World Series of Poker Europe EPT Barcelona Main Event Day 1a: Over 500 Entrants; Kostic Leads

Dragan Kostic

Season 10 of the European Poker Tour continued on Sunday with the EPT Barcelona €5,300 Main Event at the Casino Barcelona. Barcelona has been a permanent fixture on the EPT, and it proved to be as popular as ever, attracting an impressive 518 entrants for Day 1a alone.

Some of the big stacks at the end of eight levels play today were chip leader Dragan Kostic on 215,000, Niclas Adoltsson on 147,000, Jacob Rasmussen on 128,300, and Albert Daher on 127,700. If you remember back to Season 8 on the EPT, Kostic took second place in the Main Event to champion Martin Schleich for €532,000.

Other notables to return for Day 2 are defending champion Mikalai Pobal on 70,300, Team PokerStars Pro Vanessa Selbst on 75,800, and Dani Stern, who was desperately unlucky in the €50,000 Super High Roller last night, with 65,500.

Team PokerStars Pros turned up en masse with appearances from the likes of Jason Mercier, Leo Magrets, Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Marcel Luske, and Jan Heitmann. Other well-known players for Day 1a included Scott Seiver, David Vamplew, and Andrew Lichtenberger.

Not everyone can last the full six days of course, but we’re sure that Alessandro Ielli, an Italian PokerStars qualifier, hoped to last a bit longer than thirty minutes. He fell into a trap, though, shoving on the river into the nut flush of Abdulaziz Abdulaziz from Canada. Abdulaziz held the {a-Hearts}{q-Hearts} on a board of {j-Spades}{7-Clubs}{10-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{9-Hearts}. Ielli was left reeling and out after less half an hour of play.

Swedish player Alexander Stevic won the very first EPT 10 years ago right here in Barcelona, and returned today to see if he still had the magic. He didn’t do too bad at all, finishing the day on 103,900 in chips.

Schleich, was eliminated about halfway through the event when his {K-Spades}{J-Spades} couldn't overcome his opponent's pocket tens.

Grospellier wasn’t having a great day either, his rubber duck not bringing him much good fortune, and he ultimately failed to make Day 2.

There was a fairly frantic last two levels of the day as short stacks looked to double up or go home, or big hands clashed with inevitable preflop all ins. Selbst, for one, ran her {j-Hearts}{j-Spades} into the {a-Spades}{a-Diamonds} of PokerStars online qualifier Johannes Korsar near the end of play, and was none too pleased to lose some 29,000 hard-earned chips. Nevertheless, she advanced with 75,800 in her stack.

Approximately 300 players advanced from Day 1a, and they'll all have a day off before returning to combine with the Day 1b survivors for Day 2.

The action continues on Monday with Day 1b and a whole new set of players hoping to be crowned EPT Barcelona champion and take away over €1,000,000 for the win. The field is expected to be even larger than today, so be sure to check right back in with PokerNews for all the live updates from that start time of 12 p.m. local time.

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