EPT11 Barcelona: Bubble boy to face the music

The highlight of today's action will come in about the second level when the bubble bursts on what has been a record EPT Main Event.

Of the 1,496 players who signed up only 239 will finish in the money, leaving the remainder to reflect somberly on a first near-miss of the season, to the cheers of those left behind.

But it might not be such bitter blow for the bubble boy this time around as there's a consolation treat in store, which may strike a soothing chord (that's a pun which will become obvious in just a second).

hard_rock_guitar_demo.jpgToby Stone -- "The Axeman" -- giving a demonstration

The bubble boy today will not in fact leave empty handed, but will instead receive a custom guitar courtesy of the Seminole Hard Rock in Florida which this month stages their Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open with a $10m guarantee, all in association with PokerStars.

This will be something of a special event, beamed live from Ft Lauderdale by the team behind EPTLive, who'll be heading on a road trip across the pond of sorts to bring their award winning coverage to poker fans around the world.

But the organisers generosity extends beyond a few strings to pluck. The bubble player today will also receive a seat in this Seminole event, a ticket worth $5,300 and a shot that enormous prize pool. In fact, it's been scientifically proven* that the best cure for bubbling an EPT is to win a very big prize next time round in a tournament you got into for free.

hard_rock_guitar.jpgThe Hard Rock guitar, gently weeping

You can find out more about the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open here, including how you too can play. For now we await the identity of the EPTs unofficial envoy. It kicks off on August 28 with the first of three starting days. Watch it all on EPTLive.

*A best guess, rather than scientifically proven.

Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below. There's also EPTLive, which is streaming action from Day 2 of the Main Event.

Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.