EPT Barcelona: The strongest have survived

By the end of day two in any major tournament, we have usually separated the men from the boys. We have watched the cream rise to the top, others depart into the sunset; survivors battle back from just a chip and a chair, other self implode under the strain. Yes, we've usually swallowed a big book of cliches and are reduced to belching them onto the page.

But they're cliches because they're true, and when the dust settled on a chaotic day (cliche count: 4) of EPT Barcelona, the survivors knew they might have climbed one of the highest mountains, but that it is still uphill from here (5, 6). There were 36 left from the starting field of 203, all in the money and all well worthy of the profit they've already made from their excursion to Catalunya. But the charge tomorrow is for the final table, where the really big bucks await.

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Team PokerStars Pro Chad Brown will know all about this, having been in a similar position on countless previous occasions. The former Player of the Year in the American rankings has one of the best tournament records in poker today, and now he's right near the summit of the overnight EPT chip count.

Watch EPT Barcelona 2008 Day 2 Chad brown on PokerStars.tv

Brown bagged up just more than 250,000 chips tonight, which puts him in the top ten. As ever, those counts will be with us overnight, and they'll appear round about HERE as soon as we have them.

Also on that leaderboard will be the German trio of Michael Keiner, Dren Ukella and the PokerStars Shooting Star Sebastian Ruthenberg. Ruthenberg was the chip leader starting today but coped well with what is often an albatross around many a player's neck (cliche: 7) and stayed there or thereabouts for the entire time, eventually bagging up more than 320,000. Davidi Kitai, from Belgium, is the gatecrasher in the German party. He flew to the overall chip lead, broke through the half-million mark, and is up to 544,000. The PokerStars player Jason Mercier is still on for an historic double EPT crown (8? Yeah, 8), while the Italian Daniele Mazzia is up there too.

Also flying high is the PokerStars qualification machine Stevie Chidwick, who has more than 350,000.

But everyone still in this tournament still has a chance. They can still either prosper or be punished by the poker gods (9) when they return tomorrow. They'll play all the way down to a final table when they reconvene at 3pm CET on Saturday. Join us here.

(Incidentally, the list of names HERE have already taken their money and walked. Go on, have a quick click and see who's won what.)

In the meantime, take a look back at today's action in any variety of European tongue. Roll up, roll up for Spanish, Swedish, German and Italian. All of the English action can be reviewed with any of these links:

Things about to heat up on day 2
The deluge begins
Up to the level nines
One-man wrecking machine
Dispatches from the tournament floor
Poker camp calm before the storm
Busy, busy, busy
You win some, you win some more
Talking Italian with Luca Pagano
End of the road for Akkari
To the point
Money on the horizon
Brown flying solo
Slow down
Video dump
Down to the bubble
Give me the money
Building towers

Video action is always available at PokerStars.tv, like this interview with Ramzi Jelassi about his tournament:

Watch EPt Barcelona 2008 Day 2 Ramzi Jelassi on PokerStars.tv

and, indeed, this one with Denes Kalo:

Watch EPT Barcelona 2008 Day 2 Denes Kalo on PokerStars.tv

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour