I left Las Vegas on Tuesday morning, after a short layover in Montreal it was a direct flight to Barcelona. After landing in Barcelona I made my way via train to my accommodations. Where does a low stakes baller such as myself stay for 2 weeks? AirBnB of course! I booked a room in an apartment a couple miles west of the casino.
After settling in and resting for awhile, I went for a walk to see some of the sights near me. I was immediately struck by the beautiful architecture of the city. Most buildings are pretty old with balconies for almost every apartment.
My first stop was the Arc de Triomf, a large arch built in 1888. From there I went over to the Parc de la Ciutadella, a beautiful park with walking trails, a lake, museums, and a zoo.
At night I headed over to the Casino Barcelona, which is beautifully located right on the waterfront about a 20 minute walk from where i’m staying. My plan was to play day 1B of the 4 million Euro gtd prizepool Pokerstars live event the following day. It was an 1100 Euro buy in which is equivalent to about $1200. It was then I found out that day 1B of the tournament was filling up fast, but I didn’t bring enough cash to register that night. I decided to get there as early as possible the following day to register.
I didn’t sleep too well due various reasons, so it was easy for me to get to the casino early. However, registration didn’t open until 10am with the tournament beginning at 12pm. I was one of the first people to register and was still alternate #229. Since day 1C was a different structure (30 min. blind levels), I still wanted to play day 1B even if I had to wait to play.
I anxiously waited for them to call my number which wasn’t until around 3:30pm. At this point there was about 10 minutes left in level 4 with the antes at 50 and blinds 150/300. With a starting stack of 30k and blind levels lasting 50 minutes, I knew I still had plenty of time to make something happen.
I got off to a decent start and was able to win a few small pots without having to show my hand. Unfortunately, the rest of the tournament was a real struggle as I battled extreme fatigue and a pretty awful run of cards. Also, in the middle of the tournament word began to spread about the attack at Las Ramblas. Security at the casino was elevated as all players were checked when coming back into the casino after breaks. I ended up busting out of the tournament in level 11, not good enough to make day 2 or any money.
Some interesting notes about playing poker in Barcelona…English is the spoken language of the table, which seemed to cause some controversy. Cards are the same. They use plaques and chips in cash games.
Thanks for reading, I hope everyone is running good on and off the felt!