EPT12 Barcelona: Waiting for another record to break
Whilst a media scrum was breaking out around the €25,000 buy-in, single day High Roller, the Main Event was playing out in a more sedate atmosphere.
About 10 seconds prior to the entrance of Neymar Jr, Jake Cody strode into the tournament room to take his seat in the Main Event, a Barcelona shirt tied round his waist. "I'm hoping to get it signed later," he said. The triple-crown winner had arrived about 30 minutes late and was one of 941 players already in their seat by that point.
It all means that when you add them to the 459 who played yesterday, that after less than half the opening level of Day 1B this tournament is rapidly closing in on breaking the record for biggest EPT in Europe. That number stands at 1,496, which was set last year here in Barcelona. If, or more likely when, this tournament eclipses that number then it won't have far to go to top the all-time record, which stands at 1,560 and was set at the PCA in Season 7.
There's been a number of very quick exits down the years in EPT Main Events, but 40 minutes into Day 1B all bums were still on seats. They included plenty of big names of course. The random seat draw had seen fit to sit two members of Team Pro Online at the same oval, as Marc-Andre 'FrenchDawg' Ladouceur and Mikhail 'innerpsy' Shalamov are in seats eight and one respectively at table four.
They aren't the only members of Team Pro Online in the field as Liliya Novikova, who's already had a deep run this week in the Estrellas Main Event, is playing today and she's got Team PokerStars Pro's Vanessa Selbst to contend with at table 26.
ElkY is amongst the EPT champions playing today, he cashed in the €2,000 Estrellas High Roller yesterday, there's no sign of Andre Lettau yet, which means the defending champion might not defend his title, but Tom Middleton, who triumphed in Season 10 is back for more, we spotted him chatting to WSOP Braclet winner Craig McCorkell. A strong British contingent has been bolstered by a rare appearance from JP Kelly on the EPT. He finished 10th at EPT10 Deauville, but has been spending a lot of time in Macau recently.
Other notables that we spotted included: Martin Kabrhel (laptop under his arm), Pieter De Korver, Niall Farrell and Dermot Blain.