Global live and online poker operator PokerStars has set a new attendance record for a brand-sponsored live poker tournament.
As part of the 2022 EPT Barcelona festival, the €1,100 Estrellas Barcelona 2022 Main Event attracted a staggering 6,313 entries (2,765 unique and 3,548 re-entries) to create a prize pool worth €6,060,480.
It is, by far, the biggest PokerStars-sponsored live event in the history of the brand and obliterated the previously biggest field size by a large margin. In 2017, the special edition of the 2017 Sunday Million Live at the King’s Resort in Rozvadov attracted 5,045 entries. The growth for this specific event at Casino Barcelona is even more impressive, as it gathered 4,682 entries in 2019 when it was last held as EPT National.
As one of the popular regional tours dedicated to the low- and mid-stakes players, the Estrellas Main Event, with a price tag of €1,100, has taken place at Casino Barcelona since 2012. The inaugural edition attracted 1,037 entries and has grown significantly from thereon.
The increasing attendances throughout the years were not hindered by the temporary rebranding process initiated by the operator, who has since rescinded those plans. After a hiatus of five years, PokerStars confirmed in Spring 2022 the return of all its regional tours, including the Estrellas Poker Tour, the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT), the France Poker Series (FPS), as well as the Eureka Poker Tour.
Most international travel restrictions due to the global coronavirus pandemic have since started to vanish, and PokerStars was among several operators to resume its activities on the live poker circuit. The ongoing festival at Casino Barcelona is the third EPT stop of the current year and tends to attract enormous numbers annually.
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If the record-setting turnout right at the start of the series is any indication of the things to come, the flagship EPT €5,300 Main Event may end up in the history books of the brand. Before the two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the flagship tournament of the brand set a new record in Barcelona itself. In August 2019, 1,988 entries generated €9.6 million in prize money and these elusive numbers may be surpassed once more.
The conclusion of the record-setting Estrellas Main Event will also commence eight consecutive days of live-stream action on the PokerStars media channels as well. On Sunday, August 14, PokerStars will host the final table with cards-up coverage and commentary for the first time at Casino Barcelona.
On August 15, two special sit-and-goes will take the stage on the TV set in the annex of Hotel Arts. First up, the eight-handed PSPC Women’s Platinum Pass Tournament contest will take place, followed by True Geordie: The Showdown at EPT Barcelona later in the evening. The winner of the former competition will receive a Platinum Pass worth $30,000 for the second-ever PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas in January 2023.
Some of the biggest names in the world of poker will be in the spotlight on August 16 as the final table of the €100,000 Super High Roller is set to be streamed until a winner has been crowned. All remaining live streams from August 17 until 21 are then dedicated to the €5,300 EPT Main Event.