PokerStars EPT Barcelona: Diego Arias leads at close of day 1a

September 05, 2009

Beautiful Barcelona; full to the brim of excitement (a queue to get in), sunshine (humid and overcast) and energy (deep lethargy thanks to last night’s welcome party). The 207 players arriving today were skipping the pot-limit Omaha 6-max, the no limit single draw 2-7 with re-buys and 8-game events in the World Championship of Online Poker. Instead they arrived, paid their bill, took their seat in this live enactment of an online tournament, and started their epic Dora the Explorer type journey to the final table next Wednesday. Can you say “final table?”

First among them tonight is Diego Arias, a PokerStars qualifier from Spain, on 193,000. Behind him is a two-way scrap between Carlos Lopez and Friedrich Franz, both of whom hover around the 150,000 mark. Jorn Walthaus on 130,000 and Jan Collado on 110,000 make up the heavyweights of the chasing pack.


Chip leader Diego Arias

It turned out to be a good day for German players who, if the EPT was deemed a team game, would be well and truly on course to at least win the penalty shootout. The likes of Malte Strothmann (a Team Germany World Cup of Poker winner no less) and Florian Langmann on 98,000 rollicked their way through the day. It was almost that way for last year’s winner Sebastian Ruthenberg, whose Saturday is now free after a last minute coin flip, his ace-queen flush draw losing out against pocket sixes. Katja Thater also busted on what must have been the last hand of the day.


Malte Strothmann

Also gone is Joe Cada, the PokerStars sponsored November Niner. He’s getting in some match practice ahead of his date with destiny at the Rio in a couple of months, but it didn’t end well in Barcelona. He was crippled with jacks against Michael Greco’s queens and then he was gone.


Joe Cada

Johnny Lodden is out, too, after a day of swings so implausible it was the poker equivalent of skydiving, finding your chute hadn’t opened but then landing on a large cushion. He was up to 90,000 at one point, then down to just 7,500 with various stops in between before busting right at the death.


Johnny Lodden

There was no cushion, just a splat, for our other casualties today. They included the honourable Luca Pagano, Jason Mercier, Marcin Horecki (“Official report: no good.”) and Arnaud Mattern. Survivors left to live with their mess include Freddy Deeb, Dragan Galic, Roland de Wolfe, William Reynolds and Benny Spindler. Marc Goodwin joins them in better shape than he may have counted on, up to 80,000 after a penultimate hand drama against a now crippled Julien Nuijten.

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Jason Mercier

We look forward now to tomorrow (25 degrees, sunny intervals) when hundreds more are expected to turn order into chaos at the registration desks and beyond. If you’re not lucky enough to be here you can keep tabs on all the proceedings here, perhaps filling in the gaps between hitting F5 playing the latest WCOOP event. Just think, by this time tomorrow you could have your very own WCOOP bracelet and a grainy webcam-produced photo of yourself on the blog for all to see. Simply brilliant.

Fill the time until that moment with recaps of today’s action at the feature links below:

Return to Barcelona
Who was that guy, the plight of Pawel Chmiel
These guys too
Getting up to speed
Table full of action
Double Deutsch – Ruthenberg and Langmann
The November Nine’s Joe Cada
Perils of the press
The essential guide to the EPT
No ta-ta from Katja Thater
German and good
German and very good
Into the unknowns

Before sifting through the nitty-gritty in the level by level updates:
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6
Level 7
Level 8
Level 9

Our ever faithful foreign language bloggers have been on hand today to provide all this in Spanish, German, Swedish and Italian. Do with them what you will. Photos came courtesy of the eyes and trigger finger of Neil Stoddart and check out the latest chips counts on the chip count page. They’ll become official in a few short hours once they’re made available by tournament staff. You can follow the link all the way there:


While you wait here’s how this event got started:

Watch EPT

That’s that. See you tomorrow.


We did it! We did it!


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