Luis Rufas raises roof at raucous EPT Barcelona Day 1B
You've thrown a party, and although it seemed to go reasonably well you were a little miffed to see it eclipsed by your neighbor's bash the very next night. While you cobbled together a few friends to enjoy a couple of polite drinks and some light snacks, the bloke next door crammed the whole street into his house for crates of booze, a live band, fast food... and even faster women. Same idea, different outcome.
How on earth does that little anecdote relate to EPT Barcelona? Well, bear with me. You see, while for all intents and purposes today's Day 1B should have been much like yesterday's Day 1A, they couldn't have been more different. Yesterday was quiet and reserved, with only 263 replying to the party invitation; today, word had spread like wildfire and 495 turned up to rock and roll. If Day 1A was your party, today was the raucous all-nighter next door.
Of those still partying at play's end tonight, Luis Rufas had grabbed more chips than anyone, bagging up 232,100, putting him ahead of Day 1A leader Loic Sa who had 217,700. The Spaniard is no stranger to going deep here in Barcelona where last year he made it to 41st for €18,000. With the way he disposed of others today, including EPT Vilamoura winner Toby Lewis, you wouldn't bet against Rufas being around at the business end later this week.
You have to go a fair way back to find his challengers in American PokerStars player Zachary Korik (183,000), Team PokerStars Pro Leo Fernandez (164,400), Haykel Vidal (160,000), Jairo Pascual Borras (159,800), Roberto Romanello (159,200), Shander de Vries (151,300) and Max Greenwood (150,500). Around 275 made it through, which together with Day 1A's survivors means we'll have around 400 back tomorrow.
It's fair to say Team PokerStars Pros like to party, none more so than Liv Boeree, who lasted the pace with (29,600). Also through are ElkY (88,000), Team PokerStars Online's Jorge Arias (57,900), Johnny Lodden (53,400), Alex Kravchenko (50,300), Max Lykov (39,500), Toni Judet (36,900), Noah Boeken (30,800), Jude Ainsworth (25,000) and Marcel Luske (18,000).
But while they managed to stomach all the party food, other Team Pros got a little unwell after scoffing too many sausage rolls, or in Daniel Negreanu's case the tofu wraps. They had to leave early for bed. Negreanu never really got going, missing a succession of draws, the last being a missed flopped flush draw against Jan Collado's two pair. More exits came in the various shapes of new boy Theo Jorgensen, Angel Guillen, John Duthie, Nacho Barbero, and the three Italians Dario Minieri, Salvatore Bonavena and Luca Pagano. Pagano was particularly unfortunate, with most of his chips going with a full house vs. a bigger full house. The rest went soon after in a straight race.
Of those coming back, only 112 will make it into the money spots, with the winner getting a hefty €825,000. That, though, is a long way off. We've got a few more days of partying to get through first. Who has the constitution to make it all the way?
We'll be back at noon tomorrow to get a little closer to the answer. But before then, you can take a leisurely look back at the carnage that was Day 1B by clicking on any, or preferably all, of the links below. Hell, you could go wild by clicking them all several times.
You'll find selected chip counts over on the chip count page, and these will be replaced by the official overnight list shortly. The full list of prizes can be found on the, er, prizes page, while a selection of videos can be found on the--for goodness sake-- videos page.
And if that isn't enough to drive you to distraction, then you can enjoy it all over again in an array of baffling languages. Our foreign cousins are here pretending to work hard but, quite frankly, they could be writing any old drivel and we'd be none the wiser. Check out our party dishes served as Spanish omelette, Swedish ice-cream, German sausage, Dutch 'herbs', Italian ravioli, and Greek vine leaves.
Hope you enjoyed the party. Let's do it all again tomorrow.
All photos (c) Neil Stoddart