EPT10 Barcelona: The building begins
Having worked through the initial Day 1B levels, players are now necessarily diverging from the uniform stacks of 30,000 with which all began. Those suffering losses are afforded fewer and fewer alternatives for stacking their dwindling chips, while the accumulators are given more options for how to play their hands as well as how to arrange their stacks.
From the latter group some will be more creative than others, breaking out of the 20-chip stack norm to experiment with other arrangements. Though not here today, the creative tendencies of Spain's own Carlos Mortensen spring to mind as exemplary of such handiwork, as evidenced from this earlier EPT Monte Carlo event.
Mortensen's fellow Spaniard Pablo Rojas is here and playing. Rojas still has around the starting stack at present, although that hasn't prevented him from exercising his creativity as well as he can so far today.
From a purely aesthetic perspective, the chip-building artist is obviously working with an ever-changing medium. Indeed, the work itself is necessarily always unfinished, perpetually under construction with all but one of the productions doomed to be razed all of the way to the felt.
Speaking of incomplete yet eye-catching creations, one of the most breathtaking examples of such can be found a short metro ride away from the Casino Barcelona, the Sagrada Família designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, here pictured at night.
Construction of the Catholic church began way back in 1882 with others at the helm, then Gaudi soon took over the project, combining various Gothic and modern elements to produce an idiosyncratic, has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed structure that is still unfinished over 130 years later.
The Sagrada Família was only a quarter of the way done by the time of Gaudi's death in 1926, with the architect leaving behind a complicated plan of immense scope with a multitude of spires, façades, and details many of which are charged with religious symbolism.
During the decades since Gaudi's death, many others have taken up the cause of completing his original plan. Currently a projected completion date of 2026 is being cited -- that is, a hundred years after his passing.
For all its many meanings, the Sagrada Família's lengthy period of incompleteness has led to its being regarded by some as a symbol of the artistic process itself, caught for many decades somewhere in between plan and execution.
Though hardly comparable in degree, the humble chip stack, too, symbolizes process, a work ever in flux, always "under construction" until the tournament's final hand. Luckily for all here today, their respective projects all will be completed -- one way or another.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.