ESPT6 Barcelona: The bandwagon gets bigger as Day 1C of Estrellas begins
Yesterday afternoon PokerStars Blog was musing aloud about the possibility of 3,000 players entering the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event, the €1K no-limit hold'em freezeout tournament highlighting the early part of this year's European Poker Tour Barcelona schedule.
There had been 592 runners for Day 1A on Wednesday, and another 1,122 for yesterday's Day 1B. "The Estrellas field is growing to the point where the idea of a 3,000-player turnout is starting to be bandied about," we said.
At the time we felt like we'd been among the first to begin the bandying. But as Day 1C -- the final starting flight -- begins, everyone seems now to be on the bandying bandwagon.
Over the last couple of days, the Casino Barcelona Twitter account has been inviting folks to guess what the Estrellas field size might be. Early on Neymar Jr Charity Home Game winner Steve O'Dwyer and Friend of PokerStars Felipe "Mojave" Ramos were already thinking big.
Then the over-3,000 bandwagon started to get crowded, not unlike the 105-table poker room that was filled to capacity during yesterday's Daly 1B.
Indeed, there's a parallel of sorts between growing speculation about a big field and the actual growth of that field. More players registering encourages super-sized predictions. It also encourages more to sign up to play, thanks to the attraction of an ever-expanding prize pool.
This morning Head of Live Poker Operations in PokerStars Europe Neil Johnson was asked for his final field size prediction. Now that we think about it, it was Johnson had been one of those leading the way with those three thousand thoughts.
If Johnson is close with his prediction of 3,322, that'll make three straight years the event has grown by around 800 players:
EPT9 (ESPT Season 3) -- 1,036 (€1,004,940)
EPT10 (ESPT Season 4) -- 1,798 (€1,743,090)
EPT11 (ESPT Season 5) -- 2,560 (€2,483,200)
EPT12 (ESPT Season 6) -- ???
And remember, this is not a reentry event -- we're talking uniques, here. And one unique event, too.
Johnson's estimation also means around 1,600 players playing Day 1C. With that possibility in mind, the forward-looking festival planners have cleared out the schedule a bit as far as other events are concerned, with only Flight 1E of the Barcelona Cup and a couple more satellites in action today.
They're making announcements in the tournament room as we write, and there's anticipation in the air. From the first two Day 1 flights, 496 players made it through to tomorrow's Day 2, with the young Spaniard Pablo Gordillo currently the biggest-stacked among them with 353,100.
Stay tuned to see who wins the guessing game. Then continue to stick close as we find out together who wins that other game -- the one thousands are playing with cards and chips -- as the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event and EPT12 Barcelona festival rolls forward.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.