Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Travel Report: EPT10 Barcelona, Main Event: Day 2 -- Poker, Plaça d'Espanya, and Paella

A shorter day yesterday at the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event, with just six 75-minute levels and no dinner break. That meant wrapping up before 9 p.m. as opposed to the 1:30 a.m. finishes of the previous two nights. The shorter day coincided nicely with the fact that yesterday happened to be Vera Valmore’s birthday, and so we were able to go out for a nice dinner to celebrate.

In the end a total of 1,234 players entered the event, crushing last year’s all-time high at EPT Barcelona of 1,082 and coming close to establishing a new standard for non-PCA EPT Main Events, just missing topping the 1,240 who played EPT6 Sanremo.

There were 697 left to start Day 2 (where the two Day 1 flights were combined), and from them 235 made it to today. From those 183 will make the cash, so the money bubble will be bursting early this afternoon. A whopping €1,067,000 awaits the winner up top.

Our day began with a late breakfast in the hotel, another cab ride over to Casino Barcelona, and following a rapid-fire series of posts throughout the day at the PokerStars blog we looked up and the day was done. Meanwhile Vera was out and about again, having mastered the metro by now enough to explore still more of Barcelona.

Her day was highlighted by a trip to the Fundació Joan Miró, a museum of modern art featuring the work of Joan Miró, an artist in whom Vera has always had an interest.

The museum is situated up on top of a hill called Montjuïc in Catalonia which requires a bit of a walk from the nearest metro stop at the striking Plaça d'Espanya. That is what is pictured to the left; up above is the museum itself with the fountains running before it.

When we reunited during the early evening, we took a walk along the boardwalk facing the Port Olimpic just outside the casino, enjoying the especially pleasant weather (mild temps, light wind) as we marveled at the dozens of boats packed like sardines. With dusk approaching, there were still a couple of beach volleyball games going and we lingered to watch them before sauntering up to the Moll del Gregal.

There we picked a restaurant from the several choices, La Fitora, where we adventurously selected a black rice paella dish with cuttlefish ink which was very tasty, causing us to smile through blackened teeth. We moved back toward the casino after that, stopping at Farggi for ice cream before making our way back to the hotel.

Vera has another full day here before leaving on Thursday. Meanwhile, at the casino we’ll be back on the reporting beat with the media tourney happening at some point during the proceedings. Once again, visit the PokerStars blog to read and watch more about the EPT Barcelona Main Event.

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