkenbein was saved on the ADiamond Suit turn though and the river came KHeart Suit to seal the deal. — MC

7.22pm: The end of Erlandsson


Hans Erlandsson opened for 64,000 from under the gun and with the action folded around to the big blind it was Vladimir Geshkenbein’s time to act.

The pair have been talking, albeit in brief snippets, throughout the afternoon, Erlandsson doing most of the talking. Now he was about to find out that attempts to make friends in poker are meaningless. Geshkenbein raised to 140,000 and yet again Erlandsson resorted to the all-in move in reply. Geshkenbein called at once, throwing down KSpade SuitKHeart Suit. Erlandsson threw his cards down too, AClub SuitJClub Suit.

Geshkenbein smiled to himself, privately enjoying the dramatic rush of moments like these. The board came KClub Suit3Diamond SuitJHeart Suit4Club Suit2Spade Suit.

Erlandsson was out. He shook Geshkenbein’s hand and the Russian turned and smiled, but quickly returned to gathering up his new chips. We’re down to 12 players. – SB

7.15pm: Vandersmissen up, Geshkenbein down


Kevin Vandersmissen is continuing to rake in the chips, while Vladimir Geshkenbein is losing his at a rate of knots. Vandersmissen had raised into Geshkenbein from small into big blind and had c-bet the AClub Suit6Club SuitKSpade Suit flop. The Russian called.

Both players checked the 5Spade Suit turn before Vandersmissen stabbed 125,000 at the 5Club Suit river. Geshkenbein insta-called and was shown an ugly trips with 7Spade Suit5Heart Suit.

Geshkenbein three-bet Vandersmissen to 70,000 pre-flop the next hand and quickly called a 50,000 bet on the KClub Suit6Club Suit2Club Suit7Diamond Suit10Club Suit river. Vandersimissen held JClub Suit10Diamond Suit for the jack-high flush. Geshkenbein angrily mucked his hand. He’s been up and down all day but the current trend is certainly down.

Vandermissen made Broadway against Hans Erlandsson the next hand. He’s playing well, running well. It’s a dangerous combination. — RD

7.05pm: Can you hear them in Bucharest?


The noise you just heard was Cristian Dragomir doubling up, with backing vocals supplied by his countryman Cristian Tardea.

Dragomir was all-in for a whopping 900,000 with ADiamond SuitQHeart Suit and had been called by the soft-spoken Koen De Visscher with KClub SuitKHeart Suit. The rail crowded in to watch the outcome, which was decided straight away.

ASpade SuitQDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit4Club Suit6Diamond Suit.

Dragmir let out a cry that shook the building, not wise in avalanche country, and slapped the hands of his equally vocal friend Tardea. De Visscher began to quietly count out chips and later graciously congratulated Dragomir on the hand.

Dragomir up to 1,800,000 while De Visscher slips to 1,650,000. Despite his celebrations Tardea’s chip total didn’t change. – SB

6.50pm: Play restarts


Play continues in Level 22 with blinds at 12,000-24,000 with a 3,000 ante.

6.35pm: Break


It’s a 15 minute break for the final 13 players.

6.34pm: Last action of the level


Cristian Tardea moved all-in for 200,000 from the cut-off moments before the break but got not takers. — SB

6.32pm: One for Meulyzer


On a flop of 4Club SuitQSpade Suit3Spade Suit Philip Meulyzer checked to Kevin Vandersmissen on the button who bet 88,000. Meulyzer then called for a 3Club Suit turn card. Both checked for a 6Diamond Suit river. Meulyzer bet 254,000 more sending Vandersmissen into the tank, his head, like always resting on his hand, the rest of his body slouching. A few minutes later he passed. – SB

6.30pm: Dragomir pays off De Visscher


Cristian Dragomir likes to talk, but it doesn’t really seem to be helping him very much.

“Can I get a walk? Can I? Can I? Can I get a walk?” he asked Koen De Visscher when the action folded to De Visscher in the small blind. De Visscher answered with his chips by raising to 52,000. Dragomir called and then proceeded to stare down his opponent solidly for the rest of the hand.

De Visscher c-bet 56,000 and Dragomir called. And stared.

De Visscher checked the 3Spade Suit turn. Dragomir also checked. And continued to stare.

The 5Club Suit river was incentive enough for De Visscher to make a chunky 172,000 bet. Did Dragomir call? He was too busy staring at De Visscher. The Romanian called time on himself and with 30 seconds to go made the call. De Visscher turned over 10Club Suit7Club Suit for the straight. Just as well Dragomir did all that staring to get a read… — RD

6.25pm: Huge three-way pot goes to De Visscher as Wiese exits


Koen De Visscher, Andreas Wiese and Cristian Tardea all went to a 9Diamond Suit4Heart Suit7Diamond Suit flop after De Visscher raised from under-the-gun. Tardea was in the big blind and led out for 100,000 before De Visscher raised to 235,000, and Wiese moved all-in for 596,000.

The action was back on the Romanian and he seemed to have a really tough decision. He looked at both players time and time again, only interrupted with stares to the sky and to his stack. Eventually, in a flurry of activity, he called the bet and then called when De Visscher moved all-in behind.

Tardea: ADiamond Suit4Diamond Suit for the nut flush draw.


De Visscher: 9Spade Suit9Heart Suit for top set.


Wiese: 4Spade Suit4Club Suit for bottom set and drawing dead as Tardea had the final four.

The turn and river ran out QHeart SuitAClub Suit to send the 2,600,000 pot the way of De Visscher. Tardea reacted by smashing his fist down on the table, spraying some of his chips around. He dropped to around 200,000 but that’s 200,000 more than Wiese has as he our 14th place finisher taking home €14,000. — MC

6.15pm: And Romania goes wild


It wasn’t actually the whole country that went wild when PokerStars qualifier Cristian Dragomir won a pot, just his loud supporting rail. The hand started with a button min-raise from Koen de Visscher and flat calls from Dragomir and Giacomo Maisto in the blinds.

The flop came 10Heart Suit6Spade SuitASpade Suit and Dragomir took over the initiative in the hand as he led out for 70,000. Maisto folded but De Visscher called to see the 4Club Suit turn. There was no slowing down Dragomir as he bet 175,000. Call. The river came 9Diamond Suit and the action slowed as both players checked. Dragomir tabled AClub Suit8Spade Suit and De Visscher mucked. — MC

6.10pm: Adeniya busts in 15th (€11,495)


This level hasn’t been kind to Martins Adeniya. After getting bluffed off by chip leader Kevin Vandermissen in a large pot he has just been busted by Philip Meulyzer after the Belgian turned the nuts.

Meulyzer had opened the button for 45,000 and Adeniya called in the big blind with around 500,000 behind . The Brit led 52,000 into the QClub Suit2Heart Suit3Spade Suit flop and the Belgian raised to 125,000. Adeniya made the call before both players checked the KClub Suit turn. Adeniya made what looked like a tiny blocker bet of 25,000 into the 6Spade Suit river and Meulyzer moved all-in. It was a quick call from Adeniya for his tournament life who was then shown the nuts, 5Club Suit4Heart Suit, by Meulyzer.

“Wow,” said Adeniya slapping his cards and a couple of chips away in annoyance. One of those chips rolled all the way down to the other end of the table where Vladimir Geshkenbein and Hans Erlandsson were sitting. I had been standing behind the pair during the hand and had heard Erlandsson whisper that he thought Adeniya held queen-ten. He was correct. Adeniya had made the call with QDiamond Suit10Heart Suit.

“See, what do I tell you?” said Erlandsson to Geshkenbein.

“You’re good,” replied the Russian. — RD

6.05pm: First impressions


After Martins Adeniya opened for 45,000 the action reached Vladimir Geshkenbein who, grinning, announced “raise to one million,” and looked quite pleased with himself. I’m often wrong with such things but it’s becoming evident that Geshkenbein is a bit, well, kooky, grinning oddly, wearing a leather biker jacket which he no doubt wears when he rides his old IMZ-Ural across high wires, while pouring vodka shots. Blindfolded. With his arms tied up. With barbed wire. — SB

6pm: All downhill from here


Gloria Balding talks to Team PokerStars Pro MArcin Horecki who actually knows how to ski. They get all the fun stuff…


5.57pm: Sarkisyan doubles


Karen Sarkisyan has doubled up to more than 500,000. Sarkisyan opeend for 50,000 before Kevin Vandersmissen raised to 140,000 from the small blind. Sarkisyan then moved all-in which Vandersmissen snap-called with AClub SuitQSpade Suit. Sarkisyan turned over 9Club Suit9Spade Suit and looked certain to be leaving until the river card, the board coming 8Diamond SuitQClub Suit10Spade Suit5Heart Suit9Heart Suit. — SB

5.50pm: Bluff recovery from Maisto


Giacomo Maisto is back up to nearly a million chips after he bluffed Andreas Wiese off a hand. He raised to 55,000 from under-the-gun and was called in two spots en route to a 10Club Suit4Club Suit10Diamond Suit flop. The small blind checked, as did he, before Wiese bet 85,000 from the hijack. The small blind folded but Maisto raised to 200,000. Call.

The turn came out JClub Suit and Maisto, without much thought, moved all-in for his remaining 403,000. Wiese thought for about a minute and folded only to be shown ADiamond SuitKClub Suit by the Italian. — MC

5.35pm: Huge bluff from Vandermissen forces Adeniya to fold


Martins Adeniya was obviously in a horrible spot. He’d made up the big blind after Kevin Vandersmissen had raised to 40,000 pre-flop and was now facing a 195,000 bet on the river. Adeniya chewed his smile, stared at the board, glanced at the static Vandersmissen and then broke out into an involuntary grin, perhaps recognising the quality of Vandersmissen’s bet. So how had we got here?

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Martins Adeniya, victim of a three-barrel bluff

Adeniya check-called 43,000 on the 8Diamond SuitQDiamond SuitJHeart Suit flop and 94,000 on the 8Spade Suit turn. The 10Diamond Suit completed a lot of draws and Adeniya checked over to the chip leader for a third time. Vandersmissen pulled out that large 195,000 bet and pushed it forward. After much thinking Adeniya eventually passed, announcing ‘fold’ verbally to stop himself physically dropping the call over the line.

His Belgian opponent instantly tabled 6Spade Suit5Spade Suit for a three-barrel bluff and Adeniya chopped down at the table with both hands in frustration. He had been so close to making the call. — RD

5.22pm: AK-16


Alex Kravchenko, the last of the Team PokerStars Pros is out, beating his previous EPT best (17th in EPT4 Baden) by one place to bust in 16th place.

Koen De Visscher opened for 40,000 and Kravchenko pushed with ASpade SuitJClub Suit. De Visscher called with 4Heart Suit4Spade Suit and eliminated the Russian on a board of 6Heart Suit2Diamond Suit8Spade Suit8Club Suit8Diamond Suit. — SB

5.20pm: The Midday update


…with Gloria Balding. Additional content by Pierre Neuville.


5.15pm: We’re back…


Players are returing for Level 21 with blinds of 10,000-20,000 with a 2,000 ante. — SB

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Vladimir Geshkenbein


PokerStars Blog reporting team in Snowfest (in order of Goulash soups consumed this week): Rick Dacey (4), Stephen Bartley (3) and Marc Convey (2).



This EPT is brought to you by PokerStars, the official sponsor of the European Poker Tour. Win your way into the biggest events Europe has to offer at Europe.

 
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