EPT12 Barcelona: We're going to need a bigger boat

Whilst the record breaking Estrellas Main Event continues and takes up the vast majority of the main tournament room, if you head to the top left of the cavernous tournament area you'll find eight tables reserved for the €50,000 Super High Roller (don't forget the unlimited re-entries). However, more may soon be needed as this event is rapidly closing in on breaking its own record. "The record for unique players in this event is 58," said PokerStars VIP Host Garry Gates to the PokerStars Blog. "We're already at 52 players and we're only 20 minutes in," he added before joking with a member of tournament staff that they might well need a ninth table.

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Garry Gates chats to Mike McDonald

As for the eight already in use, as you'd imagine they're already well stocked with the great and the good of the poker scene although if you look close enough you'll see the occasional 'first timer' too. Those players aren't green at the gills though, but simply playing their first event of this magnitude. One such player sits at the same table as Max Silver, who himself was the 'new guy' just four months ago when he stepped up to the plate to play the €100,000 Super High Roller at the EPT Grand Final.

Since then Silver's snagged himself a high roller title, winning a big event at The Aria over the summer and Scott 'Aggro Santos' Margereson will be hoping for something similar to happen to him here in Barcelona. Whilst his biggest live cash of $51,082 doesn't even cover this event's buy-in he's had rather more success online where his tracked cashes total almost $3,000,000. That total includes two WCOOP titles in 2014 and a Sunday Million win.

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Super High Roller newcomer Scott Margereson

He showed some of the smarts that have earned him such success in an early hand against Haralabos Voulgaris, who's making a rare tournament appearance here in Barcelona. After Margereson opened to 2,500, Voulgaris three-bet to 6,000 and Margereson smooth called. Voulgaris continued for 8,000 on the T♣6♦J♦ flop and Margereson made the call. Neither player bet the 2♦ turn but Margereson fired out a bet of 14,500 on the A♦ river. This sent Voulgaris into the tank he emerged with a call but mucked when Margereson showed K♠K♦.

A good start for Margereson then, but the same can't be said of Silver who lost two pots in the opening 15 minutes. In the first he tangled with Adrian Mateos, the EPT12 Grand Final winner is looking for back to back victories on the EPT and took an early pot from Silver when he called his river bet on a 2♣T♠3♥4♦9♣ board with J♥9♥, which was good. Since his win in Monte Carlo the Spaniard has turned 21, just in time to cash in the WSOP Main Event and he's also already had success at this stop of the tour finishing third in a €2,000 turbo event.
Silver also lost one to Nick Petrangelo when, in a blind on blind, confrontation, the American overbet the pot on the river and got Silver to tank fold.

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Mateos - picking up where he left off

Understandably that table isn't the only 'ridiculous' table in the room. Want one containing both the Super High Roller and High Roller champions from the EPT11 Grand Final? You got it, Charlie Carrel and Erik Seidel are sat at the same table, Seidel is in a Greenwood sandwich as brothers Max and Sam are either side of him.

Everywhere you turn the names - Mike McDonald, Philipp Gruissem, Ike Haxton, Ole Schemion, Steve O'Dwyer - keep coming so expect more stacked tables to emerge as the day goes on.

To get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts from EPT12 Barcelona, don't forget to download the EPT App on both Android or IOS.

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Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour