Dzimtry Urbanovich Leaps Into POY Lead After Three Wins at EPT Malta

Dzmitry Urbanovich won three times in under a week at EPT Malta, including a huge victory in the €25,000 High Roller. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart / PokerStars Blog)

Dzmitry Urbanovich won three times in under a week at EPT Malta, including a huge victory in the €25,000 High Roller. (Photo c/o Neil Stoddart / PokerStars Blog)

In order to pass Anthony Zinno – owner of back-to-back World Poker Tour titles – in the 2015 BLUFF Player of the Year standings this early on, you have to accomplish something truly remarkable. For Dzmitry Urbanovich, it took winning three times in under a week at the EPT Malta festival to pull it off.

Urbanovich matched Dan Smith’s unbelievable run at the 2012 EPT Grand Final in taking down three spade trophies in six days in Malta. He kicked it off by winning the €25,000 High Roller and added victories in an €1,000 Deepstack Turbo and a €5,000 Eight Max Turbo; if that wasn’t enough, Urbanovich also squeezed a final table in a €500 Hyper Turbo event in between all of that.

With five total wins already on the year, including a fourth PokerStars spade trophy at the PCA back in January in a $2,200 bounty event, Urbanovich surged from outside the top 20 to the top spot, unseating Zinno and putting himself ahead of some other players who’ve been on tears of their own.

Taylor Paur sits third after making back-to-back WPT final tables on their California Swing. After winning the Bay 101 Shooting Star Classic, Paur finished third at WPT Rolling Thunder just a few days later to Ravee Mathi Sundar. Sundar, who was also at the Bay 101 Shooting Star final table, is one of two new players in this week’s top 20 and comes in at number 19.

Nick Petrangelo continued to build upon his impressive 2015 campaign in finishing fourth to Urbanovich in the EPT Malta Super High Roller, becoming the fourth player to crack 500 BLUFF POY points and sliding up three spots into fourth in this week’s standings.

William Miner cashed three times at the Chicago Poker Classic, and picked up his third tournament win of 2015 in a $250 Deep Stack turbo. Miner picked up three spots in a crowded part of the BLUFF POY standings, which moved him up to 13th.

With eight players in the top 20 picking up points of some kind, something had to give. Two players fell out this week, including Phil Ivey, who barely held onto his spot in the top 20 a week ago. It’ll likely be some time before Ivey has a chance to return to the top 20, given his limited non-WSOP schedule these days, but with the summer quickly barreling towards us he’ll have his chance soon enough.

2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of March 18)

  1. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 605.13 (NR)
  2. Anthony Zinno – 544.50 (-1)
  3. Taylor Paur – 524.14 (+1)
  4. Nick Petrangelo – 515.94 (+3)
  5. Steve O’Dwyer – 485.86 (-3)
  6. Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-3)
  7. Scott Seiver – 432.16 (-2)
  8. Jose Montes – 427.25 (-2)
  9. Joe Kuether – 417.50 (-)
  10. Yuguang Li – 409.00 (-2)
  11. Kevin Schulz – 360.00 (-1)
  12. Alexander Trevallion – 331.60 (-1)
  13. William Miner – 297.73 (+3)
  14. Manny Stavropoulos – 296.00 (-2)
  15. Sorel Mizzi – 295.98 (-2)
  16. Ognyan Dimov – 289.70 (-)
  17. Brian Altman – 287.20 (-3)
  18. Marc Etienne McLaughlin – 287.00 (-3)
  19. Ravee Mathi Sundar – 285.79 (NR)
  20. Aaron Mermelstein – 282.53 (-2)

Dropped from Rankings: Ilkin Garibli (19th), Phil Ivey (20th)

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Tim Fiorvanti

Tim Fiorvanti graduated from St. John's University with a B.S. in Journalism in 2008. After several years in the industry, he started working for BLUFF in the summer of 2010. He worked his way up at BLUFF and joined full time as a Senior Writer in April of 2012. Fiorvanti now serves as the Managing Editor of BLUFF. He's a tortured Mets and Jets fan, along with several other frustrating allegiances, but he's also a two-time defending BLUFF Fantasy Football Champion.
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