The first of two starting days of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event is in the books. The poker world has traveled en masse to Casino Barcelona in the past week, where attendance records have once again been shattered all over. With 437 players showing up for Day 1a of the €7 million guaranteed Main Event, and a multitude of that expected for Day 1b, the capital of Catalunya remains one of the most popular poker stops in the world.
After eight levels of 75 minutes, 213 players made their way to Day 2, Xavier Carriere (205,700) of France bagging the overnight chip lead. Adalfer Morales Gamarra isn't far behind with 192,900 in chips. Gamarra finished 3rd in a €550 Hyper Turbo for €31,845 earlier this week and is riding the wave. Upeshka De Silva (180,000) rounded out the top three. Dario Sammartino (141,100), Ryan Riess (113,800), Christopher Kruk (107,400), Steve Warburton (92,000), Bart Lybaert (62,200), Dan Colman (59,000), Nick Petrangelo (37,000), Pierre Neuville (14,000), and Kenny Hallaert (13,000) also made it to Day 2.
It was an exciting day in Barcelona, as no fewer than three big winners were crowned. Russia's Igor Kurganov (€50,000 Super High Roller for €1,135,000), Argentina's Pedro Cairat (€1,100 PokerStars National Championship for €432,178), and Holland's Sander van Wesemael (€330 PokerStars Cup for €127,000) all added another fantastic result to their respective careers.
The day started off with a little over 100 players taking their seats right at the start. Fatima Moreira de Melo was one of the players active in the first level, scooping up a lot of small pots in the process. The Team PokerStars lasted until level 6 when she busted with pocket kings. On a trey-six-five-six board, De Melo called a shove, only to be shown ace-six for trips.
Moreira de Melo found herself in good company, as fellow Team PokerStars Pro Daniel Negreanu also busted on Day 1a. A tired Negreanu, who cashed in the €50K Super High Roller earlier during the day, got eliminated with trip sevens against a king-high flush in the penultimate level of the day. They were joined on the rail by Team PokerStars Online Pro Jaime Staples, 2014 World Champion Martin Jacobson, Christoph Vogelsang, Steve O'Dwyer, Gaelle Baumann, Benjamin Pollak, and Linus "LLinusLLove" Loeliger.
Of the 213 players that bagged chips at the end of the night, it was Dario Sammartino rocking one of the bigger stacks with 141,100. Sammartino biggest pot came when he held up with pocket kings in a massive clash against Jimmy Guerrero, where Guerrero bricked his straight and flush draws.
2013 World Champion Ryan Riess bagged 113,800 and is also a strong contender going forward. During the last hour of the day, Riess overbet with pocket jacks on a nine-deuce-nine-seven board with two hearts. His opponent called with pocket tens and busted, which moved Riess up over the 100k mark.
On Tuesday at noon local time, Day 1b will commence. Like last year, over 1,000 players are expected to take their shot at the €7 million guaranteed prize pool. Eight levels of 75 minutes will be played, with a 75-minute dinner break scheduled after level six. All players will receive 30,000 in chips.
Survivors from Day 1b will join those from Day 1a on Wednesday, August 23rd at 12 p.m.. Follow PokerNews throughout the week and don't miss anything from the inaugural PokerStars Championship Barcelona.