EPT Barcelona: Qualifying numbers skyrocketing

ept-thumb-promo.jpgThe European Poker Tour stop in Barcelona is always a monster. Why wouldn't it be? The beaches are grand. The food is amazing. The nightlife is worth a lifetime of stories. When qualifying opens on PokerStars, the satellites are always exceptionally popular. But this year, things are getting sort of crazy. The EPT announced today that it expects 300 people will win their main event seats through online satellites. That's almost 130 more satellite winners than last year's Barcelona event hosted.

Obviously, something is happening. EPT President Edgar Stuchly said it has a lot to do with the wide variety of buy-in levels, as well as different qualifying formats that allow players to play for only main event seats or for packages that pay for seats and expenses.

"There's also Player's Choice and Main Event Passport tournaments which allow winners to choose from a variety of Main Events to play in," he said.

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Beach time in Barcelona

This year's Barcelona festival runs August 15-25 at the Casino de Barcelona and Arts Hotel. Kicking off Season 9, the EPT will highlight its new plan to join forces with regional poker tours, in this case, the Estrellas poker tour. The partnership means players will have a chance to play 47 events over eleven days of poker. It's enough to draw some big names from the ranks of Team PokerStars Pro. The EPT said today it is expecting to host Liv Boeree, Jason Mercier, Luca Pagano, Daniel Negreanu, Pius Heinz, and Vanessa Selbst.

Welcoming them all to the Iberian Peninsula will be Spanish Pro Juan Manuel Pastor. He said, "I hope to find some time away from the tournament to check out the sights, especially the Nou Camp to watch the opening La Liga match and catch some of the Spanish Euro 2012 Champions in action."

This year's event will also see some new big events including a €50,000 Super High Roller tourney, a €10,000 Heads-Up Championship tournament, and a €10,000 NL 8-handed event.

Grospellier, the very definition of a high-rolling pro, can't wait. "I'm very excited about all the high roller action that is on the schedule for the EPT Barcelona festival. There's lots to keep players like me happy," he said.

For more information on the event, the schedule, and last-minute satellites, visit the EPT Barcelona homepage.

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in European Poker Tour