Sunday, August 23, 2015

EPT12 Barcelona, Day 5: My Mind Is On the Blink

“Six more hands,” came the announcement. It was the last level of the night, the tournament clock had been paused, and a card had just been drawn to see how many more hands each table would play. Three would be the minimum, with six or seven (I believe) the max.

René, the photographer who has been working me as we cover the Estrellas Barcelona Poker Tour Main Event, looked at me and rolled his eyes.

“That is appropriate,” he said, and I immediately understood his meaning. It had been a long day, and so it made sense to punctuate it with a longish final sequence.

All of which is to say I’m pretty much beyond exhausted this morning after a fifth straight day of work here at EPT Barcelona, this one carrying late into the wee hours. There was definitely a wall of some kind I ran up against earlier in the day, and by night’s end I was mentally leaning up against it trying my best to remain upright.

Was 2:15 a.m. leaving the casino after a long Day 2 of the Estrellas Barcelona Poker Tour Main Event that saw 984 players play all of the way down to just 98. There was more to do after that, too, making it even later before your correspondent was able at last to catch a few hours’ worth of Z’s.

That pic above, by the way, is one taken by René of the player Chris Da-Silva Oduntan during what became an especially long bubble period yesterday when the clock was repeatedly paused (thus resulting in the longer work day).

Jose Carlos Garcia, the young Polish player with a not very Polish-sounding name, is leading the tournament at present. This makes the third straight EPT I’ve covered in which Garcia has stood out, as he final tabled both the LAPT Bahamas event back in January and the EPT Grand Final Main Event in May. He’s also won a Sunday Million before (in March 2014), and I believe is only 22.

Along with Dzmitry Urbanovich and Dominik Panka, Garcia is helping to form what is fast becoming a kind of new wave of Polish phenoms in poker. I remember once speaking with Marcin Horecki, the Team PokerStars Pro from Warsaw, about Panka (who won the 2014 PCA Main Event), and he talked then about other young stars of the game from his country who were about to break out as well. (I had a chance to talk to Panka, too, back at this year’s PCA.)

I’m bracing for another long day today covering the Estrellas, as they’ll need to get all of the way down to an eight-handed final table for Monday.

Again, check the PokerStars blog for my ESPT reports while the others fill you in on the €50K Super High Roller. They had nearly 100 come out for that one yesterday (a record), with late reg still open until the start today. (Every event is breaking records, in fact.)

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