Interview With Dzmitry Urbanovich

partypoker Team pro Dzmitry Urbanovich seems to have been around for a long time, but he is still only 24 years old – as with many of modern pokers crushers Dzmitry fitting a lifetime of results and experience into less than a decade!

By: Andrew Burnett

HighStakesDB caught up with the talented and friendly Belarus-born pro to get his views on the partypoker online offerings and the ongoing WSOP – with Dzmitry throwing in a couple of recent and very strange hands he found himself in!

Q: The 50th anniversary WSOP has just kicked off – which events can we expect to see you in?

My WSOP schedule is quite similar every year. I don't play much No Limit Holdem there and I don't play outside of Rio. WSOP have a nice tournament that is not NLH pretty much every day and I enjoy other games a lot.

Q: You came very close to a WSOP bracelet last year – how painful was it to lose out heads-up (sorry for the question!) and how important is winning a bracelet?

It is ok. There was no pain at all since I played every single hand of HU perfectly and I wouldn't change any decision I made. Cards didn't go my way in HU but all the experience was surreal. Winning a bracelet is a dream and it was fantastic to come so close. I'll keep on trying to win one or more ;)

Q: How did the partypoker sponsorship come about Dzmitry?

It was unexpected! I was actively travelling from one live poker stop to another. MILLIONS Festival in Sochi, Russia was the stop where I was introduced to Tom Waters who offered me a deal and I snap called it.

Q: partypoker make you big boss for the day – what changes do you make?

I'd add mix cash games as well as tournaments. Also, maybe make a bigger special tournament on Sunday featuring a different game every week.

Q: If you had one tip for a player venturing out into live poker for the first time, what would it be?

I get asked that question quite often and my response is always the same: relax and enjoy the process!

Q: The KO Series on partypoker has just ended – how did that go for you?

I didn't have any big scores during KO Series unfortunately. I made 1 or 2 FTs and busted pretty quickly.

Q: What advice would you give for playing PKO tournaments?

You have to shove tighter with shorter stack since you have less fold equity. You can call wider facing a shove when you cover an all-in player than in regular tournament. But remember to not go too crazy in KOs - most of the prize pool is distributed at the final table anyway.

Q: Which of partypoker’s big online MTT series’ do you most look forward to?

Powerfest is the best partypoker offering at the moment in my opinion. Prize pools are huge, every day there are tournaments with over 1000 players competing and I even had a chance to win a Powerfest event. What made this victory special is that I was live streaming it as part of my $250 -> $10000 bankroll challenge!

I look forward to any MTT series with a lot of mix games in it. Unfortunately such a series is still to come, but I know the team are working on it.

I enjoy every series we have and take part even in Monster Series which has the smallest buy-ins.

Q: You are way out in front in the all-time Poland moneywinners list – is there a certain pride/responsibility in holding that spot?

I don't really see any responsibility there but it definitely feels good!

Q: Do you still have any ties to Belarus?

I have my friends and family there, so I visit my home country several times a year. A few month ago I played live poker in Minsk for the first time ever during the EAPT festival! I'll probably attend it again in future.

Q: You rose through the ranks incredibly quickly- how did that feel at a young age? How did the money affect your life?

Money made life easier, playing poker for a living was a dream and I'm happy that I was fortunate enough and things went my way.

Q: You learned the game at a young age, but at what point did you start to take poker seriously?

Once I had played my first session I felt in love with the game and couldn't wait to come back to the tables and play again. Then I realised that I have to study outside of the tables to improve my game. I tried pretty much any form of poker and started winning after about 1 year of practice. I was taking poker very seriously from the beginning.

Q: What does a typical day away from poker look like for you?

I wake up not earlier than noon, have breakfast and then I'll try to finish any unfinished tasks. If I don't feel like doing anything reasonable I might play dota 2, go outside with my girlfriend or simply waste the whole day in front of the computer doing whatever.

Q: Who is the scariest player you have ever played with?

There were a few guys who behave super-poorly when losing the hand and sort of threatened me. That was scary but luckily nothing happened in the end.

Q: What’s the most ridiculous poker game or hand you’ve been involved in?

I had two weird hands recently at the WSOP so I'll tell you about them.

We are playing FLO8, everybody folds to CO who opens, I opted in for a light 3bet on the button. At the same time I toss the chips in the dealer says stop, but it was too late as the chips were already in.

The problem was that dealer had found an extra card that was accidentally dropped from the deck at uncertain point. Floor was called and a mis-deal declared. Guy who opened had A235 and the other guy behind me had strong aces. I was doing terrible against their holdings but the hand never got any further and I saved some chips.

We are playing Fixed Limit Holdem, blinds are 1000-2000. I have T7 suited in the big blind. Guy raises from the button. I knew that he was very short, I look at his raise and ask if this is an all-in. He never responded to my question. I tried to count the amount as he put many 100 chips in. It seemed to be less than 4000 which should be the raise, so I assumed he is all in.

I called and turned over my T7 of clubs. Other players told me that he is not all-in and the guy raised his hand to demonstrate about 8000 chips behind. Don't think anything like that ever happened to me before. So now I am playing face up.

Flop came T42 which Is pretty good for me. Normally I check, here he bets 100% I raise and we get it in. However, with my hand being face up I can't check here and give him a free card.

I bet 2000 and he called. We saw 3 on the turn and I bet again. He thought for a minute or 2 and folded in the end. He had KQ, other guys checked the deck for the river card and told us that KQ would've won!

Somehow I dodged two hands that I had to lose during a 3 day period. This is crazy!

Q: If you could host a tournament anywhere in the world, and invite any 5 players, where would it be and who gets the nod?

I really liked playing poker in the Dominican Republic and I would like the Caribbean Poker Party to come back there, so why not host a tournament there. I'm not sure who would I invite, but I'm certain that my tournament wouldn't be NLH!

You can follow your Team partypoker pro and Team Online favourites here and Dzmitry’s Twitter feed here.


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