The A to Z of EPT Barcelona
We're now officially a week away from the start of the new European Poker Tour season, which kicks off in Barcelona next Wednesday with an undercard of the Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event. It got us thinking of every Barcelona event we've covered, it being the only stop to feature on the tour since it began in 2004. There were plenty of memories, an A-Z is you like. Which got us thinking again. Hang on, how about an A to Z of EPT Barcelona?
Well here it is. This doesn't really work for every event. Try doing this with Loutraki and you get to things like "S- Shoes: Many of the players wore shoes." But Barcelona, given its longevity, fits the bill. And if you can think of anything for X let us know.
A - Alexander Stevic: Right at the top, the man who won the first ever EPT Barcelona in 2004, which also happened to be the first ever EPT Main Event. Images of his emotional win pretty much started the EPT ball rolling.
B - Bjorn Erik Glenne: Winner of the third Barcelona main event, in the days when people thoughts the field of 480 was already ridiculously huge (in 2014 it was 1,496).
C - "Clock": The word that turned Santiago Terrazas, the first Spaniard to reach a Barcelona final table, in to a super villain. Called when Marc Goodwin, with a huge decision to make against Carter Phillips (later revealed to be a bluff) at the final table in 2009, had been tanking for what most observers thought was a reasonable amount of time. It threw Goodwin, but he did well to recover, finishing second (Terrazas busted in third).
D - Dawn: A time familiar to main event finalists as the moment the event usually ends. On the bright side, so to speak, it means you get to breakfast first.
E - Estrella beer: The local ale, responsible for many of the actions described here. See C, D, H, M, T, probably G and possibly X.
F - First winners: Belarus got its first EPT winner in Barcelona when Mikolai Pobal triumphed. The same goes for Norway (see B). Germany got their second winner in Barcelona (Ruthenberg) but have had the most winners overall in Spain: 3
G - Goudi: Responsible for the oddly shaped buildings scattered around Barcelona. Tragically, seeing these in the daytime during your stay means you did badly in the Main Event.
H - "Hit The Hole": The username, and call to arms of Tom Middleton, winner in Season 10. It was called out by his friends on the rail with a passion and spirit which is now bottled and sold as "Estrella beer".
I - Ivey, Phil: Ivey's first EPT and first final table who finished runner up, to the quiet disappointment of all but the Glenne family.
J - Jan Boubli: The second winner of EPT Barcelona, whose 2005 winner's check was worth €400,000 more than the amount Stevic won a year earlier.
K - Kent Lundmark: Often the forgotten Barcelona winner, but one of the most successful since, reaching 13 EPT side event final tables.
L - Las Ramblas: The famous boulevard that runs through the heart of the city, and which regardless of your mood, and time of day, apparently has something to match it.
M - "Martin, it is enough!": The plea to Martin Schleich, winner in Season 8, to wrap things up before the sun came up and beer supplies ran out. The man doing the begging? An unknown German player at the time known as Ole Schemion. Did it work? See entry for D.
N - No shorts: The rule that almost caused an international incident when first insisted on by casino security. It even applied to TV camera men whose typical day was spent lugging heavy machinery around a room with only whimsical air conditioning. The rule was "dressed down" the following year, and the air con was turned up.
O - Opener: While EPT Barcelona has appeared on every season of the EPT it has not always been the opener. In Season 6 it followed Kyiv, in Season 7 it was the fifth event, taking place in November, and in Season 8 it followed Tallinn.
P - Pobal, Mikolai: The man who denied the, shall we say spirited Finnish Duo of Ilari Sahamies and Joni Jouhkimainen. Both looked likely winners with Pobal the also-ran, until they each returned from a dinner break wearing sequined trilbies and sipping cocktails. Pobal pounced.
Q - Quarrels: There have been a few in Barcelona. Jeff Lisandro once made a remark about women, which didn't go down very well. Then there was Roland de Wolfe, in that hand against Tobias Reinkemeier in 2009. Did he muck? Look it up and decide yourself.
R - Rail: Always active, vocal and steadfast in Barcelona, even when things finish late. Especially relevant when there's a Spanish finalist.
S - Sagrada Familia: Another of Barcelona's iconic landmarks, commonly missed by the successful poker player. Still unfinished, despite construction starting in 1882.
T - Taxi rank: Often the scene of more action than the cash tables. Recrimination, near-violence, yelling, all in the early hours of the morning as tired players fight each other for the right to be denied entry into a cab by its driver.
U - Unexpected, The: The five-way-bubble-guitar-chop-sit-and-go played in the Main Event last year. With six all-ins on the bubble there followed five eliminations, but only one consolation seat to a Seminole event (along with a custom made guitar) was up for grabs. Cue an unexpected sit & go.
V - Vulture: The description of Mad Harper, current media co-ordinator but in Season 1 part of the events team, responsible for handing PokerStars baseball caps to eliminated players. In a bid to save time, Harper began standing near the short stacks, cap in hand, as they glumly set about resisting the vulture, circling, with a baseball cap.
W - When?: Will there ever be a Spanish winner? In 11 attempts they have come second twice and sent eight players to the final table (four in Season 8). But no home grown winner.
X - I have nothing for this.
Y - Youth: Of the 11 Barcelona winners nine have been in their twenties, including the youngest winner Carter Phillips, who won in Season 6, aged 20.
Z - Zoo: There is a (ahem) zoo in Barcelona.
Like the sound of this? Or at least E, G, L, and S? There's still time to win your seat to Barcelona on PokerStars, as well as all the Festival in the upcoming EPT season. All you need is sign up for a free PokerStars account and our software, which you can download here in a matter of seconds.
Maybe you'll appear on the next A to Z of Barcelona. Players with names beginning with X are strong encouraged to apply.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.