Friday, August 30, 2013

Barcelona Bound

Am packing once more here as I prepare to fly out this afternoon to join the PokerStars crew and help cover the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event for the PokerStars blog. This is the start of Season 10 of the EPT, and there’s a lot of excitement surrounding both the tour getting going again and the fact that Barcelona -- seemingly everyone’s favorite stop -- is the site of the coming week’s proceedings.

Will be an especially busy scene there. Besides the EPT Barcelona series (with 27 different tournaments), the Spain-based Estrellas Poker Tour is having its stop at Barcelona as well (with eight more events). The Estrellas events got going on Wednesday, and I believe all of these tournaments will be completed by next Saturday, September 7.

The EPT is thriving. Just looking at the turnouts for the EPT Barcelona Main Events for the last few years, they’ve been increasing at a rapid clip. Since they changed the buy-in to €5,000 + €300 for Season 7, the field sizes have been 758 entries (EPT7), 811 (EPT8), and 1,082 (EPT9). Talking to players both at the WSOP and afterwards and overhearing some of the table talk earlier this week in Florida, it definitely sounds like the ME will at least challenge last year’s total.

As I try to remember my passport, power converters, and other essentials, I’m currently tuning into the EPT Live stream on which they’re already showing action from the Casino de Barcelona at Hotel Arts where the €48,500 + €1,500 buy-in “Super High Roller” is already underway.

Kind of funny to see the same guys I was reporting on just a couple of days ago in the World Poker Tour Alpha8 Florida event sitting around the tables there in Barcelona, including that event’s winner Steven Silverman. Like the Alpha8, this EPT Super High Roller also features unlimited re-entries (up until the beginning of Day 2).

As I’ve mentioned here before, I lived in France for a whole year once but somehow never made it to Spain despite having thought about tripping down there on more than one occasion during that time. Am thus very excited about getting this opportunity.

Gonna have to cut things off here now. Talk to you again from the other side of the Atlantic.

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