Day 2 of the record-breaking 2016 PokerStars.es EPT Season 13 Barcelona €5,300 Main Event saw more than 900 players return to tables at the Casino Barcelona and another 28 hopefuls opted to buy in with a fresh stack of 30 big blinds.
This boosted the overall attendance to 1,785 entries, and the prize pool of €8,657,250 was to be shared among the top 359 spots. The minimum cash is worth €5,630, while the winner walks home with a life-changing payday of €1,122,800.
Before the cards went back underway, the EPT's Neil Johnson announced news about the expansion of the PokerStars brand on the live circuit with the Championship and Festival series at various old and new destinations such as Panama, Macau, Atlantic City and Barcelona - promising more games, more days and more events.
Once play resumed, the seat open came in steady and at a frantic pace. Paul Hoefer lost with ace-queen to the pocket queens of fellow German Julian Stuer, while Xuan Liu turned two pair and ran into the slow-played set of aces by Wael Sarkis. Former PCA champion Dominik Panka got three-outered by Alexander Lakhov and German wunderkind Fedor Holz, who won the €50,000 Super High Roller a few days ago, lost with top pair to an overpair.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Yaxi Zhu, Janne "Savjz" Mikkonen, Leo Fernandez, Theo Jorgensen, George Danzer and defending Joh Juanda all fell before the money. Alexandros Kolonias and Jeremy Nock put their hopes on spades, but Adem Marjanovic had tens for the overpair to hold up and join the big stacks. At almost the same time, Niall Farrell played a huge pot with ace-king and Alin Grasu looked him up with queens to bust the EPT12 Malta winner. Other former EPT champions to join the rail before the money included David Vamplew, Oleksii Khoroshenin, Dzmitry Urbanovich, Michael Tureniec, and Steve O'Dwyer also all ran out of chips before the hand-for-hand mode began.
In the last few seasons, the money was usually reached in the first few levels of Day 3, however, thanks to the new 20% payout structure, the bubble in fact burst in the middle of level 14. Yann Pineau emerged as bubble boy after calling all in with a pair of tens on a nine-high board only to see Neculai Macovei turn over a full house with five-three. More than 60 players were eliminated in the money in the last half hour still, including Fatima Moreira de Melo, Maria Lampropulos, Per Linde, Alen Bilic, Chris Moorman, Pablo Gordillo and Ivan "negriin" Luca.
Only 294 hopefuls advanced to Day 2 after six 75-minute levels and EPT6 Grand Final champion Nicolas Chouity claimed the lead with impressive 559,000. He is closely followed by Austria's Adem Marjanovic (542,500) and Uri Reichenstein (518,000) also put more than half a million into his bag. Other big stacks and notables for Day 3 include IPT7 Malta champion Georgios Zisimopoulos (462,000), Martin Kabrhel (458,500), aforementioned Alin Grasu (437,000); Gleb Tremzin (428,000), and Diego Zeiter (383,500).
Team PokerStars is represented by the Team Pros Jake Cody (284,500), Jason Mercier (266,500) and Felipe Ramos (63,000), while Team Online's Mikhail Shalamov ran pretty well and bagged up 377,500. Some further EPT champions through to Day 3 were Harrison Gimbel (216,500), Kent Lundmark (179,000), Ognyan Dimov (173,500), Michael Eiler (167,500), Mike McDonald (124,000), Ronny Kaiser (99,600), Dimitar Danchev (80,000) and Davidi Kitai (57,000). The 2016 November Niner Vojtech Ruzicka will return with 72,000.
Action resumes tomorrow at 12 p.m. noon local time when another five levels of 90 minutes each are scheduled. The full chip counts after Day 2 and redraw for Day 3 will be published as soon as the PokerNews live reporting team receives them.