Keen observers will have noticed that the EPT Barcelona Main Event this year is taking a bit longer than usual. That’s not because of stalling or thunder storms or anything like that, it’s a matter of careful design.
Tournament organisers have added an extra day. This year’s Main Event will wrap on Day 7 instead of the usual Day 6.
Although any kind of alteration from a well-established norm brings with it a few administrative headaches, the extension of the Main Event by a day was something of a no brainer. Barcelona is always an incredibly popular destination and the Main Event here had simply outgrown its allocated time.
“It shouldn’t just be a grind every single day,” said Toby Stone, the EPT Tournament Director, referencing last year’s event. Twelve months ago, when a field of 2,294 entries turned it into the biggest EPT Main Event ever, every day of play was finishing at around 1am.
The final day too lasted long into the night, and although adrenaline can keep players going, some of the thrill evaporates when fatigue becomes a real factor. It’s also nice if the final table can attract some railbirds to cheers on the players, but when action continues into the early hours, the lure of the hotel room becomes too strong for many to resist.
We have seen plenty of champions crowned in front of crowds of only one or two. Even the winner can barely muster a smile when they’re completely exhausted.
LONGER MEANS SHORTER
Ironically, the “extra” day actually means players are spending less time than before in the casino.
This year, tournament organisers have been able to schedule five levels per day from Day 2 onwards. Levels are 90 minutes long, there’s a 20-minute break at the end of each, so the day finishes around 9pm. That’s early enough for players to head to dinner after they are wrapped.
This is significant. In previous years, a potential sixth level on every day means a dinner break is necessary. It’s just too much to expect players and staff to work all the way through to 11pm without any chance for sustenance. But when you add a dinner break into proceedings, the day just becomes even longer.
You could say that that sixth level actually adds close to three hours onto the day, which would mean a much longer tournament in terms of time spent at the casino.
So by adding a day, we actually make things shorter.
BREAKING IT DOWN
Over the past five years, with entry numbers ranging from 1,682 to 2,294, the EPT Main Event has finished between level 35 and 41. It’s pretty safe to schedule for a 40-level tournament this time around, so the days should pan out as follows.
Day 1: 10 levels
Day 2: 5 levels (including bubble)
Day 3: 5 levels
Day 4: 5 levels
Day 5: 5 levels
Day 6: 5 levels
Day 7: 5 levels
TOTAL: 40 levels
EPT BARCELONA MAIN EVENT FINISHES
2022 – 2,294 entries – End: Level 40
2019 – 1,988 entries – End: Level 35
2018 – 1,931 entries – End: Level 36
2017 – 1,682 entries – End: Level 41
2016 – 1,785 entries – End: Level 37
MORE FROM EPT BARCELONA
EPT BARCELONA COVERAGE HUB
Everything you need in one place.
POKER NEWS LIVE UPDATES
Our live reporting partner will offer hand-by-hand updates from a number of tournaments across the series. We’ll link to their updates when the series begins.
EPT BARCELONA OFFICIAL SITE
The PokerStars Live official page, with everything you need to know about the tournament series in Barcelona.
POKERSTARS BLOG ON TWITTER
Follow us on Twitter.