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!
‘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!
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!
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!
We all know people who claim to be the best at something – the lowest golf handicap at work, the best tennis player, the fastest, fittest, the would-be ‘Boss’ of the regular home poker game… Now you have the chance to beat them all because at 32Red Poker we’re hosting the 2nd Universal Championship of Poker (UCOP II), 4-11 September 2016. Yes, that’s right – not the world, the universe.
And the winner will earn the title of being The Greatest Poker Player in the Universe which, we think you’ll agree, is a pretty decent claim to fame. The eventual UCOP II champion will also get a trophy to place proudly on the mantelpiece or the office desk, and then there’s the €10,000 1st prize!
You’ll be able to keep up to date with your progress in the quest to rule the (poker) universe via our special Leaderboard. But UCOP II isn’t just a test of your poker ability, although with €500,000 in guaranteed prizes on offer in the series of events – which will feature various formats and tournament types to suit all tastes – it’s well worth getting involved in the cut and thrust of the competitive aspect. Points toward the leaderboard will be awarded for a range of other, very important factors that should be taken into account when bestowing on someone the title of the Greatest.
Of course cashing in tournaments is important, as is consistency and all-round flexibility in terms of being able to play more than just one variant, but other qualities will be rewarded, such as streaming the game online using Twitch, sharing your UCOP II experience with your Twitter followers, and so on. Simply tweeting a screenshot of yourself playing UCOP II using the hashtag #UCOP will move you up the Leaderboard, for example! Success in competition is one thing, but The Greatest should also promote this fantastic game whenever possible.
It’s going to be a fascinating week or so during UCOP II as all kinds of poker fans battle it out to earn the coveted title and a cool €10K – if you’ve yet to embrace Twitch or you’ve not got around to sharing the fun roller-coaster experience that is online poker via social media, then now is the time to spread your wings and get involved. It may well lead you to the enviable accolade of The Greatest Poker Player in the Universe and a juicy boost to your bankroll.
To win your way into the numerous events via our bankroll-friendly satellite structure simply go to Tournaments > Special in the Poker Lobby. Good luck, have fun, and may the poker force be with you!
The changing face of Online Poker
Online poker has come a long way since the early days, when socially inept games fanatics who had never set foot in a traditional bricks & mortar casino would sit at home in their underwear, contemplating the implications of a check-raise in a Fixed Limit cash game… Of course, exploiting the absolute privacy afforded us by playing within the safe confines of our own walls still means that the modern online poker player has, at some point, enjoyed the game in various stages of undress (yes – we’ve all done it).
However, times have changed, and poker itself has moved on considerably such that, as its reputation as a pastime has allowed it to assume an air of everyday respectability, so the aims and expectations of the typical poker enthusiast have evolved. Not only are the games far more varied and exciting than they used to be, but whereas players used to deliberately place themselves in the ‘online’ camp, it’s now completely normal to take part in the numerous qualification quests that provide us with the opportunity to win all-inclusive packages to ‘live’ events around the globe for as little as 25 cents.
The rise and rise of the MPN Poker Tour is perfectly indicative of the changed face of online poker, the numbers speaking for themselves. In just a couple of years the popularity of using bankroll-friendly online satellites to qualify for player-friendly international poker festivals in such places as London, Vienna, Sofia and, recently (after a successful first time as host), a return to Tallinn, is reflected in both actual entries at the events and the snowballing in size of the numbers representing 32Red. As far as the latter group is concerned, what started as a few players being spotted sporting the 32Red logo has ballooned to a veritable invasion of what has become known as Team 32Red players, a proud band of typical poker fans simply enjoying a poker holiday that has the added bonus of a potentially big payout! And nearly all have won €1,500 MPNPT packages in a cheap satellite tournament, or even by virtue of a single hand by hitting a royal flush in 32Red’s nightly Flush Royale tournament, where the buy-in is a mere €3!
And therein lies the changing face of modern day online poker. It’s not necessarily all about number-crunching, robotic, multi-tabling bottom line accounts keeping! It’s about having fun, enjoying the game, whether it’s cash or a few Sit & Go tournaments or the thrills and spills of a multi-player event with juicy prizes, jackpots and the prospect of sitting down to play ‘live’ in an interesting faraway place, in the company of fellow poker fans.
Read on to see how some of our Team 32Red players enjoyed their time in Estonia’s picturesque capital, Tallinn, in August.
Old City, Young Country
When you first arrive in Tallinn’s Old Town it’s not surprising to learn that it dates back to medieval times. Moreover, the first mention of the city dates back to 1154. Yet Estonia itself – at least as an independent nation – could be described as one of the world’s youngest if we consider that it came into being in its current form only as recently as 1991.
No longer part of the former Soviet Union, it didn’t take long to thrive and, while the Tourist Office blurb that refers to the zoo ‘boasting the world’s largest collection of mountain goats and sheep’ can be rather misleading, such a description belies the forward-thinking nature of Estonia.
You might be surprised to learn that Estonia has one of the planet’s highest internet penetration rates, for example, and was the first country to use online voting for political elections.
Quite fitting, then, that Tallinn has the enviable distinction of being the first city to act as a return venue for an online-poker oriented international tour in the form of the MPNPT.
Back for more
Even a one-table home game can be problematic for its organiser, so hosting a few hundred players from around the world over a few days is a major undertaking. Inviting large numbers of the poker community to come back for a second instalment is another matter entirely, not least because previous success has already set a benchmark that organisers must endeavour to match. One of the attractions in Tallinn’s case was that the first time Team 32Red players joined fellow competitors in this colourful capital city was during winter, whereas this latest edition of the MPN Tour gave players the chance to explore what Tallinn has to offer in the summer (although, of course, good weather can’t be guaranteed!).
It’s the taking part that counts…
It’s testament to the underlying theme of poker that we can report that a ‘good time was had by all’, as the saying goes, without – this time around – any of our qualifiers succeeding in winning a significant prize. That would have been a nice bonus, but the atmosphere amongst Team 32Red players was fantastic throughout the festival.
Once the proverbial dust had settled it was a home win for the host city to celebrate, as Estonian Ranno Sootla added to what is already an impressive tally of results by winning the €500 + €50 buy-in Main Event to the tune of €31,000.
Running between August 12-14, the tournament totaled 338 entries, thus seeing the prize fund exceed the guarantee to reach a juicy €163,930. Sootla entered the final, heads-up phase of the marathon against Roland Luik with a 7:1 chip lead. Luik had been the erstwhile leader, at one point possessing half of the total chips(!), but he was unable to turn around such a deficit and soon succumbed, his 88 losing to AT to leave him having to ‘settle’ for the €24,000 runner-up prize.
The highest placed Team 32Red member in the Main Event was Mahala Roche (alias: Irish_Aces) of Ireland who qualified via a Sunday Package Final. After ducking and diving for so long and with her hands almost touching one of the 44 paid spots, Mahala suffered every poker player’s nightmare by finishing on the ‘bubble’ in 45th place… However, her first MPNPT event won’t be her last because, as a consolation prize for her efforts, the organisers rewarded her with the €550 buy-in for the next leg of the MPNPT in Morocco (10-13 November). Her overall view of her experience summed up in a few words: “Had a ball… loved the homely feel of 32Red…”
Double trouble (not…)
Kevin Greathead (Kevathallam), from Doncaster, teamed up with fellow Team 32Red player, Julie Whitworth (alias: Ladydriver) for a collective effort that saw them finish in 5th place in the ‘doubles’ side event! Between them these two popular 32Red players have notched up a number of Tour trips, and they epitomize what today’s game is all about.
Meet the Team…
Next stop: Morocco!
Satellites are already underway for the next leg of the MPNPT, which will be held in Morocco, 10-13 November. Win a €1,500 package for this €125,000 Guaranteed event for pennies – go to Tournaments > Satellites in the Poker Lobby and we’ll see you in Morocco!
If you’re new to 32Red Poker and not yet opting into the Bad Beat jackpot, then here’s a reminder why you should make a habit of it when you’re playing cash games. It’s not rocket science – it’s a simple matter of clicking on the BB icon and you’re good to go.
As well as the progressive jackpot having chunky prizes for the main protagonists, the player-friendly payout structure also rewards opted-in players with a share just for playing at the same blind level as the jackpot hand.
The latest hit happened on a €200 Max table, with the jackpot total running at €22,637.71. Four of a kind, Jacks, ‘lost’ to KKKK, and a couple of the players at the table had remembered to opt in, thus adding juicy amounts of cash to their bankrolls. Moremannen, the Bad Beat winner, won a massive €9,507, while table share winner felson1 earned €2,716!
Meanwhile, three other players at the same blind level had opted in, and were rewarded for clicking the BB icon with €452.75 each…
We like to give away fantastic prizes at 32Red, so we recently added a great bonus prize for the BBJ winner in the form of a €1,500 MPN Poker Tour package!
Have fun at the tables. Good luck, and remember to opt in…
As the old cliché goes, a week is a long time in politics, and a great deal happened after the UK voted to leave the European Union. At 32Red Poker we held our own unique poll in advance of the big day in the shape of two €500 Freerolls – namely Remain and Leave. Players were invited to choose one or the other, with the result being Remain 40% and Leave 60%…
Millions of people signed a petition in the (futile) hope of getting a second vote, but we have our own rules at 32Red and decided to give players a second chance to have their say, and, of course, to enjoy another two €500 Freerolls!
The results proved quite interesting. The run-up to our aptly named Referendum Freerolls: Part 2 saw our original poll result virtually repeated exactly, with entries hardly altering initially from 60%-40% in favour of Leave. However, we can report that, when the dust had settled, opinion was much, much closer than last time, with the final numbers being:
So there you have it. Our UK poker community had initially ‘voted’ overwhelmingly to leave the EU but, only a week or so later – perhaps influenced by the subsequent bizarre goings on in British politics, the 20% gap had narrowed to the point of being almost level…
We hope our players found the re-vote interesting and that fun was had in these bonus freerolls. We endeavour at 32Red to provide as much poker enjoyment as possible, whether this is in the form of such freerolls, opportunities to win packages for big money poker festivals and a host of ongoing promotions. Have fun, and good luck at the tables!
If you’ve not been opting into our player-friendly Bad Beat Jackpot while playing at the cash tables then you’ve missed out on a chance of some juicy cash prizes. The jackpot keeps getting hit, and opted in players keep being rewarded.
There’s even more reason to opt in because we’ve added a great bonus prize to the Bad Beat Jackpot at 32Red Poker – now the winner will receive a €1,500 MPN Poker Tour package, too! The Estonian capital, Tallinn, plays host this summer (11-14 August), and whoever hits the Bad Beat will also be awarded this fantastic package to the €150,000 festival.
Don’t forget that you only need to be playing at the same blinds when the crucial hand hits to be eligible for a share of the money, and opting in couldn’t be easier – simply click on the BB icon!
The latest jackpot hit came at a €20 max table, with the running total having reached € 29,661.56… This time four of a kind, sevens, ‘lost’ to four tens and the 13 players who had opted in each won a bankroll boosting €228.16… Don’t miss out – opt in!