Attendances at live poker tournaments are a little ropey these days, but you can always count on PokerStars to show the others what is possible with a large online delivery system and great customer service.
With 60% of the online poker marketplace nicely tucked away in it’s pocket. The owners of the red spade continue to show they are far from a one trick pony, as they continue to dominate the European live tournament scene with a showing of numbers in their opening Season 10 event at Barcelona, that will have their competitors drooling at the mouth.
The reason PokerStars have such a successful live tournament product is because they have their ears to the ground. They ask their players for feedback, they listen and they produce. If you give the players what they want, they will come.
To demonstrate my point, 1,798 players contested the €1,000 Estrellas Main Event, making it the largest field for a 1k event outside of the World Series of Poker. Once again it was a German poker player stealing the headlines as Soenke Jahn received €169,136 for picking up the title; after he had agreed to a four way deal involving Paul Nunes, Alin Sameeian and the Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) Uruguay champion Marcelo Fonseca.
Barcelona is one of the player’s favorite spots on the European circuit, proven by Day 1A increased attendances for the fourth consecutive year. Back at EPT6 there were 207 players; EPT7 saw 263 players; EPT8 welcomed 346 players; last year saw 403 players show up and EPT10 welcomed 518 players for its first day of action.
360 survived the Day 1A frivolities and leading them is the EPT8 Barcelona runner-up Dragan Kostic with 215,000 chips. Joining him in the bag, with decent chip stacks, are the Season XII World Poker Tour (WPT) Merit Cyprus Classic runner up, Albert Daher, with 127,700; the number one ranked female in the world, Vanessa Selbst, on 75,800 chips, fellow American Bryn Kenney with 115,000 and the first-ever EPT champion Alexander Stevic with 103,900 chips; Sam Chartier, Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier and EPT8 Barcelona winner Martin Schleich all failing to make the grade.
Day 1B expects to see an even bigger field take to the felt to make EPT10 Barcelona was of the biggest 5k events of the year.
EPT9 Awards Ceremony
The opening leg of EPT10 was the fitting time to present the EPT9 superstars with their awards. The ceremony was held at the Opium club and the impressive string of winners was as follows.
Online Qualifier of the Year – Anaras Alekberovas (Lithuania)
Heads-Up Player of the Year – Ankush Mandavia (USA)
Omaha Player of the Year – Militiadis Kyriakidis (Greece)
Mixed Game Player of the Year – Marcel Luske (Netherlands)
Best Country Award – Norway
High Roller Player of the Year – Vladimir Troyanovskiy (Russia)
EPT9 Player of the Year – Jan Bendik (Slovakia)