EPT8 Madrid: No title for Spain as Ibanez's run comes to an end


Throughout the entire day the row of Spanish reporters in the media room have been buoyant. Once more they were in good position to see one of their own win an EPT, a Spaniard on home soil no less. But with the departure of their man Ricardo Ibañez, that hope is no more.

Gone are the exclamation marks and adjectives from their copy, back are the non-descript nouns, descriptions of hands played by men they don't know in a tournament they no longer care for. There were seven here earlier, now there are just two. They've gone quiet too. It's hard not to feel sorry for them.

Say it ain't so Ricardo

Ibañez was not supposed to bust in fifth place. The overwhelming chip leader coming into the day, who bludgeoned his way to the front yesterday, was supposed to deliver for the home crowd. Instead he allowed his advantage to wane, and despite best efforts, could not stop the rot.

There have been 79 main events in the history of the EPT prior to this and not one of them has been won by a Spaniard. Some have come close but that last step toward greatness has always been too much, and Spanish poker fans are forced to wait a little longer.

Not that they stuck around. The once small but loud when they needed to be crowd has now disappeared, dissolving into the other corners of the casino or leaving entirely. Looking around there are a few French railbirds, and a Dane here and there, but not the Spanish, although one chap with white hair and in a sports coat, who looks local, eating 'Bugles' corn snacks out of a cup, watches anyway. He possibly has nowhere else to go.

Tournament snapshot
Level 29: blinds 40,000-80,000, ante 10,000
Players: 4 of 477
Average stack: 3,577,500
Click here for live coverage and more features.