EPT Barcelona: Day 1B begins
"It looks like a bit of a tougher field today," understated a PokerStars colleague here in Barcelona.
And he's right.
One of the common trends during these multi-tiered first days is a tendency for the well-known touring pros to sit out the early exchanges, forsaking a day off in the middle of the tournament for a one night fewer away from home.
That usually means precisely what has transpired here: around the 30 or so tables in the Gran Casino Barcelona is assembled one of the most glittering fields in world poker.
Let's just take a quick look around:
Representing Team PokerStars today we have:
Daniel Negreanu (Canada) -- Team PokerStars' latest addition is making his debut on the EPT. But with three WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles, he has the chance to complete a unique hat-trick here in Barcelona.
Greg Raymer (USA) -- Fossilman is yet to cash in an EPT event, but the 2004 World Champion remains one of the most feared players in any field.
Humberto Brenes (Costa Rica) -- Two WSOP bracelets, three WPT final tables, a sun visor, moustache and trademark plastic sharks. You know who we're talking about.
Isabelle Mercier (Canada) -- "No Mercy" has shown characteristically little mercy on the European Poker Tour and has cashed three times with one final table appearance.
Luca Pagano (Italy) -- Among the most successful EPT players, Luca made two final tables in season one and has four other cashes in EPT events.
PokerStars sponsored pro:
Dario Minieri (Italy) -- Undoubtedly one of the most exciting players on the tour, this PokerStars Supernova is always one to watch.
Among the others:
Johnny Chan (USA) -- Few players need less introduction than the 10-time WSOP bracelet winner. But he's a rookie here. It's the Orient Express's first EPT appearance.
John Shipley (England) -- Made the World Series main event final table in 2002, and won the first EPT event to be held in London. Here, he's a PokerStars qualifier.
David Colclough (Wales) -- Among the most well-respected and most feared British pros. A former European player of the year with 16 cashes in World Series events.
Marcel Luske (Holland) -- The Flying Dutchman has been on two EPT final tables, including the Grand Final in season two. Mentor to PokerStars' own Noah Boeken.
Juha Helppi (Finland) -- Ten WSOP cashes and a WPT title for this highly-ranked Finnish player.
Praz Bansi (England) -- World Series bracelet winner in 2006, highly ranked British player.
Liz Lieu (USA) -- A "spectators' favourite", Lieu has amassed more than $500,000 in tournament winnings including three cashes in World Series events.
Alexander Stevic (Sweden) -- Winner of the first ever EPT event in Barcelona in 2004, Stevic followed up with third place in the season one Grand Final.
Ben Grundy (England) -- Four cashes on the EPT for the Milky Bar Kid, including seventh and tenth places in successive Monte Carlo Grand Finals.
Jonas Molander (Sweden) -- Ninth in Dublin during season two; twelfth in London and seventh in Baden during season three. One of the EPT's most consistent performers.
Theo Jorgensen (Denmark) -- Two EPT final table appearances in season two and three.
Peter Eichhardt (Sweden) -- Two final table appearances, in Deauville in season one, and Baden last year.
Fabrice Soulier (France) -- Three World Series final tables and a string of cashes across Europe.