EPT10 Barcelona: The new season gets underway

And so the new season begins, bringing with it all the hope, optimism, and general sense of well-being that the only the world's best poker tour can really deliver. In the traditional fashion we're in Barcelona to kick things off, turning our backs on the sunshine and beach less than 50 yards away for the subterranean sanctuary of Casino Barcelona's lower floors, home to several hundred poker players for the next week or so.

Of course, this is not just any season; it's the tenth season, the testimonial year worthy of a few fireworks. Those flashes and bangs will begin today with the start of the Super High Roller, a gravity defying love letter to a world we'd all like to believe exists. That will then be followed by the main event which starts tomorrow, officially launching the new season with a field likely to strain the tournament room walls.

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Is that a whale, or a fish?

As you might expect there are a host of innovations being introduced this year, all of which will be elaborated on throughout the week. One thing that hasn't changed though is the tour's evident popularity, with hundreds of players already in town warming up in side events before the stakes are ramped up tomorrow.

Back to today the Super High Rollers will shortly be taking their seats. The likes of Daniel Negreanu, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Jason Mercier and their usual cohorts are all in town, part of the world's most exclusive travelling circus. Full coverage of their high wire antics is coming up.

Stephen Bartley is a PokerStars Blog reporter. Follow the @PokerStarsBlog Twitter account to keep up with the action.