The beginning of another PokerStars.com European Poker Tour is upon us. The reduced season schedule, the pairing with sub tours, and the increased number of events has meant that every EPT cannot be missed by any of the top players from around the globe.
Day 1a of the EPT Barcelona Main Event kicked off on Sunday with 403 players registering, and with around 600 more expected on Monday, this event could very well pass the four-figure mark. At the end of Day 1a, 226 players remained and Aku Joentausta was leading the way with a stack of 236,200. He’s followed by Guy Thomas (211,100) and Emanoil Savin (190,600).
Team PokerStars Pro had a ten-pronged attack coming into play and three of them fell by the wayside. Liv Boeree and Martin Hruby both slipped up with big-slick, with the former running into aces and the latter failing to hit against pocket queens. Arnaud Mattern busted in Level 1 when his triple-barrel bluff failed to dislodge an opponent with an over-pair.
Lex Velduis (148,800) was the first player that we saw break the 100,000-mark and although he slipped back somewhat he steadied the ship and sailed through to Day 2. Marcin Horecki’s stack was yo-yoing all day, but he held on and finished the day with 14,200. Juan Manuel Pastor (72,400) was as steady as ever and Pius Hienz got up 60,000 early on but spent most of the day hovering between 35,000 and 45,000, before he finished strong with 72,400. Matthias De Meulder (29,900), Sebastian Ruthenberg (95,700), and Henrique Pinho (77,800) will also be back for day 2.
In with a shot of not only being the first double EPT champion but also the first double EPT Barcelona champion are Martin Schleich and Kent Lunmark. The two previous champions were seated with each other for a time on Day 1a and made it through with 81,000 and 76,300 respectively.
British pro — and reigning EPT Loutraki champion Zimnan Ziyard was another player who had a great day at the Spanish felt, ending the day with an impressive stack containing 137,900 chips.
Those who came with high hopes only to see them dashed included the UK's Chris Brammer, Scott Seiver, Jannick Wrang, Ben Wilinofsky, Vladimir Geshkenbein, Sorel Mizzi, Anton Wigg, Nicolas Chouity, Benny Spindler and Michael Tureniec.
Day 1b kicks off on Monday with new faces in a field that is expected to be stacked with stars. Actions gets under way at 1200 CET (0600 PDT), and eight 75-minute levels will be played out. The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be there to capture all the action for you reading pleasure.
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