EPT11 Barcelona: Michael Mizrachi leads from the outset, bags biggest stack at the end

EPT100 has been a long time coming. To be precise, 3,625 days have elapsed since we all came to Barcelona in September 2004 to play the first tournament under the now-distinctive umbrella. Over the two days that it lasted, and the 98 subsequent stops, it has become the most prestigious poker tour on the planet.

You don't get many opportunities to celebrate a 100th birthday and this week in Catalonia was always going to attract the very cream of the crop. So it was that 475 players arrived to Casino Barcelona today to hear Daniel Negreanu say the words "Shuffle up and deal!" and push the EPT into triple figures.

Of course, once the formalities were out of the way, the poker was very much like it is at any top-level tournament these days. And the first player to poke his head above the parapet was Michael "The Grinder" Mizrachi, who seemed to have almost doubled his stack before most others had even posted a blind.


michael_mizrachi_ept11barce_me_d1a.jpgMichael Mizrachi: Quick out the blocks

Mizrachi is one of the most unforgiving players in world poker, especially with a big stack, and he was never out of the top three in the room from the opening moment to the closing bell. As chip-leader, with 186,600, he'll take a day off tomorrow to recharge his batteries for more of the same on Saturday.


charlie_coombes_ept11barce_me_d1a.jpgCharlie Coombes was among the leaders

Other players who lasted the day - notable either by their chip stack or their reputation - include:

Charlie Combes - 172,400
Dmitry Yurasov - 163,100
Marko Neumann - 146,200
Jens Moysich - 130,200
Benjamin Lamprecht - 120,400
Marc-Andre Ladouceur - 113,700
Mario Adinolfi - 90,800
Johnny Lodden - 89,500
Jan Heitmann - 83,600
Pierre Neuville - 82,300
Thor Hansen - 77,400
Kevin Stani - 76,900
Kent Lundmark - 70,600
Dan Shak - 61,200
Robin Ylitalo - 56,300
Ruben Visser - 55,900
Alex Kravchenko - 55,100
Shannon Shorr - 51,900
Patrick Leonard - 39,800
Josh Prager - 38,700
Joao Barbosa - 36,600
Barny Boatman - 36,400
Martin Jacobson - 34,800
Frederick Jensen - 31,100
Roberto Romanello - 24,300
Eugene Katchalov - 22,600
David Vamplew - 19,400
Konstantinos Nanos - 19,200
Fabian Quoss - 13,900
Erik Seidel - 12,300

It was not, however, great for everybody concerned. Vanessa Selbst was one of the first to lose her 30,000 stack. She was later joined on the rail by the defending champion Tom Middleton, the home favourite Adrian Mateos Diaz, the Vienna winner Oleksii Khoroshenin, Team Online's Naoya Kihara (kings into aces, ouch) and more than 180 others.

Only approximately 275 of the starting 479 played through the full eight levels. It is groundhog day tomorrow, as a fresh clutch of players arrive -- surely significantly more than played today -- will arrive and have their crack. Join us for that.

In the meantime, have a quick review of today's coverage.

We began the day by looking back on the party last night and then got to know even more about its star, DJ Sanchez. As the Main Event played out, the Estrellas Poker Tour final table got under way and then wrapped up in double-quick time, crowning Matias Ruzzi as its champion.

Edgar Stuchly and Daniel Negreanu welcomed us all to the 100th EPT event and we invited you to vote for your favourite moment from over the years. (One of my personal favourites is definitely the moment that Liv Boeree, Natalie Hof and Jan Heitmann were photo-bounced on the beach yesterday.)

Vanessa Selbst complained that nothing interesting happens before the antes came into play. It turned out that she would never actually see them.

vanessa_selbst_ept11_barcelona_day1a.jpg

Vanessa Selbst: short day

Then we checked in with a couple of stars lurking in today's field: the November Niner Bruno Politano and the man who once said he could be the best in the business, and then went on to prove it.

We asked what we might be looking out for in Season 11, including perhaps some more bonkers tweets from Leo Margets.

See you tomorrow.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour