Off the beaten track of international poker tournaments, this is a poker event different from what you’ve known and read about.
It's a Baltic experience.
Up in the North of Europe, and so far East they call the Baltic Sea the ”Western Sea," lies Estonia. A small country with a long Hanseatic tradition and very liberal poker legislation.
This is where the 888Live Series has touched down for its third and final Culture & Poker Event in 2015.
What to Expect at 888Live
The number of tourists in Estonia has increased recently but in the poker community Tallinn is still an insiders tip.
If you're unfamiliar with the 888Live Series, created directly for recreational players, check back here over the next couple of days as we’ll take you through the experience that is 888Live Tallinn.
Players arrived today and are staying at the 5* Swissotel, about a 5-minute walk away from the Casino Olympic, the largest casino in the country.
When they’re settled in they'll go to pick up their merchandise kit in 888’s hospitality room. There’s a backpack, a hoodie, a patch and a cap for each player.
The kits change with every location so you can always expect something new. Tomorrow, on the second day of the event, there’ll be a guided tour through the Old Town as well as a boat trip complemented with some local food and drink specialties.
Then the poker begins. In the evening there's a €1 satellite with one main event seat guaranteed – it would have been a freeroll, but the law demands a buy-in.
Two-Day Main Event, $50,000 GTD
888Live Tallinn's main event is a $550 No-Limit Hold'em tournament spread over two days and with a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000.
The field won't be very big, contributing to the friendly, family atmosphere that is one of the main features of this tournament series.
25 qualifiers ready to go.
Amazingly about 25 players have qualified online through freerolls. In case you bust there's also a special bounty event on the last day, restricted to all the unlucky players didn't make a deep run.
An extra $5,000 will be up for grabs and the winnings will be paid into your 888 account (If there's no actual cash involved it is possible to hold a tournament without a buy-in in Estonia).
Throughout the main event there will be bounties,and special prizes to be won – for a Royal Flush, for being the unlucky bubble boy, for the first full house with 888s, and so on.
Prizes are an iPhone 6, GoPro cameras, headphones and more, so plenty of added value to give you a profit even if you don’t make the money.
Another Contented Recreational Player
There is always a welcome reception for the players at every 888Live event with an open bar -- a pretty good place to get together and find out who the other players are.
Gerri and Tatjana.
This one takes place on the sixth floor of the Swissotel. The kind of people you meet are Gerri and Tatjana from Vienna, for example.
“I qualified online," says Gerri. "The great thing about these online qualifiers is, if you make it, the poker gets you to places you would maybe never go otherwise.
"I’ve been to several cities around Europe, like Thessaloniki and Turin, which belong in that category. I’m actually in Tallinn for the second time and the first time was also for a poker tournament.
"I’m looking forward to the guided city tour and then also to the tournament, of course. I come from Vienna and you know there are a lot of good players in Vienna.”
Gerri smiles and makes his way to the bar - another contented recreational player on a poker holiday. Check back tomorrow for a snapshot of the tour on the Baltic Sea and through the Old Town of Tallinn.
If you're interested in qualifying yourself for the next stop on the 888Live tour click through to our 888poker review and register for your own account.