Unlike other major online poker sites, 888poker ran their next major festival right before the Christmas Holidays. The XL Winter Series kicked off on December 10 and culminated on December 20. Throughout a total of 34 events, the series gathered 29,765 entries and awarded $1,332,200 in total prize money.
Overlay in the XL Winter Main Event
The flagship tournament of the entire festival was the XL Winter Series Main Event which came with a price tag of $250. It ultimately fell shy of covering the $500,000 guarantee after attracting 1,464 unique players and 360 rebuys. For the first time, the Main Event of an 888poker online festival was held in the Progressive Knockout (PKO) format.
The tournament was streamed on the 888poker YouTube channel and Facebook page, paying out $290,240 in cash prizes and $209,760 in bounty prizes. Contenders from eight different countries reached the nine-handed final table with Denmark being represented by two players.
Ultimately, it was Russia’s “Kazi070486” who earned $34,684.54 in cash and $26,177,68 in bounty prizes. Another five finalists recorded a combined five-figure payday, which included runner-up “Acp0lle” ($38,252.25) from Denmark and Lithuania’s Gytis “peledazmogis” Lazauninkas ($12,577.95), among others.
Two other Main Events concluded on the final day. Event #33 $50,000 Mini Main Event PLO created a field of 1,983 entries and “afelipelli” took it down for $6,894.29. Furthermore, Event #34 $5.50 Micro Main Event PKO boasted a field of 3,067 entries and another Russian in “_DENGER_” came out on top for $1,738.86.
Belarus Most Successful Country
Thanks to the two victories on the final day of the festival, Russia accounted for four wins total and players from Romania earned as many titles. Three contenders from the UK earned the top spot and further successful countries included Ireland, Serbia, Latvia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Malta, and Brazil.
Among the British winners was “RevenirROI” and they topped the popular Event #29 $109 6-Max. The tournament featured a $25,000 guarantee which was surpassed thanks to 275 unique players and 90 rebuys. Eventual champion “RevenirROI” walked away with the top prize if $7,728, which was the biggest payday on December 19.
However, it was Belarus who topped the winner charts a total of seven times to become the most successful nation. Throughout the first ten events, players from Belarus triumphed four times and added another three victories later on.
The biggest top prize among those went to “pereleman” in Event #10 Tune Up. A total of 1,085 entries surpassed the guarantee and $54,250 in cash prizes were awarded. The biggest slice went to “pereleman” for $9,819.41.
Further Notable Events
A field of 340 entries emerged in Event #7 8-Max on December 12, which came with a price tag of $109. It was “maestro1908” who came out on top for $6,630.
The same $109 buy-in was allotted for Event #1 Opening Event on December 10 and the tournament drew a total of 511 entries. Ultimately, it was “arucia” who recorded the only victory for Ireland and padded their bankroll with the $9,039.21 top prize.
On December 15, the most-expensive tournament of the entire festival took place. In Event #17, 154 entries paid the $320 entry fee. This resulted in a minor overlay for the $50,000 guarantee and “Kannwas” took home $11,500.
Traffic Increase and New Mobile Client
Heading into the final month of 2020, the traffic on 888poker has grown by 10% in the last three months and increased by 5% compared to the previous years.
888poker also released a totally overhauled new mobile software based on the Poker 8 client for Android and iOS users late in October. Throwable objects remain available to the customers while new table chat emojis, as well as notes, were implemented.
In the final quarter of the year, 888poker pulled their global client from India. On the contrary, they complied with the restrictions of the grace period in Germany to prepare for the upcoming law changes in July 2021.