By the time the 292 players who started Day 1a were added to the 327 Day 1b runners, organizers were looking at a record-breaking total of 619 players.
That number officially breaks the soft cap on this event, which was set at 600 players. Considering this is the first event of EPT Season 5, one has to wonder just how many records will fall this year.
EPT Barcelona provides a striking contrast to WPT Legends, which took place barely a week ago, and saw its field decrease by roughly 25% compared to last year. Barcelona, in contrast, saw its player count grow by 76 this year.
There is no question that poker is alive and well on the shores of Spain as hundreds of locals packed the rail to witness some high-stakes tournament action.
Interestingly, the PokerStars team was joined by legendary NHL player Mats Sundin. Although Sundin isn't willing just yet to commit to another season of hockey, he was apparently willing to play some cards.
At any rate, several Swedish poker fans were excited to see him (along with a couple of Canadians).
The big Swede did all right too, by most accounts. He lasted most of the day before finally getting it in good with A-K versus 8-7 only to have his opponent hit trip eights. Perhaps Sundin will call it a career for hockey and get drafted onto the celebrated Team PokerStars Pro.
It was actually a brutal day for the card-flopping crew, as every single Team PokerStars Pro member that started the day was eliminated. Dario Minieri made it to within 30 minutes of Day 2 but ran into one of the chip leaders, and the rest was history.
Negreanu, arguably the most popular member of the team, was one of the earliest bust-outs. Kid Poker got short early and despite making some moves, couldn't fashion a double-up.
Of course, PokerStars pros weren't the only players to make the trip to the Spanish coast. Theo Tran, Sorel "Imper1um" Mizzi, Scotty Nguyen, Peter Jepsen, November Niner Peter Eastgate, Tim Vance and last year's Barcelona champ Sander Lylloff all got their poker on.
Julian Thew, who took down a couple EPT awards at the shindig on Tuesday, was also on location and looking to get his EPT season off to the right start.
Mizzi was on a rampage in the later stages of the night and actually eliminated Tran and another player in a $40,000 epic pot. The Canadian seemed to be playing with a lot of confidence, so he should be considered a threat on Day 2.
By the end of the day the field had been whittled down to 115 players, which means over 215 will meet again tomorrow to see who makes it into the money.
Earlier analysis has Sweden's Mikael Lundell as the chip leader with approximately $100,000.
Sebastien Ruthenberg and Brice Cournut are both in contention as well, although official chip counts will not be available until tomorrow morning according to PokerStars.
As far as well-known players go, Arnaud Mattern, Mats Rahmn, Sorel Mizzi, Nicolas Levi and Voitto Rintala all survived and will be looking to move up the chip ranks tomorrow.
Join us tomorrow at 3 p.m. Spanish time as PL.com continues the live tournament rampage that is EPT Barcelona.