EPT13 Barcelona: Andrey Sharanov leads record Main Event

August 23, 2016

• PLAYERS: ~1,260 (reg still open) | DAY 1A : 231 (of 468)

Andrey Sharanov leads record EPT Main Event

It was a day for records on the European Poker Tour rather than results, although there will be those too later on tonight.

The most obvious one is the new one for the EPT Main Event, which today topped at least 1,700 entries. We say at least because players can buy in until tomorrow. The list of names is almost certain to go up.

Sitting on top of that list tonight is Russian player Andrey Sharanov, the chip leader with 278,600. He got there after eight levels of play in packed tournament room. That’s good for the overall lead when the field unites tomorrow.

andrey_sharanov_bar13_d1b.jpgHappy man: Chip leader Andrey Sharanov

The field was made up of, well, anyone who didn’t play yesterday. There were old and new pros, old and new faces. It seems the Barcelona festival’s reputation as the tour’s busiest is secure.


The full counts of the 730 players of 1,284 who made it through today will take a little time to come through, but they’ll be available here when we get them. In the meantime here are a few notables.

Andrey Sharanov (Russia) 278,600
Marco Caza (France) 262,000
Felipe Ramos (Brazil) 70.700
Jen Shahade (United States) 33,600
Theo Jorgensen (Denmark) 59,400
Yaxi Zhu (China) 23,200
Jake Cody (United States) 62,000
ElkY (France) 34,100
Fatima Moreira de Melo (Holland) 55,600
Janne Mikköne (Finland – Team Liquid) 73,700

While the Main Event filled almost every conceivable space today, room was made for the single day re-entry event, with a €25,000 buy in. That started at 10.30am and will play through to whatever “am” it takes to find a winner.

You can follow live updates from that event through to the finish by clicking here.

We’ll be back for Day 2 of the Main Event at the more humane start time of 12 noon tomorrow. Join us for live updates then.

For now, goodnight from Barcelona. — SB

10:09pm: Day 1B concludes 

They’re all done, and from the looks of things Andrey Sharanov enjoyed a profitable final half-hour or so to surge ahead in the counts. We’ll confirm, then be back shortly with an end-of-day recap. –MH

9:53pm: Bust at the finish 
Level 8 – Blinds: 400/800 (100 ante)

On literally the very last hand played on Day 1B — every single one of the other tables had already finished and most had bagged up already — Roman Voronin had his short stack all in before the flop with 4♦4♣ versus the 7♠6♠ of Vasile Plastoi.

The 2♣3♠6♣ flop hit Plastoi’s hand once, then the 7♦ turn gave him a second pair. The river was the 2♥, and Voronin won’t be bagging any chips tonight. –MH

9:33pm: Chreem rises 
Level 8 – Blinds: 400/800 (100 ante)

Helio Chreem of Brazil open-pushed all-in for 11,200 and Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody thought for a couple of beats before deciding to call.

Cody had 5♦5♥ and was behind Chreem’s 10♦10♠, and after the K♥J♦10♥ flop gave the latter a set Cody was even more distantly behind. The 9♥ turn provided a heart flush draw and a sweat, but the 5♣ fell on fifth street, giving Cody a second-best set.

Chreem moves up to around 25,000 while Cody still has 62,000. –MH

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Cody still above average

9:29pm: Danzer up
Level 8 – Blinds: 400/800 (100 ante)

George Danzer just sent Benjamin Pollack to the rail, taking his stack up to 84,000.

With two limpers Danzer bet 3,300 from the cut off before Pollack raised to 8,200 from the small blind. That forced the limpers out but Danzer responded by moving all in for 44,000 with A♥Q♥. Pollack snap-called with kings for 36,000, but was busted on the board of A♦10♦3♠10♠7♥. – SB

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Danzer collecting

9:15pm: Kuo sparkling
Level 8 – Blinds: 400/800 (100 ante)

Kitty Kuo sparkles under the lights of the tournament room, and has done so at the tables for most of the day, clocking up more than 80,000 so far. She just got involved in a hand that changed that a bit.

Kuo opened for 2,200 which was called by Carlos Branco in the big blind. The flop came 5♠9♦Q♠. That was checked for the 9♠ on the turn. Kuo, whose hands had been riffling chips at remarkable speed, lumped in a bet of 3,200. Branco paused, then called for the 4♣ river card.

Branco checked again leaving Kuo to act. Another 6,300 this time, causing Branco to think for a while. He called and it was a good one. Kuo showed K♥2♥ while Branco flipped up A♦10♦ to move up to 65,000. Kuo still has a little more than that on roughly 70,000. – SB

9:09pm: The toppermost of the chippermost 
Level 8 – Blinds: 400/800 (100 ante)

We’re just back from a tour of both rooms and can share a report regarding who has the biggest stacks we’re seeing.

Quentin Roussey of France — whom we’ve mentioned already — is up at the top of the list along with the Brazilian Daniel Nagao, with both nearing the 200,000-chip mark as the last level continues. Others are right there, too — take a look:

Daniel Nagao – 185,000
Quentin Roussey – 185,000
Andrey Sharonov – 180,000
Marco Caza – 165,000
Miroslav Forman – 165,000
Adam Jaguscik – 160,000
Jenya Gavrilovich – 160,000
Ruben Suarez – 140,000
Ana Marquez – 140,000
Aleksandr Tomovic – 135,000
Chani Hamasdi – 130,000
Gilbert Diaz – 125,000
Georgios Giorkatzis – 120,000
Eugene Katchalov – 120,000

Stay tuned and we’ll see who (and how many) manage to surpass the 178,800 bagged by Day 1A leader Alex Brand. –MH

8 400 800 100

8:51pm: Diaz KOs Karakolev 
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

Picking up the action following a Q♣10♥3♦ flop, Nedelcho Karakolev had put his last 18,500 in the middle, and the Frenchman Gilbert Diaz was settled into contemplation over what to do. 

Finally Diaz called, turning over K♦10♣ for middle pair, while Karakolev had the big edge with A♠A♥.

The 7♦ turn card kept the Bulgarian Karakolev in the lead, but the river brought the 10♦ and a loud rap of the knuckles on the table from Diaz. He’d rivered trips, and Karakolev is out.

Diaz has 130,000 now, moving into the “notable stacks” category as the last level of the night begins. –MH

8:40pm: Danchev… reluctantly
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

Three players to a flop of 4♦A♣5♦ . First to act was Ronny Voth, who checked. He was followed by Dimitar Danchev and Jen Shahade, both of whom checked.

The turn came 2♦. Voth bet 2,600 which Danchev called but which prompted Shahade to fold.

On the river card A♦ Voth bet another 5,900. Danchev took his time with his decision, at one point sitting up tall in his seat and rolling his eyes.

Everything that followed seemed to be reluctant. He reluctantly took a blue chip from his stack, reluctantly tossed it into the middle, reluctantly looked over at Voth’s A♠2♠ and then reluctantly gave up his own hand.

Voth moves up to 27,000 while Shahade holds steady at 45,000. Despite the hit Danchev has 38,000. – SB

8:33pm: A fair fold to Falfoul
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

Mourad Falfoul opened for 1,400 from middle position, then Thomas Berg raised to 6,500 from two seats over. It folded back to Falfoul who four-bet shoved, and Berg began to talk.

“You have pocket pair?” he asked. The answer was ambiguous, but Berg surmised it to be affirmative. “I have pocket pair, too,” he nodded, then after brooding a bit longer folded his hand.

Saying “one time,” Falfoul decided to share — he had A♣K♥ — and collected the pot. “I was ahead!” cried Berg, adding that it was only by a few percentage points.

Was he disappointed he had folded? It’s close, but perhaps by just a little.

Falfoul has 60,000 now, and Berg 22,000. –MH

8:19pm: Backing track: Overheard in tournament room 2
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

“Seat open twenty-four!”
“Time on twenty-five!”
“That’s how you get rich, start with the small ones.”
“Seat open twenty-five! Sorry, twenty-six!”
“St’open 16.”
“Two, not three, two… two-thousand two-hundred. Twenty-two. I’m English I get this every day. Twenty-two.”
“Antes please.”

8:08pm: Ben bounced 
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

A check of the secondary room shows 28 full tables, as they’re breaking tables from the main room and keeping it constantly full. Amos Ben was up there earlier, but his seat is now empty, suggesting the Chilean is one of the 260 or so players who have been felted on Day 1B. 

The big board says there have been 1,260 players entered so far today (with late registration open through the start of tomorrow’s Day 2). –MH

7:54pm: Gaelle force 
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

Gaelle Baumann has been battling all afternoon and early evening back at one of the tables along the far wall in the main poker room. Just now she claimed another pot with a turn bet, forcing a fold from Shyam Srinivasan who preserved his stack of 35,000.

Fresh off a cash in the recently completed Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona High Roller, Baumann is up over 50,000 now. –MH

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The Baumann watch

7:41pm: Games within games 
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

Players are back in their seats and playing no-limit Texas hold’em, the favorite variant of the favorite card game of many. 

As is standard, many have their smart phones and tablets at the ready, and while most are checking texts and tweets — or updates on the PokerStars blog — several are engaged in other games as well. 

Anooj Saareen is getting a massage while playing Words With Friends and a stack of just under 20,000. We hope his WWF opponent is easier to handle than Eugene Katchalov on his left, who just won a decent pot to bump up over 80,000. 

Zeus Post has Chinese Poker up on his (as do several others), as he plays a stack of about 20,000. Meanwhile Hulya Pehlivanlar had a chess game on hers as she tries to spin up her stack of 35,000. And Vasili Firsau had Clash of Clans up when we passed by. He’s up around 40,000 now. 

Meanwhile there was no Pokemon Go playing to report, as we’ve seen earlier in the festival. It’s still early, though. –MH

7:36pm: Here’s the deal
Level 7 – Blinds: 300/600 (100 ante)

The dealers on the European Poker Tour are among the best in the world. It’s why we look after them. That includes when players decide it’s the dealer who should bear the brunt their misfortune.

One player, who will remain nameless, just got a warning for this very thing, intimidating the dealer to a point that it was getting out of hand. Dealers train for this, have years of experience, and are used to people reacting in emotional circumstances, but when the line’s crossed someone has their back.

The floor was called and made it clear how things work on the tour. The message was received loud and clear, by the player who is now quiet and unassuming. — SB

7 300 600 100

7:12pm: Big stack report 

Having reached the end of the level, players are off on their last 20-minute break of the night. –MH

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6:59pm: Big stack report 
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

They are up to 1,240 players registered thus far here on Day 1B, with late registration open through the start of Day 2. 

We’ve mentioned a couple of the big stacks we’ve seen thus far, including Miroslav Forman who was up to 165,000 about an hour-and-a-half ago. We just saw him take a hit after a short stack doubled through him, but he’s still on about 135,000 and very healthy. 

NEIL8554_EPT13BAR__Neil Stoddart.jpg

Forman in good form

Meanwhile Quentin Roussey keeps on accumulating and is now up around 185,000 as Level 6 nears its close. –MH

6:40pm: Two champs down
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

Two former Champions just busted the Main Event; Jannick Wrang and Robin Ylitalo.

We caught Ylitalo’s departure.

There was an opening bet of 1,200 from Diego Ventura which Robin Ylitalo called from middle position. Robert Askarov was on the button and called before Park Cheung raised in the small blind.

The action was folded to Ylitalo, mid massage, who moved all-in. Askarov passed while Cheung, who easily covered Ylitalo called.

Ylitalo: A♠K♦
Cheung: A♥A♣

The board was dealt 5♠J♦6♣5♦10♦

End of tournament for Ylitalo. End of massage too. Cheung meanwhile now has more than 90,000. – SB

6:49pm: Bukkems bumps up 
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

Mark Bukkems was just all-in and at risk for his last 17,700 against Daniel Erlandsson’s A♠K♥

A 6♦4♥9♣ flop looked good to Bukkems, and the Q♦ turn and 7♥ worked for him as well. Bukkems bumps up to 37,000 or so, while Erlandsson slips back to around 25,000. –MH

6:34pm: Heimiller hits the rail 
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

Dan Heimiller, sporting an “Old Dudes Rule” t-shirt with a picture of Albert Einstein, has over $5.8 million in tournament cashes including several on the EPT, his biggest most recent one coming for taking third in the EPT11 Grand Final €5,000 Turbo 8-Handed event for €48,400.

Just now Heimiller found himself committing the last of a short stack holding K♣9♥ versus Allan Udeajah’s Q♣10♣

The 5♥Q♠J♦ flop favored Udeajah, and after the A♥ turn and 4♦ river, Heimiller was ousted at the midpoint of Level 6. –MH

6:21pm: Ramos loses chips to Chalkidis 
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

Friend of Team PokerStars Pro Felipe Ramos just suffered a hit in a hand versus Vasileois Chalkidis. 

The board showed 10♣2♠K♣Q♣5♥ which must have seemed promising enough to Ramos as he held 7♣3♣. But at showdown he saw Chalkidis had A♣8♣ for the better flush, meaning the considerable pot was going his opponent’s way.

Chalkidis is up to around 95,000 now, while Ramos sits with 17,500. –MH

6:15pm: No… when to fold ’em
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

Anton Wigg was looking big. He was all-in, 25,075 in front of him with about 35,000 in the pot from a hand still ongoing against Onur Unsal who was taking his time deciding whether or not to call.

Wigg was putting up a show of strength. He was still bolt upright in his seat with his shoulders pushed forward, his arms out ahead of him on the table.

Time was called and the floor person counted him down. At one point he grabbed his chips. Was he about to call? No. He folded. Wigg up to 61,500. – SB

6:10pm: So long, Soika
Level 6 – Blinds: 250/500 (75 ante)

According to the big board, nearly 150 of those who began Day 1B have been knocked out here by the start of Level 6. The latest of those sent railward is EPT11 Barcelona €10K High Roller winner Ihar Soika.

Soika committed the last of his chips with A♠8♣ and was called by Maximiliano Gallardo who held 9♦9♣. The board came K♠5♦8♥2♦2♣, giving Soika the lesser two pair and an early exit. Even with those chips, Gallardo is below the average with 20,000. –MH

6:05pm: Negreanu in and out
Level 6 – Blinds 250/500 (75 ante)

Daniel Negreanu’s stay at the EPT Barcelona Main Event was short and not so sweet. We are reliably informed that Kid Poker has followed his early elimination from the €50,000 Super High Roller with an early elimination from the Main Event too. There’s still the €10,000 High Roller, so all is not yet lost. — HS

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5:58pm: Roussey on the rise
Level 5 – Blinds 200-400 (50 ante)

Quentin Roussey of France has done well for himself through five levels today. The Frenchman just earned another knockout and stack addition, and now is up around 115,000. –MH

5:55pm: Know when to fold ’em
Level 5 – Blinds: 200/400 (50 ante)

Slaven Popov opened in middle position making it 1,025. Two seats along was David Llacer who had plans to shove, and shove he did for 9,125. I’m not sure what Popov was thinking at this stage, but when Antonio Matias shoved in the small blind he laughed.

Matias was all in for 60,520, and Popov had to leave them to it. Llacer turned up 8♦8♠ while Matias had K♥K♦. Llacer tapped the table.

The board ran 9♣10♣3♥2♠4♥. Matias collected his new chips, while Llacer made his way to the rail. Popov seemed relieved.

“I made the right fold,” he said smiling. – SB

5:40pm: Forman smashes Fisher
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

You might have heard something about the table tennis game set up and ongoing just outside the main tournament room. Those walking in hear the familiar sound of ping pong ball knocking against paddles and the hard top, the rhythm punctuated by occasional cries after a winning shot.

8G2A8895_EPT13BAR_Darius_Knight_Neil Stoddart.jpg

Commonwealth medal winner Darius Knight

Entering the room one happens on Miroslav Forman’s table, where just now he served a big all-in river raise to his opponent across from him, Walter Fisher. The board read K♣2♥2♠A♦8♥, and after a bit of a think Fisher called to commit his last chips.

Forman tabled his 8♠8♣ for a rivered full house, and Fisher shouted out in agony not unlike the players out in the hall. He’d had A♣6♣, having been ahead on the turn but was beaten by that river-smashing eight.

Fisher is out, while Forman has the biggest stack we’ve seen thus far. He’s up to 165,000. –MH

5:32pm: In fate’s terrible chasm
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

There’s that space between tragedy and justice, that sinkhole that fell in the road between heaven and hell, that purgatory where you can see the best of worst of luck out of your peripheral vision. This is where I stood.

It’s a room with hundreds of people in it, and somehow I managed to stand between two tables where I could see the alpha and omega of poker’s twisted sensibilities.

I was watching a hand between Benjamin Lamprecht and Sergey Sergeev. They’d gone to the flop for 2,700 and watched the 4♥3♣6♦ hit the felt.

There was betting getting ready to happen, but I was distracted when I heard an all-in at the next table. I saw the cards hit the table. Tens versus aces. “That,” I thought, “is going to be more interesting than this hand I’m writing about.”

I got ready to move over and record the details of how the aces held up against the tens, how all was right with the world, and how sometimes good triumphs over evil. That was the story I wanted to tell.

But next thing you know, I see Lamprecht check the Q♥ turn, Sergeev bet 10,000, and suddenly they are both all-in with Lamprecht covered. What could be happening?

Lamprecht held aces. Sergeev had 4♣4♣. Lamprecht stood, disgusted by the development, and may not have even seen the 4♦ hit the river to give Sergeev quads, a silent “And your little dog, too!” to the retreating Lamprecht.

Sergeev shrugged as if to say, “I didn’t need that, but look! There’s four of them! How cute!”

Eliminations happen minute to minute here, and you get numb to them over time. Then every once in a while you get a taste of just how sweet and cruel the game can be. You’re still numb, but a scene like that can cause an itch in the place where your soul used to be. Or something like that. –BW

5:15pm: When a call is not a call
Level 5 – Blinds: 200/400 (50 ante)

Sometimes things just go wrong. A hand plays out in a routine kind of way and then the wheels fall off. Like the hand between Peter Johnston and Carlo Di Castiglione.

Picture the scene. A board dealt showing 8♣A♥3♣K♣8♥.

Two hands showing face up. The first belonging to Johnston A♣Q♣ for the nut flush. The second in front of Di Castiglione A♦K♠.

There was 2,300 in front of Johnston and 5,600 in front of Di Castiglione. It was time to call the floor.

The problem was the word “call” or lack of it. Johnston said he’d said it, Di Castiglione insisted that he hadn’t and had folded. Johnston pointed out that he had the nut flush, why would he fold, Di Castiglione insisted rules were rules.


Peter Johnston, left, and Carlo di Costigliole have a difference of opinion

Actually, the rules are always a more confusing.

Floor staff arrived to unravel the mystery, but after several minutes of explanations Luca Vivaldi, a senior man on the floor staff, was sent for to find a solution.

Vivaldi, ever the diplomat, explained that yes, Johnston’s hand will still be live, but technically turning over cards this way could be used for an advantage. So the decision was made. The 2,300 bet would stand, but not the 5,600. That would instead be a call.
It comes down to forward motion. Flipping your cards up without forward motion is one thing, doing so with forward motion is something else. It’s all nuance, but kind of understood. But for goodness sake don’t turn your cards up until you’re sure.


Luca Vivaldi comes in to keep the peace

With decision made the rest of the players retook their seats. Play would finally start again, more than ten minutes after this all commotion. They would all live happily ever after. – SB

5:10pm: Szarka sunk
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Orkeny Szarka is out, the Swiss player losing the last of his chips to France’s Antoine Labat here in Level 5.

Full details are elusive, but the fact that Szarka had Q♣J♠, Labat A♥J♥, and the completed board had begun J♣Q♠A♣ to give Labat a better two pair seems enough evidence to satisfy most inquiring minds.

Labat has 55,000 now. –MH

5pm: Salah sailing along
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

The Frenchman Samy Salah — fresh off a cash in the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event and a final table at another EPT13 Barcelona prelim (a €2K NL turbo in which he took sixth) — is having a successful afternoon here on Day 1B.

Just now Salah pushed Aliaksei Boika of Belarus off a hand with a big all-in turn shove, collecting another pot to push up around 65,000 while Boika slips to 22,000. –MH

4:56pm: Cech check-calls, collects
Level 5 – Blinds 200/400 (50 ante)

Vitezslav Cech has a modest-sized stuffed turtle with him today, sitting on the rail just beside his chips. It seemed oddly emblematic just now during a hand he played versus Oleg Vasylchenko.

NEIL7997_EPT13BAR_Vitezslav_Cech-_Neil Stoddart.jpg

A turtle

Playing from the blinds, Cech took his time check-calling — Cech-calling? — a turn bet of 2,500 with the board showing K♠4♣A♣5♥, building the pot up around 12,000. Then after the 8♠ fell on the river, Cech checked again, Vasylchenko fired 7,500, and acting in the same leisurely fashion Cech called once more.

Vasylchenko showed J♦10♣ for air, while Cech had flopped top pair and rivered a second with A♦8♦, earning a decent-sized pot by playing the hand slowly.

Cech is up to 45,000 now, while Vasylchenko has 22,000. –MH

4:50pm: And we’re back

Everyone is now back for their final four levels of the day.–BW

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3:37pm: Back in 75

All the players are now on a 75-minute break. –BW

3:35pm: An-Lin lines up alongside Cody
Level 5 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Chen An-Lin has 36,000 after picking up a pot of about 8,000. He bet 1,500 on the board of 7♦8♣K♣6♣5♦ and Romans Voitovs called. The Team Pro Asia turned over 9♦8♠ and it was good.

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Chen An-Lin: Team Pro

There are now two Team PokerStars Pros on that table as Jake Cody sat down about five minutes ago. It wasn’t the best timing of Cody’s life: he will have been lucky to see one hand before they called a 75-minute lunch/dinner/afternoon tea break. — HS

3:28pm: Echevarne Harms Tarmi
Level 4 – Blinds 150/300 (50 ante)

Roope Onnie Oliver Tarmi is talking to himself. He’s from Finland, so we assume it’s Finnish. And unfortunately for Tarmi, his EPT Barcelona Main Event run may finish sooner than later thanks his having just lost most of his stack to Jose Echevarne of Mexico.

Tarmi’s pocket queens failed him in a preflop all-in versus Echevarne’s ace-king suited after not one but two kings came among the community cards.

Echevarne has 42,000 now, Tarmi just 400. The Mexican is quiet, but the Finn is still muttering. –MH

3:17pm: A good Kassouf is a happy Kassouf
Level 4 – Blinds: 150/300 (50 ante)

Thanks to his efforts at the World Series this year, William Kassouf is fast becoming a household name, at least in the poker house. The man likes to talk, and continues to do so today up in the secondary tournament room.

He had reason to, facing an all-in by Kyosti Isberg for about 16,000. Kassouf had that covered but like good players he wanted to get this right, and if he couldn’t get it right, he’d at least find out why.
The board read 8♣5♥9♦4♣5♣.

Kassouf had played the hand from the cut off and was unusually quiet as he mentally ran through his options. Then, and with a look on his face that was resigned to defeat-by-curiosity, he called.

Isberg showed A♦A♠. Kassouf immediately brightened up, turning over A♣2♣. He’d been right all along.

“I’d put him on pocket nines or eights,” he said, before cheerfully indulging the questions of others.
He’s now up to 45,000. – SB

3:15pm: Saar squeezed, sighs
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

It’s so tempting. A player raises, another calls, and you come along from the button with A♠7♣. Then the big blind squeezes by pushing all-in for around 15 BBs and when the others fold you talk yourself into calling again.

That’s the hopeful story full of promise Saar Wilf’s demeanor told, anyway, just now when he decided to stick around following Dennis Berglin’s all-in. Berglin tabled A♥Q♥, and after a 4♣3♠9♦9♣Q♦ runout, Berglin was up to 17,000 or so.

Meanwhile Wilf is sitting on 6,600, his exhale and look communicating a different, less sanguine story. –MH

3:11pm: The wheel comes out and off
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

A couple of years ago in Deauville, Dany Parlafes was distraught. He thought he had blown a big heads up chip-lead to lose his chance at an EPT title to Ognyan Dimov.

It’s true that Parlafes was the runner up, and it’s true that he had once had the chip lead. But he had not “blown” it. He had barely put a foot wrong during a long heads-up battle and had, in fact, made some absolutely spectacular folds of losing hands, including one with the second nuts.

Ever since then, I’ve been a silent cheerleader for Parlafes because that kind of defeat is pretty hard to take. But he’s still back and looking to go one better. He’s also chipping up nicely on Day 1B having just sent Andras Koroknai to the rail.

Koroknai shoved his last 14,000 in the middle after the following flop: Q♣4♠2♣. Koroknai had pocket twos and had flopped a set. Parlafes, with a covering stack, had the big draw with his A♣5♣. But both players were surprised by the manner in which he got there. The turn brought the A♦ and the river was the 3♠.

That was the wheel for Parlafes as the wheels came off for Koroknai.

Parlafes now has 60,000.– HS

2:55pm: Calling Alternate 95
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

As the eliminations roll in, the Alternate Desk is now seating up Alternate 95. –BW

2:55pm: Garcia gets a few
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

Jose Carlos Garcia of Poland is in action, back here in Barcelona where he enjoyed considerable success a year ago. Garcia took fourth in the ESPT6 Barcelona Main Event, following up a fourth place in the LAPT Bahamas event and a fifth-place finish in the EPT11 Grand Final in Monaco earlier in 2015.

Just now we spotted Garcia pushing out a considerable bet on the river playing from the blinds in a hand versus Tom Tien, earning a fold from the Canadian. Garcia is up around 45,000 now. –MH

2:42pm: Red spades ups and downs
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

An excursion up over the secondary room finds thirty-odd tables’ worth of Main Event players battling their way through the day’s fourth level, with several Team PokerStars Pros among them.

Yaxi Zhu is there and doing well, having built a stack up around 50,000 so far today. Daniel Negreanu is seated on the other side of the room, just below the starting stack of 30,000 at present.

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Yaxi Zhu

Johnny Lodden is in action there as well, hoping to improve on his third-place finish in the EPT9 Grand Final Main Event and fourth-place showing in the same event at EPT11, both in Monte Carlo.

Just now Lodden got in a blind-vs.-blind battle with Fernando Gutierrez Alfonso sitting to his left. After raising 1,000 from the small and watching Alfonso call from the big, Lodden barreled the 9♣4♠2♣ flop for 1,250, then the 4♥ turn for 3,000 more, and Alfonso called both times. Both then checked the 3♠ river, Lodden showed K♦J♥, and Alfonso J♠9♦ to take the pot and move to right at 30,000.

Lodden meanwhile is down to 13,500. –MH

2:40pm: Korik vs. Bernatavicius
Level 3 – Blinds: 100/200 (25 ante)

Zachary Korik, complete with bushy beard and hair that takes off to his right, opened the pot for 750 under the gun. Angelina Rich was on the button and asked how much. She called, as did Gytis Bernatavicius in the big blind. They saw a flop.


Bernatavicius bet 1,100 which Korik called. Too rich for Rich.

The turn came 10♥ and Bernatavicius bet again, 2,000 this time. Korik called and then checked the 5♥ on the river. Bernatavicius did the same, turning over J♠6♠. Korik’s Q♦J♥ had that beat. – SB

2:33pm: Results!

While we cover the Main Event, there are still lots of side events going on. You can see all those results on our EPT Barcelona Side Events results page. –BW

2:33pm: Cautious rafting for Zawadski
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

Mikolaj Zawadzki of Poland is sitting on the starting stack at present. To be more accurate, he was just now standing off to the side of the table, letting Steven van Zadelhoff (seated to his left) and Wuyong Xu (a couple of seats to his right) battle to the river for a pot. Seemed like a safe enough spot to be.

Zawadzki brought some reading to the table, a hardback copy of Bezlitosny Ocean, a translation of Facing the Frozen Ocean by the British author and television star Edward Michael “Bear” Grylls. The book chronicles Grylls attempt to complete the first unassisted crossing of the frozen north Atlantic in an open inflatable boat — a harrowing story, apparently, thanks to all the icebergs and other dangers Grylls encountered.

The hand ended, with van Zadelhoff claiming the pot to move up to 50,000 while Xu fell back to around 20,000. Zawadzki retook his seat behind his chip stack and book, resuming his attempt to negotiate passage through these early levels. –MH

2:30pm: A winner already
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

Andre Akkari may only be starting his Main Event campaign, but he’s already a winner. Last night, your man from Brazil took down the Right to Play Charity Tournament. Let’s see if his run-good continues today. –BW

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Andre Akkari

2:24pm: Irish ayes
Level 4 – Blinds 150-300 (50 ante)

It’s been a good week already for poker players from Ireland. Both Dan Wilson and Nick Newport made the final table of the enormous Estrellas Main Event–Wilson finished ninth for €45,980 while Newport knocked Wilson out en route to fourth, for €202,000–and now there are around about 30 Irish players in Day 1B of the €5,000 EPT Main Event.

Jason Tompkins, Gavin O’Rourke, Cathal Shine, Padraig O’Neill, Daragh Davey, Marc Macdonnell and Dermot Blain are among them, and Wilson is back again.

None of them have as many chips at this stage as their countryman, and familiar EPT face, Dara O’Kearney, who has built his stack to about 75,000 already. O’Kearney just won another few in a hand against Ivan Banic and Paul van Oort.

Banic opened to 500 from early-position and O’Kearney three-bet to 1,200 from the cutoff. Van Oort called on the button and those three saw a flop of 4♦3♦2♣. Both Banic and O’Kearney checked, but Van Oort’s bet of 1,600 removed neither of his opponents.

They all checked the K♥ turn but after the 10♠ came on the river and Banic checked, O’Kearney’s bet of 3,500 took it down.

A few tables away, David Lappin, another familiar face in the Irish contingent, was also in a pot against Alex Difelice. They were all the way to the river: 4♥5♣10♦Q♥A♠ and Lappin checked. Difelice bet 2,500 and Lappin went into the tank.

Eventually he tossed out calling chips and Difelice turned over K♦9♦. Lappin’s 7♣10♣ was good. Lappin has about 40,000 now. — HS

2:16pm: Hungry yet?
Level 4 – Blinds: 150/300 (50 ante)

Players are now in their last level before taking a dinner…er…lunch…er…afternoon tea break.–BW

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4 150 300 50

2:10pm: Two steps forward one step back
Level 3 – Blinds: 100/200 (25 ante)

Like in any poker tournament you have to speculate to accumulate. You can spend an entire first day winning some, then losing some, but as long a that winning margin is even slightly better than the losing one, then you’re going in the right direction.

So you win pots, like Stanley just did in one that involved Fatima Moreira de Melo, and then lost the next one for just a little less.

Then there’s the fact that in order to win you have to be in, a trope that no longer applies to former November Niner Antoine Saout. I wish I could say how, or why, I can only say that he is. – SB

2:02pm: Companion coverage on EPT Live

If you’d like something to watch while waiting for our next update, EPT Live is streaming the final table of the Estrellas €2,000 High Roller right now. Watch it here.

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TV crew at the ready

1:58pm: Zaichenko raises river, chases Wilson
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Three diamonds. A paired board. And three stacks of chips each nearly the same size. Let’s put this one together.

Action had reached the river, with the board showing 5♦K♦J♦J♠Q♥. There’s your two pair and three diamonds, all of which came on the flop.

Daniel Wilson — fresh off a ninth-place finish in the Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event that finished up yesterday — had set out a single, blue 5,000 chip as a bet from the cutoff.

Wilson had about 13,500 behind. So, too did Andrey Zaichenko sitting to his left with the button, and he responded by setting all of it before him as a raise. That same 13,500 or so was about what was in the middle, too. There are your three stacks.

Wilson tanked for a full minute, then giving his cards one last check let them go. He preserves his 13,500, while Zaichenko now has twice that plus Wilson’s lost river bet — about 32,000. –MH

1:39pm: Dispatches from upstairs
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

The main tournament room is more than three times the size of the upstairs annexe, but it’s all happening in the smaller space, imo.

That’s where Johnny Lodden has just shown up and sat on Luca Pagano’s table (the two EPT cashing machines alongside one another). It’s where Benny Spindler has just wandered in, putting the fear of God into everyone (even if he wasn’t wearing a Bad Religion T-shirt).

It’s where William Kassouf is finding the skin of the average, grizzled Eastern European EPT veteran a bit harder to get beneath than your average WSOP player (“You got a pair?” Silence. “That’s a good flop for my hand.” Silence. “I’ve got two pair.” Silence. “You going to check?” Silence. “Good fold.” Silence.) And it’s where I just watched two all-in triangles deployed on the same hand, during Level 3*.

They are now seating alternates at a very high rate as players are already hitting the rail. There’s more than 1,160 players now registered for today.

*They chopped it with the nuts, but that’s not the point. — HS

1:33pm: The elements of poker
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Chips, cards, position — three important elements of any poker hand. In the first levels of a tournament, chips (i.e., stack sizes), generally aren’t quite as important as the other two elements, as everyone has roughly the same and with the blinds small and no antes all are relatively deep.

But position and hand strength always matter. Take a recent multi-way pot involving the Frenchman Antoine Saout and Alexandru Farcanescu of Romania.

Following a mid-position open to 450, Saout called from the button as did both blinds, including Farcanescu in the small blind. The flop came 5♥3♦Q♦ and it checked around to Saout. That flop didn’t improve his hand — as we later learned — but he bet anyway, firing 1,200. Only Farcanescu called, but he, too, wasn’t helped by that flop.

The 3♣ turn and the 3♠ river completed the board, also relative blanks.

Farcanescu tabled A♥K♥, having had cards but lacking position. Saout mucked his hand, having had position but no cards.

The chips? Farcanescu with about 35,000 is doing slightly better than Saout who has 22,000. But it’s still a while before the stacks are going to matter as much as other elements. –MH

1:25pm: Catch them all!
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Giada Fang has Pokemon Go spinning on her screen in front of her, but right now she’s more focused on the table in front of her. We picked up the hand on the flop: J♠3♥9♦. Tobias Peters check-raised Fang’s bet to 2,300, but she refused to go away. The K♠ on the turn slowed neither of them down. Peters bet out 4,200 and Fang wasted no time in calling. The river was the A♦. Peters backed off and Fang checked behind him. Peters flipped over 8♣10♣ (meaning, entirely over…face up and back to face down in one motion), a missed draw. Fang revealed Q♠Q♦. Peters shook has head as Fang stacked her chips and went back to her Pokemon hunt.–BW

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Giada Fang

1:15pm: The lesser-spotted EPT champion
Level 3 – Blinds 100-200 (25 ante)

Another pair of lesser-spotted former EPT champions have been spotted in the field: Julian Track and Vladimir Geshkenbein are here too. What next? Rueben Peters? — HS

3 100 200 25

12:35pm: Golf humour
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

God bless Sergio Garcia. He tried a joke, it didn’t work, but he didn’t let on.

Conversation was brisk on Garcia’s table this afternoon and one of his opponents, who spoke with what sounded like a Spanish or Italian accent, happened to mention that he lived in Dublin.

“Dublin?” Garcia said. “I like it. It’s the fastest growing city in the world.”

“Yeah,” one of his other table-mates said, oblivious to the set-up line for one of the oldest jokes in Christendom.

“Yeah,” Garcia continued. “Just keeps dubblin’ and dubblin’.”

Garcia, beneath dark shades and a bright yellow baseball cap, broke out into a wide grin, the kind you tend to see in the 19th hole as some hackers kick back with a whisky after shooting an 82. But this was not the clubhouse, it was a poker tournament, and the linguistic genius of Garcia flew high over the non-native speakers’ heads.

Garcia just chuckled inwardly. There’s no shifting the grin. — HS

12:25pm: Liquid poker
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

We’re joined in Barcelona this week by some representatives of Team Liquid after PokerStars and the premier eSports collective joined forces not so long ago. It’s not unusual, of course, to see Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier on the European Poker Tour (he joined Team Liquid earlier this year) but the Hearthstone phenom Janne “Savjz” Mikkonen is also sitting down in the EPT Main Event today.

We’ll keep an eye on Mikkonen’s progress here this afternoon, and it seems to have got off to a good start if a recent tweet is anything to go by:

12:20pm: When a raise is still, in fact, a raise
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

Maybe it was a fair question, maybe not. Regardless, in a battle of the blinds between Mourad Falfoul and Vasvenszki Zsolt, a question of what is a raise and what is not was enough that the floor ended up getting called.

At issue: they’ve made it to the river, and Falfoul has checked to Zsolt who then puts out a 500 chip and 1,000 chip. Falfoul responds by putting out a 500 chip and a 5,000 chip. It’s a raise, but Zsolt isn’t so sure it is.

“I did that same thing last year and they said it was a call,” he said.

Both Falfoul and the dealer confirm it’s a raise, but Zsolt wants to be sure. He’s not angry or even unconvinced, but he wants an official decision.

“Call the floor,” he says.

And so the dealer summons the floor, the floor arrives, hears the story, and snap-confirms, “It’s a raise.”

Zsolt shrugs as if he expected the answer. It’s not like American football where a faulty challenge results in the loss of a timeout. It’s just a lost couple of minutes.

But, in case it isn’t clear: Falfoul’s raise was clearly a raise because 1) He put out more than one chip and 2) The second chip was a different and higher denomination.

It was never in doubt, except perhaps in Zsolt’s mind. And maybe not even there. –BW

12:10pm: Premium hands only for Pagano
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

You can draw your own inference from the bare bones of this hand report. The important gist is that Luca Pagano won a pot of about 7,000 with 5♦3♦ which he somehow got to the river from under the gun in a raised pot.

There was all that already in the middle by the time the turn arrived. The four exposed cards at this stage were 9♦3♠4♣K♦ and three players checked: Johan Verhagen, who would have been in the small blind, Pagano, who would have been under the gun, and Sebastian Pauli, who would have been in the cutoff. (Pauli is watching one of Daniel Negreanu’s video diaries on his iPad.)

All three players also checked the 6♣ on the river and Verhagen tabled his A♠Q♠. With mock triumph, Pagano then revealed his monster–it was now bottom pair–and Pauli mucked.

The Team PokerStars Pro then noticed the reported hovering close to the table and was clearly dismayed that his secret crush on five-high has been exposed. — HS

12pm: Margets accounts for Engel
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

Ari Engel has had better tournaments, it’s fair to say. He is no longer in the seat next to David Vamplew and his former neighbour confirmed that Leo Margets had knocked him out. Registration is still open for the €25K single-day event, so there’s a chance he’ll show up over there.

Margets is getting busy with her newly-acquired chips, although couldn’t inflict the same fate on Julius Colman as she did on Engel. Colman limped from under the gun and Margets raised to 550 from a couple of seats around. Only Colman called, which took them to a flop of 9♠K♦2♠.

Colman check-called Margets’ bet of 675. Both players then checked the 5♦ turn. After the 5♠ appeared on the river, Colman bet 500. Margets called and Colman revealed his A♣K♠. It was good. — HS

11:50am: It’s all about the table draw
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

If there were a museum exhibit called “Portraits in Frustration,” David Lappin’s most recent tweet from the field would make for a good centerpiece. It’s like getting a tiny plate of tapas while seated next to a Vegas buffet. –BW

11:50am: More new arrivals
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

Among the new people filling in the seats in this packed house: Team PokerStars Pros ElkY and Mikhail Shamalov. The tournament crew is also now seating up to Alternate 40. –BW

11:45am: Drama averted for Garcia
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

After his initial table got a little salty, Sergio Garcia no longer has to worry about a cranky and impatient Russian who doesn’t like how long Garcia takes to make a decision. There is a lot of shuffling as the field gets set, and by luck of the draw, Garcia has been moved to another table where he might find some folks with a little more patience. Maybe. –BW

11:40am: Sweet spot
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

There’s a great spot to stand in the downstairs tournament room today, with a view of Team Online’s Naoya Kihara on one side, and then the table featuring Anton Wigg, Team Online’s Giada Fang and Christophe Benzimra on the other. Benzimra is also a former EPT champion, but the best thing is that he’s watching re-runs of the Olympics on his phone, so you can re-live the Rio excitement in between poker hands.

Not that Wigg is offering much spare time. He’s playing near enough every pot. He lost a few chips in a blind-on-blind battle against Nicolas Fridman, but then got them back in subsequent two hands.


Anton Wigg

In the pot against Fridman, Wigg bet 500 into a pot of about 650 with the full board exposed. It read 4♥5♠7♦3♦9♥. Fridman raised to 1,500, Wigg called and Fridman showed 5♥6♠.

But on the next hand, Pavel Savin opened to 375 from the cutoff and Wigg’s three-bet to 1,025 from the button won. And Wigg then opened the next pot, to 400, and got a call from the big blind. Both players checked the 10♣J♥4♦ flop, then Wigg bet the 8♠ turn and won again.

Meanwhile on Benzimra’s phone, a pole-vaulter ran all the way down the run up but then stopped right by the mat rather than actually vaulting. Benzimra chuckled. — HS

11:30am: Alternates filling in
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

It’s a crowded house here. The soft cap of 900 has given way to alternates, with the first 20 of them having already been seated.–BW

11:20am: Level up
Level 2 – Blinds 75-150

We’re on to the second level of the day with blinds now at 75-150.–BW

2 75 150 N/A

11:08am: Sergio Garcia on the clock
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

The rules of golf, as near as we can tell, are a lot like the rules of poker in terms of how long a player has to act. It’s discretionary, and under one of the written rules, a golfer is merely required to act “without undue delay.”

We mention it because pro golfer Sergio Garcia is in the field today, and within the first hour of play, he’s had the clock called on him. He didn’t like that very much.

Based on the chips on the table, it appeared Garcia had raised to 225 and was re-raised by Russia’s Roman Voronin. That’s apparently where the trouble started. After Garcia thought for a bit, Voronin called the clock on him. A tournament director arrived, and Voronin started talking to Garcia.

“What are you thinking about so long pre-flop?” Voronin asked.

Garcia looked up, defiant behind a pair of sunglasses and under a TaylorMade cap. Try to imagine a scenario where Garcia stood over a putt too long and somebody across the green called the clock on him. That’s the look Garcia had on his face.

“I’m not saying anything about what you re doing,” he said. “A little respect?”

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Voronin remained impatient. “It’s not a TV show,” he said. “You just have to act a little bit faster.”

Garcia was having none of it and ran out the remainder of his allotted time before folding. No harm, no foul, but it will probably make for an interesting day at that table. –BW

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11:05am: Neighbours
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

With more than 1,000 players expected today, you would hope for a soft-ish table to get things started. But Billy Chattaway, Leo Margets, Ari Engel and David Vamplew have all been drawn together, in seats 7, 8, 1 and 2, respectively.

Engel took a small pot early on today when he called from the small blind after Björn Winkler’s open to 300 was called in two other spots: Tim Verheyen in the cutoff and Chattaway on the button.

The flop came 7♦5♠8♥ and all four players checked. Then the 5♣ came on the turn and Engel bet 650. Only Chattaway seemed even remotely interested, but folded after a few seconds’ thought. — HS

10:55am: A long day promised on Table Elliot
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Few can mistake the dulcet tones of Willie Elliot, co-host of the Scottish Poker Podcast and frequent contributor/commentator, via Twitter, to EPT Live. His table-mates today have also already been warned that they’re going to need to get used to his voice today. At the end of an early monologue he told them, “This will be all day, just so you know.” Elliot then dug into his pocket to offer them use of a spare set of headphones, should it get too much.

I only caught snippets of this early conversation, but Elliot was discussing hair colour with a fair-haired player a couple of seats to his left. “Strawberry blonde?” Elliot asked, dancing around the G-word. The fair-haired man could only chuckle. One expects he may be looking for the kind of headphones Albert Daher is already sporting at that table: the type so large they might possibly cause a neck injury.

“It’s going to be a long day,” Elliot cautioned further. He won a satellite to this event and is clearly in fine spirits. — HS

10:40am: Personalized reporting
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

While we’ll be reporting on the field at large today, if you have specific interest in a player, many of them are updating their Twitter accounts in real-ish time. Here are a few examples of people you can follow to get you started. –BW

10:40am: Former champions arrive
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Yaxi Zhu and Chen-An Lin have now arrived too, representing Team PokerStars Pro Asia. — HS

10:35am: Former champions arrive
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

Toby Lewis and Michael Tureniec, winners in Vilamoura and Copenhagen, respectively, are among the early arrivers today. Those two are already seated, and Tureniec picked up a very small pot early on when he raised to 400 from under the gun, got a call in the big blind, and then c-bet a king-high flop. Very uninteresting, except for the 4x opening raise. I haven’t seen something like that from a pro since about 1997.

Antonio Matias, another former champ, is also now in the room and ready for action. — HS

10:25am: Meanwhile, downstairs…
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

As mentioned moments ago, we could see more than 1,000 players today. The big digital tournament board currently reads 875, but that number is sure to go up as the day progresses. Among the on-time arrivals in the downstairs tourney room: Fatima Moreira de Melo, Eugene Katchalov, Giada Fang, Cate Hall, George Danzer, and Luc Greenwood.

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Fatima Moreira de Melo

Over the years, this event has grown every year but one. Last year’s field was a monster 1,694 players. While it would be very difficult to hit that number this year, we’re still sure to see a bumper field assembled before the end of the day. Here’s how the first 12 seasons’ fields stacked up. –BW

Season 1: 229 players, €229,000 prize pool, Alexander Stevic from Sweden for €80,000
Season 2: 327 players, €1,300,000 prize pool, Jan Boubli from France for €416,000
Season 3: 480 players, €2,304,000 prize pool, Bjørn-Erik Glenne from Norway for €691,000
Season 4: 543 players, €4,181,100 prize pool, Sander Lyloff from Denmark for €1,170,700
Season 5: 619 players, €4,952,000 prize pool, Sebastian Ruthenberg from Germany for €1,361,000
Season 6: 479 players, €3,832,000 prize pool, Carter Phillips from USA for €850,000
Season 7: 758 players, €3,790,000 prize pool, Kent Lundmark from Sweden for €825,000
Season 8: 811 players, €4,055,000 prize pool, Martin Schleich from Germany for €850,000
Season 9: 1,082 players, €5,247,700 prize pool, Mikalai Pobal from Belarus for €1,007,550
Season 10: 1,234 players, €5,984,900 prize pool, Tom Middleton from UK for €942,000
Season 11: 1,496 players, €7,255,600 prize pool, Andre Lettau from Germany for €794,058
Season 12: 1,694 players, €8,215,900 prize pool, John Juanda from Indonesia for €1,022,593

10:15am: Two floors
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

With a field of more than 1,000 expected today (there’s a capacity of 900, but alternates will also get in), both tournament rooms are in play. Although most tables only have about four or five players seated at the moment, they are filling rapidly.

In the smaller, upstairs room, Sophia Lovren, Govert Metaal and Luca Pagano have taken their seats already, the latter snap-chatting his way to the table. Also Bernard Vu is up there, playing his first EPT tournament since finishing runner-up at the APPT Macau a couple of months ago.

10:05am: Things to look out for
Level 1 – Blinds 50-100

In addition to Day 1B of the Main Event, there is also the €25K Single-Day tournament happening today and the final table of the €2,000 Estrellas High Roller. The latter is being shown with cards up on EPT Live, so watch along when it starts at 2pm. In the meantime, you can see a replay of yesterday’s €50K final table.

Meanwhile back at the Main Event, they have been through the “shuffle up and deal” formalities. Everyone has a 30,000 starting stack and blinds begin at 50-100. — HS

1 50 100 N/A

9:40am: Yes, A.M.!

Good morning everybody! And not just metaphorically. Today, for what I think is the first time in European Poker Tour history, a day of play on an EPT Main Event is kicking off at 10am.

Everyone is delighted. You should see the line of players gamboling into the tournament room, a spring in each of their steps, big grins plastered across their phyzogs. Most of them, it seems, got up at around 7, took a long walk down the beach, showered, sculpted their hair into perfect “bed-head” style designs and shimmied to the casino as early as they could possibly make it. I think most of them could only have been happier if it had been an 8am start.

If you thought there would actually be a shuffling, shambling traipse of vagrants, cigarettes barely adhered to bottom lips, sleep-dust caked to their cheeks, night-breath pluming from dry mouths, then you would be very, very wrong. It’s not like that at all.

Cards will be in the air momentarily. Stick around for action from eight levels. It’s like a dream! — HS


The Day 1B field assembles

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Barcelona and the rest of the season.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the EPT13 Barcelona Main Event: Stephen Bartley, Martin Harris, Howard Swains, and Brad Willis. Photography by Neil Stoddart. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter:@PokerStarsBlog

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The view over Barcelona from Montjuic


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