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  • XL Winter Series on 888poker Breaks Guarantees With More Than $1.5 Million

XL Winter Series on 888poker Breaks Guarantees With More Than $1.5 Million

XL Winter Series on 888poker Breaks Guarantees With More Than $1.5 Million

The first series of the year for 888poker had a bit more than $1.46 million guaranteed, but when the Winter blizzard settled, the series awarded nearly $1.56 million.

The first major online series of the year for 888poker is now complete and with nearly $1.54 million in total prizes awarded, it was a big success. That was over the total guarantees of about $1.46 million for a nice increase of about 5% in total money awarded.

Sweden’s Niklas "tutten7" Astedt was one of the big winners of the series after he took down the $2,100 Super High Roller game for more than $37.7k. He wasn’t the only big winner through the series however with Main Event winner “AMG_people” from Ukraine collecting nearly as much in prizes and bounties for their win.

The total money collected was just over $1.5 million as only 60% of the games in the series managed to hit their guarantees. With more than $107k in fees over the two weeks of poker games, the operator was easily able to cover to the ~$35k in overlay for the 8 games that missed guarantee.

Niklas Åstedt, Winner of 2023 XL Winter Super High Roller, By World Poker Tour, CC BY 3.0

Two countries rose to the top of the pile through the 28 games in the 2023 XL Winter Series. Brazil was hardly a surprise to see at the top of the list with five titles overall, but the co-winner from the series was Romania, also with five wins. With a population of just under 20 million people, the eastern European country was a bit more of a surprise at the top of the country standings.

Biggest Winner Didn’t Win Thanks to Mystery Format

It looks like the biggest winner of the week didn’t actually win an event. The $500k guaranteed Main Event was a mystery bounty format, and there was a whopping $50,000 in the virtual bounty barrel. Bounties were open from the start of Day 2, but more than 160 Day 2 players weren’t getting into the official prizes.

There was a lot of bounty action early on Day 2, and the big one went fairly early in the day, to German player “Sickslick”. They went on to pocket $900 for 29th place in the game later in the day, and along the way collected a couple more bounties for a final total of more than $57k, which looks to be the biggest single player earnings across the whole series.

Germans did well in the mystery bounty portion of the Main Event. Another honorable mention goes to “Lenny03041” who managed to bag $15k without even cashing the event. They finished more than 60 players off the money, but managed to draw the $15k envelope from the bounty bin before that, for 7th place in total money earned from the Main Event.

Romania and Lithuania Punch Above Their Weight

12 countries were represented among the winners of the 2023 XL Winter games and it wasn’t much of a surprise to see Brazil leading the pack with five titles. The growing South American poker powerhouse has 214 million people, and the explosion of interest has turned the region into one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

A bit more of a surprise was Romania, who tied with Brazil for the top spot with five wins as well. With just under 20 million people, the eastern European nation is barely a tenth the size of the South American powerhouse, but still managed to book as many titles.

Another national standout was Lithuania, who at about 2.8 million people is barely 1% the size of Brazil. That nation still managed to amass 4 titles and nearly $40k in total winners prizes, a prize total that was third among nations overall.

Interestingly, with only two wins, Sweden racked up the most money from wins. More than $42.5k went to Sweden in the series, largely thanks to Åstedt’s big Super High Roller win, while war-torn Ukraine added more than $40k in wins to its national bankroll from two wins over the series. Romania beat Brazil in this category with 4th place on the list and almost $28k while Brazil couldn’t quite manage $17.5k from its five wins.

CountryTitlesTotal 1st Place PrizesCountryTitlesTotal 1st Place Prizes
Ukraine2$40,144United Arab Emirates1$20,585.45
Austria1$721United Kingdom1$14,000.00
United Kingdom1$14,000Belarus1$7,521.42
United Arab Emirates1$20,585Canada1$5,920.30

More Than 16,000 Entries

In the end, the series can only be called a success. 60% of the games broke their guarantees with more than 40k extra collected over the guaranteed value. In large part, that was thanks to 16,168 entries across the whole series.

The Main Event was a standout in most of the measures of a poker series. The big game got the most entries with more than 2,050 including rebuys, and had the biggest prize pool at $500k. The entries weren’t quite enough to break the guarantee, but it was still the biggest prize pool of the two weeks.

Other standout games included XL Winter 17 which broke its $200k guarantee by 3.5% for the second-biggest prize pool of the series. XL Winter 25, a $55 game with $50k guaranteed did 14% better than that with $57,150 in total prizes, for fifth place on the total winners’ prize ranking.

The $1,050 High Roller game did the best in terms on increase over tournament guarantee. It had $35k guaranteed, but ended up with $50k in the kitty for an increase of more than 42%. XL Winter 04 and XL Winter 15, both $109 games with $20k guaranteed, got prize pools of more than $27k for better than 35% over the promised totals.

Following a year of 20th anniversary celebrations, the 2023 XL Winter Series was a great way for 888poker to kick off the new year.

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