Spain saw its largest ever poker tournament turnout today when the Casino Barcelona played host to 811 players in the €5,300 buy-in European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona main event.
Last season's EPT, which offered a €825,000 grand prize, attracted 758 players. This year's main event winner will collect a cool €850,000 (of a total €4,055,000 prize pool).
Guillaume Darcourt will kick off Day 2 ahead of the tournament's 407 other survivors with a chip total of 195,300. Darcourt, a French pro who took home $242,636 for his 25th place finish at this year's World Series of Poker main event, has a 13k chip lead over current runner-up, Martin Schleich of Germany.
The other eight players rounding out the current Top 10 are:
Vytautas Milvydas (Lithuania) 172,400
Gerardo Rodriguez Forteza (Spain) 170,800
Benjamin Juhasz (Hungary) 165,800
Mario Adinolfi (Italy) 169,000
Sam El Sayed (Switzerland) 163,200
Marcello Marigliano (Italy) 160,800
Eugene Katchalov (United States) 153,100
Dmitry Gromov (Russia) 152,200
The turnout comes on the heels of a new report issued by the Spanish government that suggests online gambling could generate as much as €137.5 million in revenue and create much needed jobs for Spanish workers.
The Spanish government is currently proposing a series of new measures aimed at regulating and taxing legal online casinos and protecting potentially vulnerable users. If all goes as planned, we will likely see the turnout at poker tournaments held in Spain increase exponentially.