The Season 1 finale of the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Tour comes to a conclusion next month in one of the most exciting cities in Europe – Barcelona. We caught up with partypoker LIVE President John Duthie to explore his love of the Catalan capital.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Barcelona is probably the popular venue in Europe for poker players to travel to and play events.” Duthie told us, “Barcelona is a wonderful city and the venue is located in the port area. There’s so much to do in and around Casino Barcelona; so many good restaurants, so many good clubs, the beach is right there. The food and the hotels are amazing, so it’s a very young, fashionable, friendly and laid-back place and all those things appeal to the travelling poker player.”
Duthie addresses the partypoker LIVE players during another successful tour stop
Home to 4.7 million people, Barcelona is famed for all the attributes Duthie describes. It’s one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and that popularity has transferred to poker players. Barcelona has been a staple of many poker tours since John Duthie himself first introduced a large No Limit Hold’em tournament to its shores 14 years ago.
“It has such a long history. In 2004, when I first started, the very first tournament was in Barcelona. It took a lot of persuading for the casino to embrace poker originally because they didn’t really get it. They still dealt the wrong way round, anti-clockwise. They used to put the flop the wrong way so that you were reading it from right to left, it was all very odd. But the wonderful thing was that they really embraced it and right from the word go it was self-evident that the number of people who turned up that meant it was always going to be popular.”
Barcelona has since hosted numerous tournaments and is woven into poker history. Players of all levels now have the chance to follow in the footsteps of MILLIONS Main Event winners such as Maria Lampropulos, Aleksandr Gofman and of course, Viktor Blom, who stunned the world by winning the MILLIONS Germany Main Event just a few short weeks ago. Whoever travels to Barcelona will be able to embrace their true personality, with the city in general offering any visitor a chance to be themselves.
“There’s something very egalitarian about the whole place. It doesn’t feel like there’s any judgement. It’s a little bit like Islington, when you go there, whoever you are, you feel welcome. I think that’s significant. Whatever you look like or whatever your opinions are, you feel welcome there. People do like to have other things to do if and when they get knocked out of the tournament. It’s very easy to go out and do other things, more so than at other casinos I’ve been to, because of its location.”
Duthie in familiar pose, with his eyes on victory, just this time away from the felt
The sun often shines on players at Barcelona and not just in terms of the amounts of money that is there to be won. Famously sun-kissed for much of the year, Barcelona is a poker player’s paradise and many players identify it as their favourite travel destination, win or lose at the felt.
“When the weather’s good, which it usually is, it’s incredibly vibrant during the day and during the night. When people arrive in Barcelona, they arrive in the state of mind where they’re determined to enjoy themselves. It’s a bit like a party; if everyone arrives and wants to enjoy themselves, then it runs itself because everyone’s in that positive frame of mind. All of those reasons added together are probably why Barcelona is such a success. I love it there and always have. It was always my favourite event because it was always great fun. [Casino Barcelona] is a great casino to work with, once they decided to hold major tournaments, they fully embraced the whole idea. Let’s face it, every single tournament that’s been there has been the largest field of any European tour.”
When a passionate poker player is in charge, other players will always listen
You can still qualify for the MILLIONS Grand Final is Barcelona for a single cent at partypoker online. When it comes to attending a partypoker LIVE event, the President is unequivocal. It’s got to be Barcelona.
“All indications from qualifiers and online satellites point to the fact that MILLIONS Barcelona is probably going to be the most significant event this year in the European poker calendar, if not the International poker calendar. I really believe it’s going to be a massive success. MILLIONS Barcelona is the one event in the year that poker players shouldn’t miss.”
Make MILLIONS at the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Grand Final in Barcelona by qualifying today. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the live poker event of the year!
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