After a slight siesta following the completion of the World Series of Poker Championship Event in Las Vegas (OK, the determination of the “November Nine”), the tournament poker world is coming back with a vengeance. Following the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open earlier this month, the European Poker Tour is getting back to action with the start of their Season 12 schedule in Barcelona, Spain. As a part of that schedule, the deep-pocketed pros who settled on the coast of the Mediterranean have decided to kick off their runs at EPT glory with the €50,000 Super High Roller.
It seemed that many in Europe had been waiting for their old friend in the EPT to make its return. The players absolutely flooded the floor of the Casino Barcelona with the wealth of action around the poker room. The €50K, however, was one that drew the recognizable faces to the felt. Players such as Pratyush Buddiga, Anthony Zinno, Juha Helppi, Fedor Holz, Max Silver, Adrian Mateos, Isaac Haxton, Sam Greenwood, Steve O’Dwyer and Mike McDonald were all on the tables for the “shuffle up and deal” call that started bright and early at noon on Saturday in Barcelona.
With the players starting with 250K in chips, the early action was naturally a bit slow and relaxed. The registration was also ongoing throughout the day (and actually is open until the start of action on Sunday), allowing other players such as Dani Stern, Stephen Chidwick, Ole Schemion, Mustapha Kanit, Max Altergott and Jason Mercier to wander into the Casino Barcelona to take part in the tournament. As the day wore on, everyone sitting in the poker room became aware something special was going on.
What was becoming evident from the early action wasn’t the play but the numbers that were coming out of the tournament. The previous record for the EPT Barcelona Super High Roller tournament was 58 unique players, which was broken when Schemion hit the felt. The numbers – and the reentries after players busted out (that €50,000 translates to $56,946 U. S. dollars) – continued to grow throughout the day. By the time the final cards were in the muck for the day, 81 unique players and 12 reentries had been counted, with the 93 buy-ins generating a €4.75 million prize pool that could get even bigger today.
One of the dominant forces of Day 1 was that of Chidwick, who powered his way to more than a million chips to finish off the day as the chip leader:
1. Stephen Chidwick, 1.062 million
2. Christoph Vogelsang, 1.002 million
3. Mike McDonald, 855,000
4. Jean-Noel Thorel, 775,000
5. Carlos Mironiuk, 745,000
6. Ben Tollerene, 671,500
7. Max Altergott, 640,500
8. Dani Stern, 640,000
9. Michael Egan, 627,000
10. Steve O’Dwyer, 608,500
With the late registration set to end at the start of Day 2, anyone can get back into the tournament and potentially make a run at this Super High Roller title. Thus, let’s see what happens on Sunday before giving final numbers on this tournament!
The Super High Roller is just kicking off the action in Barcelona over the coming week. The €5000 Main Event kicks off on Monday and, if the outpouring of players is similar to previous Barcelona events, should be one of the biggest tournaments of the year on the EPT circuit. On Tuesday, the €25,000 Single Day High Roller tournament (as the name states, the tournament will be completed within a day) will take to the felt and, on Friday, the €10.000 High Roller tournament is set to begin. It should be an entertaining week of poker in Spain as the EPT returns to action for Season 12.