EPT11 Grand Final: Dzmitry Urbanovich's secret crush: I HEART CHIPS

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Has Dzmitry Urbanovich gone soft

This blog makes no apologies for its recent obsession with Dzmitry Urbanovich. It is an equal-opportunities bandwagon-jumper, and you might remember it from previous phenom obsessions such as Ole Schemion, Dominik Panka, Jason Mercier and ElkY.

But as the 19-year-old Polish player starts his Main Event campaign, it seems he too is keen to feel the love. Urbanovich has arranged his meagre stack of chips into the shape of a heart, even though he remains intent to break that of anyone sitting opposite at a poker table.

Urbanovich is a compelling character. On the one hand, you have the dastardly smirk, the hoody, shades and headphones, and a name containing not only a "V" but a "Z" too, and a superfluous one at that. All of that could make you think Urbanovich is aiming for the villain's role: he does seem to revel in the fact that he's a fearless, fearsome enigma, who no one can quite work out.

And yet. And yet.

At the end of his titanic duel with Erik Seidel, during which the American boss turned in a performance described by Jan Heitmann as "a clinic of great reads, great calls and stamina", Urbanovich took a few minutes to compose himself, then returned to pay his tributes to his vanquisher.

Urbanovich, along with his countrymen Panka, Piotr Franczak, Jose Carlo Garcia and Wojciech "Lozo" Lozowski, asked if Seidel would do them the honour of being photographed with them. It's one of the warmest poker photos you'll ever see, with respect flowing in both directions.

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Urbanovich, Panka et al point to "The Man"

Urbanovich also wore a suit for that final table, clearly keen to present himself to the world as a serious and professional operator. And now there's this heart-shaped chip stack. There's a serious suspicion growing in these quarters that perhaps all is not as it seems. Dzmitry Urbanovich might actually be a bit of a softie.

In the time it took this post to be written, Urbanovich managed to at least double his chip stack, but didn't change its alignment. He merely added another layer on to the heart shape. He got tricky in a pot against Brian Roberts, raising to 2,400 from mid position and going to a flop with the American that came 4♦7♣2♠. Urbanovich bet 2,600 at that, Roberts called, and they saw a 9♥ turn. Both checked.

The river was the K♦ and Urbanovich checked again. Roberts checked behind and, with the smirk cracking into a full smile, Urbanovich flipped K♠K♥ having failed to trap Roberts.

"You won the maximum, don't worry," Roberts said. "You won the maximum."

The "maximum" by the end of the week will actually be €1,082,000. The prize pool has just been announced. And, let's be honest, you'd be a madman to bet against Urbanovich being in some way involved when they go reaching for the big cheque-book and pen on Saturday night.

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Dzmitry Urbanovich in Main Event action

EPT Grand Final payout schedule

Entries: 564
Prize pool: €5,640,000

1 € 1,082,000
2 € 679,000
3 € 486,000
4 € 379,000
5 € 297,250
6 € 233,500
7 € 174,300
8 € 120,700

9 € 95,300
10-11 € 78,400
12-13 € 66,500
14-15 € 58,100
16-17 € 51,350
18-20 € 45,700
21-23 € 40,050
24-27 € 34,400
28-31 € 29,900
32-39 € 26,500
40-55 € 23,125
56-71 € 20,900
72-79 € 19,175

Follow all the action from the €10,000 Main Event is on the Main Event page. Also watch on EPT Live. It's also about time you downloaded the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.