EPT10 Barcelona: Dragan Kostic roars to Day 1A Main Event lead
If we've come to understand one thing during the past ten years on the European Poker Tour, it's that it's not exactly easy to win two Main Event titles. Some have come close, but no-one has breached this last barrier. But when Alexander Stevic sat down today more than a few people thought they'd like it to be him.
Season 1 champion: Alex Stevic
The Swede, who now lives in Madrid, was one of 518 players taking a seat today. Unlike many though, Stevic thrived, bagging up 103,900 tonight as his quest for a remarkable double continues.
While that's good to be among the leaders, it's not quite top spot. Instead, that is in the hands of Dragan Kostic who finished on 215,000 at the conclusion of eight levels. Kostic played a blinder, but has a previous on home soil, finishing second to Martin Schleich in Season 8, the closest a Spaniard has come to an EPT title*.
Dragan Kostic leads
Not far behind were the likes of Niclas Adoltsson (147,400), Jacob Rasmussen (128,300) and Albert Daher (127,700), among the leaders of the 308 players who survived today and who will return for Day 2 on Tuesday.
First though will come the conclusion of the opening day. Regular followers of the tour will know that the second flight is usually significantly larger than the first. This means that, with today's field likely to be eclipsed, a record field is on the cards, likely to top the previous best (outside the PCA) of 1,240 in Sanremo in Season 6. The final figure for Barcelona will be known when registration is closed prior to Day 2.
Returning then will be a considerable list of challengers, including Team PokerStars Pros Jan Heitmann, Marcel Luske, Vanessa Selbst, Jonathan Duhamel, Jason Mercier, Leo Margets, Eugene Katchalov, Team Online's Mickey Petersen, and others, who you can find listed in our live coverage pages.
You can catch up with the events of the day at any of the following links. After giving thanks for the return of the new season proper, we talked to Alex Stevic on his return ten years on, and looked at the remarkable rise of Ole Schemion over the in Super High Roller event.
Barcelona. Night time
Last night the small matter of the EPT Party allowed Awards from Season 9 to be handed out, most notably to Player of the Year Jan Bendik. Meanwhile, in case you missed it, Vitaly Lunkin won the Super High Roller event.
Super High Roller winner Vitaly Lunkin
Back in the Main Event we noticed two sides to the story, while PokerStars Qualifier Tom Gallagher, who bagged up 21,700 tonight, was going a long way on a little. We also lost one of the memorable players from last year Joni Jouhkimainen, just one of many players, perhaps, on their own Quixotic misadventure.
Click through to live coverage of the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller and the EPT Barcelona Main Event. Check out all the festival results here. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up-to-date with all the EPT action and check out the EPTLive webcast.
For now, it's goodnight from Barcelona.
* Slight correction. Kostic shares the honour of best performance by a Spaniard with Jesus Cortez Lizano, who finished second in Barcelona in 2010.
Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter.