Eureka3 Czech Republic: Vladimir Geshkenbein begins to run over Rozvadov

Vladimir Geshkenbein is one of the most affable players in the game. He is endlessly charming in at least three languages--Russian, German and English (and perhaps more)--and impeccable in his etiquette at the tables. But he is also an absolute nightmare to play against, as the residents of table eight here in Rozvadov are just discovering.


Vladimir Geshkenbein: Far from as innocent as he seems

Geshkenbein was moved into the seven seat at table eight when his starting table broke. He sat down, folded the first hand to an early position raise, but then announced his arrival on the next hand. After Charalampos Papadopoulos opened to 5,000, Geshkenbein three bet to 10,200. Everyone folded and it came back to Papadopoulos.

This was where things got slightly unusual. At the moment, this was nothing more than a pretty standard three-bet, but Papadopoulos seemed to think something was amiss. He took a long time to figure out what he should do next and then asked the dealer for a count of Geshkenbein's stack.

The dealer began pulling Geshkenbein's chips over the line and cutting them down to count, which raised an objection from Shai Gazit, in the nine seat. Gazit told the dealer that he shouldn't give exact counts; a player can request to see another's stack, and he can ask his opponent how much he is playing, but the dealer is not obliged to act at this stage. (Geshkenbein was not all in, so Papadopoulos was not being asked to match all of Geshkenbein's stack.)

"Actually, that's true," said Geshkenbein, who had not raised an objection himself. "But go ahead. It makes life easier."

However it was decided between Gazit and the dealer that the counting should stop. Geshkenbein's chips were pushed back behind the line, from whence they had come, and Papadopoulos was then left with the decision of what to do.

Geshkenbein had about 100,000 at this stage and comfortably covered Papadopoulos's 60,000-ish. Papadopoulos still didn't really seem to know what to do, however, and after another couple of minutes, Geshkenbein asked for a clock to hasten the process.

The tournament supervisor arrived and explained the terms: Papadopoulos had 60 seconds to make his decision, and when the countdown reached zero it would be a dead hand. It didn't take that long. Papadopoulos flung his cards into the muck.

The dealer then began the shuffle and pitched out the next hand. It was folded to Geshkenbein and no sooner was it his turn to act than he raised to 4,200.

It made it round to Srdan Mihajlovic, in the small blind, who called. And there then followed what can only be described as a tank-defence from Dmitry Trtyakov in the big blind, who pondered for a long while before calling too.

The three of them saw a flop of J♦2♠6♣ and both the suspicious players in the blinds checked slowly. Geshkenbein had a different game-plan. He tossed out a bet of 7,500. Very deliberately, as if after a good deal of contemplation, both the other two folded.

An orbit passed during which not much occurred, but Geshkenbein continued to stay active. And then a few hands later, when Papadopoulos decided to enter the pot again, raising to 5,000, he was greeted with an immediate three bet once more, from Geshkenbein to his immediate left. This time, the raise was to 12,000.

Gazit, who had been active in that previous hand without putting a chip in the pot, decided this time to take a more wholesome interest. He now four-bet to 20,500. The action folded back to Papadopoulos, who allowed himself a rueful shake of the head, before lifting up his cards to his lips and kissing one of them. This passed as a fold, which he then confirmed by throwing them into the muck.

No sooner were they there, however, than Geshkenbein said that he was all in. No one seemed to notice, so he said it again. "Yeah, all in," he said. He pushed forward a tower of yellow chips.

I'm not totally certain of what Geshkenbein said next, but it sounded like: "You can call me, but don't bluff me. You shouldn't even try." He grinned at Gazit, who now went into the tank.

Geshkenbein sat back in his chair and jigged his knee. Then he sat forward and the knee-jigging stopped. Gazit pondered his next move, rubbing his eyes beneath his sunglasses, looking anguished. Gazit and Geshkenbein's stacks were pretty close in size, slightly more than 120,000, so this was a decisive moment. "What do you think I'm going to do after you raise?" said Geshkenbein. "Fold like a chicken?" (Again, I am not 100 per cent on these quotes, but that's what it sounded like.)

Geshkenbein didn't call the clock this time -- this was a significant decision -- and Gazit appeared to be genuinely considering a call. But eventually he flicked his cards away from his body, letting the hand go, and Geshkenbein began hauling the chips back in.

Gazit asked Geshkenbein what he had and the two appeared to agree to talk about the hand later. As it is, that table now becomes very much one to watch. The dynamic has changed entirely thanks to the arrival of this fearless and fearsome EPT champion.


Tournament update: Players have recently gone on another break, and when they return they will find eight-handed tables. We will now play eight-handed all the way to the final. There are 78 players remaining, 30 from the money, and they will return to play blinds of 1,200-2,400 (300 ante).

Selected big stacks and notables:

Giovanni Mazza Italy 285,000
Kasparas Klezys Latvia 281,000
Erich Kollmann Austria 237,000
Stig Timothy Härold Sweden 230,000
Bart Lybaert Belgium 220,000
Fabian Leib Germany 220,000
Vladimir Geshkenbein Russia 166,000
Rinaldo Filho Brazil 150,000
Vojtech Ružicka Czech Republic 145,000

Last Team Pro busts: Christophe De Meulder is out. He summarised his day fairly efficiently in this tweet:


Christophe De Meulder: Back to the black and white

That's the end of that for De Meulder.

Other latest eliminations: Roman Mehrin, Daniel Matissek, Ashley Lapiz, Andy Boy, Mykhaylo Erstenyuk, Gerald Karlic, Anthony Rodrigues, Igor Salomasov, Sebastian Langrock, Martin Šramm, Sergii Nadtochyi, Reinhard Foidl, Robert Zipf, Ariel Spivack.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in Eureka Poker Tour