EPT12: The return to Malta, twice in a year

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Dzmitry Urbanovich: Made his big splash this time last season

A year is a long time in poker. A lot of things can change, while others can become established. But if there's one thing we can learn from our return to Malta it is that seven months is also a long time in poker. It's not even a year since we were last here, and yet the world already feels like a different place.

Today we start the €25,000 High Roller -- an event not quite a Super High Roller, but a little bit more than a regular High Roller and positioned near the start of a festival. This event debuted on the European Poker Tour in this venue in March, when we referred to it as a "special" High Roller.

Since then, we haven't managed to decide for certain what it's called, but something similar has appeared at every subsequent event, making it a fixture. A popular one, at that.

During the same period, the winner of the inaugural €25,000 Not-Quite-A-Super High Roller event, Dzmitry Urbanovich, has also become a household name. Urbanovich's victory was the first of four he recorded during what remains the most spectacular single-festival performance on the EPT. But he didn't stop when he left Portomaso. Urbanovic already has $3.9 million in tournament winnings to his name, the lion's share of which he has accumulated in the past seven months.

Urbanovich was last seen in Berlin, where he finished 15th in the World Series of Europe main event. It meant he missed out on his first WSOP bracelet, still two years since he can compete in Las Vegas, but we're expecting him through the door of this casino soon to defend the first of his Maltese titles.

There were 68 players in last season's equivalent event, plus 20 rebuys, and the hope is that we'll get somewhere close to the same number this time. It's far from certain, but the EPT has a bit of a habit of exceeding expectations.

Play is due to begin at 12.30pm and registration is open until the start of play tomorrow. We will have all the usual coverage on the EPT Malta page on PokerStars Blog.

Begin plotting your own bid for 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

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour