Five reasons to play Barcelona (that you might not have considered)
We're fast approaching the next event on the PokerStars Championship schedule, with Barcelona little more than a week away. It's probably the most popular stop on the PokerStars calendar and with good reason. Here we present five of them in a not so subtle format. We went for obvious because in short, we want you to join us there.
PokerStars Championship Barcelona: 15-27 August 2017
So, if you're still on the fence as to whether you should make the trip, there might be something here to change your mind.
It's the (unofficial) start of the new poker year
All right, so it falls in the middle of August, which is in middle of summer, and more than half way through the calendar year. But there's something about the Barcelona Main Event that feels like the start of the new poker year.
It comes a few weeks after the WSOP, the weather is still good (technically at least), holidays are in season, the kids are out of school, and if there's ever going to be a period when you think all is well in the world it's most likely to be around now.
In the not so distant past it was also when the EPT's season number ticked up, making it time to start afresh - time to stop making those bad calls, to study the game a bit, and make those changes to become a better player. Or failing that, get a tan.
So, if you want to say you were there when it all started, get to Barcelona.
Eek out the last bit of summer
The fact that Barcelona has come around again makes you think "sheesh, it's August already. Where did the summer go?" Although if you live in northern Europe this thought struck you about six weeks ago.
Either way, the Mediterranean climate means you can enjoy some sunshine for a little longer, combined with all the trappings of a coastal City. Expect temperatures of around 30 degrees, remaining mild into the evening, and plenty of sangria (and all those other stereotypical things you think of when referring to Spain).
All of which is irrelevant of course. We all know the typical poker climate is not sunshine and heat at all, but roughly 14 degrees of weapons grade air conditioning. Barcelona has that too. Bring sandals and a warm sweater.
Besides, everyone else will be there
Remember going to grandma's house as a kid at Christmas, or for Uncle Mort's surprise birthday party? Remember how the house was searched for every type of chair so that everyone could sit around the dinner table, which itself had already been extended by various flat surfaces from around the house that could accommodate a knife, fork and plate? Well you might not have known it at the time, but grandma was preparing you for the PokerStars Championship Barcelona.
What started in a corner of the casino gaming floor has now moved into a hotel conference centre the size of Belgium. Now a typical table change requires help from Google Earth.
In short everyone else will be there so you should be too, if only to avoid feelings of loneliness. And there's still time to get there on the cheap, with qualifiers running right now on PokerStars. Seriously, you don't want to miss out. For about ten days Barcelona is the centre of the poker universe.
A beach is the best cure for a bad beat
Barcelona boasts a beautiful beach, stretching along 4 km (about 2.5 miles) of the Catalan coast line. All of which is about fifty paces from the Casino door, or 25 if you're being chased.
A beach like this can be the perfect cure for a bad beat and there are two known cures:
1. A barefoot walk in the sand and an opportunity to reflect on your situation.
2. The more "route one" approach of a bracing charge headlong into the sea*. That's usually enough to make you forget any past poker sins as you suddenly become pre-occupied by how wet you are.
*We offer no guarantee this will work.
Be careful though. It's a beach filled with healthy young people doing the things healthy young people do in that healthy way which, if not judged carefully, can leave you wallowing around in the sand like a walrus, moaning with your thumb in your mouth feeling bad about yourself.
Want to start your poker journey? You can with a PokerStars account. Simply click here to get started.
Best poker baptism
You might be reading this thinking, yeah, well, I only play home games, or cheap tournaments at a local club. An event like Barcelona is not for me.
Well you're wrong.
The Barcelona Main Event is the perfect baptism of fire, the perfect place to get an authentic taste of what live high stakes poker is all about - and that includes an element of the party lifestyle.
That includes your invitation to the exclusive Player Party, which this year features multi-platinum artist, DJ and producer Zedd. The Grammy award winner will be playing a 90-minute set at Opium Barcelona. Sometimes the poker doesn't go quite as planned, but the Barcelona event tends to ensure you leave with something to remember.
Don't take our word for it. Ask any of the hundreds of players who qualify on PokerStars and get their first experience of live poker in Barcelona every year. We know some who still talk about it and meet them at the next event they play. Barcelona tends to get you hooked. Then you can't help but come back.
Crazy prize pool
Then there's the obvious attraction of the poker itself. This year's Barcelona schedule features more than 50 tournaments with the usual variety of games and buy ins. All of which add up to a colossal prize pool at which you'll find yourself staring with your mouth hanging open.
It's seriously life changing stuff, and crazy when you think you can turn a satellite win of a few dollars into hundreds of thousands. That's the type of money that can allow you to wallow around in the sand with your thumb in your mouth and not care one bit.
You can win your way to Barcelona on PokerStars with details of satellites available in the PokerStars lobby. You get that bit done and we'll see you there.
Stephen Bartley is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog. Follow him on Twitter: @StephenBartley. What did you think about this post? Let us know on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog.