EPT11 Barcelona: Estrellas sets new records as 2,560 become 810 on Day 2
While the Super High Rollers play on they are surrounded by what remains of the Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event, which now enters its second day.
You might already have heard, but the Estrellas main event piqued the interest from the poker community, both within Spain and without. So much so that the field that combined over three starting days became the biggest in ESPT history. Wait, make that PokerStars history: 2,560 players, is the biggest freezeout tournament PokerStars has ever staged.
That followed a few other highlights, the previous record being set at the BSOP event in Sao Paulo, Brazil last November, which boasted a field of 2,131. Then came the Beijing Millions last month. That had a foundations-creaking 2,732 players, but crucially this included a good many re-entries.
As far as freezeouts go, this is as good as it gets --so far.
The Barcelona festival continues to be a popular jumping off point for the season, a view no doubt shared overnight by chip leader Emma Wikberg, from Sweden, who bagged up 268,200 and the lead last night.
Wikberg, 32, is part of a close community of women players in Stockholm, having taking up the game back in 2004. She's now a regular in the cardrooms there, although she has not been as active in this past year since the birth of her first child.
But her return to the game has been with aplomb, with her seat in Barcelona won via a satellite in Stockholm. The year off seems to have worked.
She leads the 810 players returning today, with a top ten looking like this:
Emma Wikberg (Sweden) 268,200
Liran Machluf (Israel) 239,300
Marcos Fernandez (Spain) 239,000
Jason Wheeler (USA) 216,500
Kasper Linneman (Denmark) 211,900
Endre Sagstuen (Norway) 210,000
Daniel Reijmer (Netherlands) 209,300
Steven Tabb (Portugal) 195,400
Fernando Rodriguez (Spain) 195,200
Denys Chufarin (Ukraine) 191,700
In terms of the field it's still heavily stacked, as you'd expect from a field that is still the size of an EPT event. No fewer than 11 EPT champions remain, including Mikalai Pobal (127,400), Pieter de Korver (86,600), Kevin Stani (83,200), Roberto Romanello (69,500), Mickey Petersen (66,600), Ruben Visser (49,400), Anton Wigg (45,500), Christophe Benzimra (38,800), Kent Lundmark (38,800), Dimitar Danchev (32,300) and Robin Ylitalo (14,300).
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.