The PokerStars European Poker Tour(EPT) stop in Barcelona kicked off on Monday and will run until August 21. It is the 16th edition of the festival at Casino Barcelona as one of live poker’s most popular tours returns to where it all started in September 2004.
With poker action available almost non-stop for players of all bankrolls, the busiest EPT stop of the calendar year also provides plenty of activities away from the tables. This includes sightseeing opportunities, sports activities, and a players’ party, among others.
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PSPC Platinum Passes to be Awarded During the Festival
During the festival, the operator will also award at least two Platinum Passes for the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC). The second edition of the high-stakes contest was initially supposed to take place during the stop in Barcelona but had to be postponed in the previous two years because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Hundreds of Platinum Passes have already been given away in the last two years. The new date and location for the second-ever PSPC was also confirmed in April 2022: PokerStars will return to the Bahamas in January 2023 after a four-year hiatus and host the PSPC as part of the festival.
One of the packages, worth $30,000, will be awarded in a special EPT Platinum Pass Mystery Bounty tournament, which takes place from August 17-19. It features a buy-in of €3,000 and one Platinum Pass will be added to the Mystery Bounty prize pool, courtesy of the online poker giant.
The second confirmed package for the 2023 PSPC in the Bahamas will be awarded to one of eight female players who have become role models or impacted the poker community. They were chosen by a public vote back when PokerStars celebrated International Women’s Day 2020.
Eight of the nine chosen finalists are in attendance at the 2022 EPT Barcelona stop; American poker icon Jan Fisher, who cannot attend, will receive a Road to PSPC package instead. All other eight contenders will battle for the prize package during a live-streamed sit-and-go on August 15 as of 1pm CEST. PokerStars will stream the event across their channels with commentary from Maria Ho and Jennifer Shahade.
Fun Activities Away From the Tables
While poker may dominate the two-week event for card sharks in Barcelona, the vibrant city offers plenty of other things to discover with its rich history and major tourist attractions. Casino Barcelona is only a short walk away from the beach, so visitors can grab some vitamin sea ahead of a long day at the poker tables.
Plenty of international poker players and online qualifiers combine a trip to Barcelona with a mini vacation. The hosting poker site provides even more inspiration with the following activities:
▪ Spin The Wheel — an opportunity to win prizes such as merchandise, football tickets, vouchers, and more
▪ City bus tours upon request
▪ Paddle Boarding — every morning from August 10-20
▪ PokerStars Summer Fiesta — Welcome Party on August 11
▪ Catamaran Trips — on August 12, 14, and 19
▪ Players’ Party — on August 14 at CDLC beach club
Speaking of football, tickets at the incredible Camp Nou stadium may be scarce, as the Spanish League is about to restart. Some stars on FC Barcelona’s roster take part in the poker competitions as well, such as star defender Gerard Piqué. Brazilian winger Neymar may currently play for Paris Saint Germain, but he rejoined PokerStars as cultural ambassador in December 2020 and attended the 2022 EPT Monte-Carlo stop.
The offerings away from the tables continue a trend among major poker brands. Unibet and partypoker especially have excelled at offering fun activities in the past, and PokerStars is also ramping up its efforts as live poker slowly returns to normal.
Plenty of Poker Action is Available for Players of all Bankrolls
That being said, the spotlight of the 2022 EPT Barcelona will certainly be on the tremendous poker action. During the last stop in 2019, 12 days of poker resulted in over 23,600 registrations, and nearly €53 million in prize money was awarded.
With all major live poker stops experiencing strong turnouts, it would be no surprise to see a very strong attendance across the board at Casino Barcelona as well. During the last edition in 2019, the €5,300 Main Event drew 1,988 entries and set a new record for the flagship event of the brand.
Whether or not this record will be surpassed in 2022 remains to be seen. PokerStars narrowly missed out on setting a new location record for the rescheduled 2021 EPT Prague earlier this year and surely hopes that this trend continues.
Below are some of the key events at a glance:
▪ ESPT Main Event: August 9-14 – €1,100
▪ EPT Super High Roller: August 14-16 – €100,000
▪ EPT Main Event: August 15-21 – €5,300
▪ EPT Platinum Pass Mystery Bounty: August 17-19 – €3,000*
▪ EPT Women’s Event: August 19-20 – €500
▪ EPT High Roller: August 19-21 – €10,300
PokerStars has also already confirmed the next two stops for the current year as well. From October 18 to 28, 2022, the EPT returns to London in conjunction with the UKIPT after a hiatus of eight years. Furthermore, the traditional stop in Prague just before Christmas is also penciled into the schedule from December 7 to 18, 2022.