World Series of Poker Europe EPT Barcelona Main Event Day 1b: Gerard Piqué Advances In Huge Field

Gerard Piqué

In what seemed like just the blink of an eye, the second of two starting flights for the European Poker Tour Season 10 Barcelona Main Event came to an end Monday night. After eight full levels of play, the player sitting on the largest stack of the approximately 440 remaining runners was Florian-Dimitrie Duta, who bagged up an impressive 187,000. Also advancing was soccer superstar from FC Barcelona Gerard Piqué.

Day 1b attracted 708 entrants, which, combined with the 518 that entered during the first flight, brought the total number of entrants to 1,226. That number could increase before the final tally is counted, though, as registration remains open until the start of Day 2. The Day 1b flight attracted so many players that the tables played 10-handed for most of the day.

In most poker tournament's, all eyes are on the big name pros in the field, but this wasn't your normal poker tournament. As the first Main Event of Season 10 on the EPT, Barcelona smashed the previous attendance record for this event and is approaching the all-time record for an EPT on European soil. Out of all the top pros in the field, all eyes were on Piqué once he took his seat. For much of the day, Piqué spent his time at the table while on his phone playing Candy Crush, but he was able to advance with 23,100 in chips.

A slew of familiar players hit the felt on Day 1b, including Max Lehmanski, Chino Rheem, Griffin Benger, Timothy Adams, Steve O'Dwyer, Ludovic Lacay, and Andrey Zaichenko.

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team also caught a hand during the first level of play that showcased just how brutal tournament poker can be, which happened at the table where Piqué eventually took his seat. The hand spelled disaster for American Michael Brady and occurred not even halfway through the first level of play. After a series of bets and raises on a flop of {10-Hearts}{5-Spades}{4-Hearts}, Brady found himself all in and at risk against Zsolt Vasvenszki. Vasvenszki held {5-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} for middle set, but was still bested by Brady's {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds} for top set. There was no kindness to Brady from the deck, however, as the case five — the {5-Clubs} — drilled the turn and gave Vasvenszki quads. Brady did not improve on the river and was forced to make a very early exit from the tournament.

Despite his recent success of winning the inaugural World Poker Tour Alpha8 tournament in Florida for $891,660, Steven Silverman was unable to gain any traction on Day 1b, either. The online wizard was among those who fell before the last hand of the day was dealt.

While those players faltered, others managed to navigate the large field and build a healthy enough stack to take into Day 2. Maksim Bura (160,600), Simon Mattsson (111,000), Andrew Moreno (91,800), David Benefield (87,800), Aku Joentausta (85,100), Konstantin Puchkov (66,000), Richard Yong (58,400), Jonathan Little (53,500), and Vladimir Troyanovskiy (48,600) are a small sample of those returning for Day 2.

Shannon Shorr
Shannon Shorr

Shannon Shorr also managed to build a large stack on Day 1b and will return for Day 2 with 121,500. Shorr got involved in a massive pot early against Martin Bolecek. After committing 5,475 each preflop, the two took in a flop of {9-Clubs}{Q-Spades}{10-Hearts}. Dolecek bet 5,475 and Shorr flat-called. Both players checked the {8-Spades} turn and the {A-Hearts} completed the board. Shorr fired 4,600, which was followed by a call from Bolecek. Bolecek eventually mucked, however, after viewing Shorr's {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds} for a set of aces. From there Shorr continued to trend upward throughout the day.

With this being the first stop on EPT Season 10 it was no surprise that Team PokerStars was out in full force. Some members of the prestigious team of professionals fell by the end of the day, while others thrived and will be taking stacks into Day 2.

Daniel Negreanu was one of the runners who was unable to get anything going and eventually fell in Level 6. Joining him on the rail were the likes of Lex Veldhuis and Matthias De Meulder. While those players fell, others survived and will be returning for Day 2 with stacks. Expect more action on the felt from the likes of Christophe De Meulder (111,500), Victor Ramdin (107,000), Leo Fernandez (73,300), Liv Boeree (59,100), Ivan Demidov (45,500), and Jake Cody (27,700).

Play is scheduled to resume on Tuesday at 12 p.m. CET at the Casino Barcelona. Be sure to stay tuned to PokerNews' live coverage as we dive deeper into the event and watch fireworks fly when the two starting flights combine.

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