When 1,226 players pony up €5,300 to play a game of poker then you know you have a great product on your hands. Poker players just love Barcelona, and why not. The Casino Barcelona is perfectly situated amidst an adult playground of fine dining, dancing and debauchery, and this is why the European Poker Tour (EPT) keeps coming back for more.
After the first two starting flights have been removed into the dark recesses of people’s minds, EPT10 Barcelona is officially the largest EPT field that Barcelona has ever seen, and it comes second only to EPT6 San Remo in terms of European field sizes for an event of this magnitude.
In a world that see’s the prima donnas turning up in the latter stages of a starting flight, it was encouraging to see Daniel Negreanu sitting in his seat at the start of the event. He had a new hairstyle to boot, a kind of finger in the socket thing, and the Canadian was in good form until he met his demise just before dinner. Kid Poker getting his short stack in good, holding [Ad] [Jd] against the [Ah] [7h] of his opponent, only to see a seven on the flop sending Negreanu back to the salon.
The Season XI World Poker Tour Championship winner, Chino Rheem, didn’t even make it past the first level and World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, Jason Duval, was also eliminated early when he departed in the second level of the day.
The Barcelona and Spain center half, Gerard Pique, sat down to play, as did the legendary Norwegian Thor Hansen. Daniel Bass eliminated Lex Veldhuis when his pocket sevens held up against the [Ad] [8c] of the PokerStars Team Pro and as Griffin Benger also departed, with Ole Schemion rising to the top of the counts to become the first serious chip leader of Day 1B.
The EPT Grand Final Winner, Steve O’Dwyer, is already in profit for this trip after finishing third in the €50k Super High Roller, but was not going to adding to it in the main event. O’Dwyer moving in on the river on a Jack high board holding [Ks] [Jh], only to be called by the [Ah] [Js] of Paul Rimmer.
The sixth level of play saw the former EPT Champion Ludovic Lacay bite the dust, and Sergio Castellucio, recent Estrellas Main Event runner up Paul Vas Nunes and EPT9 Barcelona runner-up Ilari Sahamies also joined him.
The Brazilian footballing legend Ronaldo was taking some of the attention away from the main event. The World Cup record top goal scorer was playing in a special event with a few lucky PokerStars online qualifiers and the likes of Jonathan Duhamel, ElkY, Vanessa Selbst and Leo Margets.
Back to the main event and Mike ‘Timex’ McDonald left the tournament and Timothy Adams got caught bluffing on the river to send him out into the cool night air. At the top of the counts, Brian Kim, had become the new chip leader.
Jake Cody recently revealed that he is soon to be a father and that he was the ‘luckiest man in the world.’ Yeah, we know that Jake. Take for example his triple up in Level Six when he got it in with the worst of it: [Ad] [Jc] versus the [As] [Kh] of Jakob Karlsson and pocket nines of Stephen Woodhead – a jack on the flop handing the dad-to-be a lifeline.
The last big elimination belonged to the recent WPT Alpha8 winner, Steven Silverman. The man known as Zugwat was in great shape when the money went on a flop of [Td] [8d] [6c], with him holding pocket queens against the [Ac] [8c] of Dainius Ulke. Unfortunately, the [Ah] on the turn handed Ulke two-pair and Silverman was out.
When the final chip counts were eventually compiled it was the name of Florian-Dimitrie Duta who had the chip lead with 187,000. Joining him in the Day Two seat draw with decent stacks are Ole Schemion (140,600), Simeon Naydenov (130,000), Ville Wahlbeck (128,600), Shannon Shorr (121,500), Philipp Gruissem (119,700).
Jake Cody squeaked through with 27,700 and Gerard Pique also made it with 23,100.