In two weeks' time, the PokerStars European Poker Tour Season 13 kicks off in Barcelona, one of the most popular EPT stops. The poker festival starts Wednesday August 17th with the €1,100 Estrellas Main Event and concludes Sunday August 28th with the €5,300 EPT Main Event final table. The schedule includes two €10,000 High Roller events, a €25,000 Single Day High Roller, a €50,000 buy-in Super High Roller, and countless smaller events spread out over the two-week festival. The entire schedule can be found on EPT.com.
A Fixture on the EPT Calendar Since Year One
Barcelona is a fixture on the European Poker Tour's schedule. In fact, it's the only stop that's been there each and every season after London disappeared from the EPT schedule last season. The event started as a €1,000 event in 2004 but became a €4,000 event in Season 2. In Season 3, the organization bumped it to €5,000 and even increased the buy-in to €8,000 over the next three years.
Alexander Stevic became the first ever European Poker Tour champion back in 2004 after beating a field of 229 players. He walked away with a check worth €80,000 and would become prominent face on the tour in the events to follow, finishing third in that year's EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo.
Last year it was John Juanda taking home the title and €1,022,593, coming out on top of a field 1,694 strong, the biggest ever EPT Main Event.
PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event Champions
|6||September||2009||478||€8,000||Carter Phillips||United States||€850,000|
|10||September||2013||1,234||€5,000||Tom Middleton||United Kingdom||€942,000|
Heaps of High Rollers
With the Main Event buy-in rolled back to €5,000 in 2010 after being €8,000 for the three prior years, the EPT introduced a €10,000 event to accommodate the high rollers. The event hasn't left the schedule since, and in 2012 they introduced the €50,000 Super High Roller. Last season a €25,000 Single-Day High Roller was added to the program, and all three of these high roller events will return this year. An additional €10,000 event is organized at the start of the festival this time as well, to be held August 17-19.
The first ever €10,000 event was won by Fernando Brito who made an even chop with Juha Helppi, granting them both €127,500. With a field of 36 the turnout wasn't huge, but the event would grow in years to come. Last year the event saw a record-breaking 506 entries, Mustapha Kanit walked away a winner banking €738,759 after striking a three-way deal with Kuljinder "Kully" Sidhu (€640,000) and Nick Petrangelo (€592,840). After agreeing to the chop, the three of them called it quits for the night and didn't play another hand of poker in one of the stranger finishes to a poker tournament that we can remember.
Dan Smith took down the first ever €50,000 Super High Roller back in 2012, banking €962,925 after striking a deal with JC Alvarado who took home €788,675. The most memorable Super High Roller in Barcelona, however, might have been the one in 2014 when Olivier Busquet took down the event for €896,434. Busquet and eventual runner up Dan Colman wore politically charged T-shirts prompting PokerStars to ban displays of political statements at European Poker Tour events. If that weren't enough, Busquet made runner-runner on the felt to stay alive and eventually win his biggest prize to date in a hand that literally seemed "made for TV."
The €25,000 High Roller was a new addition to the schedule last year. What was supposed to be a single-day event, it proved too popular and drew too big of a field to be completed within the first 25 levels. Three players returned two days later, with Liv Boeree (third, €391,000) and Mark Teltscher (second, €586,500) both falling to winner Martin Finger who banked €865,900.
PokerStars EPT Barcelona High Roller Champions
|7||2010||€10,000||36||Fernando Brito||€127,500||Juha Helppi||€127,500|
|8||2011||€10,000||67||Philipp Gruissem||€234,500||Jean-Baptiste Tomi||€147,400|
|9||2012||€10,000||111||Laurent Polito||€270,229||Alex Bilokur||€295,451|
|€50,000||64||Dan Smith||€962,925||JC Alvarado||€788,675|
|10||2013||€10,000||180||Thomas Mühlöcker||€390,700||Daniel Negreanu||€263,800|
|€50,000||50||Vitaly Lunkin||€771,300||Erik Seidel||€557,100|
|11||2014||€10,000||393||Ihar Soika||€747,200||Jason Mercier||€473,500|
|€50,000||77||Olivier Busquet||€896,434||Daniel Colman||€843,066|
|12||2015||€10,000||506||Mustapha Kanit||€738,759||Kuljinder Sidhu||€640,000|
|€25,000||152||Martin Finger||€865,900||Mark Teltscher||€586,500|
|€50,000||99||Sylvain Loosli||€1,224,000||Dzmitry Urbanovich||€841,500|
EPT Barcelona's Top Money Earners
German pro Sebastian Ruthenberg, a recent bracelet winner and PokerStars Shooting Star at the time, took down the Main Event in 2008 when the buy-in was still €8,000 and only 10 percent of the players finished in the money, unlike the 15 percent it is today. He beat a field of 619 players to take home €1,361,000, the biggest EPT Main Event prize ever awarded in Barcelona.
Sander Lyloff currently claims runner-up status in the all-time money list of players cashing in the EPT Barcelona Main Event. He beat Mark Teltscher heads-up back in 2007 to take home €1,170,700, leaving Teltscher just one spot shy of becoming (at the time) the first ever two-time EPT champion.
|5||Samuel Phillips||United States||1||€1,021,275|
|6||Tom Middleton||United Kingdom||1||€942,000|
|7||Steven Warburton||United Kingdom||1||€941,613|
|8||Carter Phillips||United States||1||€850,000|
Most Cashes in EPT Barcelona Main Event History
There's only a single player who has cashed the EPT Barcelona Main Event four times. Belgian pro Matthias De Meulder cashed for a combined €111,275 while making it in the money in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015.
There are 24 players who cashed three times in the EPT Barcelona Main Event. Among them are Leo Margets (€43,800), Andre Akkari (€51,700), Mikalai Pobal (€1,034,150), Davidi Kitai (€521,300), Kitty Kuo (€36,250), Jan Boubli (€453,000), Mike McDonald (€76,740), Ole Schemion (€73,600), Kent Lundmark (€848,460), and Roberto Romanello (€53,200).
A staggering 117 players have cashed in the event twice. Among them is last year's winner John Juanda, who in fact is the only player to make the final table of the EPT Barcelona twice. Besides winning last year (banking €1,022,593), Juanda final-tabled the event back in 2012 when he finished in eighth place for €76,100.
Countries Represented at EPT Barcelona
A total of 1,184 different players from 60 different countries have cashed in the EPT Barcelona Main Event in its 12-year history. A total of 1,352 places have been paid over 12 seasons. German players have the best results in EPT Barcelona history, looking at the amount of cashes (116), prize money (€6,293,385) and titles (three — Ruthenberg, Martin Schleich, and Andre Lettau).
Some Other Fun EPT Barcelona Moments
Ten years ago Phil Ivey, already a poker legend at the time, played his first ever European Poker Tour event in Barcelona. He didn't need to prove himself on European soil whatsoever, as he had already taken down the Monte Carlo Millions (immortalized by one of the most famous hands of poker ever) in Monaco the year before, but made for a great showing, anyway. He was close to earning his first ever EPT title, but came up short as a Norwegian by the name of Bjørn-Erik Glenne destroyed the final table. You can still watch the entire final table of YouTube or read PokerStars Blog's Brad Willis' account.
Another great moment happened during the 2012 EPT Barcelona Main Event. The field of 1,082 was down to just three players at the start of dinner break. Joni Jouhkimainen (16,095,000 in chips) had a demanding lead over Mikalai Pobal (8,720,000) and Ilari Sahamies (7,460,000). Sahamies, coming off a fourth-place in the €50,000 event (€291,900) and a week of abstinence, used the dinner break to slam down some vodka-orange juices, and Jouhkimainen joined him. The two Finns returned from a break with huge smiles on their faces, orange glasses in their hands, and shiny little hats on their heads, as reported by the PokerStars Blog.
The drinks wouldn't do Jouhkimainen any good. He first unsuccessfully tried to ive-bet bluff Sahamies (see video also) and lost the remainder not much later to finish in third. Pobal profited from the antics of the Finns, and won the event outright for a €1,007,550 payday.
PokerNews.com will again be on site at EPT Barcelona for live reporting with coverage of the €5,300 main Event, the €50,000 Super High Roller, and the €25,000 Single Day High Roller. You don't have to miss a thing with the live reporters and video team on the ground in the Catalonian capital August 20 - 28.