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  1. [caption width="640"] Tommy Yates turned a 1¢ satellite win on 888poker into ,500 in 2015.[/caption] The start of the 2017 World Series of Poker is right around the corner and for the third straight year, 888poker is an exclusive satellite partner of the world’s richest tournament series. As part of the partnership, 888poker is once again offering qualifiers into the World Series of Poker Main Event with steps starting at just $0.01. Last year, both Fernando Pons and Griffin Benger reached the final table of the Main Event after qualifying online at 888poker. Pons and Benger qualified for $30 and $160, respectively, but all players have the option of starting at Step 1 and repeating the feat of Tommy Yates. In 2015, Yates managed to climb his way up through all of the tournament steps and ended up cashing for $19,500 in the Main Event, making good on his initial investment of a single cent. Satellites are currently running for all steps with the $0.01 Step 1 marking the entry point for players to qualify on the smallest of bankrolls. When it comes to qualifying for the minimum, 888poker team pro Sofia Lövgren suggests examining one’s bankroll before deciding what step to enter first. “To make it easy, I calculate a bankroll of at least 100 times the tournament I try to win a ticket into whatever step I start off with. If you can’t afford it you’re not bankrolled and it’s more like taking a shot. Which could be a very good thing to do every now and then.” Compared to the later stages of the satellite steps, Step 1 provides a shallower structure and is a more fast-paced event. Based on those variables, Lövgren suggests studying opponents early on and finding weak spots to pick on to chip up as much as possible. “Study the other players carefully and try to find the weaker opponents which will then be your targets. Play many hands in the beginning without building big pots unless you have a really good hand. You want to see cheap flops with hands like small pairs and suited connectors when all have lots of big blinds. Play small ball poker against less experienced players,” said Lövgren. “They will often make the mistakes you could exploit and you can even be able to win big pots early in a satellite when they can’t fold their top pair. If you play well these early stages of the satellites you could be the one building the stack you need later.” Short stack play is also of the essence when playing turbo satellites and fellow 888poker pro, Natalie Hof, recommends players study the Nash push/fold charts or download the SnapShove app to give themselves the maximum advantage. Most importantly, the key to any satellite is to survive and advance to the next round rather than try to win. Given the how many steps it will take players to reach the WSOP Main Event seat, the saying “one step at a time” is important to be aware of. Once a player gains a large enough stack, Lövgren recommends coasting to the finish line. “If you are a big stack close to the bubble in a satellite you’re in a great position. Don’t let your ego keep you fighting for more chips than you need, risking to lose everything. You can always push people around with your stack but since there is nothing to fight for. Let the other people do the mistakes while you surf into one of the positions guaranteeing a prize.”
  2. [caption width="640"] Just one year ago, Fernando Pons turned a satellite win into a trip to the WSOP Main Event final table.[/caption] You can taste it. You can smell it. You’ve made it to Step 5 of the 888poker World Series of Poker Main Event satellites series and are ready to earn your Main Event seat. If the dream didn’t seem real before now, it certainly is now. Last year, 2016 November Niner Fernando Pons started his Main Event satellite journey at this exact step and ended up turning $30 into $1,000,000. The dream achieved by Pons is what player envisions when they first enter an 888poker satellite and the Spaniard was able to turn his first trip into the United States into the dream of a lifetime. RELATED: How to Qualify For the 2017 WSOP Main Event for Just $5ESPN commentator and 888poker team pro Kara Scott has interviewed dozens of players in the Main Event in previous years but Pons’s experience in playing on the world’s biggest stage stood out to her. “Hearing [Pons] talk about how he used poker tournaments to unwind after work at night at his house in Spain, and how he mistakenly entered an online satellite one evening to win a package to the WSOP without really even dreaming about being at the WSOP,” said Scott “To go from sitting on his sofa playing a €30 tournament to finding himself in Vegas for the very first time, to be running super deep in the most exciting event of the year. So good. I loved that story. He came across like a really sweet guy.” Many 888poker team pros are expected to start their Main Event qualification journey at this step with Bruno Kawauti, Nicolau Villa-Lobos and Natalie Hof among them. To get the fifth step requires a lot of time and energy to be invested in order to reach the cusp of the Main Event seat. At the same time, should a player not qualify for the next step, it is very easy to go through an emotional downswing at having to start at the first step. This is a fact not lost on Parker 'tonkaaaa' Talbot who encourages players to keep their mind in a positive place and wants them to know they have a lot of time to climb back up the mountain. “Don’t get down on yourself. You can work your way up to $30 numerous times, you can make it back. There’s lots of time to play. If you were to study and work hard, no field is too tough.” The next Fernando Pons is out there among you and 888poker is the only place to qualify for as little as $.01. The final piece of the satellite puzzle will cover the $160 step, where another November Niner was able to qualify and turn a minimal investment into over $1,000,000.
  3. They may run with the bulls in Pamplona, but you can swim with the sharks this summer in Barcelona. The 888poker LIVE tour is headed to Barcelona and bringing with them a two-week festival packed with affordable tournament action and over $1,000,000 in total guarantees. Something For Everyone There are 15 tournaments spread out over the course of the festival. Whether you want to play for big money at a reasonable buy-in or just grab a seat in a turbo - 888poker LIVE Barcelona has something for every poker fan. The whole series is anchored by the Main Event, a €1,100 buy-in that carries a €500,000 guarantee. Three starting flights, beginning on May 31, allow players to stumble in from the beach at their convenience. All players begin with a 30,000 starting stack and will play 12 45-minute levels on the various Day 1’s. Those who advance to Day 2 will see levels increase to a full hour and they’ll play until a final table is reached. That final table will be live-streamed with commentary by veteran poker voices David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall. Not only will the winner take home the first place prize and the coveted 888poker LIVE trophy, but an additional package to attend the 888poker LIVE festival in London later in the year. The Opener Before you make it to the Main Event though, the schedule provides a fantastic reason for showing up early. On May 24 begins the 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event - a €220 buy-in with a €100,000 guarantee. This tournament gives players plenty of chances at making the big money. It has a moderate buy-in, four starting flights, 30,000 in chips and 30 minutes levels (levels increase to 40 minutes on the final day). Players who punt their stacks have two opportunities to re-enter and there will be multiple €50 turbo satellites helping pack the field with qualifiers. Special Events On May 30 there will be a €2,200 High Roller event, where the winner, in addition to the money and the glory, will also receive a package to represent 888poker in their signature World Series of Poker event - Event #62 $888 Crazy Eights. On the same day as the High Roller, the tour is also holding a €111 charity tournament in benefit of One Drop, the organization founded by Guy Laliberte that focuses on clean water initiatives. There is also a €220 Ladies Event where the winner of the event will be given an additional package to be entered in the Ladies Event at the World Series of Poker. Team Effort In addition to all of the action inside and the beautiful beaches outside, there will be plenty of stars on hand. 888poker has confirmed many of their ambassadors will be on hand to mix it up with attendees. World Series of Poker Main Event Champion Martin Jacobsen, Natalie Hof, Sofia Lövgren, Vivian Saliba and the winningest online poker player of all time, Chris 'moorman1' Moorman will be swimming in the Spanish seas - poker and otherwise. 888poker LIVE Barcelona kicks off on May 24 with their Opening Event and wraps with the conclusion of their Main Event on June 6. Complete 888poker LIVE Barcelona Schedule Date Event Number Name Buy-in (RUB) May 24 1 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event Day1A €220 €100,000 GTD May 25 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event Day1B €220 €100,000 GTD May 25 2 The Thunder €88 €15,000 GTD March 26 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event Day1C €220 €100,000 GTD March 26 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event Day1D €220 €100,000 GTD May 26 3 The Breeze €110 €20,000 GTD May 27 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event Final Day May 27 4 High Noon Turbo €50 €5,000 GTD May 27 5 The Hurricane €110 €10,000 GTD May 28 6 The Swordfish €55 €10,000 GTD May 29 7 The Turbo Deepstack €77 €10,000 GTD May 30 8 The Lightning 8-max €66 €8,800 GTD May 30 9 888poker LIVE Barcelona High Roller Day 1 €2200 €100,000 GTD May 30 10 One Drop Benefit €111 March 31 888poker LIVE Barcelona High Roller Day 2 €2200 €100,000 GTD March 31 11 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event Day 1A €1100 €500,000 GTD June 1 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event Day 1B €1100 €500,000 GTD June 1 12 The Mega Knockout €100+50+15 €20,000 GTD June 2 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event Day 1C €1100 €500,000 GTD June 2 13 Pot Limit Omaha €150 €10,000 GTD June 3 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event Day 2 June 3 14 The Whale €333 €40,000 GTD June 3 15 Ladies Event €220 €2,000 GTD June 4 888poker LIVE Barcelona Main Event Final Day
  4. The new season of 888poker’s LIVE tour kicked off with the 2018 Kick-Off Event at London’s Aspers Casino on February 8. The £440 buy-in Main Event carried a £120,000 guarantee but when 366 runners showed up, creating 547 total entries, during the four starting flights the guarantee was smashed creating a prize pool of over £216,000. The field was packed with some of the UK’s top talent as well as a number of 888poker ambassadors, including Sofia Lovgren, Natalie Hof, Vivian Saliba, Dominik Nitsche and online poker legend Chris 'moorman1' Moorman. But it was local UK grinder Jonathan Bowers ended up taking down the first event of the year, taking home the trophy and the £30,630 first place prize. The victory comes just four months after Bowers finished as the runner-up in October’s 888Live London Festival £2,200 High Roller. Bowers secured the top spot after the final four players battled it out for hours, attempting to eliminate a player. According to the 888poker blog, with over £100,000 left in the prize pool and the tournament pushing very late into the night the remaining four worked out a deal that gave chipleader Bowers the victory. Local player James Simms officially took second with a career-high cash of 28,460. France’s Eric Le Goff finished in third for 24,068 pushing him close to $300,000 in lifetime earnings. The final player in the chop was Ali Sakallioglu from the UK who also celebrated a career-best cash by taking home 23,280. In addition to the top 54 players earning a minimum of £975.00, organizers extended the payouts giving places 55-63 a seat to forthcoming World Poker Tour WPT500 event taking place at multiple Aspers Casinos beginning on March 23. Moorman Cashes In During the course of the Main Event, 888poker also held their LIVE Celebrity cash game featuring 888poker ambassadors Chris Moorman and Vivian Saliba. Joining them were a slate of local players, as well as Beth Cape and longtime poker broadcaster David Tuchman. The stakes were low enough to not get too serious - 2/5 with a mandatory 10 straddle. To spice things up, the players added the well-known seven-deuce game to keep things interesting. In the end, Moorman did what he does best, swallowed up the most amount of chips - walking away as the big winner. Next up for the 888Live tour is a stop in Bucharest, Romania at the JW Marriot Hotel beginning on February 28. The 888 Main Event comes with a €288,000 guarantee and a total of nine events. Qualifiers for the 888poker LIVE Bucharest Main Event are running now on 888poker.
  5. Meet and greets, international flights and a steady dose of the poker grind. This is the life of a poker ambassador. Part of the job description is setting providing a positive image for the game of poker, mixing it up at the poker table and making sure that your fans can come along for the ride. For the stable of 888poker ambassadors, their social media content is how they stay connected to the poker community and provide a window into what it’s like to travel the globe, spinning it up and living your best life. Sometimes it’s about just hanging out... Table for four. While not everyone could make it out for dinner and drinks, Natalie Hof takes a photo with poker pros Felipe Ramos and Jeff Gross (and his wife Emilia) in Miami Beach.  

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