After a two-month break, the European Poker Tour (EPT) is back in action. The Tour remains in Spain, this time at the Casino Barcelona. Monday featured the opening of the EPT Barcelona Main Event and of the 726 entrants for the first starting flight, just 259 remain. Benjamin Chalot is the chip leader, bagging up 300,000 chips.

In most tournaments, we see one or two players separate themselves from the pack in the early stages, but on Day 1A of the EPT Barcelone Main Event, the top of the leaderboard is quite competitive. Right on Chalot’s heels is Simon Mattsson with 292,000 chips. There is a slight drop after Mattsson, but three more players have in the mid-200’s and then there are eleven more with more than 200,000 chips. The average chip stack is just over 84,000.

Mattsson is an interesting name to see among the chip leaders; the Swede won the €2,200 No-Limit Hold’em event here two years ago during that awkward period when the European Poker Tour was called the PokerStars Championship. Fortunately, someone realized that rebranding was a terrible idea and we are back to the EPT.

I should amend a word I used in the first paragraph. Because this is a single re-entry event, there were not really 726 “entrants” on Monday. That should be “entries,” has some players have naturally bought-in twice. The second of two starting flights is usually the biggest, so the Main Event’s numbers could end up being quite impressive. Last year was a record for the tournament, as it garnered 1,931 entries. There were just 598 entries and 544 unique players on Day 1A of the 2018 EPT Barcelona Main Event, so this year’s version is ahead of the pace. The top two prizes last year eclipsed €1 million.

Tuesday’s Day 1B will be the same as Day 1A, with ten one-hour levels. Registration is open until the start of Day 2, so we won’t know the entry total or prize pool until some time on Wednesday. Beginning on Day 3, there will be a 30-second shot clock; that clock will be slashed in half when just three players remain. Every player receives five time extension cards at the beginning of each day, so they will have additional time to think if they need it.

EPT Barcelona is the midway point of the European Poker Tour’s 2019 schedule, which unfortunately is just five stops long. When this stop ends at the beginning of September, it will be another month until EPT Open Sochi and then two more months until EPT Prague in December.

2019 European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event – Day 1A Chip Leaders

  1. Benjamin Chalot – 300,000
  2. Simon Mattsson – 292,000
  3. Andre Marques – 269,700
  4. Jimmy Pham – 250,000
  5. Florian Jouvenet – 245,200
  6. Peter Patricio – 230,600
  7. Louis Nyberg – 223,000
  8. Hussein Hassan – 220,600
  9. Alex Keating – 218,800
  10. Jean-René Fontaine – 217,000

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