The last time the European Poker Tour was in Barcelona, Sebastian Malec turned himself into a champion and a viral sensation.

After taking the summer off, the European Poker Tour is back in action beginning August 21 with a return to Casino Barcelona for EPT Barcelona. The sea of high buy-ins and marquee events are topped with the added prize of 10 Platinum Passes to be distributed during the series.

All the regularly scheduled favorites return to the EPT Barcelona calendar. The €100,000 Super High Roller, €1,100 EPT National, €50,000 High Roller, and €5,300 Main Event are listed as part of the 34 tournament schedule.

Big numbers are part of the EPT Barcelona lore dating back to the first time Casino Barcelona hosted PokerStars in 2004. The trend held to form last year and entry figures are expected to increase in 2018 thanks to the Platinum Pass equity added.

Sebastian Sorensson turned his PokerStars online satellite into $1.16 million versus a field of 1,682 in the 2017 PokerStars Championship Main Event. The EPT brand returns for the first time since Sebastian Malec won the 2016 EPT Barcelona Main Event for $1.27 million.

In the 2018 PokerStars National Championship, 4,557 runners bested the €4 million guaranteed prize pool and the top-seven players all earned at least $149,190.

How to Win a Platinum Pass

The Platinum Pass is the coveted totem in all 2018 PokerStars events and the journey toward awarding 300 takes a major step forward in Barcelona. Players can claim a Platinum Pass by winning a specific event or simply being at the right place at the right time.

The winners of the EPT Main Event, EPT National and the €550 EPT Cup will each be given a Platinum Pass for their victory. The online or live qualifier in the EPT Main Event who lasts the longest also receives a Platinum Pass.

All three tournaments are also shelling out a Platinum Pass in the Crazy Pineapple hand challenge. The rules for the Crazy Pineapple hand challenge are as follows from the PokerStars website:

“At the start of Day 2, in applicable tournaments, we will run a Crazy Pineapple Flip Out Hand on each table. The winner of each table will move to the next round (via a Shootout Format) where another Crazy Pineapple Flip Out Hand will take place. This will continue until we have one winner, and the winner will be awarded a Platinum Pass.” 

The final three Platinum Passes are circulated via two more Crazy Pineapple hands and a special package qualifier.

Event #23 (€1,100 Freezeout) and Event #28 (€550 No Limit Hold’em) are assigning Platinum Passes to the winners of their respective Crazy Pineapple hands at the start of Day 2. Event #28 (€2,150 PokerStars Players Championship package qualifier) adds a Platinum Pass to the overall prize pool.

EPT Barcelona marks the most Platinum Passes dispersed at a single PokerStars Live stop. The previous top number was the APPT Manilla stop in August where five were issued along with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure this January.

EPT Barcelona Main Event Schedule

Date Event Number Name Buy-in
August 21 3 NL Hold’em Hyper Turbo (Single-Day Event) €2,150
August 22 4 EPT National (Four-Day Event, Four Starting Flights) €1,100
August 22 5 NL Hold’em (Two-Day Event) €10,300
August 24 6 NL Hold’em Seniors Event (Two-Day Event) €1,100
August 24 7 EPT Cup (Two-Day Event, Three Starting Flights) €550
August 25 9 EPT Super High Roller (Three-Day Event) €100,000
August 25 10 NL Hold’em Hyper Turbo Freezeout (Single-Day Event) €1,100
August 26 11 EPT National High Roller (Two-Day Event, Two Starting Flights €2,200
August 27 13 EPT Main Event (Five-Day Event, Two Starting Flights) €5,300
August 28 17 NL Hold’em (Single-Day Event) €50,000
August 28 18 NL Hold’em Hyper Turbo (Single-Day Event) €2,150
August 29 20 Pot Limit Omaha (Two-Day Event) €10,300
August 30 22 NL Hold’em (Single-Day Event) €25,000
August 30 23 NL Hold’em Freezeout (Two-Day Event) €1,100
August 31 26 Pot Limit Omaha (Two-Day Event) €1,100
August 31 27 EPT Barcelona High Roller (Three-Day Event) €10,300
August 31 28 NL Hold’em (Two-Day Event, Three Starting Flights) €550
August 31 29 NL Hold’em Hyper Turbo Freezeout (Single-Day Event) €2,150
September 1 30 NL Hold’em DeepStack (Two-Day Event) €2,200
September 1 31 NL Hold’em (Two-Day Event) €1,100
September 2 32 NL Hold’em Turbo (Single-Day Event) €550
September 2 33 NL Hold’em Turbo (Single-Day Event) €1,625
September 2 34 NL Hold’em Turbo (Single-Day Event) €5,200