EPT Barcelona: These guys too

September 04, 2009

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With customary good grace this morning, your PokerStars Blog team elbowed their way past a line of players at the casino registration desk, bundled through a scrum of others on the tournament floor, and into the press room, leaving behind aching ribs, a sea of tutting and the odd raised middle finger no doubt. That’s just the way we roll.

As we did so, however, we were busy making mental notes on the identity of those scattered nine-pins. Most notably, we all jotted into our memory banks the name of Juan Carlos Mortensen, the former World Series champion, WPT champion and all round poker hero. It’s hardly unusual to see him here, but it’s rare to see him so soon. Mortensen has a peculiar habit of playing in these tournaments almost incognito, only coming to the press pack’s attention when he has a huge stack of chips somewhere into day four.

So Mortensen is present and correct – I even saw his passport at the registration desk – but plenty of others have tried Mortensen’s trick of flying under the radar. Wandering through the tournament room early in level two, we noticed Joe Cada, for example, one of the second batch of November Niners, who will go to Vegas in a couple of months and play for more than $8m.

Then there’s William Reynolds, who made the final table in San Remo last season. There’s Jan Collado, the ninth placed finisher at the PCA, and his countryman Benny Spindler, who finished third in that tournament. There’s the former footballer turned poker player, Tony Cascarino. Then there’s Freddy Deeb and Leo Margets, the last woman standing at the World Series this year.

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Leo Margets

Today’s field is currently at or around 210 players, with many more expected tomorrow. So much so, in fact, that we’re going to play nine 60-minute levels today, to thin the field as much as possible and avoid traffic jams on day two.

As ever, the chip counts are available on the chip count page. Follow the unobtrusive links. (Or even the obtrusive ones.)

CLICK HERE FOR CHIP COUNTS

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