EPT Barcelona has turn out to be a spotlight on many poker gamers’ calendars. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Barcelona in August
Considered one of my pet peeves is the excessive esteem wherein tapas is outwardly held by individuals who in any other case have glorious style in meals. To my thoughts, it’s little greater than overpriced glamourised bar snacks; nibbles at finest, leftovers at worst, masquerading as tremendous eating. That is an unpopular opinion I suffered in silence till somebody tried to serve my French gourmand spouse some tapas, and she or he voiced the very same opinion in a lot stronger phrases.
EPT Barcelona has grown into one of many standout occasions on the European reside calendar
Regardless of my view of tapas (and I’m not an enormous fan of paella both), I’m an enormous fan of Barcelona as a spot. After Las Vegas, it’s in all probability the place I’ve travelled to essentially the most to play playing cards. Barca in August is usually a lovely proposition, and over the course of my profession EPT Barcelona has grown into one of many standout occasions on the European reside calendar.
This yr, the run-up to the occasion was clouded considerably by a phrase no poker participant desires to listen to, taxes. I received’t go into element (since David Lappin and I already did in our latest Lock-In) however the abstract is that the Spanish authorities issued an announcement of intent to tax EU residents 19% on any winnings, and non-EU residents 24%. This undoubtedly brought on a lot of gamers to rethink their plans to attend this yr, together with myself and David. In the long run, we determined to go for the primary week (so-called low-cost week centred across the Estrellas 1K Most important Occasion) however to skip the second week (EPT) for the explanations we outlined within the Lock-In. Extra on taxes later.
I performed the opening 1k freezeout, the Seniors, the Estrellas Most important (5 bullets!) and the Cup. The schedule was very a lot centred across the Estrellas Most important, with little or no to play moreover that and satellites within the week I used to be there. I perceive the occasion is a sufferer of its personal success with the ever-increasing numbers straining the venue and employees to capability, however it could be good to see at the least one modest buy-in turbo or hyper on the schedule each day for grassroots gamers to have the ability to play.
Talking of the employees, the Stars workforce is a well-oiled machine at this level. Prior to now, the sheer numbers have brought on some logistical points, and on this event, it seems the native web wasn’t in a position to deal with the tempo of bustouts on Day 2 of the Estrellas Most important Occasion. In a knock-on impact of each the numbers and the delays, many gamers had been locked out of the Cup, a few of whom had travelled from overseas particularly to attend.
the top-notch reside occasions workforce underneath Toby Stone rose to the event
There’ll at all times be issues like this exterior the management of the workforce: what issues is how the workforce responds to them. On this case, the top-notch reside occasions workforce underneath Toby Stone rose to the event and dealt with it as finest they may in tough circumstances coping with a whole lot of annoyed clients. It’s tough to see what may very well be executed to stop these points, though some pressure is perhaps relieved if the Spanish follow their weapons and comply with by on their declaration of intent to tax winnings on the occasion.
Occasions like this additionally function a social event, and the Stars reside occasions workforce pulled out all of the stops to placed on a very good programme of enjoyable occasions for gamers away from the tables. I notably loved catching up with pals outdated and new, a few of whom like Jennifer Shahade and Dean Clay I hadn’t seen in ages, and a few of whom like Tobias Leknes and Georgina James (GJReggie) I used to be assembly for the primary time.
Again to taxes
It stays to be seen if the Spanish will follow their weapons and comply with by on their concept to tax winnings. In the event that they do it’s going to nearly definitely have an effect on numbers going ahead, but it surely may not essentially kill the occasion completely as some worry.
The general public who money the WSOP yearly find yourself having to pay taxes on their winnings, and but the occasion goes from energy to energy. In truth, one American participant I spoke to mentioned:
19% is nothing, I’m used to paying rather more than that again residence!”
I solved any private issues I may need on that entrance by merely bricking every part. If you happen to’re going to brick a visit (and you’ll every so often: this was my first such reside journey in ages), it would as effectively be the one you get taxed on, a reality I joked about after I posted a video of me calculating my tax legal responsibility based mostly on whether or not it was 19% or 24%: