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ESPT7 Barcelona: José Pascual Munoz bags most to end Main Event Day 1B

It all started about 12 hours ago -- at 10 o'clock, in fact, as today's Day 1B of the Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event featured an earlier-than-typical "shuffle up and deal." 

But the early start didn't discourage a huge turnout of 1,048 players for today's second of three Day 1 flights. From that field around 270 players made it through, with Spain's own José Pascual Munoz managing to bag the most of any them with 329,000.

EPT13_Barcelona-264_Jose Pascual Munoz.jpg

José Pascual Munoz

Christos Vardalos of Greece also ended the night with a big stack, finishing up with 305,000.

EPT13_Barcelona-266_Christos Vardalos.jpg

Christos Vardalos

Chasing those two from the Day 1B field are Jiachen Gong (295,500), Jose Carillo (288,000), Nino Ullmann (286,500), Steven van Zadelhoff (264,000), Glib Kovtunov (256,500), Eric Le Goff (251,500), Lars Andersen (249,500), Christopher Frank (243,500), Jose Valls (233,500), and Henrique Rauen (214,000), all of whom enjoyed highly successful Day 1Bs.

Among the red spade sporters in action today, Team PokerStars Pro George Danzer made it through to Saturday's Day 2 as well, finishing up with 64,000.

No one managed to match the 360,000 bagged by Benny Glaser on Day 1A, although we've still got one more Day 1 flight to go tomorrow to see who will be the start-of-Day-2 chip leader on Saturday. Click here for a full list of Day 1B chip counts, and check out the live updates from throughout Day 1B just below.

Last year's ESPT Barcelona Main Event field totaled a record 3,292, and with approximately 
1,687 already part of this year's installment of the event they're already more than halfway to that total this time around.

Play begins early again tomorrow at 10am. Come back then and join us to see just how big the Day 1C field turns out to be, and whether anyone from that group will be challenging Glaser and Munoz for the headlines heading into the weekend. 

Until then, buenas noches! --MH

Full Day 1B Live Updates:

9:59pm: Day 1B concludes
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

The cards have been put away and the bagging has begun as the last hands of Day 1B have been dealt. A late push appears to have catapulted José Pascual Munoz into the chip lead with more than 320,000, but we'll make a last loop to see if anyone else managed to surpass the Spaniard. Recap to come. --MH

9:45pm: Price falls
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

Ollie Price, that is, who just lost the last of his chips to Carter Swidler as the tournament moved into the latter half of its last level.

Price joins a steady stream of players being eliminated as the night winds down, as less than 290 remain. --MH

9:32pm: Steven van Zadelhoff joins the chip lead chase
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 400

Steven van Zadelhoff is feeling about as good as anybody here at the start of the night's level. He's just completed getting a massage, and continues to work on adding to his consistently increasing chip stack.

EPT13_Barcelona-260_Steven van Zadelhoff.jpg

Steven van Zadelhoff

The Dutchman is sitting behind about 235,000 at present, making him one of the bigger stacks among the 300 or so Day 1B players left. There are several hovering both above and below that mark, however -- we'll soon see who among them will be emerging a short while from now as the Day 1B leaders. --MH

9:27pm: All action on the home straight
Level 13: Blinds 1,200/2,400, Ante 400

Big pots are brewing as we approach the final level of play. One I just caught began with a 5,000 open from Lyudmil Ivanov in the cut-off which was called by Mohamed Ammor in the small blind. Action was on Dmitry Yurasov in the big and he made it 18,500 to play, only for Ivanov to four-bet to 43,000. That got rid of Ammor but it didn't have the same impact on Yurasov who moved all-in for 160,000 total. Ivanov had 165,000 behind so it was for a massive portion of his remaining chips, but he opted to fold. Yurasov is above the 200K mark now. --JS


9:13pm: Ta takes out Gurgerbauer
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

As Day 1B winds down to its final levels and the blinds and antes continue to rise, the all-ins are happening everywhere you look, with the Day 1B field getting whittled down at a rapid pace as a result.


The ubiquitous all-in triangle

Among the many examples happening lately was one just now involving Sebastien Ta and Thomas Gurgerbauer. The latter was the one at risk with 6♦6♣, and Ta's 7♥7♣ had him in dire straits.

The J♣Q♥9♦ flop and T♠ turn provided "chopportunities" (as the EPT Live fellas say), but the 9♣ river meant the end for Gugerbauer. Meanwhile Ta is up to about 170,000. --MH

9:05pm: Dieguez looking for a bit of 2011 magic
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

Back in 2011, Spanish player Toni Dieguez had a Fedor Holz/Dan Colman-esque tournament run (albeit at the €1K level and not the gazillion dollar level). 

In March 2011, he came second at Eureka1 Prague for €37,000. A week or so later, he took down the ESPT2 Malaga event for €81,500. Two months later in May, he won the Eureka1 Nova Gorica event for €40,010. Quite a run.

His results have been comparatively quiet since then, but he's in the field here on Day 1B looking to party like it's 2011. He currently sits with 65,000 and a dream. --JS

8:50pm: Biggest stacks
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

A short but fruitful stroll around the tournament room has just revealed the two biggest stacks right now in the penultimate level of Day 1B.

Out in front right now is Spain's Jose Valls, currently sitting with a stack of 250,000. Just behind him is Steven 'SvZff' van Zadelhoff, boasting 240,000. They've both got a bit of work to do if they're going to catch end-of-Day1A chip leader Benny Glaser (355,000), but Glaser had about the same as they both do at this stage yesterday, so it's very possible. --JS

8:44pm: Wehner doubles through Andersen
Level 12: Blinds 1,000/2,000, Ante 300

Following an open-shove for a little more than 21,000 from middle position by Veit Wehner, Lars Andersen thought a couple of beats from the the button, then made the call. The blinds folded, Wehner showed A♠K♥, and Andersen tabled T♠T♦.

The K♦Q♥5♥ gave Wehner a leading pair, but the J♣ turn provided a worrisome straight draw for Andersen (from Wehner's perspective). The river was the 3♣, though, and Wehner now has a bit shy of 45,000.

Andersen is still in great shape, however, with a stack of 180,000. --MH


8:12pm: Final break of Day 1B

Players are off on a 20-minute break before playing the final two levels of the day. --JS

8:10pm: Ripipi up and start again
Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

If you're a fan of the band Orange Juice, that headline will have just brightened up your day a little. But I digress.

It's Mario Ripipi who we're celebrating in this post, as he's just doubled up through Alessio Di Cesare. The latter opened to 3,500 before Ripipi made it 9,400 to go from his immediate left. Action folded back around to Di Cesare who shoved, putting Ripipi all-in, and he quickly called off his 40,000 for his tournament life.

He had a good reason too - pocket Jacks. His J♦J♠ were up against 7♥7♣ and dodged a seven all the way along the 3♥6♣A♥Q♥3♦ board. Ripipi now has upwards of 80,000 while Di Cesare was crippled down to around the starting stack of 25,000. --JS 

7:54pm: Three all-in, one all out
Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

A three-way all-in hand earlier broke my 'I can't find any interesting hands' funk. Well, here's a new one.

Action folded to Sven Kersten pre-flop and he moved all-in for his last 13,100. It folded a couple of spots to Marc Dominguez and he decided to make the call, only to then see Asgeir Furuvald re-jam for 28,500 on the button. The small blind folded and the action was on Kamel Djemai in the big blind, who certainly took his time. He had a hand he liked, that was for sure, but in the end it wasn't good enough for him to call. Finally, Dominguez made the call and all six cards were flipped.

Kersten - A♣6♣
Dominguez - A♠Q♣
Furuvald - A♥Q♦

Kersten was in big trouble and needed to hit a six or some clubs, meanwhile Furuvald was praying that the board didn't put out a bunch of spades or clubs that could Dominguez. 

There was no worry of the flush coming, but by the turn of the 8♠T♦K♣7♦ board Kersten had picked up a gutshot and could win with a nine to make a straight. However, it came the 5♦. Kersten made his exit, while the other two chopped his loot. --JS

7:42pm: Krichely catches Didi
Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

Galid Osman Didi Jr. was just all-in and at risk with K♥Q♦ versus Sharon Kricheley's 9♠9♦. The board rolled out J♠J♥T♦4♥5♦, and having failed to improve Didi was eliminated.

Meanwhile Kricheley has done well for himself over the last few levels, and now sits with 175,000 to challenge for the chip lead. --MH

7:40pm: Vardalos on the advance
Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

Christos Vardalos of Greece has emerged as a presumptive chip leader post-dinner, having chipped up around 180,000 at present. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-250_Christos Vardalos.jpg

Christos Vardalos

7:35pm: Joentausta jumps up the chip counts
Level 11: Blinds 800/1,600, Ante 200

With more than 40,000 in the middle, it was already a huge pot when I arrived at the end of the 3♠6♥Q♦8♥4♠ board. Aku Joentausta had just moved all-in over the top of Hamit Gurbuz's 16,000 river bet, which effectively put Gurbuz all-in with 35,000 behind.

Gurbuz was in the tank for a good few minutes and rarely removed his stare that was focused on Joentausta. The Finnish player didn't flinch though.

Gurbuz would eventually fold, and when that pot was added to his already-healthy stack, Joentausta found himself with 153,000 in chips. After dinner that would have been good for a top ten stack, so he's doing pretty well right now. --JS


7:21pm: Gonzalez gets Tomasek
Level 10: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

Following a Luis Gonzalez raise, Petr Tomasek three-bet all-in for his last 15,800 and when the action got back around Gonzalez called.

Tomasek had 7♣5♣ and a couple of live cards versus Gonzalez's Q♥J♦, and the 3♣T♣9♠ flop provided further hope in the form of a flush draw. But the turn was the 8♦ and river the 3♥, and Tomasek is out. Gonzalez now has 108,000. --MH

7:15pm: Christner hands some to Mertens
Level 10: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

Picking up the action on a K♦A♥2♣6♣ board, it was heads-up between German high roller Christian Christner and Belgium's Nick Mertens. They both decided to see a river for free, and it came the J♣, putting three clubs out there. Christner decided to lead for 10,200 into the 14,000 pot, only for Mertens to come over the top to 26,500. It was tough decision for Christner, and he began to quietly think out loud and work his through the hand. Eventually he decided to make the call, but would soon regret it as Mertens turned over the K♣T♣ for a runner runner flush. 

Christner has 33,000 after that, while Mertens is up to 93,000. --JS

7:08pm: Getting a good Price
Level 10: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

One chap we haven't mentioned yet today is the UK's Ollie Price. He joined this Day 1B field after busting the €10K, and is fresh off an incredible weekend on the virtual felt which saw him win around $70,000 - including a runner-up finish in the PokerStars Sunday Grand PLO for $23,601.20.

He hasn't managed to get much going yet today, sitting with a 17,000 stack. However, he did just open and get a round of folds, nabbing him the blinds and antes, so he's on the up. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-240_Ollie Price.jpg

¡Hola! Ollie

7:04pm: Grundtvig grabs, Soler sinks
Level 10: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

A short-stacked Jaime Soler was all-in before the flop with 8♦5♦ and up against the A♣K♥ of Cristian Grundtvig. 

Soler stood even before the flop of 7♥A♥3♠ came to give Grundtvig a stranglehold on the hand, and by the time the Q♣ landed to leave him drawing dead he was already headed toward the exit. Meanwhile Grundtvig has about 75,000.

The big board currently shows 490 remain from the Day 1B 1,048-player starting field. --MH

6:45pm: Ullmann, Buzzo among big stacks
Level 10: Blinds 600/1,200, Ante 200

As Level 10 begins, we've made a tour of the 500-plus remaining Day 1B players and as a result of our expedition have some big stacks to report. 

Nino Ullmann looks to have a leading stack at present, although there are several players all hovering right around the 160,000-chip mark that earns them spots at the top of the counts. Here's a provisional leaderboard to ponder with four more 45-minute levels left to be played today.

Nino Ullmann - 165,000
Christopher Buzzo - 160,000
Aleksandr Kashevarov - 160,000
Adrian Govea Quevedo - 160,000
Aitor Araimendi - 155,000
Sharon Krichely - 150,000
Stephen Woodhead - 150,000
Yago Simplicio Dos Santos - 150,000
Abdullatif Attia - 145,000
Lars Andersen - 140,000
Alexander Lakhov - 135,000
Wes Sime - 130,000

EPT13_Barcelona-252_Christopher Buzzo.jpg

Christopher Buzzo challenging for lead

A reminder -- Benny Glaser ended Day 1A bagging the biggest stack last night with 360,000 even. --MH


6:22pm: Break time

Players have now gone on another 20-minute break. When they return, they'll play four more 45-minute levels (with one last break after the next two) before it's bag and tag time. --JS

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6:20pm: Fifth-street five favors Fletcher
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Just before the break, Arron Fletcher was all-in on a 4♥9♥6♦ flop and at risk of being knocked out by Thomas Gugerbauer.

Fletcher had A♥2♥ for a flush draw but Gugerbauer had 6♥6♠ for a flopped set. The 3♦ turn kept Gugerbauer in front, but the 5♠ river made a straight for Fletcher to keep him in the game.

Fletcher goes to break with a grin and 110,000, while Gugerbauer is a little less happy about things having been knocked back to 25,000. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-247_Thomas Gugerbauer.jpg

Thomas Gugerbauer

6:10pm: His favourite hand
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Abdelkader Benabdellaziz loves the hand T♠9♥. And when you love a hand that much, sometimes you've just got to go with it.

Joni Palonen found that out when he four-bet jammed over Benabdellaziz's 6,200 three-bet for 17,700 total. The Frenchman felt he was committed, and tapped his hand to indicate how fond of it he is as he made the call. Palonen had the A♦Q♦.

Well, his beloved hand let him down this time. The board ran out K♥4♥2♦3♥3♠ and Palonen doubled up. --JS

5:59pm: Carrel in, Tedeschi out
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

The technicolored Charlie Carrel and Paul Tedeschi were sitting next to one another for a while today -- albeit with a dealer in between.

EPT13_Barcelona-238_Charlie Carrel_Paul-Francois Tedeschi.jpg

Carrel... Dealer... Tedeschi

Tedeschi's most recent EPT success was a 25th-place finish in the EPT12 Grand Final Main Event. Carrel, meanwhile, won three silver spades during Season 12, including one for winning the €10K High Roller at EPT12 Dublin. That followed his victory in the EPT11 Grand Final €25K High Roller for €1,114,000.

Now, however, Tedeschi is out, having lost the last of his chips here in Level 9. But Carrel remains, getting a massage and sitting behind a stack of about 38,000. --MH

5:55pm: Hindry hinders but still can't win
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Joe Hindry was one of the first faces we recognised in the early-morning crowd, mainly due to his third-place result at the most recent UKIPT in London. However, his run today has now come to an end.

After Grigoriy Shevchenko opened to 2,300 and Vincent Gabel called, Joe Hindry moved all-in from his big blind for 8,600. Only Gabel called with his A♠Q♣, which needed help against Hindry's K♠K♦. It got some right away on the 6♥8♣A♣ flop, and the Kings couldn't recover on the Q♠ turn or J♣ river. After his elimination, Hindry said he'll be back for the €2K High Roller. --JS

5:44pm: Dvoress says the massage can wait
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

Daniel Dvoress was in the big blind when a friend of his - one of the Thee Best Hands masseuses - walked by. He stood and chatted for a while as Kristi Kirs made it 3,100 to play. Dvoress had to put an end to his conversation as he peeled back something he liked and defended his blind.

The two saw a 7♦J♦8♥ flop and it went check-check, taking us to the 3♣ turn. Now Dvoress took control with a 2,700 bet, a wager that was too much for Kirs. 

Dvoress raked in the chips, and went back to his conversation. Easy game. --JS

5:39pm: Engel, Margets out
Level 9: Blinds 500/1,000, Ante 100

A little earlier we lost both Ari Engel and Leo Margets. As Level 9 gets underway, 610 players from the 1,048 Day 1B starters remain. --MH


5:31pm: Naidja knocks out two
Level 8: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

Mustapha Naidja watched two short-stacked players go all-in in front of him -- one of whom was Joep Raemaekers -- and after looking down at 5♣4♠ decided to gamble.

Reimakaekers had Q♠9♠ and the other at-risk player A♦7♦, and after the 9♦A♥3♣ flop it looked as though the latter would be earning a triple-up. But after the J♥ turn the 2♠ river fell, completing a wheel straight for Naidja and earning two knockouts.

Naidja has about 55,000 now. --MH

5:20pm: Strong (but a little weaker)
Level 8: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

LAPT6 Chile champ Rodrigo Strong has been building his stack steadily today, but he just gave away a few to Germany's Leo Schulz. Strong opened from early position to 1,800 and it folded to Schulz in the big blind who defended. The flop came the 5♠J♥7♣ and it checked to Strong who put in a 1,700 continuation bet. Schulz had something up his sleeve though - a check-raise to 4,500. After a minute of thinking (and quietly talking to himself as he comes to a decision - something we've got used to with Strong) he laid it down. The Brazilian is playing 65,000 right now. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-212_Rodrigo Strong.jpg

Rodrigo Strong

5:10pm: Take with one hand, give with the other
Level 8: Blinds 400/800, Ante 100

Tom Hall has found himself sitting on a friendly table. Friendly in the sense that they'll show you what they had like you're they're mate - but only after they've taken some of your chips.

I hung around at his table for three hands, and in the first two it was the same story. One player raised, another made a decent-sized three-bet, and the original raiser folded. The victor then showed his hand to show they weren't bluffing. 

Then it was Hall's turn. He made it 1,800 from under the gun plus one, only for Kirill Solovev (on Hall's immediate left) to raise to 5,600. It folded back to Hall who really wanted to play judging by how long it took him to fold. But fold he did, safe in the knowledge that his friendly tablemate would show him the goods. In this case it was Ace-Queen, enough to make Hall tap the table. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-214_Tom Hall.jpg

Tom Hall


4:54pm: Sime continues climb
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

As Level 7 came to a close, Wes Sime picked up another pot to push his stack up close to 125,000. 

In this one Sime called a preflop raise as did a third player, then after a continuation bet on a queen-high flop he reraised and was called by one opponent. His turn bet was called as well, then after the pair checked down the river Sime showed ace-queen for top pair, top kicker to win the pot. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-237_Wes Sime.jpg

It's Sime time

4:50pm: Three-way all-in
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

While my colleague was typing up his hands, I was struggling to find any. Every table I walked by either seemed to be 'c-bet and take it' or 'open and take it'. And then, as if the poker Gods knew, I found a three-way all-in. 

Shame it wasn't bigger, but hey - I can't complain. It started with a 1,800 open from Philip Senisin which was then three-bet all-in by Jose Ferriz for 7,000. The player to Ferriz's left - Vitali Spiridonov then moved all-in himself for 19,000, and it folded back to Senisin who made the call.

Spiridonov - J♣J♠
Ferriz - A♣Q♠
Senisin - 7♣7♦

Senisin had both covered with a stack of roughly 40,000, but the T♦Q♥8♦ flop meant he was now behind in both spots. The K♠ and K♣ completed the board and Ferriz trebled up with pair of Queens, while Spiridonov lost a few but then doubled to 24,000. --JS

4:35pm: Fatalities become entities
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

More and more players who lost their lives in the €10K have been reborn here on Day 1B. Charlie Carrel, Daniel Dvoress, and Christian Christner are the three latest to be reincarnated. --JS

4:29pm: New faces
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

Among the later registrants, we're seeing Keven Stammen, Kristen Bicknell, and Jason Wheeler.

Stammen comes with a WSOP bracelet and WPT title under his belt, seeking a first EPT trophy. He has about 18,000 at present.

Bicknell just won her second WSOP bracelet this summer in a $1,500 NLHE bounty event. She also went relatively deep in the EPT Grand Final Main Event in May, finishing 60th. She has about 35,000.

And Wheeler also brings an impressive tournament résumé, having won multiple Super Tuesdays on PokerStars while accumulating nearly $2.9 million in live tourney cashes.

EPT13_Barcelona-211_Jason Wheeler.jpg

Wheeler sends 'em back to the dealer

Wheeler has about 42,000 right now. --MH

4:19pm: Zaichenko reduces Cizauskas to zero
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

Gediminas Cizauskas open-raised all-in with his last 8,900 from middle position, and after it folded around to Andrey Zaichenko in the small blind he reshoved to force out the big blind. 

Cizauskas showed A♠J♣ and needed help against Zaichenko's 7♥7♠, but the board came nine-high -- 3♥9♦8♠6♥4♥ -- and Cizauskas is out. Zaichenko is up around 48,000 now. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-235_Andrey Zaichenko.jpg

Chips for Zaichenko

4:15pm: Counting heads
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

With late registration now closed for Day 1B, the big board is showing 1,048 total entries for today, a big jump over the 639 who played Day 1A. And we expect Day 1C to be even bigger.

From that starting field 850 remain at present. --MH


The Day 1B field

4:10pm: Play resumes
Level 7: Blinds 300/600, Ante 100

Players are back and refreshed -- and so are we -- and Day 1B has resumed. Back in a few to tell you exactly how many ended up registering for this massive second Day 1 flight. --MH


2:55pm: Let's have some lunch

They've reached the end of Level 6, which means it is time for a 75-minute lunch break. Back around 4:10pm when play resumes, after which they'll play seven more 45-minute levels. --MH

Ready to play the EPT yourself? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

2:51pm: Panagiotis pushes upward
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

Three-way action created a decent pot for a T♥A♦J♦. It checked around to Miguel Caballero Costa who bet 6,500, then Matrakas Panagiotis check-raised all-in for 28,050. From the middle Kestutis Gecevicius then called all-in for about 24,000, and after tanking for some time Costa let his hand go.

Gecevicius showed A♠J♠ for two pair, but had to dodge outs as Panagiotis had K♦6♦ for a diamond draw plus a gutshot to Broadway. The 5♠ turn was safe for Gecevicius, but the river brought the Q♥ to fill a straight for Panagiotis, and Gecevicius wished the table luck before departing.

Panagiotis moves up to around 75,000 on that one while Costa still has about 40,000. --MH

2:45pm: More high rollers joining
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

As players are eliminated from the €10K across the casino, they seem to be hopping straight into this event. Jason Wheeler re-entered that tournament after busting his first bullet yesterday, but couldn't get anything going again. He's now playing in Day 1B.

Tom Hall also played the €10K yesterday, but didn't survive and chose not to re-enter. He did, however, choose to have a lie-in this morning, and his late entry means he sits with a starting stack. --JS 

2:40pm: Margets gets stern with Stern
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

Zvi Stern and Leo Margets have found themselves on the same table. In one hand between the two, we picked up the action on a 7♣T♣A♠T♦ board and Stern had led out for 1,625. Margets made the call to see the J♦ complete board, and jammed all-in for her last 7,000 after Stern checked. He gave it up and she moved up to around 15,000. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-138_Leo Margets.jpg

Margets gets a few

2:32pm: Dos Santos cracks kings
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

The dealer had completed the board, the river card making it 2♦5♥J♣J♠2♥, and fifth-street betting saw Olivier Tamagno all-in versus Yago Simplicio Dos Santos. Tamagno had K♠K♥, but alas his kings had been cracked as Dos Santos tabled J♥3♣ for jacks full.

Tamagno is out, while Dos Santos is stacking up close to 100,000. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-219_Yago Simplicio Dos Santos.jpg

Dos Santos, slayer of kings

2:22pm: One's French, one's German (kind of)
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

Bruno Fitoussi is perhaps best known for his runner-up finish in the 2007 WSOP $50K H.O.R.S.E event (now known as the Poker Player's Championship) for more than $1.2 million. Or maybe it's for his exceptional silver afro, we don't know. All we do know is the Frenchman in this event right now sitting with a near-starting stack.

Another player with near starting chips is Ludovic Geilich; a German name, registered on tracking sites as a German player, but really a very Scottish man. Geilich has had some great results recently; this year he's had a WSOP final table and another Las Vegas tournament win for a combined $260,000. --JS

2:11pm: Finger falls
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

Martin Finger has lost the last of his short stack and has joined the early knockouts list here on Day 1B. --MH

2:05pm: Nearing 1,000
Level 6: Blinds 250/500, Ante 75

The sixth level has begun, the last one during which late registration remains open. The big board is showing 996 players have signed up so far for this second of three Day 1 flights, with 920 of them still with chips. Chances look good they'll crack a thousand for the day. --MH


2:04pm: Hoces takes from Engel
Level 5: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

No idea how they got there, but by the turn the board showed 5♥5♣2♣4♠ and after Ari Engel fired a decent-sized bet Julio Manuel Parras Hoces called to push the pot up around 50,000. Both then checked the 6♠ river, after which Engel turned over A♣6♣ for a flush draw that didn't get there and two pair, sixes and fives. Hoces showed a better two pair, though, as he had K♦K♠, and he collected the pot.

Hoces moves up around 80,000 while Engel slips to just below 12,000. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-218_Ari Engel.jpg

Engel still smiling

2:02pm: Not much dancing for Danzer
Level 5: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

The last two times that George Danzer opened, he got no action at all; nobody seemed to want to tangle with the Team Pro. So when I saw someone was actually willing to actually defend their big blind against his 1,100 open, I had to stick around.

Turns out it wasn't that great of a hand though. Oriel Vaquero - the player who called - checked on the 7♣A♦8♥ flop and Danzer continued for 800. That got a call, before both opted to check the 2♣ turn. After the 3♦ landed on the river Vaquero led out for 850, and Danzer let it go. --JS

2pm: Standing out from the crowd
Level 5: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

The room couldn't be more packed, but we've managed to find another couple of notables for you.

Keith Johnson is a well known face we've just spotted for the first time. The Brit has plenty of cashes on the EPT circuit, including a final table finish at EPT12 Dublin in the €25K High Roller for €106,330. Johnson also took down the €2K High Roller AT IPT7 Malta in March 2015 for €144,500.

Another player I recognised that might not be familiar to you (unless you read all the coverage of all the tournament circuits around the globe) is Rodrigo Strong. The Brazilian has had quite a year so far, first taking down the LAPT6 Chile in March for $120,565, then winning a handful of tournaments across Europe, before finishing third in the UKIPT6 Marbella Main Event in June for €110,653. Can he keep his run-good going here in Barcelona? --JS

1:54pm: Ullmann over Martin
Level 5: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

With the board showing 5♥Q♥9♠J♣, Nino Ullmann fired a bet of 12,500 and some change and after a bit of thought Carlos Martin made the call, bringing the pot to around 40,000.

The dealer then completed the board by dealing the A♣, and Ullmann unhesitatingly announced he was all-in. Martin thought about a half-minute, then folded. Ullmann is up around 85,000 now -- one of the bigger stacks in the room -- while Martin slips to 20,000. --MH

1:41pm: The return of Finger
Level 5: Blinds 200/400, Ante 50

It folded around to a player in the cutoff who raised 2.5x the big blind, and Luis Borrome Olavarrieta on the button leaned forward. As his opponent was sitting on the other side of the dealer, he asked her how much the raise was.

She held up one finger -- signaling the raise was to 1,000, while also incidentally indicating the player's surname. 

Olavarrieta put in a three-bet, and as the blinds folded Martin Finger tossed his hand into the muck as well to preserve his stack of about 20,000. Finger returns to Barcelona seeking more hardware after his big win in the €25K High Roller here one year ago, good for a €865,900 payday. 

The German would also, of course, like to add another EPT Main title to the one he earned in 2011 for winning at EPT8 Prague, a cash worth €720,000. --MH


1:19pm: Kihara on the up
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

A 6♠3♥T♥ flop was presented to Team Online Pro Naoya Kihara and his opponent Jose Echevarne. The Japanese player checked it, letting Echevarne in with a bet of 900 into a 1,900 pot. Kihara then check-raised it to 2,500.

"How much you play?" Echevarne asked, and Kihara moved him arm to show around 20,000. That was all it took to get Echevarne to lay it down. --JS

1:13pm: Saout not out, but it's close
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

It hasn't been quite the start to a tournament that experienced pro and former November Niner Antoine Saout was hoping for. He currently sits with just 7,000, so when the blinds move up he'll officially enter the dangerzone of minus 20 big blinds. --JS

1:10pm: Gomez goes home
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

Tough break for Antonio Gomez. He got his roughly-30K stack in the middle with a set of nines on a nine-Queen-Jack flop; only problem was his opponent had the nuts with the King-ten for a straight. The board bricked out and it was an early finish for the Spaniard. The beneficiary in that one was Erwann Pecheux - the Frenchman who now sits with just over 60,000. --JS

1:02pm: Fang takes seat
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

Another red spade sporter to report -- the Italian pro Giada Fang of Team PokerStars Pro Online is here, seated in the far corner of secondary poker room behind a stack that's just a little better than the 25,000 with which she started.

Fang has collected a number of cashes in Italy thus far and a couple of final tables on the Italian Poker Tour, but here seeks her first live cash in Spain. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-170_Giada Fang.jpg

Team Pro Online's Giada Fang

12:58pm: Naboka bounces Mukhsikaroian
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

Andrey Naboka raised from middle position and got a couple of callers behind him, then watched as Khachatur Mukhsikaroian reraise-shoved his short stack all-in from the blinds. The action got back to Naboka who reraised to 17,500 total, and that was enough to chase the others.

Mukhsikaroian then tabled 2♦2♠ while Naboka had J♠8♠. The Q♠4♣T♠ flop and 7♥ turn were okay for Mukhsikaroian, but the river brought the 8♦ to give Naboka a better pair, and Mukhsikaroian hit the rail.

Naboka bumps up to 55,000 after that one. --MH

12:45pm: Loosli, Stern each show
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

A couple of November Niners have joined the field as more than 900 players have gotten involved so far here on Day 1B.

Sylvain Loosli, who finished fourth in the 2013 World Series of Poker Main Event, is here, as is Zvi Stern, fifth-place finisher in the 2015 WSOP Main. --MH

12:41pm: Here's one Persson you don't want to mess with
Level 4: Blinds 150/300, Ante 50

An action-packed hand just broke out on Team Pro Luca Pagano's table, and it never even went further than the flop.

Sweden's Simon Persson kicked things off with an under-the-gun open to 700 before Andre Comemale raised it up to 1,600 in the +1 position. To his left was Pagano who made the call, and when it folded back to Persson he called as well. The three players saw an 8♥3♥8♣ flop and Persson checked to the three-bettor, allowing Comemale to continue for 2,200. Pagano had other plans though and raised it up to 4,500.

The action was back on Persson and after some careful calculating he decided to move all-in for 16,000 total. Comemale studied both their stacks (Pagano had 14,000 behind) before opting to fold, and the Italian EPT veteran gave his hand up too. --JS 

EPT13_Barcelona-155_Luca Pagano.jpg

Luca Pagano


12:18pm: Break time

Players have reached the first 20-minute break of the day. --MH

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12:08pm: Wes Sime, back and focused
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Wes Sime is here, an American player we met at the World Series this summer. The 72-year-old psychologist from Nebraska keeps busy with poker and studying various techniques for increasing focus, sharing a number of his methods with the PokerStars Blog back when we met him in Las Vegas. 

Just now Sime was involved in a hand in which Ile Smintanca-Januszewski opened for 500 from the cutoff, the button called, and Sime called as well from the big blind. A 9♣2♦K♦ flop then prompted a big leading bet of 2,500 from Sime, with Smintanca-Januszewski responding by shoving all-in with his last 6,200. The button folded, and Sime made the call.

Smintanca-Januszewski turned over A♦K♠, and Sime said "nice hand" as he showed his K♠5♠. The 7♥ turn changed nothing, but the 5♦ fell on the river to knock Smintanca-Januszewski out of the tournament and give Sime the pot. 

Sime stacked his chips, resuming his efforts to focus on how best to add further to his stack of nearly 55,000. --MH

12:05pm: Goulder's gone too!
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

It's not been the best day so far for some of those notable names we brought you at the beginning of play. Following Kevin MacPhee out the door is UK pro Alex Goulder, who has become a regular on the EPT circuit with plenty of good cashes. He'll have to wait until later to add another one though. --JS

11:55am: MacPhee is gone
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

It's been a short day for Kevin MacPhee who has already made his exit. I didn't catch the hand, but when I saw him standing up and saying goodbye to people I got there in time to hear him tell a friend that his pocket Kings were cracked by Ace-Jack. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-136_Kevin MacPhee.jpg

MacPhee (prior to his exit)

11:45am: You'll need the eyes of a hawk to spot the no-mohawk
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Team Pro George Danzer is normally one of the most recognisable faces in the poker room; ok, perhaps it's not his face that stands out, as much as his towering mohawk hair-do.

Well, today is a little different as he's decided to wear his mop down. Still, he has his trusted PokerStars patches on to catch your eye.

EPT13_Barcelona-161_George Danzer.jpg

Danzer's new do

It was a great summer for Danzer, who picked up his fifth career WSOP bracelet with a $338,646 win in a $10,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo Split-8 or Better event, as well as a third-place finish in the Seven Card Stud Championship for $103,230. --JS

11:36am: Chauriye calls, collects
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

Picking up the action on the turn and the board showing K♥K♠T♦7♠, Ricardo Chauriye let with a bet of 750, then watched his opponent Roland Van Den Berg raise to 2,050. Chauriye hesitated a moment, then called to bring the pot up around 6,000.

The river brought the Q♥ and a check from Chauriye, and Van Den Berg didn't hesitate before firing a largish bet of 5,000. Chauriye thought about 10 seconds and put out his call, and Van Den Berg immediately mucked his hand.

Chauriye decided to show his -- 9♠9♦ -- and collected the pot. He's up to 35,000, while Van Den Berg slips to 18,000. --MH

11:30am: Hello, antes
Level 3: Blinds 100/200, Ante 25

They continue onward into Level 3 without a break, with the blinds going up and antes being introduced.

As the new level begins, the big board shows 854 players have already entered here on Day 1B. Late registration remains open through Level 6. --MH


11:35am: More names for the list
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

Leo Margets and Eddy Sabat are both in the mix today, as is poker YouTube star William Kassouf (famous for his bluff against Team Pro's Vanessa Selbst). Meanwhile, Edmund Yeung and Christopher Kruk have joined the pack after busting the €10K yesterday. --JS

11:25am: UKIPT to Estrellas
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

Vladas Tamasauskas took down UKIPT6 Dublin back in February for a €176,900 score, so he's certainly no stranger to navigating large €1K fields. The Lithuanian has begun his quest for an Estrellas title here today, but lots a small pot to kick things off. He opened to 350 and got one caller in Martin Olali in the big blind. A 3♥3♦9♣ flop hit the felt and Olali took a while before checking. Tamasauskas continued for 325 which was called, taking us to the 8♠ turn. Olali checked again, and Tamasauskas slowed down by checking behind. The 2♠ completed the board and now Olali took control, putting out 1,050 and getting a fold. --JS

11:13am: River raise helps Kravchenko collect
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

With the board showing 4♥3♥J♣5♥9♠ and just over 10,000 in the middle, Asgeir Furuvald led with a bet of 5,000, and the action moved to his lone opponent, Alex Kravchenko.

Kravchenko sat quietly under his hood for a half-minute, then pushed out a raise to 11,800. Furuvald didn't take long to let his hand go.

Furuvald is down to about 13,000, while Kravchenko has chipped up to 38,000 in the early going. --MH

10:52am: More arrivals
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

The Ukraine's Antonina Anapolska is here. A familiar face on the European Poker Tour, Anapolska made a deep run in this same event a year ago, finishing 34th out of a field of 3,292.

LAPT6 Peru winner Patricio Rojas of Chile is in the field as well. So, too, is his fellow Chilean Ricardo Chauriye, who has final tabled three different LAPT Main Events but is seeking his first EPT cash. --MH

10:47am: Second-level stuff
Level 2: Blinds 75/150

With the start of the day's second level, there are now 775 players registered. Late registration is open through the end of Level 6. --MH


10:45am: Kihara takes a small hit
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

Park Yu Cheung opened to 300 under the gun plus one, only for Team Pro Online's Naoyo Kihara to three-bet to 800 in the cut-off. Action folded back to Cheung who came along, and the two saw a 4♥3♠2♠ flop. It checked to Kihara who continued for 900, but now it was Cheung who was raising, making it 2,500. That was too much for Kihara and he let it go. --JS

EPT13_Barcelona-133_Naoya Kihara.jpg

Team Pro Online's Naoya Kihara

10:40am: Fear the beard
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

He might have trimmed it a little, but the Netherlands' Steven van Zadelhoff still has one mighty impressive beard rockin'. The man known as 'SvZff' has $4.4 million in online earnings on top of his $1.3 million in live play - an absolute beast, then. To ape NBA star James Harden's catchphrase - fear the beard. --JS

10:35am: Eliya-who?
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

One player familiar to this writer that might not be to most is Moshe Eliyahu, who is among the masses playing today. Eliyahu finished second at the very first Eureka Bucharest tournament back in May for a career-best score of €66,950, making a name for himself with both his play and his 'heart-on-sleeve' attitude. He hasn't cashed a tournament since then (perhaps because he hasn't played one), so we look forward to seeing how he gets on today.

He's off to a decent start anyway, opening to 300, getting one caller, and then taking it down with a flop c-bet. --JS

10:32am: Breakfast of champions
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

We're still rubbing our eyes a little, getting used to this early start. Starting to see a bit more clearly, including making out some familiar faces.

Looking over who is here -- and who is coming -- EPT6 Berlin Main Event champion Kevin MacPhee is taking part today, as is EPT7 Vienna Main Event winner Michael Eiler.

EPT7 Copenhagen runner-up Per Linde is playing as well, as are Govert Metaal, Antoine Saout, Dmitry Vitkind and Alex Kravchenko. Philippe Ktorza, Florence Allera, and Jerome Zerbib. 

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano -- who final tabled the very first EPT Main Event here in Barcelona (finishing third) -- is in the field as well. --MH

EPT13_Barcelona-153_Luca Pagano.jpg

Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano

10:21am: The morning crowd
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

The main ballroom is filling fast, and they've already begun seating players in the secondary poker room to accommodate today's fast-growing field. There are about 10 tables' worth of players in the secondary room, with about 20 more available for newcomers. And it's looking like they'll need them. --MH

10:15am: Packed house
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

We've already got 690 players registered and being seated here on Day 1B, eclipsing Day 1A's 639-strong field.

A quick look around the room and there are a few familiar faces. The most notable is that of PokerStars Team Online's Naoyo 'nkeyno' Kihara, currently the only red spade in today's field. He'll be hoping to make Day 2 like his fellow Team Online pro Liliya Novikova did yesterday.

The UK's Alex Goulder and Joe Hindry are both in their seats. Goulder is fresh off a deep run in the WSOP Main Event this summer, where he finished 151st for $49,108 bringing his live earning above the $1 million mark. Hindry on the other hand had his biggest career cash back in April at UKIPT6 London, ultimately busting in third for $52,742. --JS

10:00am: Shuffle up and deal
Level 1: Blinds 50/100

More than 650 players are already seated for the first hands of the day. Stay tuned as we'll take a tour and let you know who is here. --MH


9:45am: An early start for Day 1B

Rise and shine, everyone! We're back again a couple of hours early today to continue coverage of the €1,100 buy-in Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event. Today's Day 1B is the second of three Day 1 flights in this freezeout event, and we're expecting more excitement such as we saw yesterday, as well as more players taking part today.

From the 639 who entered Day 1A just 145 made it through to Saturday's Day 2, with Benny Glaser the one bagging the most chips at night's end with 360,000

That turnout bested the Day 1A field in this same event a year ago, perhaps suggesting we might see something close to or exceeding the record field of 3,292 who created a nearly €3.2 million prize pool last year.

Today's Day 1 flight will find players working their way through thirteen 45-minute levels with a lunch break coming at the end of Level 6. Starting stacks are 25,000. 

Play kicks off in just a few minutes at 10 a.m. Stick around as we'll be bringing you hand reports, chip counts, photos and more as we move one step closer to discovering who will be the next ESPT Main Event champion! --MH


Ready for action

Ready to play the EPT yourself? Sign up for PokerStars and begin your journey. Click here to get an account.

Take a look at the official website of the EPT, with tournament schedule, news, results and accommodation details for EPT13 Barcelona and the rest of the season.

Also all the schedule information is on the EPT App, which is available on both Android or IOS.

PokerStars Blog reporting team on the ESPT7 Barcelona Main Event: Jack Stanton and Martin Harris. Photography by René Velli and Carlos Monti. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter @PokerStarsBlog.

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