The €5,300 buy-in 2014 European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event got under way at Casino Barcelona on Thursday afternoon, kicking off the 11th season of the illustrious in style.
Day 1a was the start day of choice for 475 entrants, among them some of the biggest names in world poker including a gaggle of Team PokerStars Pros such as Johnny Lodden, Vanessa Selbst, Eugene Katchalov, Alex Kravchenko and Leo Margets, the latter flying the Spanish flag in her home country.
It was also the preferred flight of more than 30 players who call the United Kingdom or Ireland home, although only half of those players managed to finish among the 279 survivors once eight 75-minute levels had played out at the PokerStars branded felt.
Irishmen Sean Prendiville and Dara Davey fell by the wayside before the end of play, leaving David Lappin and online phenom Charlie Carrel as the only Irish players to progress to Day 2 thus far.
The first starting flight was not kind to the likes of current number one in the UK Global Poker Index (GPI) Stephen Chidwick, reigning EPT Barcelona Champion Tom Middleton, Leo McClean, Mathew Frankland, Toby Lewis or Tamer Kamal, all of whom busted before the curtain came down on proceedings.
One Brit who had a great time at the tables was Charlie Combes who ended the night with 172,400 chips, enough to see his name displayed in second place in the overnight chip counts. Combes is an absolute beast in the online poker world where he has amassed more than $4.6 million in tournament winnings, including $2.4 million on PokerStars alone where he plays as “JIZOINT.”
Despite continued success at the virtual felt, Combes has so far failed to set the live poker world alight and current has lifetime winnings of $177,911; his largest score of $79,041 makes up a large percentage of that total. Maybe the 2014 EPT Barcelona Main Event will be the tournament that puts Combes well and truly onto the live poker map.
Other British Day 1a survivors include 2013 EPT Grand Final Main Event runner-up Jack Salter (76,600), Patrick Leonard (39,800), the legendary Barny Boatman (36,400), the Welsh wizard Roberto Romanello (24,300), Scotland’s David Vamplew (19,400) and the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event’s last Briton standing Craig McCorkell (11,300).
The name at the top of the Day 1a chip counts is one that regularly pops up in the biggest poker tournaments around the globe. Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi needs no introduction – neither would you if you had $14.5 million in live tournament winnings – and after turning his 30,000 starting stack into a tournament-leading 186,600 chips, it looks as if Mizrachi is set for another deep run in a major live tournament.
Also punching their ticket to Saturday’s Day2 were such luminaries as Maksim Semisoshenko (153,500), German star Marko Neumann (146,200), Bryn Kenney (129,600), hometown girl Ana Marquez (118,000), Team PokerStars Online Marc-Andre Ladouceur (113,400, Swedish star Anton Wigg (92,000), Ole Schemion (80,000), former EPT Barcelona winner Kent Lundmark (70,600), Dominik Nitsche (55,800), Lukas Berglund (37,000), November Niner Martin Jacobson (34,800), Martin Finger (34,000), Jonathan Little (29,100), and German high roller Fabian Quoss (13,400).
Day 1b kicks off at midday local time and will again see eight 75-minutes of poker take place. Last year’s total attendance topped 1,234 and everything points towards that impressive total being beaten.
Return to UK & Ireland PokerNews on Saturday morning to see how the British and Irish players got on during Day 1b, but until then you can follow all of the action unfold over at our Live Reporting pages.
2014 EPT Barcelona Day 1a Top 10 Chip Counts
|5||Jose Goncalves Pinheiro||Portugal||147,300|
Check out this interview Remko Rinkema did with former EPT Vilamoura champion Toby "810ofclubs" Lewis.