There’s a swarm of people gathering in the corner of the Casino Barcelona waiting to play right now. Not tournament players, just those waiting to play cash, struck by that sometimes tortuous affliction of having to wait to play on day 1b.
But whilst they jostle for position in line, shunning a day at the beach just 50 paces from the casino door, the tournament area is filling up at speed with more players finding their seats even after the official order to shuffle up and deal, filling in consent forms and quickly getting a feel for the baize.
It’s a new season, with new chips, new players and a fair number of old ones, too.
One of those EPT veterans is Team PokerStars Pro Greg Raymer, who shares a table with the PokerStars Qualifier of the Year Danny Ryan. Raymer has wasted no time in stack building after just 15 minutes of poker and used an all-in move to persuade a quick-betting opponent to tone it down a little and fold his hand. He did, boosting Raymer to 14,000.
And the new guys? Well one of those is David “Chino” Rheem, one of the million dollar men from the World Series this year, who at last sight was happily recounting those very hands to anyone who asked him. He makes his first EPT appearance today.
Blinds are still at 25/50 in this first 60-minute level.