Robbie Strazynski called me one morning while I was in Las Vegas, covering the World Series of Poker for PokerNews. It’s always great to catch up with the Cardplayer Lifestyle founder, but this particular conversation really took me by surprise.
“Are you sitting down?” asked Robbie, which I was. He instructed me to stand up and then sit back down. By this time I was really perplexed, yet intrigued… where was this conversation going?
“How would you like to go to Barcelona?” he asked.
Are you kidding me?!
My answer was, of course, “YES!”
Reflecting upon that conversation, I’m still pinching myself. I now have the opportunity to attend PokerStars’ EPT Barcelona festival and produce content from and about one of the greatest poker events on the calendar! My account of the 2019 EPT Barcelona experience will appear right here on the Cardplayer Lifestyle Poker Blog.
Here are five things I’m looking forward about the upcoming trip:
FIRST TIME GOING TO BARCELONA
I’m probably not alone when I say that Barcelona, Spain has been one of my dream travel destinations for quite awhile.
I almost visited Barcelona last year as part of a two-week, multi-country tour of Europe. My original flight plan for that trip included flying into Barcelona from the US, having a nine-hour layover in the city and proceeding into the rest of the scheduled trip from there.
We ended up going with a different travel plan for the trip, and I was bummed about missing the opportunity to spend a few hours in the Catalonian capital. But let’s face it; a nine-hour layover almost doesn’t even count as a real visit.
There will be no such press for time on this trip. I arrive in Barcelona pretty early in the morning on August 27, and I get five full days there until I head out on September 1.
✈️🚄🚌How to get there
🍔🍣🍽️What to eat
🏨🛏️⛺Where to stay
⚽🏖️💃What to do
🇪🇸🇪🇸🇪🇸Everything you need to know about the most popular stop on the @PokerStarsLIVE calendar: #EPTBarcelona.https://t.co/Zqt2EoCgvY
— PokerStarsBlog (@PokerStarsBlog) August 14, 2019
THE EPT BARCELONA EXPERIENCE
I’ve read and heard, from many sources, that EPT Barcelona is one of the absolute best stops on the entire poker calendar. From poker professionals to recreational players to my colleagues in the poker media corps, the overwhelming consensus is that this festival is a must-visit for any poker player or fan of the game.
I remember reading Robbie’s series of articles on his first-time visit to EPT Barcelona last year, which really made me realize that I had to find a way to attend this event at some point.
As a fan of the game, I’ve only seen this event and the other EPT stops while watching the streaming coverage from home. Unbelievably enough, I’m going to be right there to experience this event, in person, in 2019.
Only 10 rooms left at the Hotel Arts 5* for the #EPTBarcelona. Hurry up and book your panoramic room with @PSLiveTravel at the best rates online 😎♣️ pic.twitter.com/YnFT2CLqvU
— PokerStars Travel (@PSLiveTravel) August 14, 2019
What kinds of activities do poker players and media members get into away from the poker table in a city like Barcelona? I can’t wait to find out.
My duties at the festival include an investigation on things to do in Barcelona, non-poker category. It’s a tough assignment but I’m up for the challenge 😀 and I look forward to seeing what I can uncover!
From the beaches, the hidden gems in the vicinity of Casino Barcelona, and a food-related section; this part of my itinerary may be what I’m looking forward to the most.
Without revealing too much about exactly who the subjects will be, I will say that I have at least a couple of interviews I’m really looking forward to at the festival.
Interviewing is my favorite part of being a journalist, and it’s always a fulfilling experience to sit down and have a conversation with the poker players I observe and write about throughout the year. The research process for an upcoming interview often reveals more about a person than what I already knew, and I’m always excited by the time the interview opportunity comes around.
I feel like we have some good interviews coming up at EPT Barcelona, so stay tuned!
LIVING THE DREAM
When I first began on this journey to be a poker writer, I would often dream about covering an international event. What would it feel like when I stepped off of the plane, into a new city and into a poker venue that I’d only seen on television?
That opportunity is finally here, and I can’t think of a poker festival that I would be more excited to attend and be a part of than EPT Barcelona. Again, I’ve heard and read so many great things about the festival, and the fact that this event commences from Barcelona, Spain isn’t so bad either!
The moment that I’ve dreamed about will arrive when I step off the plane August 27, and I know that no amount of visualization will compare to the real experience!
Vamos! #EPTBarcelona is back, running August 20-September 1.
🇪🇸 New: we kick-off with @CEP_Poker events, Aug 12-20.
🇪🇸 EPT National: August 21- 25 – €1,000+€100
🇪🇸 EPT Main Event: August 26-September 1 – €5,000+€300
🇪🇸 Details ➡️ https://t.co/Qf1aYg5rA4 pic.twitter.com/xdiFByrAPi
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) January 29, 2019