Philipp Gruissem and Vladimir Troyanovskiy have some of the best results around in PokerStars High Rollers, but neither have what you would call mainstream ‘profile’. Gruissem has clocked up $3,194,228 in High Roller cashes quickly establishing himself as one of the most consistent big buy-in tournament players around. Troyanovskiy is a newer face on the scene but made dual High Roller final tables at this year’s PCA, finishing 7th in the Super High Roller for $257,580 and then managing an impressive runner-up finish to Vanessa Selbst in the High Roller for $792,180.
So what does it take to bust up events which are filled with some of the biggest and best players in the world? Play like this…
Last night, the pair were tangling when, on a flop of K♦Q♦10♠, Troyanovskiy checked to Gruissem who bet a small 14,000. Troyanovskiy looked at Gruissem and found the German looking back at him. He check-raised to 42,000. Gruissem made the call.
Troyanovskiy calmly rapped the soft top of the table with the knuckles of his right hand on the turn of the 8♣ board. Gruissem bet a large 75,000 making Troyanovskiy take those same knuckles and place them next to his temple, then his mouth, then back to his temple. Then he made the call.
The K♥ paired the board and Troyanovskiy checked the action over to Gruissem who, somewhat gingerly, turned over A♦7♣ for ace-high. Troyanovskiy did not look happy. He only needed to show his hand if he could beat the German. He couldn’t, but he showed anyway. His draw-heavy J♦7♦ was quickly flashed before mucking (it was the J♦ but could have been the 7♥).
Troyanovskiy stared at Gruissem with no little hint of incredulity.
“Why you never fold on the flop?” asked Troyanovskiy.
The tone was more demanding than asking.
“You never have anything there,” said Gruissem.
“How do you know my hand?” said Troyanovskiy.
“I don’t know exactly,” said Gruissem, who sat looking very happy with himself.
No, he may not know your exact hand but Gruissem has proved time and again that he can put players on a tight enough range to play close to perfectly, as can be seen by this play here. Absolute nailed-on self belief in reads. That’s what you need to be a Super High Roller. And these guys have that in spades.
At the time of writing, Gruissem is still making his Day 2 assault on another big money pay day. You can follow all of that on the EPTLive webcast and through our live coverage of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.