Samuel “€UROP€AN” Vousden
Every summer late August you will find the best players in the world making their way to beautiful Spain for EPT Barcelona. Barcelona has always been one of the biggest live poker stops and seems
to grow larger and larger every year. As a city it has plenty of things to offer besides poker with its lovely beaches, football culture, architectural gems, nice bars, clubs and restaurants. And
let’s not forget the beautiful heartbreaking senoritas that Barcelona attracts from all around the globe.
Barcelona is a unique city. It has something very special about it. I find it difficult describing exactly what it is, but if you have been to Barcelona you might know what I mean. There is a certain vibe and flow of happiness that spreads among the people.
We got to Barcelona very late on the 15th. We decided to come a few days before the actual poker festival started to meet the guys and have a night out with a nice dinner and a ‘’couple’’ of drinks. The first night we just had a few drinks in a bar and met some of the guys we hadn’t met before and guys we had met on previous trips. It’s amazing there were guys from all around the world: Brazil, India, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Russia, England, Holland, Czech Republic, Portugal and I might even have left out a country or two. A very international group that makes things a lot more interesting!
After chatting so much online it’s also nice to actually be able to put a face to the screen name.
The majority of us were staying in the same hotel. It was a nice hotel and was right next to the beach in a good location with a 5 minute taxi drive or 15 minute walk away from the Casino. Staying in the hotel gave us a good chance to get to know the guys a lot better and for them to get to know each other, which was nice.
On the 16th we went for a big dinner all together to “Shoko” a nice restaurant at the beachfront. The food was really good and the atmosphere was nice as well.
On the 17th it was time to get down to business with the €10k high-roller event kicking of the series that I and Patrick both played. There is always a fun dynamic in these higher buy-in events because you play against some of the best and toughest competition in the world! The field in this event was actually surprisingly good and Patrick managed to make quite the run for himself busting just short of the final table unfortunately good for around $40,000.
After the poker most days we would head back to the hotel and play a game called ‘’werewolf’’. ‘’Werewolf is a game of psychology and strategy, deception and intrigue. Can you outwit a village? Can you catch a lying werewolf? Can you sniff out the village seers in the dead of the night? Can you lead the village to victory against a pack of evil foes?
In short, the player list is a group of Villagers of whom a small percentage are Wolves in disguise. The game is played in 'day' and 'night' phases of a predetermined length, and players post and interact during the day, where the village tries to determine who the wolves are and the wolves try and deflect suspicion. At the end of the day, the Village vote to Lynch (remove) a player from the game, while hoping it's a wolf they've killed. During the night phase, wolves collaborate secretly and anonymously Kill (remove) another player from the game. It's the Village's job to kill all the wolves, while it's the Wolves job to remove enough villagers from the game to be equal in numbers with them. It was a really fun game especially among poker players who are capable of bluffing and reading people. It was also a good way to relieve some stress after a long day of grinding at the tables.
On the 19th it was the €1100 Estrellas main event that was going to be huge. We had a few deep runs in that, but didn’t manage to go all the way.
On the 21st the €2200 Estrellas highroller kicked off and Michael ‘’Oneh1twonder’’ Cano managed to make Day 2 and eventually go all the way to the final table! It was a short 6 handed final table for Michael busting AQ vs K7 early into day 3, but was very happy with his performance and sick scoreof over $90,000!
On the 22nd of August the one we were all waiting for kicked off! The EPT Main event. It was all Yordan ‘’YordanPetrov’’ Petrov in this event with his stack just growing day by day, unfortunately however the dream ended in 36th place for around $40,000, but was able to take a lot of experience and gain confidence from the impressive deep run!
After the main event there was not too much more to play apart from the €10k HR, which was on the 26th. So there was a few days of volleyball, hanging out on the beach, stupid prop bets and some crazy drinking. I can tell you about one of the prop bets. We were walking on the streets in La Ramblas and there was a bunch of promoters inviting us to go inside to a bar for a drink or whatever. It seemed like a pretty challenging job with the competition and actually being able to persuade someone to go for that drink. We wanted to find out exactly how challenging it was, so we sat down at a bar and played a 3 handed card game and the loser would act as a promoter for the next 10 group of girls that walk by. Fortunately for myself I did not lose and was able to witness how hard it is actually is. I have to give credit to the guy who lost though, he really tried and had a lot of heart and actually managed to get 1/10 into ‘’his’’ magical bar.
On the 26th the last event for us started. The €10k high-roller, which was expecting a really big juicy field. The field was big and juicy and me and Patrick both managed to make it to Day 3. On Day 3 we had the same table draw and a very tough table. I busted in the money in 28th place and Patrick made it one step further this time by making the final table and finishing in 7th place unfortunately. Still a very nice score ($200,000+) and a nice way to end the trip.
All in all the trip was fantastic. I was amazed with how great of a group we have and how well everyone got along. Next stop will likely be Prague for most of us. Until then I advise anyone coming to practice their werewolf poker face so they survive the cold nights in Prague!