Vladimir Geshkenbein Prevails At EPT Snowfest

It’s thus far been an inconclusive Saturday for the live poker scene in America as the pros continue to duke it out at the Wynn Classic in Las Vegas, but across the Atlantic another European Poker Tour title has already been awarded in Austria this weekend. The lucky winner was yet another upandcoming European pro. Young Swiss player Vladimir Geshkenbein. Geshkenbein staged a considerable comeback on the final day of action, truly proving his worth against a pretty tough table.

At the start of the final table action, Belgian Kevin Vandermissen was easily the odds on favorite to take the EPT Snowfest Main Event. Not only was Vandermissen’s stack more than 2 million chips deeper than his nearest competitor’s, he’d been a dominant force since Day 1. The second stack wasn’t even Geshkenbein’s – who was at the top of the middle with 1,678,000 chips – but Russian Cristian Dragomir’s (at 2,293,000). The third stack belonged to Philip Meulyzer (at 1,758,000) with Koen De Visscher, Denis Murphy, Giacomo Maisto and Morten Mortensen, respectively, filling out the bottom four behind Geshkenbein.

Not surprisingly, short stack Morten Mortensen was the first man down, but the real excitement early in the final table came at the hands of the other small stack, Italian Giacomo Maisto. Maisto came out of the gate aggressive and managed to claw his way to the top in the early rounds by doubling up off of leader Vandermissen and then third stack Meulyzer. Vandermissen rallied by eliminating the only Irishman – Denis Murphy – and then shortly after sending Philip Meulyzer to the rail. Geshkenbein was having a rough time of it, losing some key hands to Dragomir and also inexplicably being the primary target of Vandermissen.

Then Geshkenbein got the break he needed, taking Dragomir out when he drew a flush on the river against Dragomir’s pocket pair of unimproved 8s. Determined to keep his young foe in his place, Vandermissen once again dealt Geshkenbein a swift and painful loss of more than 2 million chips just before the break. Geshkenbein came back determined to fight back, and Maisto was the resulting victim.

It was down to three – Vandermissen, Geshkenbein and Visscher – but despite Vandermissen’s best efforts Geshkenbein prevailed in sending Visscher to the rail and proceeding to the heads-up portion. It had been a tense day of hard and fast eliminations at the EPT Snowfest final table, and the heads-up finale followed the same pattern with Geshkenbein finishing off his nemesis Vandermissen in less than 30 minutes. For his efforts, Geshkenbeinnot only netted a fat paycheck but also took home his first EPT title.

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