Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Travel Report: EPT13 Barcelona, Day 8 -- Double Bubble

Today at the European Poker Tour’s Barcelona stop was highlighted by Day 2 of the Main Event reaching the bubble near the end of Day 2 (faster than typical thanks to the new payout schedule in which 20% of the field cashes) and the always fun media event.

I happened to be there for the bubble hand today in the EPT Main. I was also there for the one in the media event as, alas, I was the one going out one spot shy of the cash.

In the Main Event there were 360 players left, meaning exactly 45 eight-handed tables had gone to hand-for-hand play as the top 359 made the money. There were several of us on hand to try to catch the bubble hand, although to be honest it usually isn’t that hard to witness at least the end of such a hand given how the usual procedure is to stop the tournament, get the EPT Live cameras over and ready, then deal out the hand and/or have a showdown. By then there are many reporters from multiple outlets there, too, again making it easier to get details if needed.

I was watching just a handful of tables, and somewhat uncannily was standing right beside the one where the bubble hand ended up taking place, being there from the very start to record the preflop action. The hand was a bit unusual for a bubble hand. Rather than a preflop all-in, it had lots of postflop back-and-forthing and culminated in the at-risk player calling off his remaining chips on the river. Kind of a neat hand to follow, actually -- you can read about it here.

The media tournament came later, starting after 10 p.m., drawing 40 entrants. It followed the same 20% payout scheme of the other EPT events, meaning the top eight made the money with eighth getting €25, just five euros more than the buy-in.

Your humble scribbler-slash-low-roller made it to the final nine, getting lucky once along the way when my ace-king outdrew pocket kings. I might’ve folded into the money, but took a reckless gamble in one hand to lose about a third of my stack, then lost with ace-king versus pocket sevens to finish ninth.

Good fun, though, getting to play for two-and-a-half hours or so. And it wasn’t that bad getting back to the room in time to get a decent night’s sleep, upon which I am presently going to embark.

Will probably have to write a little something next week about the big announcement today from PokerStars regarding its live events and the consolidating of all the tours as “PokerStars Championships” and “PokerStars Festivals” -- a lot of buzz about that, as you might imagine.

Photo: courtesy Neil Stoddart/PokerStars blog.

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