Live updates from day 1a, level 1 of EPT Barcelona brought to you by Stephen Bartley, Marc Convey, Howard Swains and Rick Dacey.
Click refresh to see the latest updates below, while the latest selected chip counts can be found by clicking right here. Blinds 50-100
1.52pm: Caught in a card maelstrom
There’s a spot that you can stand in the intersection between tables 7, 8, 9 and 10 that makes you start spinning uncontrollably. It happens slowly at first. On one table you look and you can see Team PokerStars Pro Sandra Naujoks facing down Dutch PokerStars SportStar Fatima Moreira De Melo. Then your eye catches Noah Boeken at the next table and then your head pulls another 90 degrees twist to William Thorson (both Team PokerStars Pros). And then final table of four has Spaniard Carlos Mortensen – yes, he of WSOP and WPT winning fame – and Peter Hedlund. Stand here too long and you’re likely to get a crick in your neck or pop a hip. Blogging has become dangerous here at the EPT.
1.45pm: Team Pro Tales
PokerStars Team Pros Juan Maceiras, Pieter De Korver and Lex Veldhuis have all had very different first levels here in Barcelona. Maceiras is fairing the worst as he’s our first Team Pro to fall today. De Korver is grinding and just won a small pot when his river bet wasn’t called by his opponent after a five minute tank. He’s up to 34,000. Veldhuis meanwhile is still gathering chips at an extraordinary rate. He now sits on 90,000 after hitting a set over set and a flush over flush!
1.20pm: Lex Veldhuis goes to Value Town
Team PokerStars Pro Lex Velduis has taken started the level with a bang value getting all three streets of value with pocket Kings on a Q-high board. The Dutchman made a final 7,600 bet on the river that sent his opponent into the tank and most of the table for a quick walk to stretch their legs. It’s a long way to go to day 2 but Veldhuis is alreafy heading heading the right direction with his 30k starting stack up to 45,000.
1.08pm: Negreanu picks off a small one
Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu raised it up to 200 from the cut-off and saw both blinds call. All three checked the flop so the turn came to give us a A♣2♥J♣7♦ board. The big blind bet out 400 and only Negreanu called to see the 10♦ river. Both players went back to checking and Negreanu’s Q♥J♥ bettered the big blind’s 7♠5♠ to take the pot. A small early move in the right direction for the Canadian.
1.02pm: Table of Death
We’re still scouring the tournament floor but this surely has to be the table draw of death. In seat 1 you have PokerStars Team Pros Betrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier (France), Ivan Demidov (Russia) and Henrique Pinho (Portugal) as well as PokerStars SportStar Boris Becker. The former tennis champ has drawn the very same seat that Katja Thater sat in yesterday in an obvious show of German efficiency. Thater was ko’d on the very last hand of day 1a and if Becker is going to avoid the same fate on this tough table he’s going to have to play his little tennis socks off.
12.30am: 5-minute warning
Tournament director Thomas Kremser has just given a 5 minute warning and asked the players to take their seats. Mel Judah is one of the first players to take his seat among the hubbub of excited poker chatter. Judah’s only had one deep run at the EPT despite bagging over $3m in live tournament in his career. Will this year be different for the Silver Fox?