If you ask Johnny Lodden, it’s been a pretty dull start to EPT11 Barcelona.
— Johnny Lodden (@johnnylodden) August 21, 2014
But Lodden might want to heed the warning of his Team PokerStars Pro colleague Vanessa Selbst. Not long after she described the period before the antes as “zzzzzzz”, she was out, becoming the most high-profile elimination in the early stages of Day 1A as the expected hordes descended on Barcelona.
At time of writing, the tournament information board shows 469 entries on Day 1A. Registration is open all day, and then we have another flight tomorrow, which is certain to be bigger. This time last year, 518 showed up for the opening flight, so we’re pretty much at the same kind of level.
The dominant force in the first four levels was Michael Mizrachi, making one of his sporadic appearances on the EPT. The Grinder doubled his stack in what seemed to be only moments after being handed it, and just after the break at the end of level four was the first man into three figures. He had at least 110,000 when his table, also featuring Stephen Chidwick and Talal Shakerchi, broke.
Over the other side of the room, Umberto Vitagliano, a familiar face on the EPT, also motored to a big stack in the early stages. He had about 95,000. On another table, Andrew Dean, a PokerStars player from Canada, had moved up to about 80,000.
The stars were in full attendance, with the defending champion Tom Middleton headlining a long list of former winners. Joao Barbosa, Kevin Stani, Toby Lewis, Christophe Benzimra, Mickey Petersen, Frederik Jensen, Roberto Romanello, Mark Teltscher, Julian Track, Martin Finger and Antonio Matias are also playing today.
Olivier Busquet and Daniel Colman, who battled for the Super High Roller title last night, have opted to play the rush and leap into battle again. Andrew Chen finished sixth in the Estrellas main event, played out earlier on the EPT Live set, and hopped into the €5,000.
The plan is to play eight 75-minute levels, with a dinner break after six. They will then bag for the night and we’ll welcome at least another 600 tomorrow.
Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There’s hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below.