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.
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
*You may transfer your side event ticket to a guest if you wish. If you do not transfer your side event ticket but are unable to play because you’re still playing the main event, we’ll refund the buy-in/s to your MPN account. Otherwise, the side event entry is not refundable or exchangeable.
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!
Despite the fact that January is the coldest month of the year in Austria, it doesn’t feel like that (unless you’re used to the climes of Gibraltar, of course), which makes exploring the city for players considerably less hazardous than the treacherous conditions allowed the last time the MPN tour hit the Austrian capital.
The roulette wheel at our info desk has proven to be a hit once again, and augurs well for Team32Red’s growing presence at tour events… As for the Main Event itself, most of our players will be going into battle in today’s Day 1b, but yesterday did see a few team members chancing their arm.
The star of the day was Artur Yarovoy of Russia who managed to turn his initial starting stack of 25,000 chips into a eye-watering 256,000! Given that a number of the 49 who made it through the grueling 13 levels hadn’t even seen their stack size double, a ten-fold transformation is all the more impressive.
David Lappin delivered once again, amassing 142,000 chips, while Phill Huxley decided, as proceedings finally drew to a close well after the witching hour, that an all-in punt with A4 would be a pragmatic strategy, leaving him with either a healthier looking stack or the ‘luxury’ of being able to plan the days ahead. As luck would have it an ace magically appeared on the flop and he heads into Day 2 on Saturday with 50,000 chips. It goes without saying that Dara O’Kearney went through to day 2, with 69,000 chips…
Meanwhile, the result of an enormous and exciting family pot of various stack sizes left Angus Dunnington wishing he’d ignored his inner voice to heed the advice of the old adage that ‘discretion is the better part of valour’ and instead turned it on its head, the decision to hold back a chunk of his stack denying him the opportunity to win a tournament-changing side pot. He then what he described as the as the comical ‘embarrassment’ much later of his table breaking up and having to withstand the almost pitiful looks of the whole table as he set down his tiny amount of chips (‘stack’ would be a misnomer). Fortunately he bobbed and weaved his way to Day 2 with a comparatively proud stack of 32,000.
‘Classic’ is an over-used word that should suggest quality but rarely does. At 32Red, The Classic series of tournaments that runs until 15 January promises to live up to the true definition of the word: namely ‘the established standard, the highest rank’ …
And that isn’t just because the total guaranteed prize money over the 30 standard freezeout tournaments amounts to a whopping €350,000. It isn’t just about the money. Well, it is, we hear you say, but even if the ultimate aim is to win, it’s vital that you both enjoy yourself along the way and feel that you’re getting value and a fair crack of the whip.
With this in mind, we‘ve put together a varied series of freezeout events that is easy on the bankroll and lends itself to a level playing field. A combination of affordable buy-ins and many cheap-as-chips satellite tournaments means that The Classic is a genuine every-man festival.
There’s something ‘pure’ about the freezeout format in that players don’t have the (quasi-) luxury of being able to gamble, rebuy, gamble, rebuy and so on. Instead, control, patience, timing and guile are more of a priority because there’s just the one starting stack on which to build your tournament success. No second chances, no lifeline, no phone a friend – everyone starts with the same chance, and the trick is to navigate your way around, bobbing and weaving through the freezeout jungle.
Of course, we also like to add something extra to our special events, and this time there are two additional, exclusive freerolls that will benefit both winners and the less fortunate. First, we have the €10,000 Final Table Heroes Freeroll (22 January; 6:30pm GMT). To qualify you need to make just one final table. The winner of this event will be crowned the Classic Hero…
Then we have the aptly named Bubble Busters Freeroll (22 January; 4pm GMT), with five €215 Sunday Showdown tickets up for grabs. You can earn your place in this tournament only by being knocked out ‘on the bubble’ (i.e. finishing 31st when the top 30 are paid).
Good luck, and enjoy some classic tournament poker!
Even the wheel probably needed a bit of tweaking when some smarty pants first discovered how to get stuff from A to B by rolling it along on a couple of round things.
Such is the case with the introduction a few months ago of our popular Fish Party Sit & Go tournaments, the fun-filled, breakneck speed 3-player No Limit Hold’em tournaments that suit all bankrolls and promise enormous jackpots, with payouts that can be thousands of times the buy-in!
We want to make them as player-friendly as possible while keeping prize pools suitably nosebleed high and, with this in mind, as of December 14th we’ll be reducing the effective rake by almost half – from the current 10.17% to 5.85%.
We hope this will keep the Fish Party experience a fun and, of course, profitable one, and that you make the most of the amendments to the prize structure, too. One advantage that is bound to prove very popular and be particularly noticeable is that the next jump up in the prize pool from 2 x the buy-in will be a new 4x multiplier. This will replace the current 3x multiplier and mean that you’ll be fighting for prize pools that are higher than total buy-ins considerably more often than before!
As with all our games, we constantly keep an eye on how players are doing and what is the best way to maximize value and other important factors with a view to providing the best playing experience possible for as many players as possible. Have fun at the Fish Party and, remember – don’t be the fish!
While it’s true that talk of Christmas always seems to come earlier every year, Christmas itself never does. But our 32 Days of Poker starts at the beginning of December and, by the time Santa Claus has arrived, we’ll already have given away 25 days’ worth of festive goodies.
We’ve even put together a special advent calendar in the form of a Christmas tree complete with baubles, each one representing what you can look forward to every day of the month. We start, for example, with a €250 Freeroll on the 1st December at 9pm UK time. It’s free to enter, and you’ll get a bonus of having double the standard starting chips simply by having made 25 raked hands in the seven days before the tournament.
This isn’t by any means the only freeroll during the promotion, and the prize funds go up as the month progresses. Meanwhile, there are bonus chips galore – again increasing, every Friday, to total 190! And all you have to do to collect them is log on at 32Red Poker!
We even have non-poker goodies in store for you because it’s fun to make the most of what the Poker Lobby has to offer – namely our fantastic online Casino. This is accessible directly from the Poker Lobby, and you can use your poker account to play. However, this being the festive season, we want you to enjoy some time playing casino games ‘on the house’ and, to get you started, we’re giving away free spins at some of our most popular slots games. Win a hand in a Hold’em game with pocket fours on Day 6, for instance, and we’ll reward you with 10 free spins (each worth 15 cents) on our Tomb Raider game…
Those of you who have been following the exploits of your fellow 32Red players who won their places on Team32Red at various MPN Poker Tour events around the globe (the most recent being in the very luxurious, opulent surroundings of the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort in Morocco – see pics!) can win a €1,500 MPNPT package during the promo, with the New Year’s Special (1st January) boasting 10 packages!
We also have an additional promo ready that will run in tandem from 16th December. The theme is the ‘cash drop’ – €2 literally ‘dropped’ into someone’s account during a cash game, every five minutes for a whole three weeks, combined with qualifying tournaments for places at the Vienna 9: €32K Cash Game Adventure, a big money cash game in Vienna in January!
This is just a taste of what to expect in our 32 Days of Poker. To find out more see our schedule of daily offerings, or click on the relevant bauble on our advent calendar for further details. We hope you have a month’s worth of festive poker fun at 32Red!
Vienna 9 – be there or be square. It’s a LIVE cash game, in Vienna, with a massive €30,000 at stake, and you could be part of it simply by doing no more than you usually do at 32Red: namely having a great time playing poker!
We like promotions to be fun, but this one has an ongoing incentive as well as the top prize because it’s based around our popular ‘cash drop’ theme. Here’s how it works: we’ll be making random Cash Drops of €2 at cash games, literally every five minutes, every hour, every day from December 16th until January 6th in our special Virtual Cash Drop promo.
As well as qualifying as one of the Vienna 9 for this big money cash game – which will take place 25th January 2017 and be streamed online on Twitch from the Montesino Casino – you can also win a €1,500 MPN Poker Tour package and a €550 MPNPT seat. The idea is that there will be three free entry qualification tournaments for which you earn the right to play in simply by collecting these (random) virtual cash drops. With each drop your starting stack for a freeroll increases by 1,000 chips, so that a couple of cash drops earn you 2,000 chips, six drops make a starting stack of 6,000 etc. It couldn’t be easier, and all the while at the tables there’s a chance, every five minutes, that money will be added to your account (to be used immediately).
Here’s the freeroll tournament schedule:
To win an all-expenses paid trip to the Vienna 9 Live €30,000 cash game you need to finish in the top three places in a qualifying tournament, with the eventual buy-ins awarded according to final placings as follows:
And there you have it. Win a place at Vienna 9 by playing cash games, seeing money drop into your virtual lap and then qualifying via one of three freeroll tournaments.
Good luck, and have fun!
It could be you…
Online poker is great. We get to choose when and where we play, whether it’s in bed during the day (if we so wish), on the train or while watching reality TV with our feet up and an assortment of snacks at hand. But what about ‘live’ play? Some of us try home games and put up with whatever distractions are thrown at us (the only upside of a child gate-crashing the evening or the phone constantly ringing being a ready-made excuse), or we try our luck at a tournament at a local casino which, as many of us know, isn’t always guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience.
It doesn’t have to be this way and, indeed, at 32Red it certainly isn’t! We offer our players opportunities, throughout the year, to win their way to exciting, professionally hosted and organised poker festivals. These are big money affairs that take place around the globe in the shape of the MPN Poker Tour. And the key factor here is to make these great poker holidays available to all players, the emphasis being on catering for the typical poker fan with a modest bankroll.
Our satellite structure, combined with the sheer number and diversity of our qualifying tournaments and general set-up, means that everyone has a realistic chance of winning €1,500 packages or €550 buy-ins for the Main Event of a festival. It’s by no means unusual to win a package for the price of a beer, or even for nothing, whether in a freeroll tournament, special promotion, or by making a royal flush in our nightly €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale tournament!
The Venue: Poker as it should be…
While the prospect of mixing with seasoned locals in the town’s casino might understandably not seem too attractive an environment to play poker, what about this description: ‘Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort is a 5 star hotel located in El Jadida, Morocco. It offers a wonderful, year-round climate, an array of activities and entertainment, including a world-class Spa, a Golf course (designed by none other than Gary Player, and stretching alongside the 7km private beach…), Morocco’s largest Casino, a variety of restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world and endless activities…’
Now, throw in a €125,000 Main Event, a juicy side event and a few other tournaments, and the notion that you could win a €1,500 package to a poker extravaganza at one of the world’s most luxurious resorts sounds almost too good to be true. Almost, but not quite. In fact, one member of Team 32Red found himself playing ‘live’ festival poker for the first time in Mazagan, and by virtue of his making a royal flush in the aforementioned Flush Royale tournament (the buy-in for this, by the way, is a mere €3).
The Welcome Party
TheWelcome Party was held in the plush surroundings of the Alias nightclub. With Redbull as a sponsor, the favourite drink of the night was the poker player’s classic: vodka & Redbull. As can be seen from the photos, Team32Red had such a great time that there were no thoughts of getting an early night ahead of their participation in Day 1b…
With such spectacular surroundings – as pointed out by one of the players who enjoyed a massage while gazing through the open door of the Spa on to the beach, and the Atlantic Ocean, and beyond – and facilities one could be forgiven for seeing the poker as a distraction. However, thanks to an airy, spacious playing room and excellent, professional organisation that provided friendly, helpful and top level dealers, the playing conditions matched the venue. Providing players and spectators alike with free drinks throughout the festival was another nice touch.
Thus, for these Europeans (and our own Canadian, Ronald Aldino, who has toured much of Europe thanks to taking advantage of our satellites at 32Red) – despite waking up in November to the luxurious, relaxing sun-lit surroundings that Mazagan had to offer across its 250 hectares of make-believe, the players had plenty of incentive to go into battle at the poker tables.
Even the most die-hard online addict would be hard-pressed to justify forever staying at home playing in his underwear while surviving on the occasional sandwich. If the photos in this report don’t get you chomping at the bit to qualify for our other MPNPT festivals in great venues, then nothing will…
The main Event was split into four days, with Day 1a – not surprisingly, given that many players were yet to arrive – having the fewest contenders. Home player, Soufiane Ouadoudy, ended the opener with a relatively massive stack of 268,200 chips (players started with 25,000), 26 of the 92 entries making it through to Day 2…
Team 32Red players were out in force on Day 1b in a field that more than doubled the previous day’s entries. As another taste of the atmosphere, it should be pointed out that there was a kind of entertainment during the dinner break that, it’s safe to say, isn’t the usual fare in a UK casino – namely, a belly dancer! This happened to Angus Dunnington who, suitably inspired, returned to the tournament after earlier being down to 4K to eventually be all-in heads-up with QQ v JJ in a 110,000 pot (way over double the average stack at the time)… Alas the first card to appear was a dreaded J, and that was that.
Here are some more numbers: a four-speed 270CC engine, 570 metre long, 6 metre wide track with Formula 1 standard crash barriers capable of absorbing up to four tonnes of shock pressure… Yes – we’re talking another activity for the players, namely a new karting centre where each vehicle comes with a transponder for live timing and race control (enabling, apparently, racers to post their results in real time to their Facebook account or email address; obviously – by this point of the proceedings we were expecting no less!). This would anyway be enough to attract a bunch of competitive poker players but, for good measure, the winner would be invited back as a guest to Mazagan for a Deepstack Poker Tournament! The same prize was also on offer at a Paintball competition! The runners-up, incidentally, each received a bottle of champagne…
Meanwhile, back to the poker, and Deccy Rice was the highest placed Team 32Red player in the €550 Main Event, finishing 31st for 13,000 Dirhams. The total prize pool had reached 1,508,350 Dirhams thanks to the popular unlimited rebuy option which continued until the start of Day 2. The eventual winner finally emerged on Sunday, with Sebastien Compte overcoming an initial 6.1:1.7 million chip deficit to defeat Day 1a leader, Soufiane Ouadoudy, and pocket a cool 280,000 Dirhams (approximately €26,000).
David Lappin won the High Roller event to the tune of 67,000 Dirhams, Dara O’Kearney finishing 3rd. Paulius Sabaliauskas was runner-up in what seemed like a marathon MPNPT Mazagan Poker Cup, with Angus Dunnington finishing 11th … and fun was had in both the Doubles event, where the players of each ‘team’ changed over at each new level, and the dog-eat-dog Hyper Turbo Freezeout with which the festival came to an entertaining end.
There’s a thin line between glory and bust, as was experienced by Mario Juste Sanchez in the Main Event, when his lower straight ran into a bigger and quite unexpected bigger straight! All the more frustrating considering he’d been utterly card dead – the poker player’s nightmare scenario – for much of the time before this ‘opportunity’ arose.
Volodymyr Pastuschenko, the veteran from Ukraine who has qualified with 32Red for Tallinn (2015), Tbilisi, Vienna, Sofia and Tallinn 2016, went out with AK suited v AA, but had a (quote) ‘Super’ time in Morocco.
Peter Raynor, another Team 32Red regular, having previously won his way to the last four events, described his exit: “Exit hand in the Main Event was a case of me flopping top two pair and a flush draw… the villain (a local), it turned out, had an open ended straight draw which he got quite aggressive with. We ended up getting it all-in on the turn when he shoved (having made his straight), leaving me with a decision of 16k to win 68k – I went with it and missed all my outs…”
Julie Whitworth, in her fifth MPNPT festival, ran into a higher pocket pair in both events, with JJ into QQ, and then QQ into AA. But “Loved the go- karting and, of course, I enjoyed every minute!”
That’s exactly what we want to hear at 32Red because, at the end of the day, it’s mainly about having a great time. Obviously, with a lot of money at stake, it’s well worth qualifying for these MPNPT events via 32Red, but what keeps these poker fans striving to win €1,500 packages and €550 Main Event seats is first the holiday experience, and then the poker.
Play at the next leg of the MPN Poker Tour in Vienna
Vienna 2016 was so good that the tour is returning in 2017! The Montesino Casino in the Austrian capital will again play host to what promises to be a great poker festival, one reason being the guaranteed €200,000 prize pool for the €550 buy-in Main Event. Qualify for peanuts – or even nothing at all! – at 32Red, and win a fantastic €1,500 MPNPT package to this major poker city that just happens to be one of the most picturesque, welcoming, culturally rich cities in the world!
Today is the final table of the Main Event and, while no Team32Red players remain in the hunt (last man standing was Declan Rice from Ireland, who finished in 31st place to win 13,000 Dirhams), it’s still been an exciting Sunday at this amazing venue.
After the very popular Go Kart racing yesterday came another special event which the winner will be invited back for more luxury poker in the sun (in the shape of a Deepstack Poker package) – and this time the challenge was to emerge victorious in a Paintball competition!
Meanwhile, Christmas came early last night for David Lappin when he won the High Roller event to the tune of 67,000 Dirhams, and Angus Dunnington managed to survive to the money in the MPNPT Mazagan Poker Cup despite a seriously depleted stack in a tournament that seemed to go on and on (and on). And there’ll be more opportunities for Team32Red today thanks to a Doubles event, where the players of each ‘team’ change over at each new level, and a Hyper Turbo Freezeout that promises to end the festival with a bang…