EPT Barcelona: The last break of the day

The tournament is currently in a 15 minute break before level seven begins. As yesterday, we're playing eight levels which means two more hours of play, taking us to about 1.15am. As the alarm sounded to signal the end of the level, there were 174 players remaining. The chip leader, as he has been for quite some time, still seems to be the young Frenchman Brice Cournut, who rocketed towards 70,000 within a couple of levels and has stayed there until now.

Also close to the top is the Spanish player Aniol Alcaraz, who neatly stacked about 50,000 before the break. Stevie Chidwick has made a surge back from less than 5,000 to nearer 25,000 while the final Team PokerStars Pro in the field, Dario Minieri, has around about 29,000.

The fact that Minieri is flying solo means that all of Katja Thater, Luca Pagano and William Thorson have departed on a brutal day for the Team.

But some of the other leading lights in European poker are cosying up on table 10. There, the double EPT award winner Julian Thew is chatting away to Thierry van den Berg, a player of the year nominee after becoming a fixture on final tables last season. They're also joined there by the Million Dollar Man Peter Eastgate, one of two players from that World Series final table keeping in shape here in Barcelona.

Million Dollar Eastgate

Thew doesn't have many chips - about 5,000 - but Van Den Berg and Eastgate are faring better. Each has the right side of 25,000.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour