EPT12 Dublin: Dzmitry Urbanovich leads final six of Main Event. Surprised?
There was arguably a theme to this fifth day of the EPT Dublin Main Event. It was simple. The short stacks came and went, leaving the big stacks to lay claim to a final table spot. There was just one exception to this rule, and a familiar one too. It came in the shape of Dzmitry Urbanovich, who not only bucked the trend to overturn a short stack today, he leads tonight, in style, with six players remaining.
Only a fool would say they were surprised.
Urbanovich has a reputation as something of a phenom, ever since he won four side event titles in a single festival some months back. From that point he never really stopped. Few players cause such a stir simply by arriving at an event, let alone for their performance in it. But to watch him today we saw something of what makes him the feared opponent that he is, with casual, almost insolent raises that seemed so natural to him, but super natural to those on the receiving end.
So he leads tonight, deservedly so, with a final six looking like this.
Dzmitry Urbanovich - 5,125,000
Patrick Clarke - 4,300,000
Kuljinder Sidhu - 3,260,000
Gilles Bernies - 2,735,000
Iliodoros Kamatakis - 1,965,000
Rhys Jones - 740,000
Urbanovich may have made others look ordinary, but their journey to the final table was anything but.
Gilles Bernies, whose heavy breathing when involved in a hand had more than one spectator worried for his health, spent much of the day out front. Had he not tangled with Urbanovich so often might have been the headline tonight. But his was a solid performance, and what's more he looks like an EPT winner. He'll be in contention tomorrow.
Kuljinder Sidhu's tendency to three-bet became something of a running joke on EPT Live, but it spoke of a player not waiting for the game to come to him. Sidhu preferred things the other way around and it showed. He too looked the part today and would surprise no-one were he to win tomorrow.
Ireland's Patrick Clarke arrived as chip leader, and unlike others never put his tournament in that much jeopardy. Rhys Jones, he of the hood and sunglasses, was one of the most active players early on. Highly rated by peers his performance today was far better than the short stack might imply. Meanwhile Iliodoros Kamatakis kept the Greek flag flying, picking his spots with care and avoiding the worst of what proved a volatile day.
Suffering because of that volatility were the ten players who busted the Main Event today (click here for all the payouts).
Christopher Kruk went first. An early tournament leader he endured a difficult last level yesterday which left him in a make or break situation today. It broke.
He was followed by Jiachen Gong and then Frank Williams, another early leader, and then fellow Brit Tomas MacNamara. After Matias Ruzzi and Alex Goulder departed in 12th and 11th, Adrian Mateos's stack became vulnerable. The Spaniard, and last remaining former EPT winner, had his eyes on the final table but fell short in tenth place. That was ahead of Russian player Mikhail Petrov and Croatia's Ivan Banic.
Seven handed play continued for more than a level before the last player of the day departed. After he had doubled up, most watching thought Alex Meylan would hang on to play another day. But that hope vanished when he got his chips in with a flopped draw to both a straight and flush. But Clarke had a pair of aces, and faded anything that might have changed that. Meylan's exit brought another early end to play.
It leaves six, led by the charismatic Urbanovich who, despite plenty of side event titles and a High Roller near miss, makes his first official EPT Main Event final table. We have a sneaky suspicion he'll handle it well, and with a little swagger...
All will be revealed when play resumes tomorrow.
That will be at 1pm, but we'll be reporting on a one hour delay to allow for cards up action on EPT Live. That starts at 2pm GMT, and will broadcast every hand until we have a new EPT Dublin champion.
The Blog will also be there with live updates from start to finish. We'll also be covering the High Roller event which also finishes tomorrow. You can follow live High Roller updates of that event right now, with less than 30 players remaining. They'll be playing down to a final eight (or close enough) tonight.
For now, goodnight from Dublin.
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Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.