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Plenty of Action as 2022 EPT Barcelona Heads Towards Main Event

For the first time since 2019, the European Poker Tour returns to Casino Barcelona on the Catalonian coastline.

Running from August 8 until August 21, the 2022 EPT Barcelona features 61 different tournaments including satellites. The climax of this series is the €5,300 EPT Main Event, kicking off on August 15, as well as the €100,000 EPT Super High Roller and €10,200 Mystery Bounty events.

Fresh off last month’s WSOP in Las Vegas won by Espen Jorstad, poker players around the world have converged on Spain to try their hand at winning big in the EPT Barcelona. We look at the action so far, and take a sneak peak at what’s to come over the next ten days.

A Tournament Steeped in Highlights

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant a three year break in action at the Casino Barcelona, an absence that has been sorely missed by poker fans around the world.

Prior to the slowdown in live poker tournaments, the EPT Barcelona was a hotspot for incredible poker action. Just rewind to the 2019 final table, where a plethora of mesmerizing hands took place. First, Simon Brandstrom took on Rui Sousa, A 10 offsuit vs pocket fours–both players bet through to a K K 3 flop, with the pot building as two 9s came on the turn and river, causing Sousa’s pocket fours to be counterfeited, and the hand mucked.

Minutes later, Sousa was eliminated, and another huge pot built between chip leader Marton Czuczor and Simon Brandstrom. 6 3 off suit for Czuczor faced off against K 3 off suit for Brandstrom, where a K 3 3 flop gave Brandstrom a full house, and Czuczor the set. A 6 on the turn saw Czuczor make a lesser full house, and both players got it in on the river, with Brandstrom the smaller stack doubling up, much to Czuczor’s horror.

Brandstrom went on to defeat Czuczor heads up to win the 2019 EPT Barcelona title, and will be looking to go back-to-back this year in the €5,300 EPT Main Event and defend his title.

Benitez Building Well Towards €5,300 EPT Main Event

So far in the 2022 EPT Barcelona series, Francisco Benitez has been the big winner.

Earlier this week, the Uruguayan player made it two high roller events in a row by winning the €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event on August 11, after having just completed a victory in the €10,200 Mystery Bounty event the day before. His €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em earnt him €341,565 after an ICM deal with Ramiro Petrone saw the two go heads up for the title.

With total live earnings of $1,642,650, Francisco Benitez will be thrilled with his two-from-two record in high roller events at the EPT Barcelona, and has built great momentum heading into the €5,300 EPT Main Event on Monday.

Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event Underway

Currently, the event being played out on the floors of Casino Barcelona is the €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event, which is in its second day of play.

The tournament has attracted a record-breaking field, with a total of 6,313 entries. Competing for a prize pool of just over €6 million, play has passed the bubble, with the 938 players remaining all guaranteed a finish in the money. Day Two is led by Frenchman Anthony Barrera who is the stack lead with 860,000 chips, followed closely by David Urban on 833,000.

Alongside the €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event, the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller event commences today as well. Expect high octane action from this event, with 30 minutes levels of escalating blinds, and unlimited re-entries in the first ten levels. Juan Pardo is the defending champion, bestest a field of 70 in 2019 to take home €491,600.

Both of these events will be eagerly watched, as the 2022 EPT Barcelona series hurtles towards the start of its Main Event on Monday.

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