888Live has released their 2018 tour stops including new events in Romania and Portugal and a host of familiar stops including several events at Aspers Casino, Stratford.
The grand old tapestry of poker is like a 5/5 Netflix show. PokerStars and partypoker are two parts of this peculiar parade. Out in front. Chests puffed. Headlines. Lights. Attention. Glory. They are not alone. The sufficiently supple 888Poker has a latitude and a longitude in this thing. I can see them. I am intrigued. When will they make their move? Will it roar? Will we hear anything?
An email hit my laptop this week.
Special Announcement – 888Poker LIVE Announces 2018 Stops
Was this the roar?
It wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean we should relegate them to the position of ‘supporting cast’ on poker’s IMDb ratings.
Far from it.
There is a scene in the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring when two giants made of stone batter each other to death while the fellowship sneaks by unnoticed. 888Poker is watching PokerStars, and partypoker stick nettles and thistles down each other’s knickers. They don’t need to get involved. It’s smarter not to. Better to sneak past, unseen.
I was a guest at 888Live Barcelona last season. Very often, I turn up at a live event, and it feels like a vast and dusty plain. The cavernous space lacking vitality.
Barcelona was different.
The ambassadors and the 888 team were like a family. Musketeers. And there was a vibe in the field that I had experienced long before poker got too serious, too straight, too big for its boots.
A home game feel.
Home game prices.
It’s a piece of the tapestry that Unibet does an excellent job of weaving. It’s wiser to share space with the Swedes than the two giants.
And it has to be this way.
In May 2017, the 888Poker team sat down and talked about the way forward. They pulled together a wealth of experience and knowledge and announced they were Taking Back The Game. They became as focused as an Eskimo with a stick in a hole. They had a plan. One year in, they aren’t about to change. And why should they?
888Live Announce 2018 Tour Stops
In 2017, 888Live created nine events, attracted 11,503 entrants, and awarded $3,857,782 in prize money.
It will get bigger in 2018.
Eight events are on the calendar. Once again 888Poker’s partnership with Aspers Casino in Stratford is the beating heart of the tour. Portugal and Romania offer something new. 888Poker continue to sponsor the World Series of Poker (WSOP) and the World Poker Tour (WPT).
The buy-ins are manageable and will lead to an influx of recreational players. Weaker fields equal more value. You also get to experience the intimate company of some of the world’s best players with a top-notch ambassadorial team eager to be your best friend, including the latest recruit, the former World Champion: Martin Jacobson.
Here is the schedule:
Feb 8-12 – 888Live 2018 Kickoff, Aspers Casino, Stratford
Feb 28 – Mar 4 – 888Live Bucharest, JW Marriot Hotel Bucharest, Romania
Apr 1 – WPT500 Easter Event, Aspers Casino, Stratford
May 23 – Jun 4 – 888Live Barcelona, Casino Barcelona
May 30 – Jul 15 – World Series of Poker, Las Vegas
Sep – 888Live Sao Paolo, Brazil
Nov 23 – Dec 2 – 888Live London, Aspers Casino, Stratford
Dec – 888Live Portugal, Lisbon.
You can qualify for all of these events for pittance online at 888Poker. The four-time WSOP champion, Dominik Nitsche, urges you to take this route but also warns you not to get your hopes up.
“If you have qualified and this is your first time playing a major tournament, try to remember that this is still the same game as it is online,” says Nitsche. “Try to play well and most importantly remember that you will probably lose. After all, it’s a poker tournament. Try to have fun and look at it as a learning experience.”
And he’s right.
You will probably lose.
And this is what makes 888Live events so unique. By the time you hit the rail, you couldn’t care less. You’ve had fun. Your ribs hum through the constant tickle. Your cheeks ache. There is a warmth running through your veins.
And this is why they stay there.
This is what it means to Take Back The Game.
They do it so they can give it back to you.