Vladimir Geshkenbein Defeats Poker Legend Johnny Chan To Claim High Roller Title at APPT
Amateur poker enthusiast Vladimir Geshkenbein was living the dream in Macau last weekend as he defeated poker legend Johnny Chan heads-up to win the Asia Pacific Poker Tour High Roller Event.
The $11,000 buy-in no-limit Hold’em event attracted a total field of 64 runners who combined to create a total prize pool of $701,818, with no less than $226,690 of that being awarded to the overall winner.
With such a lot at stake and a suitably deep structure to match the exclusive buy-in, play lasted for two whole days before a victor was crowned – with the tenth-place money bubble a particularly drawn-out affair at a mammoth two-and-a-half hours.
That particular stretch represented a tough time for Geshkenbein, who saw his chip stack dwindle to just 300,000 at one stage before finally managing to turn things around and power his way to the final table.
There he still had to deal with the formidable opposition of Grant Levy and 10-time World Series bracelet-winner Johnny Chan, but while the former crashed out in fifth for $49,127, the latter would ultimately prove the last man standing between Geshkenbein and the prestigious title.
Fortunately for the amateur, he held a 4-to-1 chip advantage over his experienced foe, and it was one he was ultimately able to press home after an hour of heads-up play to lift the trophy and capture the lion’s share of the spoils.
The final hand came when the pair saw a 8-6-5 flop in an unraised pot and Geshkenbein check-raised all-in. Chan quickly made the call, but his Q-8 was outkicked by Geshkenbein’s K-8 and a 7 on the turn and K on the river provided no help, meaning the “Orient Express” was on his way home $154,400 better-off as runner-up.