EPT12 Barcelona: One season doesn't make a superstar

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A terrifying triumvirate

The table doesn't lie they say and if that's indeed the truth then it's hard to argue that Dzmitry Urbanovich's EPT11 Player of the Year Award was undeserved. What's remarkable though is that the Pole's run didn't begin in earnest until 2015, when a win at the PCA started a bandwagon that never stopped. Two deep runs at Deauville were followed with four wins (and a second place) at EPT Malta and then came the EPT Grand Final and his runner-up spot in the Super High Roller.

He wasn't the only player to enjoy what us lazy journalists like to term a 'breakout season'. Of course breakout seasons are never really that black and white. Ole Schemion may well have won the EPT Player of the Year award for his performances in Season 10 but he'd already had a seven figure cash by the time he started making waves on the EPT.

Schemion is, as you'd expect, playing today and whilst he didn't exactly have a 'poor' Season 11, it was rescued somewhat by a sixth place finish in the Main Event of the EPT11 Grand Final, good for €233,500. Still he's hardly a one hit wonder and has now firmly ensconced himself at the very top of the game. He's sandwiched by two players who made a big splash on the EPT for the first time in Season 11 and will be hoping for more of the same in Season 12 and ultimately to join Schemion at the very top.

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It's been a lucrative trip to Europe for Luca

To the right of Schemion sits Ivan Luca. The Argentinian was unknown in live poker circles in Europe when he headed over here in December last year to play a few tournaments at EPT Prague to see what happened. What happened is that he won...a lot. An awful lot. Seven final tables at EPT events - including a runner-up finish in the EPT11 Malta High Roller - an outright win in a UKIPT High Roller and a WSOP bracelet win saw him seamlessly transport his online skills (he's won the Super Tuesday amongst other tournaments) to the live arena. The only surprise is that we were surprised as he'd previously racked up a number of cashes on the LAPT and in his native Argentina.

Meanwhile, to Schemion's left is Charlie Carrel, the flamboyant Englishman announced himself to EPT followers in a fashion almost as spectacular as his trousers. Like Luca he final tabled the EPT11 Malta High Roller, finishing fifth for €183,800 and having secured his first six-figure score on the EPT he decided he quite fancied a seven figure one. It duly arrived when he won the €25,000 High Roller at the EPT11 Grand Final. There was no deal in that one and he collected €1,114,000 for his troubles.

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Carrel's a cool customer

Whether both become Super High Roller regulars this season remains to be seen, but there's no doubting they have the talent and the two of them clashed in an interesting pot a short time ago. The action to the turn is unknown but Carrel (under-the-gun+1) bet the turn for 10,000 and called when Luca check-raised to 26,600. There was a flush draw on board, which missed on the river, and Luca tanked for over a minute. Carrel wasn't the only player giving Luca a stare down during this action, Schemion tilted his head to the right to get a better look and Erik Seidel was also a keen observer of the action. However, Sam Greenwood and Tobias Reinkemeier's heads were tilted towards their phones and they missed Luca checking the action to Carrel. The youngster, who was the only player at the table wearing sunglasses, slid out a bet of 70,300 and Luca again took plenty of time before coming to his decision. In this instance it was to muck, but he also fished out his sunglasses and put them on.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Start your journey to EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS. All the EPT Barcelona bumf is on the main EPT Barcelona page, while blow-by-blow Super High Roller coverage is on the Super High Roller page.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour