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EPT: Barcelona Open Day 2

Warp Speed to Dinner and Then the Brakes for the Money


The first couple of levels during day 2 at the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona Open saw some of the fastest tournament poker play in quite some time. Players knew they had a long way to go to before they could start dreaming of the €1,361,000 first-place prize, and the approach seemed to be to double or die trying in the early going. The surviving field of 203 players from day 1A and 1B started a little after 3 p.m. local time, and the race to the rail was a sprint before the dinner break. By the time the dinner bell rang at 7:30 p.m., just 80 players remained. During four hour-long levels, 123 players had been lost.

Big-name professionals among the early casualties of the day were: Danny Ryan, Julian Thew, Eric Mizrachi, Alan Smurfit, Peter Eastgate, Surinder Sunar, Rafe Furst, Isaac Haxton, George Danzer, and Sorel Mizzi.

One player who was able to double up during this hyperactive period and kick start a run deep into the money, and possibly another final table on the EPT, was San Remo champion Jason Mercier. Mercier tangled with World Series of Poker bracelet winner Jesper Hougaard before and during the first break. Here is the hand, from Card Player’s live updates:

Jason MercierJason Mercier raised to 2,200 preflop from under the gun, and Jesper Hougaard reraised to 4,600. Everyone else mucked, Mercier called, and the flop rolled out Q J 3. Mercier checked, Hougaard bet 4,600, and Mercier check-raised to 22,500. Hougaard thought for a moment and reraised all in. Mercier made the all-in call and they turned up their hands:

Mercier: 3 3
Hougaard: A 7

Turn and River: K 4

After dinner, the pace of the tournament took a different tone, as slowly and surely the brakes were applied as the money bubble approached. Lost on the approach to the money bubble were Team PokerStars pro Andre Akkari, Andreas Krause, Ed de Haas, Glen Chorny, and Robert Mizrachi. The lead-up to the money bubble proved to be more daunting than the money bubble itself, as just 11 minutes were needed to bust the bubble boy during hand-for-hand play. Felipe Ramos, from Brazil, was that unfortunate soul, and with his elimination the tournament played on into the night.

The tournament staff decided to add another level and play to the end of level 17, because at the end of eight levels, the goal of 32 players was still far away. At the end of the last level, 36 players remained, and 28 more of them will hit the rail tomorrow.

Here is a list of the notable money finishes:

59: Julien Sallin (Switzerland) -- €10,200
58: Thierry Van Den Berg (Holland) -- €10,200
51: Michael Greco (UK) -- €12,400
50: Casey Kastle (USA) -- €12,400
42: Hafiz Khan (USA) -- €14,900

Chad BrownMany players charged up the leader board as day 2 wound down, including big-name professionals Mercier, Sebastian Ruthenberg, and Team PokerStars pro Chad Brown. Here is a look at the leader board heading into day 3:

Davidi Kitai (Belgium) -- 544,500
Dren Ukella (Germany) -- 374,500
Daniele Mazzia (Italy) -- 374,000
Stephen Chidwick (UK) -- 355,000
Jason Mercier (USA) -- 345,000
Steven Weusten (Holland) -- 332,000
Sebastian Ruthenberg (Germany) -- 326,000
Michael Keiner (Germany) -- 293,000
Chad Brown (USA) -- 259,000
Jonas Klausen (Denmark) -- 237,000

Tune back in tomorrow at 3 p.m. local time, when the final 36 players all attempt to make the final table of eight. Card Player will be there to bring you all of the action in live updates, chip counts, and photos from Barcelona.

Nationalities Note:


The 619 players that entered the EPT Barcelona Open are from 28 different countries, chief among them Italy with 71 contestants. Here is a look at the top countries represented here in Spain:

Italy: 71
USA: 69
France: 68
Sweden: 68
Spain: 40