2016 EPT Dublin Main Event: Dzmitry Urbanovich Rides Chip Lead to Championship

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After dominating Day 5 in seizing the chip lead, Poland’s Dzmitry Urbanovich solidified his position as a player to potentially watch for at this year’s World Series of Poker in dominating the final table on his way to the European Poker Tour Dublin Main Event championship earlier on Saturday.

The 20-year old Urbanovich’s lead wasn’t as secure as he might have liked when the tournament kicked back into action on Saturday afternoon at the Royal Dublin Society. Hometown hero Patrick Clarke was roughly 800K in chips behind Urbanovich at the start of play and about 900K behind him was the United Kingdom’s Kully Sidhu. There was a chance for a “wire-to-wire” winner as Day 1A chip leader Gilles Bernies was still in the mix, but he had some work to do with slightly more than half of what Urbanovich held in his stack. Both Ilios Kamatakis and Rhys Jones were on the short stack and needed some help if they were going to work their way into contention.

Jones tried to do just that only six hands into the day’s play. After a raise from Urbanovich, Jones pushed all in from his big blind and Urbanovich made the call. Not only was it the correct decision from the price but it was also the correct decision by the cards; Urbanovich’s A-10 was in the lead over Jones’ A-9 and, after a ten hit the flop, Jones was indeed drawing thin. A nine brought some hope on the turn but the Ace only gave Jones a worse two pair than Urbanovich, sending Jones home in sixth place.

It would take more than 30 hands for the next elimination to take place and it was the other unfortunate short stack at the table, Kamatakis. After Kamatakis made a raise, Bernies would three bet the action and Kamatakis made the call. A Q-9-5 rainbow flop saw Kamatakis fire another salvo at the pot and Bernies again raised the betting. This time, however, Kamatakis chose the wrong moment to push as he dumped his chips in the center. Bernies called and showed his A-Q for the flopped top pair/top kicker, while Kamatakis could only muster a K-9 for the second pair. Running treys finished off the turn and river, not cards that the Greek was looking for and sending Kamatakis home from the tournament in fifth place.

Now only 900K in chips behind Urbanovich, Bernies began to get a bit frisky. Although he would double up Sidhu soon after eliminating Kamatakis, Bernies would get his own double up through Urbanovich to take over the chip lead on Hand 49. Bernies continued the stampede and, by Hand 77, he eclipsed the 10 million chips mark (10.355 million, to be exact), more than the three other competitors – Clarke (2.865 million), Urbanovich (2.555 million) and Sidhu (2.45 million) – by a long shot. Bernies only grew more powerful when he eliminated Clarke in fourth place to creep ever closer to 13 million in chips and busted Sidhu in third place to bring the fight to heads up.

With the stunning quickness of the race to the final twosome, it was thought that Bernies (14.84 million) would make quick work of the young Urbanovich (3.285 million). Eight hands into heads up play, however, Urbanovich was able to get paid on all three streets – including an all-in on the river – after he flopped a Jack high straight and Bernies turned two pair. Even with the double up, Urbanovich was still nearly four million chips in arrears to Bernies.

Another seven hands later, Urbanovich and Bernies would play the hand of the match, one that many critics said that Bernies misplayed badly. After a raise from Urbanovich and a three bet from Bernies, Urbanovich called to see an 8 J♠ K♠ flop. Bernies continuation bet more than half the pot but, after some deep thought, Urbanovich came back at him with a raise himself. Bernies immediately pushed his leading stack in and, nearly beating him into the pot, Urbanovich called.

Bernies was on a stone bluff, showing a 4-2 that had completely missed the flop, while Urbanovich had an 8♠ 5♠ that had bottom pair and a flush draw going for it. With scant chance of winning the hand, Bernies saw a 7♣ come on the turn to leave him drawing dead. After the formality of the 6♣ on the river, the 15 million chip pot – and the chip lead – went to Urbanovich.

Bernies was able to climb back to even as the players went to the dinner break and the twosome would swap the lead between each other for more than two hours before Urbanovich began to pull away. On the final hand. Bernies pushed all in from the button and Urbanovich, after a quick scan of his hole cards, immediately made the call. Bernies turned up the “computer hand” – Q-7 off suit – which would have looked great against anything else but Urbanovich’s pocket Kings. A seven would come on the flop but that was it; after running nines finished the board, Dzmitry Urbanovich emerged as the champion of the EPT Dublin.

1. Dzmitry Urbanovich, €561,900
2. Gilles Bernies, €349,800
3. Kully Sidhu, €250,300
4. Patrick Clarke, €193,650
5. Ilios Kamatakis, €152,600
6. Rhys Jones, €119,450

Urbanovich, who allegedly has a prop bet with Vanessa Selbst that he will win a WSOP bracelet on his first visit to Las Vegas this summer, has now won over €4 million in tournament poker since this point last year. Most of those winnings, however, had come in finishes in High Roller events, not wins on major tournament circuits. Now Urbanovich is a major tournament champion and he can concentrate on that second jewel of poker’s “Triple Crown” …especially if he wants to take some prop bet money from Selbst!

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