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 9♥A♦9♣ flop where he called Vandersmissen's 340,000 c-bet. Both checked the 5♥ turn to go straight to the J♥ 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 A♣J♣ 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 K♣2♥6♥. De Visscher added another 110,000 into the middle which Geshkenbein raised to 285,000. De Visscher then called for a 2♠ 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 9♦5♠9♥. Vandersmissen checked to Geshkenbein who doesn't really do inactivity. He bet another 160,000 which Vandersmissen called for a 6♣. Both checked that, getting a 7♦ 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 5♠8♦T♠ 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 8♥3♠K♦.

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 J♥8♣T♠. Both checked that for a turn card 3♠. De Visscher then bet another 190,000 which the Russian called.

On the 4♠ 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 A♠9♠.

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 3♦2♠K♠ 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 6♦ and both players checked to the 4♣ 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 8♦K♦J♥ 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 2♥Q♣2♠ flop. The Belgian c-bet for 220,000 and Maisto called to the K♦ 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 T♠6♦5♠.

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Vladimir Geshkenbein

Vandersmissen bet another 300,000 which Geshkenbein took six seconds to call for a T♦ turn. Both checked that for a 9♠ river card. More checking, Geshkenbein's A♥5♦ toppling Vandersmissen's A♠Q♣.

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 K♠3♦ was heavily dominated by De Visscher's K♥Q♠. 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 J♥2♦6♥, 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 8♣8♦.

He was ahead, Geshkenbein turned over the flushing K♥T♥, 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 4♠ and the river 9♥ 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 7♠3♣6♠.

Both checked. The turn came K♠. 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 8♣. 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 8♣A♥J♥7♠4♥ board. Both players checked the river with Dragomir checking behind with 9♦T♥ 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 5♠9♦6♦.

"One-seven-five," announced Geshkenbein, causing Dragomir to check again and fold his 3♣4♠.

"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 2♣7♣T♠ 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 4♥ turn before Maisto check-called a larger 340,000 bet on the 6♦ river. De Visscher showed 6♠4♠ for a backdoor two pair, to Maisto's Q♠T♣ 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 Q♣8♥A♣ flop before the Belgian led for 140,000 on the 2♣ turn. Call. The river came Q♦ and Vandersmissen led for 270,000. Dragomir was shaking his head but made a quick call with A♥9♣. It was good as Vandersmissen could only muster J♠T♠ 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 A♠A♣K♠. Both checked as Geshkenbein left them to it, getting up to talk to a sunblessed waitress on the rail. The turn came 4♦. 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 K♣4♦7♣ 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 8♣. 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 5♣9♦2♥ flop and Maisto moved all-in for his remaining 900,000. Dragomir snap called.

Dragomir: K♥K♠ for an over pair
Maisto: Q♠5♥ 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 5♠9♣T♠ flop. Geshkenbein c-bet for 130,000 and Dragomir called. Those were all the chips that made it into the middle as the 6♦Q♠ turn and river were checked down.

Geshkenbein tabled T♥3♥ 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 K♣6♦A♥.

Dragomir checked to Vandersmissen who bet 120,000. Dragomir called for a 9♦ 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 8♣Q♠Q♦ and Vandersmissen bet 175,000 when his two opponents checked to him. The turn came K♦ and both players checked to the Q♥ river. Dragomir checked again and tank-called Vandersmissen's 260,000 bet. The Belgian tabled K♥J♥ 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 K♦3♦2♥ flop from 110,000 to 260,000. Vandersmissen called the raise and levelled 330,000 at the 2♦ turn after Geshkenbein checked. The Russian looked slightly pained but made the call before checking the pot over to Vandersmissen on the 7♠ river. He checked behind and Geshkenbein showed K♥6♥ 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.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour