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Poker Pro: 'Don't Remember Much Of That Night' When $2 Million Bracelet Bet Was Made

Card Player Interviews Dzmitry Urbanovich About Bet With Vanessa Selbst


A soon-to-be World Series of Poker rookie has a $2 million bonus on the line if he is able to make poker history and win three bracelets.

If Poland’s Dzmitry Urbanovich joins Puggy Pearson, Phil Hellmuth, Ted Forrest, Phil Ivey and Jeff Lisandro as the only men to win three WSOP events in a single summer he will collect the $2 million from Vanessa Selsbt. Urbanovich, who is risking $10,000 of his money, and Selbst made the bracelet bet last month while in the Bahamas for the PCA tournament series.

Even though he hasn’t been old enough to play yet at the WSOP, Urbanovich does have more than $4.2 million in lifetime tournament earnings. He won $4.1 million of his lifetime prize money in 2015, making him one of the most successful under-21 grinders in history.

In a video last month, Selbst said that Urbanovich is “so confident” despite the fact that “the true odds have to be 10,000:1 or higher” for him to win three bracelets.

In an interview with Card Player, Urbanovich agreed that he should have gotten better odds, but he’s enjoying the extra motivation the bet brings to his upcoming summer grind. He also reiterated what Selbst had said about them drinking when the bet was made.

Brian Pempus: How long did you talk about the bet before it was agreed upon?

Dzmitry Urbanovich: We made this bet during PCA one night around 4-5 a.m. It didn’t take so long. Something like 2-3 minutes. She gave me 50:1 odds, and I said that I’m not going to agree for that. Then she asked me about odds that I want. I told her that I’d like to think about it and will tell her tomorrow. She replied that if I want to have a bet with her I have to decide right now. I said, “OK, I want 200:1,” and she snapped it off. So it looks like it wasn’t hard to get way better odds for me, but whatever.

BP: Vanessa said you two were drinking. Can you talk about if alcohol played a role in the bet being made?

DU: I don’t remember much of that night (laughs).

BP: Have you made any tournament bets like this before?

DU: Not really. I only made bets on higher place on the WCOOP or SCOOP leaderboad.

BP: If you win two bracelets, do you think you will feel a lot of pressure to win three? A lot of people are rooting for you. Does that help give you motivation?

DU: Probably, yeah. I will feel a lot of pressure from the very beginning for sure. If I win two then Vanessa will feel pressure. [People rooting for me] definitely helps a lot. I believe that if a lot of people have something in their minds it could easily become real very often. Thanks to everyone who wants me to win the bet.

BP: Some people say the bet is a bad one for Vanessa because the $10,000 doesn’t mean much for her. Do you agree?

DU: I don’t know, you have to ask her that question.

BP: Are you going to multi-table events at the WSOP?

DU: Yeah, it is possible for sure. I’m still waiting for the official schedule to make a game plan.

BP: How many events do you think you can feasibly play?

DU: I’m not sure, it really depends. I can tell you now that want to play all of $10,000 Championships…I’ve been playing [the mixed games] for a long time; I hope I’m good at it.

BP: How is the bet going to change your strategy at final tables?

DU: Firstly, I have to make some of them. I’m really not sure about that. Obviously I’m not going to wait for pay jumps between fifth and fourth places. Basically my goal is always to win, so it probably won’t change my strategy a lot.

BP: It would be poker history if you win three. What would this mean for you?

DU: A lot!

BP: Are you going to be disappointed if you don’t win this bet?

DU: It depends. If I don’t win any bracelets at WSOP 2016 it would be like whatever. However, if I win two and then lose heads-up [for the third] it will be different.

BP: Would winning just one bracelet this summer still be acceptable?

DU: It depends which event and my overall results. I am still open for some WSOP bets. Could bet on WSOP PoY, bracelets or final tables, whatever. Contact me via twitter if interested @urbanovich_dima.