Friday, March 27, 2015

Four for Urbanovich

Have mentioned here before how once a week I compile a report on the latest Global Poker Index rankings -- both overall and Player of the Year -- for PokerNews.

Since the overall rankings reflects results going back as much as two years, there usually isn’t too much dramatic movement at the top. A player winning a tournament earns a decent number of points and can move up even hundreds of spots down below, but among the top 10, anyway, the players are pretty dug in. Indeed, this week the top 10 players are the same as from a week ago, with Ole Schemion in the top spot for a 14th straight week.

Meanwhile the POY race is a bit more volatile, especially as we’re still early in the year and players are just starting to gather points. Those doing well at the first big festivals of 2015 -- the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, EPT Deauville and EPT Malta, the WPT stops and WSOP-C stops, and others -- are the ones populating that list right now.

Thus it wasn’t too much of a surprise this week to be reporting a new POY leader, Poland’s Dzmitry Urbanovich, although it was notable to see he’d jumped all the way from No. 17 to No. 1 this week. And that he’d leapfrogged way ahead of the chase pack, suddenly turning up with a little over 2,380 points, more than 600 ahead of nearest challenger Joe Kuether.

Knew Urbanovich had been winning side events in Malta, and at the time of that report and the latest rankings he’d in fact won three different ones.

The €25,500 High Roller had gotten some news earlier in the week, with Urbanovich topping a tough field of 68 entries to win a €572,300 first prize. A few days later he bested a 156-entry field in the €1,100 NLHE Turbo to win another trophy and €35,200. Then the day after that he won a third event, the €5,200 NLHE Turbo that drew 55 entries to claim a €110,000 first prize.

At the time Urbanovich had additionally cashed in two other events -- final tabling both including finishing runner-up in a stud event. Then today came the news that he’d won a fourth side event in Malta, the €220 Crazy Pineapple Turbo tournament that drew a field of 56 to earn Urbanovich a modest €3,260 first prize.

Even with the small fields in a couple of the events, winning four tournaments in a single series is remarkable. Indeed, Chris Hall reports it represents a record for the EPT.

Some feat, and again suggests something about how winning begets winning in poker.

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