RPT St Petersburg: Kravchenko woe

There are two frustrating things that can befall you in a poker tournament: firstly your aces can get cracked, and secondly there will be times when you bust on the bubble. Sometimes, both these things happen together; two misfortunes that make for one devastating conclusion.

Such was the case for Team PokerStars Pro Alex Kravchenko yesterday. He'd been comfortable enough in day two of the debut Russian Poker Tour event in St Petersburg, and was looking to make a deep run into the money, which started in 18th place (201 entries).

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Alex Kravchenko: aces woe

With 19 still in with a shout, and with 50,000 chips behind him, the home favourite moved all in confidently with A-A when chess player Alex Grishuk pushed with what turned out to be a rather feeble A-2.

The double up would make Kravchenko, a former WSOP Main Event final tablist, a force to be reckoned with. But wait! A two on the flop, and another falling devastatingly on the river was enough to send Kravchenko to the rail in 19th place - just one off the money.

Grishuk's slice of luck did not last, though. Just a short while later he got all his chips in with 10-10 and was busted by Vadim Markushevsky's A-K when the king fell on the river.

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The glass trophy - and, for no obvious reason, a telephone!

That gave Markushevsky the momentum to last the day and reach today's final table of nine players, where Dumitru Gaina from Moldova will lead the pack chasing the 10,600,000 rubles first price (about $300,000):

1. Dumitru Gaina, Kishinev, Moldova - 501,000
2. Sergey Popuk, Arkhangelsk, Russia - 302,000
3. Sergey Solntsev, St. Petersburg, Russia - 256,000
4. Vadim Markushevsky, Minsk, Belarus - 256,000
5. Anatoly Ozhenilok, St. Petersburg, Russia - 203,000
6. Bulat Bikmetov, Novokuznetsk, Russia - 181,000
7. Evgeny Zaytsev, Lubertsy, Russia - 178,000
8. Alex Pantuhin, Kaliningrad, Russia - 76,000
9. Oleg Suntsov , St. Petersburg, Russia - 64,000

It had taken 90 minutes to burst the final table bubble, so spare a thought for Mark Vronsky, who pushed with pocket nines but ran into a mighty - and ultimately - conquering J-Q.

Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Rousso started day two but was unable to make things happen with her short stack of little more than 10,000. She pushed with an ace, was called by Q-7, and a seven on the board was enough to eliminate her. She was gracious in defeat, though, and offered a "good luck" in Russian to everyone at the table. PokerStars sponsored player Ivan Demidov also fell early in the day in 39th place.

Today's final kicks off at 3pm local time. If you can decipher Russian - and let's face it, it's easy enough... NOT! - you can follow the action with Pavel Sychev, our Russian blogger right here. If you can not understand a word of it, don't worry - we'll report on the progress on these esteemed pages later!

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in Russian Poker Tour