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EPT12 Barcelona: Does the success filter upwards?


Oleh Okhotskyi: Among the newcomers to the top echelons

If you look at the laptop keys of anyone in the EPT Barcelona media room, the letters "R" "E" "C" "O" and "D" are worn out. The number of times reporters have been reporting on the breaking of records has now actually broken the keyboards the record-breaking has been reported on.

Now, that's all well and good on the Estrellas Poker Tour, which, in common with other regional PokerStars tours, is all about welcoming new players to live tournament poker. But what about at the higher echelons of the game, where it costs €50,000 to enter? That's the fee for today's Super High Roller event.

As with any game of skill, the general idea in poker is that the best players will rise to the top, where the rewards for success are at their highest. However, it's not quite so clear cut as that: bankroll management is practiced with such delicate acumen among the very best that it's sometimes the right play not to pony up a huge fee.

It takes a good long while to get so comfortable in this arena that you can enter a €50,000 buy-in event and consider it a worthwhile investment -- either for you or a backer. It means that even if records are being obliterated across the rest of the festival, it's not absolutely certain that this Super High Roller event will be bigger than before.

Except, of course, that it probably will be.

At time of writing, the confirmed number of entrants to the €50,000 Super High Roller is 52, which is only six shy of last year's 58 (a record, of course). But if you look through last year's list of players, plenty are not there. It means that a good handful of players are making their Super High Roller debuts here this week.

Although this list is likely to expand over the coming few hours, it seems the following players are newbies at this level:

Carlos Mironiuk* - Argentina
Andrei Streltsou* - Belarus
Kevin Stani* - Norway
Sergei Lebedev* - Russia
Onur Unsal* - Turkey
Viacheslav Goryachev* - Russia
Ben Tollerene - United States
Luuk Gieles - Netherlands
Hassan Fares - France
Change He - China
Oleh Okhotskyi - Ukraine
Scott Margereson - United Kingdom
Michael Egan - Australia
Pascal Lefrancois - Canada
Philippe D'Auteuil - Canada
Pablo Saade - Mexico
Alexander Trevallion - Australia

The asterisk there represents the players who qualified through a live satellite held in the casino last night, which itself cost €5,000 to enter. Nine of the 97-strong field won seats, and they will attempt to continue the roll this afternoon.

Among the others, we know a little bit about Scott Margereson (he's a double WCOOP winner and plays online as "Aggro Santos"); Ben Tollerene (online hero "Ben86"); Alexander Trevallion (winner of $25,000 High Roller at Aussie Millions); Pascal Lefrancois (World Series bracelet winner; PCA final table player) and Philippe D'Auteuil (EPT London final table player).

But that leaves several others we don't know, which suggests what we already know: there are a lot of people still playing this game at a very high level who are yet to have a breakthrough. This would be the place to do it.

Stop press: The 59th player has just registered. We are through last year's number of unique entries.

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