It might seem like stating the obvious to say that there’s a lot of poker to look forward to at 32Red, but there is indeed even more juicy stuff than usual to get stuck into thanks to our Escalator tournament series.
Between 9-16 April we’ll be hosting 29(!) special events, with guaranteed prize funds totaling €200,000. There’ll be an assortment of freezeouts and rebuys, full-ring and 6-max tables, with varying buy-ins. The theme of the series is that each successive tournament will have bigger starting stacks and longer blind levels than the previous one – hence the name Escalator – and, as the week progresses, a certain amount of versatility will be needed to navigate your way through the various tournaments.
By the time of the €320 buy-in Main Event – which boasts €75,000 in prize money, a hefty 10,000-chip starting stack and 15-minute blinds – poker fans will have experienced a whole range of tournament dynamics. Too many players underestimate the implications of stack sizes and what is effectively the cadence of the blinds, but the optimal play for the same hand in the same position is heavily influenced by relative stack sizes and the blind structure…
Highlighting the contrast, and getting the series off to a fun start, will be the inclusion of so-called Flip tournaments, where everyone is all-in each hand until a sole winner emerges. After that, events will be decreasingly frenetic until the deeper stacks and longer blind levels test players’ patience and staying power.
It wouldn’t be the same without a bonus to aim for, and the target here is to play 10 or more Escalator events by April 15th, the reward for which is a free ticket (worth €22) for a Main Event Mega Satellite!
One of the biggest poker rooms in the UK will host the MPN Poker Tour this summer (July 20-23) when the MPNPT hits Manchester. While British players will appreciate the opportunity to take part in poker festivals around the globe, it will make a welcome change to see the tour return to home soil. Those from other countries will also be able to see how poker tournaments are organised in the UK, and no better place to show them how it’s done than the Grosvenor Casino in Manchester which, as well as being the ultimate poker venue, also boasts excellent facilities that will add to the experience.
As usual, we’ll provide poker fans with the most comprehensive, player-friendly qualifying structure so that, whatever the size of your bankroll, you’ll get every chance to win a fantastic €1,500 package – in fact the satellite quest starts at just €1! You can even bag a package in our nightly, €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale (only €3 buy-in) by hitting a royal flush.
And the package is well worth winning because it consists of the £550 entry to the £150,000 Guaranteed Main Event, entry to the £110 MPNPT Manchester Poker Cup, four nights’ accommodation (including breakfast) for two at the Park Inn by Radisson, €200 towards travel and expenses and an invite to the Players Welcome Party…
If the presence of #Team32Red at the Welcome Party is anything to go by these days, it’s a sign that our players now regularly qualify for MPN Poker Tour events. We want to maintain our presence so that true poker enthusiasts can continue to enjoy the thrill of big money poker and, with this in mind, will endeavour to keep providing you with the best satellite structure around.
Good luck, remember to have fun along the way, and hopefully we’ll see you in Manchester…
‘Smaller buy-ins, Bigger prizes’ – that’s music to the ears of any poker fan, and we’re rolling out the whole orchestra at 32Red this month because there’ll be more reduced buy-ins and increased prize pools than you can shake a virtual stick at.
In fact, every day between March 20th and March 26th you’ll be able to take advantage of these player-friendly tweaks in five multi-table tournaments. Who cares what the nutritionists say? At 32Red you’ll be guaranteed a week’s worth of your ‘5 a day’ essentials…
Of course, in this case, instead of having to nibble on an apple and trying to do something interesting with a turnip, your 5-a-day is made up of fun-filled tournaments. And eating fruit and vegetables doesn’t come with a chance of winning money. Numbers-wise, we’re talking slashing buy-ins by over 40% and bumping the prize pools up by more than €20,000 during the course of the promotional period!
Finally, to top the week off, March 26th will see a special edition of the Sunday Showdown, with the buy-in lowered to €135 (from €215) and the prize fund increased from €25,000 to €32,000!
New tournament fees
Having made a thorough revision of the entire tournament schedule, the Microgaming network of which 32Red Poker is part has decided to apply small fees to rebuys and add-ons in the multi-table events that have yet to undergo such changes, the new set-up being put into place network-wide from March 14.
The aim is to better facilitate the improvement of tournaments and how they run, as well as to provide more tournament variants and, of course, bigger guarantees.
Malta schedule now available
The schedule has been released for the MPN Poker Tour festival in Malta, 27-30 April, and it’s going to be a packed four days!
32Red provides our players with the best qualifying set-up for these European poker festivals, and you can win a €1,500 MPNPT poker package for as little as €1! This includes the €550 buy-in for the €150,000 Main Event, entry into the Casino Malta Poker Cup, four nights for two at the Intercontinental Hotel, €200 towards travel/expenses and an invite to the must-go Welcome Party…
We have another winner
Congratulations to Raimat999, who last weekend won a €1,500 MPNPT package in the Sunday 2 Package Final. That’s another Team32Red member to add to our merry band, who will be proudly flying our colours in Malta.
5 Packages Guaranteed, April 2nd
Note that we’re running a 5-package guaranteed Mega Satellite for Malta on the 2nd of April, which will replace our usual 2-package tournament for that week.
By now you should all be aware of the attractions of Fish Party poker at 32Red, namely 3-player progressive jackpot Sit & Go tournaments that can pay out thousands of times the buy-in. And you can sit down at these fun-filled games for as little as €1!
Of course, that’s already enough incentive to click the Sit & Go tab in the Poker Lobby and find the Fish Party section, but this month we’re rewarding players for enjoying themselves at the Fish Party tables by having three Added Money Flash tournaments to the tune of €10,000!
Flash tournaments are characterized by having 300 starting chips and 2-minute blind levels, thus producing exciting poker right from the off. There will be three Flash events, each requiring very doable milestones that can be achieved by simply playing Fish Party games.
To get your ticket for the €1,000 Added Fish Party Flash (20 March), the requirement is to play just 20 x €1 Fish Parties between 10-19 March. The other two Flash events are €3,000 and €6,000 Added respectively and have similar tasks, while it’s possible to bag tickets for all three in one fell swoop by winning 30 Fish Party tournaments of ANY buy-in!
The Sit & Go format has been popular since the beginning of the online poker boom for more than one reason. A key attraction is that players can enjoy the atmosphere of a tournament in a matter of minutes, while being up against a limited number of opponents also increases the likelihood of winning a prize.
The word ‘prize’ has taken on considerably more significance now that players are enjoying the fast-paced, three-player Fish Party Sit & Go tournaments because, thanks to the set-up revolving around progressive jackpots, the prizes at stake could be literally tens of thousands the size of the buy-in.
This happened yesterday when, while the players of a €5 tournament watched the mini Fish Party slot feature determine how much they were playing for, the amount the reels produced was a staggering €128,126!
Most of the time there’s one prize, which starts off at twice the buy-in, but with such an enormous jackpot all three players are guaranteed a chunk of the cash. As it turned out it was a 32Red Poker regular, Ronald A (aka fini00) who beat his two rivals to take the lion’s share – €64,063 to be precise. Not that the others will have been complaining to earn €38,437 and €25,625 respectively for their initial €5 buy-in…
Here’s what Ronald had to say…“Ever since the €1 Fish Party jackpot had been hit I started playing the €5 Fish Party tournaments a lot more when I could. I would play up to 8 tables at a time but I found that I couldn’t play any other tournaments because of how quick they go, and a €5 loss here and there can add up when you have a small bankroll as I did. Less than two weeks ago the €10 Fish Party Jackpot hit, and it was just a matter of time before somebody would hit the €5 jackpot.
On March 5th I played as usual. I was concentrating more on my multi-table tournaments rather than the Sit & Gos when out of the corner of my eye I saw the first fish party symbol pop up. I jumped out of my chair because I knew that the prize is determined based on the first symbol. My sound was off on my laptop so I don’t know what new sound I would hear. My heart started racing. I only dreamt about having a chance to play for the jackpot and with my luck over the past few months, I never thought that it would happen to me.
I ended up sitting out on all the other tables because a mis-click here would be devastating. I had to close the chat because I tried to type and play at the same time. Bad idea. I was nervous until I lost with AK to some hand that I don’t remember. I was down to 170 in chips. I was able to double up a few hands later and then put my tournament on the line with KQ all-in pre-flop against AJ. I had even more luck on my side and I survived. From then on I think I played as well as I could. I had over a 2 to 1 chip lead and was faced with a call this time with KQ. Blinds were high at this time and it seemed like my opponent was getting restless. I called, and he/she showed Q4 or K4 unsuited I believe. My hand held and I won. I checked my account a few times to make sure it was real. It’s hard to describe the feeling.”
Following on from another recent hit, when a €10 game paid out a whopping total of €207,438 (with the winner receiving €103,719), this is sure to attract even more players to what has already established itself as a fun way to spend a poker session.
It’s no surprise that Fish Party tournaments have become a popular choice for poker fans because – apart from being fast and furious fun – the potential payouts for very modest buy-ins can be massive. Fish Party Sit & Go tournaments have only three players and, despite the buy-ins ranging from only €1 to €50, the prizes can be thousands of times the buy-in – for example, a €1 tournament can have a €6,000 prize pool!
The prize for the winner is measured in multiples of the buy-in, randomly selected in the form of a Fish Party slot once the players have registered. And as the buy-ins increase, the rewards can be life-changing, as was the case this week when the Jackpot was hit in a €10 game…
Christmas came early and several times over when the nose-bleed sum of €207,438 was paid out to the players. The winner received €103,719, with €62,231 and €41,487 being paid out to 2nd and 3rd respectively – far, far more than anyone would have been expecting from their €10 investment.
Meanwhile, similarly huge prizes are waiting to be won at the Fish Party tables, so have fun along the way to winning big…
In addition to the conventional qualification process that features regular qualifiers for packages and seats, with cheap ‘feeder’ tournaments every day, players can also win the whole package by hitting a royal flush in 32Red’s exclusive €3 buy-in Flush Royale tournament, which runs every night, and has a €500 guaranteed prize pool.
The Package, valued at €1,500, consists of the following:
- Entry into the €550 Main Event (€150,000 Guaranteed)
- Entry into the €150 MPNPT Casino Malta Poker Cup
- 4 nights, including breakfast, at the Be Hotel (for you and a guest)
- €400 for travel/expenses
- Welcome Party
In poker, as in life, it’s always a good idea to have goals. This month your task is to make minimum deposits, qualify for special Depositors’ Freerolls that boast €32,000 in guaranteed prizes, and then win loads of cash – and maybe get your hands on the €1,500 MPN Poker Tour Malta package and €550 seat that are up for grabs. How’s that for a plan?
This particular promotion runs for three weeks from February 6, with the three tournaments taking place on three consecutive Tuesdays, each at 6:30pm (GMT), starting on February 14. The guaranteed prize funds increase with each event, beginning with €5,000 for the opener, €10,000 for the tournament on February 21 and a whopping €15,000 pool for the finale on the 28th.
In order to be eligible to play you need only make a deposit of €10 or more during the qualifying period of each of the freerolls. This is enough to earn your seat at the virtual baize with a starting stack of 1,000 chips. However, we’re giving players the chance to earn themselves some extra ammunition in the form of an additional 2,000 chips! The good news is that, to be able to sit down with a bumper 3,000 stack, the only requirement is that you do what you were planning to anyway – i.e. play poker! Simply achieve 100 or more raked hands in the seven days before a freeroll and we’ll award you the extra 2,000 chips. Easy.
If you’re new to tournaments, freerolls provide a perfect – and very entertaining – way to learn the ropes, and if you take full advantage of this promotion you’ll have three bites at the cherry and some juicy prize money to aim for along the way. Have fun and good luck!
Vienna is a fantastic city, so it won’t have come as a surprise to many that the MPN chose to return to the Austrian capital for the Tour’s first venue of 2017 – another reason, of course, being the fact that the city is a well respected poker venue.
Back in January 1981, Ultravox released the song ‘Vienna’ which, over 30 years later, was judged in a poll to be the greatest song never to reach the top of the UK charts, having been prevented from the coveted No.1 spot by a novelty song entitled ‘Shaddap You Face’… Much of the atmospheric video was shot in London, with the band visiting Vienna only for a day, dashing around the city by taxi with the help of a guide book.
Fortunately for those players who qualified for Vienna by playing at 32Red, as well as the €550 buy-in, their €1,500 package included four nights in a hotel in the trendy Gasometer district. This was literally round the corner from the Montesino Casino – a specialist poker venue that the players were impressed with last year – and just a few stops from the heart of Vienna. So, playing MPNPT Vienna gave Team32Red players plenty of time to see one of the world’s most culture-laden cities, not forgetting the abundance of food and drink that Vienna has to offer. One such is the famous Wiener Schnitzel which, apparently, is made only from veal and no other meat, as dictated and protected by Austrian law! That’s a bit of trivia you can impress people with at the dinner/poker table, as is the fact that the founder of the German sports car company, Porsche, was the Austrian Ferdinand Porsche, who also designed the Volkswagen…
The Poker: Part 1
Poker enjoys varying degrees of popularity around the globe, so it stands to reason that some venues will attract more players than others. No surprise, then, that Vienna (Austria, in fact) – which is also a relatively easy destination from many European destinations – is always going to guarantee a certain number of entries.
The field on Day 1a tends to have a higher ratio of ‘locals’ to foreigners, mainly due to the fact that players from other countries don’t arrive early enough. There’s also the matter of the MPNPT Players’ Party, which takes place on the night of Day 1a and has become increasingly popular to the point of being unmissable (see below).
Despite the fact that most of Team32Red would be joining the fray on Day 1b, a few jumped straight into battle. As it turned out it was quality over quantity in terms of 32Red making a statement of presence, because emerging as the opening day chip leader was 32Red debutant, Artur Yarovoy, of Russia, who set off like the Usain Bolt of poker and never looked back, his stack after what seemed like 13 increasingly long levels transformed to over 10 times the initial 25,000! To better put this in perspective, some of the 49 who survived to Day 2 had barely increased their chip count.
One might be foolish to bet against Irish tournament specialists David Lappin and Dara O’Kearney keeping their respective heads above water, and they managed fine with 142,000 and 69,000 respectively.
Meanwhile, Phill Huxley – who, almost reluctantly, goes by the name The Huxinator – was riding along on the roller-coaster that is tournament poker on the proverbial seat of his pants. Thusly, with play about to come to an end for the day, and looking at the same amount of chips with which he’d started many hours earlier, he chanced his arm by pushing everything over the line with A4. The bad news was his being called by JJ. The good news was an ace appearing, doubling up the Huxinator at the expense of an opponent who, it’s fair to say, wasn’t afraid to show his frustration.
Finally, Angus Dunnington was involved in a very complex family pot where by far the biggest prize was the side-pot between himself and one of the other three players. He regretted not fully committing as soon as he’d made his play and, sure enough, won the ‘nowhere near big enough’ side-pot, insult being added to injury when he was on course to pocket all of the booty until the river card helped one small(er) stack leapfrog him to two pair (all-in with Q7…) and the other fill a straight. A later all-in brought him all the way down to a few thousand, but he rallied to scrape through to Day 2 with 32,000 chips.
This description is by no means untypical of how things can go in a tournament like this – fortune comes and goes, the ‘accuracy’ of a decision can be problematic to weigh up while contemplating your next move and, not surprisingly (given those pesky unknowns that poker is littered with), virtually the same path can lead to the next stage or the exit…
Originally, the MPNPT party might have attracted a few players happy to turn up for a quarter of an hour or so for a few free drinks and snacks. Things have changed, and it’s indicative of the Tour’s success that the party, henceforth known as The Party, is now an event in itself, and something players don’t want to miss.
This time the venue was the bowling alley a couple of floors down from the casino. A lot of players turned up, including the Team32Red contingent, and the evening’s entertainment was, of course, ten-pin bowling. Remember that we’re talking poker players here, so it wasn’t going to be a simple case of it being ‘the taking part that counts’ – there had to be something to win! And indeed there was, the prizes well worth winning, in fact. Having already won a €550 Main Event ticket in a satellite at the casino, 32Red and MPN Tour regular, Bruce Shannon, continued at the bowling alley where he’d left off at the poker table – a winner. This time he was the recipient of a €200 MPNPT ticket, while Simon Millard and Joel Holmberg won tickets for €80 and €22.
The Poker: Part 2
A number of our players tried their luck in the €20,000 guaranteed Austria Poker Cup, with Norway’s Knut Berntsen earning €580 for finishing in 11th place, and Peter Raynor €310 for 22nd.
Dara continued his good run in the High Roller event, reaching the final three places of this €1,100 buy-in tournament to find that, rather bizarrely, the remaining protagonists he was up against were a couple. Chopping seemed like an appropriate end, and the tournament specialist added another juicy prize to his long list of accolades.
Meanwhile, only Joel Holmberg (140,700) and Michal Jurgielewicz (84,100) survived Day 1b – both would at least enjoy some success during the festival… With just short of 550 entries it was never going to be easy making the money, and the play became predictably tense as the bubble approached, followed by the equally predictable collective sigh of relief for those who managed to finish among the 62 paid places. Our Team32Red players who emerged from the battle with a cash were:
Michal Jurgielewicz (Poland; 20th) €1,750
David Lappin (Ireland; 27th) €1,750
Mario Sánchez (Spain; 36th) €1,550
Angus Dunnington (England; 54th) €1,230
Stick an Irish pub on the moon and it could well start attracting clients (when that finally happens, remember that you first saw the idea here…). People from around the globe seem to gravitate to Irish pubs wherever they may be, and Vienna is no exception. Continuing the theme, a cosmopolitan bunch of Team32Red players spent Saturday night at one such convivial establishment. Young people in Vienna are bestowed certain rights earlier than many of their European counterparts. Ironically they can vote in elections at 16 and, bizarrely, can also drink at 16 yet not receive a driver’s license until 18 (at least this should mean there’s not a drink-driving problem for Austrian teens…). The average age at this particular Irish bar probably increased a little when our players turned up, but a good time was had by all, including Declan ‘Deccy’ Rice being able to order genuine Irish sausages – you could be forgiven for thinking that a sausage is a sausage, but you’d be wrong, as it happens. Perhaps a possible way to rattle Deccy at the poker table would be to bring this subject up, although he has a great sense of humour and the quickest wit, so it may well backfire… A few of this group didn’t let the time prevent them from forgoing sleep for a return to the casino, making their presence felt at the tables, including a strange Hold’em themed game that seemed to have a mysteriously player-unfriendly house edge…
Poker: Final Day
So it was that, after a grueling two days, the Main Event renewed on Sunday, and the seemingly unstoppable Artur Yaravoy showed that his initial success certainly wasn’t a fluke – the wily Russian had ended Day 2 second of the 14 remaining contenders, with a 1,883,000 stack! He eventually exited the tournament in 5th place after pushing with A7 and losing to Kilian Kramer (who would go on to win the event’s top prize of €50,000) who called with KQ and made a straight. Artur had won €13,960 – perhaps now is a good time to point out that he won a €1,500 package for Vienna by hitting a royal flush in the €3 buy-in Flush Royale, our exclusive nightly tournament that is great fun, has a €500 guaranteed prize pool and is responsible for sending a lot of players to MPN Tour events simply because they made a royal flush!
Doubles & Hyper Turbo
One last snippet of Team32Red results: Julie Whitworth and the aforementioned Peter Raynor won €435 for finishing 3rd in the Doubles event, which saw players take it in turns to play a single stack. This is easier said than done, by the way, as it’s difficult to find a balance between playing your natural style and feeling responsible for your team-mate, too. Finnish duo Joel Holmberg and Teemu Toikkanen each won €120 for placing 6th.
Finally, well done Keith Cummins of Ireland who trousered a tidy €900 for finishing runner-up in the €50+10 No Limit Hold’em Hyper Turbo!
Memorable Hand: Friends & Poker
Many players find it awkward playing at the same table as their friends. Knowing exactly how it feels to lose makes you more conscious of the potential significance of a pot in which you’re involved with a friend, and it’s difficult to not experience some level of distraction.
Here’s Phill Huxley describing a crucial heads-up hand with his friend, Angus Dunnington:
‘32Red Ambassador Angus Dunnington was moved to my table at the very beginning of day two. He’d already doubled up and the first hand he played he ran a very big river bluff when his straight and flush draws missed. His opponent folded and he showed the bluff, much to the consternation of the other player. I’d always thought of Angus as a pretty tight player but I now saw him in a new light.
A couple of hands later I opened with pocket aces from middle position (first time I had aces the whole tournament) and Angus defended from the big blind. Flop was 779. Angus checked and, somewhat wary of his new ‘wildman’ image after that big bluff, I decided to check behind. The turn was a ten, bringing a flush draw, and Angus led out with a large bet. I certainly couldn’t fold here, calling seemed like the only play. The river was very innocuous – all the draws had missed and Angus asked how much I had behind. I showed him my stack and he put me all in. 32Red on 32Red violence!
Maybe, just maybe, if I hadn’t seen that bluff directly before I would have found a fold as I’d always considered Angus as a tighter, more solid player. But now… against ‘Crazy Angus’ after his big bluff I just couldn’t let it go. After thinking for about two minutes I called. Angus exhaled, shook his head and looked like someone had just run over his cat. In my head I was fist-pumping, thinking “Yes! I caught him bluffing” – sadly it was not the case and he turned over 79 for a flopped full house. Angus was genuinely upset that he busted me and apologised many times. I almost felt bad!’
C’est la vie, as they say. We’ll let Phill’s final comment on the event sum up the general thoughts of 32Red players:
‘…I have to say that it is refreshing the way 32Red treats its qualifiers. Not only trying their best to give them a good experience on and off the tables, but also fostering a team spirit and helping to build friendships and friendly and fun rivalries between the players. Certainly noticeably better than experiences of qualifying for tournaments with so-called bigger sites. It really makes a difference and also stokes my enthusiasm for playing more on 32Red in general’
So there you have it – another successful MPN Tour stop, and another Main Event which saw the guaranteed prize pool increase due to its popularity with players. The next stop is Malta, April 27-30 and, as always, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to qualify at 32Red. Good luck, have fun, and we hope to see you in the sun!