EPT12 Barcelona: Bursting out at all sides
With the Estrellas Main Event finally reaching the money, the fast pace from earlier in the day has slowed somewhat as afternoon turns into evening, although the field is continuing to shrink at a heady clip. About 350 players remain with the dinner break about a level-and-a-half away.
Meanwhile other side action marks this Saturday in Spain, with a few different events playing out and a couple more silver spade trophies on the line. And the fields for those are big ones, too, topping previous bests for the events all around.
Tonight the last of sixth starting flights for the €300 Barcelona Cup will be playing out, which like the ESPT Main Event is breaking a record in terms of turnout.
Unlike the Estrellas which is a freezeout, players can reenter successive flights of the Barcelona Cup (as long as they've busted). Each flight has played down to 15% of the field and the money, and at last tomorrow all six flights' worth of survivors will get together for Day 2. Each flight has been bigger than the last, and with Flight 1F still to go they've already broken the Barcelona Cup record for total entries. To break it down:
Flight A - 141 (21 made Day 2)
Flight B - 229 (35)
Flight C - 290 (44)
Flight D - 431 (65)
Flight E - 754 (113)
Flight F goes off in about an hour, with 990 players already registered.
Earlier this afternoon the €1K Seniors Event also got going, and there, too, a record has been broken.
With registration closed, 164 took part, among them many familiar faces from EPTs past including EPT9 Player of the Year Jan Bendik, EPT5 Prague Main Event winner Salvatore Bonavena, Konstantin Puchkov (who cashed a record 11 times in the 2012 WSOP), and two-time WSOP bracelet winner Roger Hairabedian.
That's just part of an impressive field in this one also including last year's Estrellas Poker Tour Player of the Year Heinz Traut, George McKeever, Dara O'Kearney, Jacques Torbey, Georges Yazbeck, Mikhail Korotkikh, Hossein Ensan, Yury Gulyy, and Michel Abecassis. About 80 players remain in that event at the moment.
Also in the Seniors event field are France's 2014 Female Poker Player of the Year Florence Allera and WPT Seminole Hard Rock Poker Showdown event winner Rachel Kranz, further strengthening the field over there. Those two had a choice this afternoon, opting for the Seniors instead of playing the €200 Women's Event that got started a little later in the afternoon.
There were 148 women who did decide to play the event -- yet another record -- with a couple of former EPT Women's Event champs among the field. Rosario Garzon, winner of the Women's Event at EPT11 Malta, is playing, as is last year's winner here, EPT11 Barcelona Women's Event champion Laura Gallardo. Two-time Women's Event winner Anais Lerouge is also part of the field, and has already started accumulating.
Kitty Kuo, Elisabeth Hille, and Lynn Gilmartin are playing.
And Olga Iermolcheva is playing as well, not too far removed from her second-place finish at LAPT8 Panama just a couple of months back.
So much happening, and we're still two days from the EPT Main Event. And such jaw-dropping fields! It makes us want to burst out in song, such as they do at the Palau de la Música Catalana.
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Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.