888poker began its “Swing Into Action” golf and poker event in Marbella today with a “storm before the storm” golf event preceding the action at the tables.
About 50 players gathered in two groups and drove by coach to one of the countless golf courses in the area.
They were greeted by a handful of instructors who clearly favor a hands-off approach for new players as after a five-minute introduction to stance, technique and holding the club everyone was off to the driving range.
Those who already had some golf history were obviously showing off their skills. but everyone else gave it a chance.
Even those who had never held a golf club in their hands before were quickly getting the knack of it quite fast. Golf balls were flying all over the place, but that was only the start.
"I Like How Well They Care for Their Players"
Those who were content enough after practicing on the driving range were invited to go for a round on the nine-hole course, and quite a lot of them did.
After the event players gathered on the clubhouse terrace for a light lunch and some chitchat about the 888poker live events.
Andrea, who in real life works with the elderly as a social worker in Southern England, has been to several 888poker events.
“I’ve been go-karting and bowling with 888 in London, and I also went with them to Lisbon," she said.
"I like it a lot how well they care for their players – actually, they invited me here as an MVP player – and I really enjoy the friendly atmosphere between the players.
“I love poker as a game. I’m a passionate card player in general, but I also like to make a difference in other people’s lives.”
Worth a Trip Half Around the Planet
The player with undoubtedly the longest trip to Marbella is Matt, who came here all the way from Australia.
“I spent about 28 hours on planes alone to even land at Malaga airport. I’m not a big fan of golf, although I play now and again. But I love this, combining golf and poker.
"It gets your mind off the game for a while, gets you out into nature, and when you come back you’re refreshed and it can be all about poker again.
"I qualified online on Sunday, actually it was already Monday in Australia, so I didn’t have much time to plan the trip.
"It cost me only about $120 to get here, because I was using my frequent flyer points, as I travel for my job quite a lot.
"Without these I might not have made the trip half around the planet, but the way it went, I didn’t want to miss it.”
An Event for Everybody
Such was the mood here in Marbella where the event is geared for the hobby players much more than for record fields and prize pools.
Another example? Tonight features a freeroll for all the +1s the players brought along. This will give some new players the chance to play in a 2-day event, even if they’ve never played the game on a serious level before.
The Marbella main event begins Friday at 4 pm CET. 888 ambassador Sofia Lövgren will be in the field, as will PokerListings.com blogger Ken Lennaard. We’ve even heard that eternal nomad Dominik Nitsche might be in the area.
Check back for more reports and stories from 888Live Local Marbella over the next few days. If you don’t have an 888poker account yet, read our 888poker review for more information.
If you missed coming to Marbella 888poker has satellites running right now for both the WSOP in the summer and for the Battle of Malta in November.
Insider tip: Play the satellites now as the fields are small and your chances are good. More photos from 888Live Local Marbella below.