European Poker Tour Berlin Day 1a: Vladimir Geshkenbein Leads

Vladimir Geshkenbein

The European Poker Tour is back in Berlin for the third time in its history for the penultimate stop of Season Eight. Day 1a has been written into the history books after 10 one-hour levels were played in the luxurious Hyatt hotel across from the Spielbank Casino. When the tournament director finally called time on proceedings shortly before 0100 CET, and the players bagged up their precious ceramic discs, former EPT champion Vladimir Geshkenbein, emerged as the chip leader.

The Russian pro did not get off to the best start on Monday, and was down to 15,000 early on, but he staged an amazing comeback, hitting hands like they were going out of style. Cracking ace-king with ace-queen was just one example of him running amazingly well. He slipped up toward the end of the day but recovered to win a series of pots to end the day as the overall chip leader with 201,600.

Jens Weigel is Geshkenbein's nearest rival, he managed to turn his 30,000 starting stack into an impressive 199,600. Weigel did not have the easiest of tables to deal with, because he had recent Irish Open champion Kevin Vandersmissen and Sam Chartier to deal with for the vast majority of the day. That did not stop him however, from hoovering up the leaderboard. Weigel only has one EPT cash to his name — a 30th place finish in this event last year — and if he keeps up this kind of form for the rest of the week, he could very well go even deeper.

Sam Chartier also made it through to Day 2, bagging a stack of 138,000. Right at the start of play on Monday he made a superb call with {9-}{7-} on a board that contained an ace, a pair of queens and a nine after his opponent bluff-raised all in on the river with what turned out to be a pair of fives.

Amongst the 243 players who chose to enter Day 1a of the EPT Berlin Main Event was a whole host of Team PokerStars Pro. They included Barry Greenstein, Theo Jorgensen, Vanessa Selbst, Angel Guillen, Martin Stazsko, Jan Heitmann, Henrique Pinho and Pierre Neuville. Team PokerStars as a whole had a good result from Day 1a. In fact all but Staszko, who was eliminated shortly before the end of the day, safely navigated through the minefield that is the first flight of an EPT. They are part of the 110 survivors who also had chips to bag at tag at the end of the night.

End of Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts

PlayerChip Count
Vladimir Geshkenbein201,600
Jens Weigel199,600
Ariel Celestino153,300
Anton Wigg152,200
Azmi Korkmaz143,300
Stephane Albertini142,500
Iliodoros Kamatakis138,800
Sam Chartier138,000
Bozidar Miljkovic136,600

Day 1b's field should be even larger, and if the rumors are true, then the field could close in on 700 entrants. That means the players will be not only seated in the vast tournament area of the Hyatt hotel, but also in the adjoining Spielbank Casino too — just to fit them all in!

The action kicks off at 1200 CET (0300 PDT) sharp and will continue until 10 one-hour levels and a 75-minute dinner break have been completed. The well-known faces that are to take part are so numerous that we could fill an entire page with their names but expect to see the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Bertand “ElkY” Grospellier, Eugene Katchalov and Arnaud Mattern along with a whole host of other familiar characters.

Join the PokerNews Live Reporting Team as soon play gets under way for all the action, as it happens, from the European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event.

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