EPT12 Barcelona: Razz appreciation
"Credit to the Hendon Mob guys!"
So declared Neil Johnson, Head of Live Poker Operations for PokerStars Europe, while entering the media room just a short while ago.
Along with Johnson, we'd all been occasionally eyeing the far right corner of the poker room where a few tables had been earmarked for today's €5K razz event. While we knew the Estrellas Main Event -- taking up nearly half of the huge playing area -- would be huge, we weren't so sure about the turnout for the one featuring a higher buy-in and lesser-played variant.
Johnson, however, had been curious in a different way about how big the tournament was. With a €5,000 + €300 buy-in, could it be that the tournament featured the third-largest buy-in ever for a razz event behind the two $10K ones at the World Series of Poker won by Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer (in 2014) and Phil Hellmuth (in 2015)?
Johnson tweeted his query, and soon had his response.
There were only a few players gathered for the start of the event, but gradually more arrived to fill out a couple of those corner tables. With late registration having just closed, 14 total are taking part, including several formidable foes among them.
The German Tobias Hausen is there, a player whose tourney accomplishments includes a victory in a razz side event last year at EPT11 Malta.
Hausen's fellow countryman and EPT11 London Main Event champion Sebastian Pauli is also part of the field. He finished fourth in a $2,500 razz event at the 2013 WSOP.
Two more Germans are in the field -- Jens Lakemeier, who won a £1K PLO side event at EPT10 London, and Thomas Butzhammer, who finished 14th in the 2015 WSOP $10K razz event. So is the Russian, Sergey Rybachenko, and EPT Season 11 Player of the Year Dzmitry Urbanovich of Poland.
It seemed like Urbanovich won everything there was on the EPT last year -- even a Crazy Pineapple event -- but he hasn't a razz cash yet on his resume. We'll keep a watch to see how good he is at making bad hands.
If he can, he'll have picked a nice time to earn such a cash. After all, it has been verified -- it's the third-biggest buy-in razz event in history!
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.