Geshkenbein Leading 2011 EPT Snowfest

Vladimir GeshkenbeinAfter the lower then expected registrations for Day 1a of EPT Snowfest you would think it would be much of the same for Day 1b. Wrong! A field of 302 players bought in for the €3,750 tournament buy-in and the dream of being crowned EPT Champion.

Amazingly Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier had missed his flight to Austria and arrived after the first six hours of play. Even with getting blinded down he sat sit down with a decent stack of 25,000 and managed to turn that into 60,000 in chips at one point during the day. However, with the loose-aggressive style he is known for, he lost them all by the time the day ended.

A number of Team PokerStars Pros did make it through to Day 2, including Liv Boeree, Luca Pagano and Max Lykov. Boeree will be heading into the second day with 19,000, which is lower the an average-sized stack but says she is happy with how things went considering the cards she was being dealt and the tough seat draw. The table was easily the toughest seat draw at the tournament, sitting in between Luca Pagano and James Sudworth. At the opposite end of the table was EPT Berlin winner Kevin MacPhee, and EPT Tallin Champion Kevin Stani joined the table a few minutes into play.

Throughout the day’s play it really didn’t look like anyone was going to become the runaway chip leader, but during one of the last levels of the day, Michael Tureniec managed to turn his stack into more then 200,000 in chips. The hefty boost to his stack was largely a result of a hand with Sandro Ruegg. In the hand, Tureniec called a 12,200 bet on a board of 5-3-4-J. Ruegg bet another 16,500 on the 7 river card. Tureniec went into the tank and eventually called the river bet to reveal pocket eights, which was enough to beat Ruegg’s A-3.

The chip leader heading into Day 2 is PKR pro Vladimir Geshkenbein, who has 253,700 chips to play with. He came onto the live poker scene in 2009 after winning the APPT Macau High Roller Event for $266,705 and will be looking to do just as well at this tournament.

The remaining 102 survivors from Day 1a and 166 survivors from Day 1b will return to the felt at Alpine Palace Card Casino at 2 p.m. local time on Tuesday, with all of them hoping to make it through to Day 3 with the chance to walk away with the €390,000 first-place prize money.