EPT12 Malta: Urbanovich returns to defend title

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Headphones on, ready for action

To be fair it was always a case of when, not if, Dzmitry Urbanovich would enter this tournament and, in the process, try and defend the title he won in Season 11. He's one of many players who've arrived here after playing the WSOPE in Berlin.

He'd been spotted in the Portomaso Casino earlier today with Piotr Franczak and Jose Carlos Garcia, but whilst the latter two entered the tournament about halfway through the day Urbanovich was notable for his absence. The Polish sensation, who won four tournaments at this event last year, and went on to become the EPT Player of the Year, has now got involved and is in fact sat to the immediate right of his mate Garcia.
They're in seats three and four and, amongst others, they've got Team PokerStars Pro Andre Akkari (seat two), Scott Seiver (seat six) and Mikita Badziakouski (seat eight) for company. A sure sign that Urbanovich had flown in from elsewhere could be found by looking at the back of a chair. Draped over it you'll see a chunky wollen knitted jumper and a scarf. Both are of some use in Berlin (14 degrees today) but are not as essential in Malta where it topped out at 22 degrees. Although as any poker player or blogger will tell you that as most tournaments take place in air conditioned auditoriums, whatever the weather outside long sleeves are necessary to combat the elements inside.


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As the PokerStars Blog arrived at the Pole's table a big hand involving Seiver, Akkari and Garcia was in progress.

The former had opened to 9,000 from under-the-gun+1. Akkari had called on the button and Garcia had three-bet to 26,500 from the big blind. Action was on Seiver who was sat perfectly still mulling over his decision. The 2013 PCA Super High Roller Champion announced all-in for what looked like around 80,000-90,000 although we'd never know the exact amount as after Akkari folded Garcia immediately called with K♠K♣. The cowboys held against Seiver's J♥J♦ and as that was Seiver's second exit of the day, the most successful player ever in EPT High Roller events will have to wait until later in the week to add to his list of achievements.

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Jose Carlos Garcia

On the very next hand Urbanovich tangled with Akkari in a pot with the two of them seeing a 2♦T♦5♦ flop. First to act was Akkari, he bet 12,300 but folded when an in position Urbanovich raised to 29,000. That hand boosted the Pole to 330,000 and he's back doing what he does best in Malta, accumulating chips.

Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the hand-by-hand coverage of the €25,000 High Roller is on the €25,000 High Roller page and everything from the IPT Main Event is on the IPT Main Event page.

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

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour