Not every online poker room managed to shine in 2016 but 888poker's relentless effort to meet poker players' expectations continued its rise toward the #1 spot in the global poker market.
An expanding, $5m major online tournament series, growing live events with a twist, new high-profile ambassadors and a brand new festival – 888poker made 2016 its year and isn't about to stop for 2017.
To get there 888poker has focused on the poker player first and a strategy that encompasses all aspects of the game – live events, online events, personnel and unique software features.
What's in store for the year to come? Much, much more of the same successful formula.
Suitcases stuffed in Super XL
Super XL Gets Super-Sized
Every poker site has its signature online tournament series but many of them can go by more or less unnoticed.
The Super XL Series is a notable exception. When the 4th edition took place in January 2016, it had already grown to a sizeable, 38-tournament series with a $1 million guaranteed main event.
But it was still in transition. Originally it was intended to hold this series annually but due to the growing player fields 888poker decided to go for more.
Super XL Series were added in both May and September so this January we’re already at the seventh instalment. Compared to 12 months ago, the series now has almost taken on the size of the WSOP – of which 888poker is now the main sponsor.
The Super XL now offers 63 tournaments over 12 days and a guaranteed prize pool that has now reached $5m. All pretty impressive numbers.
The next Super XL series begins in just a matter of days so size up the schedule here and start playing the 888 steps satellites to get in the game!
888poker Live – Making it Big(ger)
In the past 888poker largely and successfully focused on low buy-in tournaments.
Big winners abounded live.
The Live Local series featured €220, 2-3 day tournaments, mainly directed at local amateurs -- which is also why they usually take place on the weekend.
Then they added the Live! events that cost twice the buy-in of the Local tournaments, but also have an extra day devoted to sports or cultural activities – a unique event that combines poker and vacation like no other.
Then, in October, 888poker hosted the first “Make it Big” poker festival at its home poker room at the Aspers Casino in London. Almost 300 players registered for the £880 main event and the winner walked away with almost £50k.
All of those series will continue in 2017 and a second large, 10-day poker festival will start soon. In late January the King’s Casino in Rozvadov will play host to the next “Make it Big” party and 888poker has already guaranteed €600,000 in prize pools.
Team 888poker Grows, Too
What can a poker room do to become more attractive to casual players? Usually it either contracts high-profile players or celebrities to up its profile and in 2016 888poker did both.
Pros and more pros on board.
In 2016 Kara Scott, Chris Moorman and Natalie Hof joined the already impressive 888poker roster alongside Dominik Nitsche, Sofia Lövgren and the Brazilian trio Bruno Politano, Bruno Kawauti and Nicolau Villa-Lobos.
888poker also invited some major names from the US to the London festival to give it some extra prestige.
Antonio Esfandiari, Michael Mizrachi and Melanie Weisner all made the trip across the Atlantic for 888poker’s first big festival and that attracted a lot of European big names like Sam Grafton, Christopher Brammer, Tom Middleton, Oanh Bui and former world champion Martin Jacobson.
Chances are you'll see more big names in Rozvadov. Don’t forget that 888poker had three of the last November Nine branded with a patch and one of them was Czech … (Vojtech Ruzicka, in case you forgot.)
If you don’t have an account at 888poker yet, take a look at the promotions running on the regular and you’ll see it’s definitely worth it.
PokerListings will be at the most important 888 events in 2017 again and we’ll also keep you updated on the biggest new promotions. Visit the PokerListings 888poker review page to get your account started and claim your $888 sign-up bonus!