The PokerStars.es EPT Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller got under way today, attracting a field of 89 players (73 unique players and 16 re-entries), with many notables among the entrants who played eight 60-minute levels on Day 1. Last year 99 entries were made into the event, but registration remains open till start of play on Day 2, so that record might still get broken.
Before the day’s play got underway, it was announced that the proposed payout changes, from 15 percent to 20 percent, were to be reversed for this tournament, as well as the upcoming €25,000 Single-Day High Roller. This was due to feedback from players, and as an additional step, players were asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding payout structures as they took their seats in the Super High Roller.
There was no slow start to this tournament, with upwards of 20 players taking their seats for the first hand of the day. The field was packed full of some of the world’s best High Roller players, including two-time €50,000 High Roller Champion Steve O’Dwyer, Mike McDonald, Rainer Kempe, Fedor Holz, and Anthony Zinno.
As the day went on, they were joined by other notables, including defending champion Sylvain Loosli, 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka, and PokerStars Team Pro and 2016 WSOP Player of the Year Jason Mercier. All of them got a crisp 250,000 starting stack to work with.
Leading the way at the end of today’s play is Julian Stuer with 1,350,000. The German worked his way steadily up the chip counts before winning a huge pot against Bryn Kenney. After Stuer opened, Kenney three-bet to 38,000 and Stuer four-bet enough to put Kenney all in. The American called for his tournament life, but was ahead holding against Stuer’s . However, the board ran out , and Kenney was eliminated, sending his chips across to the grateful German.
Also among the chip leaders is Fedor Holz (1,150,000). After busting on his first bullet, he bought back in and grinded through the day, only to scoop a huge pot against EPT Malta winner Niall Farrell in one of the last hands of the day. After check-calling a bet from his opponent on , Holz check-raised the turn of the , and Farrell called. With the pot already up to almost 400,000, the came on the river. Holz checked and Farrell thought before moving all in, covering Holz. He sighed and sank back in his chair before eventually calling.
"Good hand," nodded Farrell, who showed for king high. Holz showed for two pair, scooping the monstrous pot in the final minutes of the day.
Timothy Adams is also among the leaders and has been up among the top three chip counts for most of the day. He eliminated Akin Tuna, Vojtech Ruzicka and Jannis Brauer on his way to bagging up 877,000. Jean-Noel Thorel (1,075,000) is also among the big stacks.
Other names remaining in the field include Erik Seidel (552,000), Nick Petrangelo (496,000), who already won the €10,000 opening event here in Barcelona, Sylvain Loosli (460,000), Rainer Kempe (429,000), Anthony Zinno (325,000), Mustapha Kanit (250,000), Max Silver (226,000), and Mike McDonald (195,000).
Play resumes tomorrow at 12.30pm local time, and PokerNews live updates will be there to capture all the key action as it happens. Players are able to sign up right till start of play on Day 2, so a seat draw and prize pool information will be released as soon as play is back underway. A full list of chip counts can be found in the live reporting section. Daniel Negreanu might well be one of the players entering before Day 2 starts, as he wasn't feeling too good on Day 1 and decided not to play. He tweeted he intends on entering tomorrow morning.