EPT Barcelona has just completed its fourth full day, after which, according to the schedule, 16 players should remain in the hunt for a first prize of €1,420,500.
But this festival has torn up the script on numerous occasions and now tournament officials are scratching their heads at what could become yet another record breaker. There are 36 players still left, with an average stack of more than 35 big blinds, and this tournament could very easily end up being the longest yet.
This particular state of affairs is owing to two facts. Firstly, at 1,694 players, this is the biggest the tour has ever seen. But secondly, the all-in carnage that usually defines Day 4 did not quite materialise.
Of course, we lost a boat load of players — there were 110 at the start — but the chip lead must have changed hands about as many times as the great, the good and the fiercely talented newcomers did intense battle.
The parcel in this children’s party game had been passed to Peter Eichhardt by the end of the night, and the 49-year-old Swedish player sits with 4,360,000 chips. Eichhardt began his day explaining to us about how his game has been reborn after an epiphany at the 2012 PCA. He feared he was the worst player at the table back then. Today he was clearly one of the best.
The parcel, however, might easily have landed in the lap of Denys Shafikov, Amir Touma, Pascal LeFrancois, Rainer Kempe or Steven Warburton, while Oleksii Khoroshenin, Daniel Dvoress, Shyam Srinivasan, John Juanda and Jude Ainsworth was also among those who were close to the summit at one point or another.
Team PokerStars Pro also still has its campaigners. Matthias de Meulder and Andre Akkari are heading to Day 5.
As it stands, here are the notable stacks at the end of this weird day:
Peter Eichhardt, 4,360,000
Denys Shafikov, 3,995,000
Amir Touma, 3,845,000
Rainer Kempe, 2,455,000
Oleksii Khoreshenin, 2,325,000
Frederik Jensen, 2,280,000
Steve Warburton, 2,150,000
Jonas Christensen, 1,900,000
Scott Margereson, 956,000
Mati De Meulder, 840,000
Daniel Dvoress, 700,000
Shyam Srinivasan, 535,000
Jude Ainsworth, 475,000
Andre Akkari, 445,000
John Juanda, 395,000
And I suggest heading over to the main EPT Barcelona page and scrolling through the panel at the top to see how we got here.
The list of players whose tournament came to an end also represents a glittering array of talent. Jason Les was out in 101st, and there then followed Kimmo Kurko (94th), Jeremy Ausmus (91st), Kitty Kuo (89th), Saar Wilf (84th), Ryan Riess (83rd), Michael Eiler (79th), Tom Hall (77th), Patrik Antonius (71st), Nick Petrangelo (70th), Dong Kim (59th), Joep van den Bijgaart (58th), Jens Kyllonen (54th), Alexander Ivarsson (49th), Mike McDonald (43rd) and Anthony Zinno (41st).
Those hardy souls who remain will be back at noon to try and get this one somewhere close to a final table. Be it eight or be it six, it’s going to be tough.
We will be here watching, so please join us again.
You can follow all the action from the various tournament floors on PokerStars Blog. The Main Event action is on the Main Event page. And the €10,000 High Roller gets under way today as well. It’s not confirmed as record-breaking just yet, but I’m going to bet it will be. Watch me be proved right on the High Roller page.
Everything from the side events is on the side events page. It will be busy over there today as well.
There’s also EPT Live for your video-based needs.
You can also begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.