EPT10 Barcelona: Big names, big numbers for High Roller

With characteristic understatedness, the €10,000+€300 High Roller has been quietly rolling along today on the opposite side of the large room in which Day 4 of the Main Event has continued somewhat more raucously.

They've reached the dinner break with most of the 133 entries for the High Roller thus far still with chips after six one-hour levels. That's a big jump from the 101 entries of a year ago when Laurent Polito won the event.

Not everyone has survived the day unscathed, however, and indeed there was a bit of noise to interrupt the tourney's relative calm earlier this afternoon in connection with the early elimination of Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu.

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Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu

It was during the second level of the day that a hand arose in which Negreanu posted his small blind, then was standing behind his chair and engaged in conversation with the neighboring table when he noticed the dealer mucking his cards.

Negreanu reacted with displeasure, calling the floor staff over to complain both about the "At Your Seat" rule and its application in this instance. That's the rule that begins "A player must be at his or her seat when the dealer delivers the first card off of the deck in order to have a live hand."

In other words, in the dealer's view, Negreanu's standing had thus affected his standing in the hand, and his cards had been mucked.

After discussion with the floor, the dealer's decision stood. Still unhappy, Negreanu decided to open-push the following hand from the button without even checking his cards, committing the 22,000 or so he had left (just under half the starting stack). He got a caller in Timothy Adams from the small blind who held 7♦7♠, Negreanu tabled his hand to show he'd been dealt A♥3♥, and when the community cards brought him no improvement, Negreanu made a somewhat stormy exit.

He's indicated an intention to re-enter, however, as the tourney does allow those who bust one change to buy their way back in, so we expect to see more of Negreanu before Day 1 is done.

Meanwhile, as expected there are a number of other Team PokerStars Pros involved in this one. Jonathan Duhamel has taken a seat after finishing third in a €2,000 No-Limit Hold'em side event just a short while ago. And Jason Mercier and Eugene Katchalov are among those focusing their energies today on the High Roller.

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Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov

Mickey Petersen of Team Online is in the field as well, as is Team PokerStars Pro Maxim Lykov, here working on his peripheral vision.

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Maxim Lykov

Vanessa Selbst was an entrant, too, although along with Negreanu, Richard Yong, and Byron Kaverman, she was an early knockout this afternoon.

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Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst

Her teammate Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier also was sent railward just before the dinner bell rang. Meanwhile there several other familiar faces remain in the event, including a couple with High Roller successes on their résumés.

One is Dan Smith who a year ago won the €50,000 Super High Roller here in Barcelona.

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Dan Smith

Benny Spindler is playing today, too. The German has several deep finishes in high buy-in events to his credit, including EPT High Roller wins at EPT8 Tallinn and EPT9 Sanremo

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Benny Spindler

The footballer Gerard Piqué whom we saw earlier in the week in the Main Event is taking a shot here in the High Roller as well.

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Gerard Piqué

A number of players have taken turns atop the leaderboard during the first six levels, with Jose Manuel Nadal, Martin Jacobson, and Sam Greenwood all building big stacks thus far. Right now the Russian Igor Kurganov enjoys the chip lead going to break as the only player with more than 200,000 among the 103 players still alive.

As the night plays out, be sure to look up top on the High Roller landing page for live updates, chip counts, and more.

Click through to live coverage of the EPT Barcelona Main Event or the EPT Barcelona High Roller. Check out all the festival results here or take a look at what happened in the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.

Martin Harris
@hardboiledpoker in High Roller