Dzmitry Urbanovich Leads POY, Six Players Crack Top 20

Dzimtry left EPT Malta with four spade trophies and the lead in POY. (Photo courtesy of PokerStars)

Dzimtry left EPT Malta with four spade trophies and the lead in POY. (Photo courtesy of PokerStars)

Dzmitry Urbanovich took over the top spot of the 2015 BLUFF Player of Year standings after a mind-bending four tournament wins in a week at the EPT Malta Festival. In one of the biggest re-shuffles of the top 20 spots, six new players joined – four of which already cracked the 400-point mark.

Atanas Kavrakov, Ivan Luca, Stephen Chidwick, Jean Montury, Andreas Samuelsson and Pratyush Buddiga are the six players new this week and Nick Petrangelo moved up to the second spot.

Three of the five largest cashes in Urbanovich’s career came at EPT Malta – the most lucrative being his High Roller win for $608,940 and 235 POY points. He bested a field that included Connor Drinnan, Petrangelo, Dani Stern and Martin Finger.

In all Urbanovich cashed six times – including two wins that he didn’t receive POY points as they didn’t meet the minimum field requirements. He won $780,649 total – more than doubling his career earnings to that point.

Petrangelo joined the top five last week after finishing fourth in the High Roller event Urbanovich won, but then he went on to final table the second High Roller event. He took sixth place for $151,781 and 85.80 POY points.

The EPT Malta Festival was, by all accounts, a massive success and the six new player in the rankings all climbed due to their success in the Mediterranean island.  Montury won the Main Event for $750,749 and 306 POY points in a marathon final table that stretched over 15 hours.

Kavrakov cashed three times in Malta for a total o five final tables in 2015. He picked up a 10th place finish in a Turbo event, then took 2nd in a Hyper Turbo event for $18,046 and then finished 9th in a Six-handed Turbo event.

Luca finished runner-up in the second High Roller event for $433,504 and 182 POY points. He has 11 cashes on the year and all of them but two are from PokerStars-branded live events from around the world – Malta, Chile, Deauville, France and the Bahamas for the PCA.

Chidwick picked up the 12th six-figure cash of his career after winning a No Limit Hold’em event in Malta for $111,326 and 156 POY points. It was his third of 2015 alone after finishing runner-up in the Macau Poker Cup High Roller and coming in 4th place in the Aussie Millions $25,000 Challenge.

Samuelsson picked up two tournament wins for virtually the same purse each time – $57,873 and $57,712. Both events were Turbos and he got 132 POY points for the first and 187 for the second.  Buddiga picked up a win for $71,486 and 132 POY points in a Six-handed Turbo event that included Dan Smith, Andrew Chen and Anton Wigg.

2015 BLUFF Player of the Year Standings (as of April 1)

  1. Dzmitry Urbanovich – 605.13 (-)
  2. Nick Petrangelo – 601.74 (+2)
  3. Anthony Zinno – 544.50 (-1)
  4. Steve O’Dwyer – 543.36 (+1)
  5. Taylor Paur – 524.14 (-2)
  6. Tom Marchese – 470.00 (-)
  7. Scott Seiver – 432.16 (-)
  8. Jose Montes – 427.25 (-)
  9. Atanas Kavrakov – 422.59 (NR)
  10. Ivan Luca – 420.20 – (NR)
  11. Stephen Chidwick – 417.88 (NR)
  12. Joe Kuether – 417.50 (-3)
  13. Yuguang Li – 409.00 (-3)
  14. Jean Montury – 406.32 (NR)
  15. Andreas Samuelsson – 373.00 (NR)
  16. Kevin Schulz – 360.00 (-5)
  17. Pratyush Buddiga – 353.80 (NR)
  18. Alexander Trevallion – 331.60 (-6)
  19. Marc Etienne McLaughlin – 328.30 (-1)
  20. Sorel Mizzi – 311.28 (-5)

Dropped from Rankings: William Miner (13th), Manny Stavropoulos (14th), Ognayan Dimov (16th), Brian Altman (17th), Ravee Mathi Sundar (19th), Aaron Mermelstein (20th)

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Paul Oresteen

Senior Writer: Paul Oresteen originally joined BLUFF in 2008 as an intern. He covered two World Series of Poker’s before leaving to join PokerNews.com. After a two year hiatus Oresteen returned to BLUFF in November 2012. Since starting as a poker journalist Oresteen has covered the World Series of Poker, WSOP Circuit, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour. He graduated from Georgia State University with a B.A. in Communications in 2008.
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