Season 12 of the European Poker Tour kicked off in Barcelona this week, and straight away it set about setting records. Don't believe us? Check out what Howard Swains had to say in the PokerStars Blog:
"In the case of the Main Event, the numbers in the €5,300 flagship tournament have moved steadily upward. The Main Event of Season 11 was 21 percent bigger than it was in Season 10, and this year's tournament represented an increase of 13 percent on last year. Over two seasons, that's a 37 percent increase, which is bonkers."
Of course that's just the Main Event, which is just one event in a massive festival. PokerNews has already taken a look at several side event winners, including Sylvain Loosli winning the record-breaking €50,000 Super High Roller for €1.224 million, Mario Lopez capturing the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event for €408,000, Steve O'Dwyer taking down the Neymar Jr. Charity Home Game, and of course former PokerNews hostess Lynn Gilmartin's victory in the EPT's largest-ever Ladies Event.
Here's a look at some other headlines from the EPT12 Barcelona side events:
Javier “MuckeDBoY” Tazon Wins Estrellas High Roller for €202,630
Event #24: €2,000 Estrellas High Roller attracted 1,055 entrants and created a prize pool of €2,046,700. The final four players ended up striking a deal, and while PokerStars Supernova Elite Javier “MuckeDBoY” Tazon didn't finish with the most money, the 32-year-old originally from Santander but now living in London walked away with the title, the first major of his career.
Tazon, a former Starcraft player who now makes his living playing high stakes hyperturbos and Sit n Gos, is also known for breaking the world record for most hands played online in 24 hours back in 2012.
Final Table Results
|6||Ondrej Goetz||Czech Republic||€67,120|
*Denotes four-handed deal.
Urbanovich Recognized as EPT11 POY; Finished Runner-Up in €5K PLO
During Day 2 of the EPT12 Barcelona Main Event, Poland's Dzmitry Urbanovich, who made an astounding 15 final tables in Season 11 and took home six trophies (including four at EPT Malta), was recognized as the EPT11 Player of the Year in two out of three of the tour's tiers ( he won the Platinum and Gold tiers while French player Jean-Jacques Zeitoun was the Silver POY).
For a more thorough look at Urbanovich's POY accomplishments, including a breakdown of the tiers, visit the PokerStars Blog.
Speaking of Urbanovich, he was denied his first trophy of Season 12 when he finished runner-up in the €50,000 Super High Roller. Then, a little later, he was denied a second time by finishing second in Event #41: $5,000 Pot-Limit Omaha, which attracted 74 entries and created a prize pool of €358,900. In that event, Urbanovich was denied by high-stakes PLO cash game player Pedro Zagalo, who was awarded €98,700 for the win.
Final Table Results
Andrey Zhigalov Wins Two Titles at EPT12 Barcelona; Razz-capades
Razz isn't a game you see very often outside the World Series of Poker, but the game has proved quite popular at the EPT12 Barcelona.
Russian player Andrey Zhigalov, who finished runner-up in the €1,000 Limit Razz event at EPT11 Malta last season, ended up winning the €5,000 version in Barcelona. That tournament, which was the third-largest buy-in Razz tournament in history (the other two were the $10,000 championships at the WSOP), attracted just 14 players, but managed to create a prize pool of €67,900.
Zhigalov ended up winning €25,925 after a heads-up deal with Adam Owen, who took €28,395 for his efforts. Meanwhile, Matthew Grapenthien, who won Event #42: €500 Limit Stud Hi/Lo, finished third for €13,850.
A little later on, Event #37: €500 Limit Razz rolled around and attracted 42 entrants, which created a prize pool of €20,370. Zhigalov didn't win that event, but he did finish runner-up for €4,790 while German player Sebastian Pauli, who won the EPT London for €499,700 last year, captured the title for €6,930.
Of course Zhigalov wasn't done there as he went on to pick up a second EPT12 Barcelona trophy when he captured the €5,000 HORSE title for €40,332 after cutting a deal with EPT11 Prague High Roller winner Andrey Zaichenko. That tournament attracted 26 entries and created a €126,100 prize pool.
EPT10 Grand Final Runner-Up Jack Salter Takes Down €1K Turbo
Event #8: €1,000 No-Limit Hold'em Turbo attracted 209 runners and created a prize pool of €202,730. The event saw plenty of notable cash included Ami Barer (17th - €2,730), Georgios Sotiropoulos (13th - €3,350), Simon Ravnsbaek (12th - €3,350), and Kevin MacPhee (9th - €4,540).
In the end, EPT10 Grand Final runner-up Jack Salter andKasra Pour Khomamy, who finished fifth in the Neymar Jr. Charity Home Game, squared off in heads-up play with the former holding a 3:1 chip lead. Salter managed to seal the deal, and walked away €44,910 the richer.
Final Table Results
|2||Kasra Pour Khomamy||Germany||€30,310|
|4||Eric Theissen||United Kingdom||€17,010|
French Players Dominate EPT Barcelona Main Event
With 1,694 entrants, the EPT12 Barcelona Main Event, which created a prize pool of €8,215,900 with €1,420,500 reserved for the winner, became the biggest EPT Main Event ever held. As usual, the fine folks at PokerStars broke down the numbers by nationality.
Given Barcelona is less than 100 miles south of the French border, it's no surprise to see the French contingent turn out in force. All told, 162 Frenchmen entered the field, making France the most-represented country. Speaking of Frenchmen, 2013 November Niner Sylvain Loosli won the €50,000 Super High Roller for €1,224,000 earlier in the week.
Overall, the EPT12 Barcelona Main Event featured players from 82 countries. Following France were Germany (8% of the field with 138 participants), UK (7% with 122), and Russia (6% with 105). As for the Spain, the host country, it comes in fifth with 92 players.
Don't Forget About the EPT12 Barcelona Main Event
EPT Barcelona Main Event History
Remember, the EPT12 Barcelona Main Event is happening now. You can follow all the action in PokerNews' dedicated live blog by clicking here.
*Photos courtesy of PokerStars.