EPT11 Prague: Superstar Russians, here we go
It won't have escaped many people's notice that the Russians have gradually put a stranglehold on this Super High Roller event. When the remaining ten players went off to dinner, the top three places in the chip counts were occupied by Leonid Markin (2,707,000), Vladimir Troyanovskiy (2,661,000) and Ivan Soshnikov (1,718,000) -- all of whom fly their red, white and blue in horizontal lines.
It's fair to say that PokerStars Blog has not, historically, shared much conversation with any of these three. Troyanovskiy and Soshnikov don't appear to speak much English, and Markin is a relatively new face. But it seems inevitable that we're going to have to find out a good deal more about the three of them if we're going to continue to cover these Super High Roller events.
In fact, Troyanovskiy's record in the high buy in tournaments pretty much speaks for itself. He has made five final tables in tournaments with buy-ins greater than €25,000 - in Macau, the Bahamas, Monaco and Barcelona. Those results account for the vast majority of his near $3m live tournament earnings. If he ever donates his brain to medical science, it would be worth analysing the Super High Roller poker knowledge section in particular.
Soshnikov simply seems to like Prague. This time last year, the young Russian played three side events at the EPT Prague Poker Festival and cashed them all, for a total of €4,450. He added another five grand to that and bought into €10,000 High Roller, which he went on to win for €382,050.
Since then, Soshnikov too has travelled the globe, picking up sizeable scores in Macau, Cyprus, Monaco and Vienna. But for his biggest coup, he didn't even need to leave his own front room. Soshnikov, under his online alias "vandir4rek" won the SCOOP Main Event in May for $1,048,000.
As for Markin, he has a little way to go to overhaul the achievements of his countrymen, but with a fourth place in the £10,000 London High Roller event - and the overall chip lead here - he's deserved his place on the rostrum.
Full coverage of the EPT Prague Poker Festival is on the main EPT Prague page. Super High Roller coverage, including blow-by-blow updates in the panel at the top, is on the Super High Roller page. And the Eureka main event is into the money and playing on. That's on the Eureka Prague page.