EPT11 Barcelona: The new Season has started, brought to you by...
The end of this first Season 11 festival is in sight, the conclusion of what has been a record breaking EPT100.
The Tour itself has evolved massively in the past ten years. From its first days here in Casino Barcelona, where a small corner of the actual casino floor was sufficient to seat everyone, to the present, where two opening days are required in a conference centre to have any chance of fitting everybody in.
There have been other key changes, not least in terms of sponsorship, which seemed unthinkable back in the early days of the tour but is now a common sight at EPTs with major brands from both within the industry and without, joining forces with the Tour.
This year there are several such high profile sponsors, each making life at little easier for EPT players, from payment provision, software tracking, headphones and even chocolate.
One of the most familiar is Skrill, who are back as the Official Payment Provider for EPT Season 11 and who are running a series of freerolls over the course of the season that could earn you two nights in a luxury hotel and a chance to meet and learn from Team PokerStars Pros.
It's a contest available to anyone who makes a deposit using the bonus code SKRILLEPT. You'll then gain entry into a freeroll tournament with some great prizes up for grabs. Check out the details here.
While you're playing that you might want to listen to a little music. That's where Skullcandy come in, presenting their new Crusher headphones to all EPT qualifiers as the Official Audio Sponsor for EPT Season 11.
These headphones, which provide a unique #bassyoucanfeel experience, are perfect if you like the walls to shake when you listen to music. As we detailed earlier this week they're quickly becoming the sought after item almost based on rumour alone. These alone are a pretty good reason to qualify for an EPT Main Event. Look out for the "Crusher face" on those trying them out for the first time.
SLYDE continue their association with the EPT, presenting one of their unique watches worth €6,000 to the Main Event winner as the official watch sponsor for EPT Season 11, their third season working with the EPT.
This year you have double the chance to win one of these magnificent time pieces. All you have to do is win a Main Event to collect one in the Black and Steel design, or if you prefer, take down the High Roller instead to win the classic steel version. Those interested in winning the EPT Grand Final should note that the winner will be presented with the SLYDE Black and Rose Gold design, worth €9,000.
If you're not looking at your new SLYDE watch, you might be looking instead at your online statistics, which this year you can do thanks to Poker Tracker, who enter their second season as the Official Tracking Software of the EPT Season 11. If you're unfamiliar with the services they offer you can download a 30 day trial and check it out.
To the sound of much rejoicing by sweet-toothed poker players everywhere, Suesswaren Grasel are the Official Chocolate Partner of EPT Season 11, providing chocolate galore as they host a special event at each EPT festival--the "Grasel Sweets Superstack". This €200 + €20 NL tournament, the first of which takes place at 8pm tonight, will include free chocolate, dished out from 7pm. A sweetener if you will.
All of which will take place on the poker tables provided by Tables Win, the official poker table provider of EPT Season 11 , without whose efforts and handiwork all of the above would be nigh on impossible.
Just some of the bonuses you can expect this Season.
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 5 of the Main Event.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.