With Full Tilt Poker gone and PokerStars playing a limited role in this year’s Series, 888poker stepped in to become one of the best ways to qualify for the massive live tournament.
David Mudachi, a 28-year-old clothing manufacturer from Toronto, was thrilled to be a part of the biggest poker tournament in the world.
“It’s amazing,” said Mudachi. “888poker has taken care of us. I was so excited to play this tournament.”
Mudachi had fortune of qualifying for the 2012 Main Event for absolutely nothing thanks to freerolls 888poker runs for its VIP players.
Thirty-year-old Russian qualifier Stanislav Belyaev got lucky to win a straight up raffle that 888poker holds for VIP players.
“This is the first offline tournament for me ever,” he said. "I want to win it."
Both Mudachi and Belyaev are cash game players so they were digging the deep structure of the Main Event after the first level.
Although final numbers had yet to be released at the time this article was published it's looking like this year's tournament will award a life-changing first-place prize in the $8 million range.
888poker Pro Sam Holden Looks to Replicate Main Event Success
One 888poker player who has a little bit of experience in the Main Event is Sam Holden, who finished ninth in the 2011 edition last fall for $782,115.
“This is the one event that everyone looks forward to and I’m very excited to be back,” he said.
Holden went on to say he’s fascinated to see how first-time Main Event players perform.
“It’s really interesting to see how people deal with the pressure from a psychological point of view,” he said. “Some people are very nervous but for some reason play a lot of pots.”
For the last year Holden has played in numerous tournaments around the world while working closely with 888poker to improve their product.
“It’s been really nice getting to have input on an online poker site since I come from an online background,” he said. “It’s something I enjoy and am really interested in.”
888poker has already had a big impact on the 2012 WSOP Main Event as sponsored ambassador Georges “Rush” St-Pierre played on Day 1b of the Main Event.
Despite busting early, GSP is one of the biggest sports stars to take part in the prestigious poker series.