Mysterious poker player takes the EPT by storm and over the course of 15 months final tables High Rollers and Super High Rollers for fun before bagging first major European title early in 2016. No we’re not talking about Dzmitry Urbanovich, but Ivan Luca.
Tonight in Rozvadov he added a Eureka title to the WSOP bracelet he won in 2015 and took his live tournament earnings for 2016 to almost $1,000,000.
The Argentinian entered the final table as chip leader and it was always going to take something, or someone, special to stop him. By the time heads-up play began it was only his special someone who could deny him the title as he faced off against his girlfriend Maria Lampropoulos. She may not be as experienced as Luca in big buy-in tournaments but she can play, she can play very well as evidenced by her runner-up finish in a WPT National event in Brussels at the end of February.
So whoever loses has to do the washing up for a month right?
When heads-up play began Luca had the chip lead but soon lost it. Then he made a straight to her top pair, top kicker to take a big lead. When Lampropoulos made a straight of her own it would prove to be her downfall as Luca had rivered a flush. He shoved, she called and after 90 minutes of back and forth it was all over.
Fancy meeting you here
It’s impossible to go any further at this point without mentioning the part David Urban played in this final table. When three-handed play began at 4:20pm CET he had the chip lead. He didn’t lose that lead until 8:15pm and barely put a foot wrong despite being up against the two Argentinian’s. Forty minutes later he was out in third place for €54,800 and wondering what might have been.
It wasn’t the money he was funking over though. “I really wanted to play Luca heads-up to play against a really top opponent,” he told us. With an attitude like that we suspect we’ll see more of Urban in the future.
On another day Urban may well have won
The blow-by-blow account
There were eight players left when play got under way today and this is how they lined up.
FINAL TABLE SEAT DRAW
The elite eight
Despite a couple of short-stacks I don’t think anyone could have predicted the whirlwind start to proceedings as four players were eliminated in the opening 15 minutes. Hannes Speiser busted on the very first hand when he shoved K♥ Q♠ into Luca’s A♣ J♦ .
Speiser – bust on the first hand
Ace-jack didn’t work out so well for Robert Kokoska as he ran into the pocket kings of Lampropoulos, to finish seventh. A few minutes later Mick Heder picked the wrong time to shove for 20 big blinds with K♥ J♥ as Luca woke up with aces. When Stoyan Stefanov lost a race with pocket fives to the A♠ K♣ of Urban we wondered if we might be done in record time.
Seventh place for Kokoska…
…Heder followed soon after in sixth…
…and then Stoyan, all in 15 minutes!
In those opening 15 minutes Peter Siemund had earned €29,000 without playing a hand but his run would end in fourth place when he got very unlucky in a hand against Urban. The German flopped top pair and Urban – who’d three-bet out of position pre-flop – continued his aggression post-flop by setting Siemund all-in on the turn with just ace high and a gutshot straight draw. Siemund had seven outs to dodge then but an ace on the river sent him out in fourth.
Siemund busted in a sick hand
So that left us with just three. For the vast majority of three-handed play Urban was in control. He had over 50% of the chips in play for large swathes of the four and a half hours it took to go from three to two. Play slowed dramatically at this point with only one all-in and call – which ended in a chop – before Urban’s exit in third. He can be proud of his performance today and impressed everybody, not only in the way he played but in how he handled being up against Luca and Lampropoulos when play was three handed.
Urban – a classy competitor
So that left us with the rare heads-up of boyfriend vs girlfriend and they struck a chip-chop deal before play started, leaving €5,000 and household bragging rights on the line. It took 90 minutes of play but eventually Luca’s experience deep in big tournaments told and he prevailed to win a major title and add to his glowing reputation. As for Lampropoulos, she’s having a breakout year of her own and has recorded her highest ever cash for the second time in a fortnight. Eureka6 Rozvadov Main Event Dates: March 4-8, 2016 Buy in: €1,100 Players: 682 Prize pool: €661,540