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…
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!
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!
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!
Our €3 buy-in Flush Royale tournament, which is held every night at 8pm (UK time), isn’t just a fun, popular fixture because it’s a cheap buy-in tourney with €500 in guaranteed prizes. There’s also a special prize for hitting a royal flush – namely a fantastic €1,500 package to the next leg of the MPN Poker Tour, which will take place in Tallinn, Estonia, 11-14 August.
A royal flush has always been seen as an extra special kind of ‘achievement’ in poker – if we win a few euros with a royal in a cash game, or one of many hands in a tournament, our excitement is simultaneously tinged with a feeling of disappointment that we didn’t receive any more than is the case with ‘normal’ hands that go our way. However memorable, these events are ultimately no different from when we win with king-high.
This is not the case, however, with Flush Royale, and numerous 32Red Poker players have found themselves with more than just a fond memory after hitting a royal flush. The latest recipient of Lady Luck’s fortune is Ronald Alino (alias: RapsCC). Ronald, who hails from Toronto, Canada, has been a 32Red player for well over a decade. He’s also taken full advantage of the bankroll-friendly satellite structure we provide so that poker enthusiasts can make the most of the qualification process to find themselves at big money poker festivals around the globe. Thus far Ronald has qualified for events in Dublin, Tbilisi and Vienna, enjoying some exciting times both at the tables and in and around a collection of European capital cities.
The €1,500 Tallinn package includes the €550 buy-in for the Main Event, €100 buy-in for the €15,000 side event, four nights for two at the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel and €250 towards travel/expenses, and this time Ronald won the prize with a single hand after hitting the royal flush.
Here’s how it happened… Dealt Jc 10c, Ronald joined two other players to see the Flop bring Kc 8c Ks. All three checked and the Turn was the Ac, meaning the Qc would fill the magical hand. Put all-in by an opponent holding a K, Ronald duly called and Christmas came a couple of seasons early when the river was indeed the Qc!!
In Ronald’s words…
“32Red continues to offer great tournaments like the Flush Royale. I was lucky enough to win a MPNPT package by winning a hand with a royal flush. I had Jc 10c and called preflop. No one raised and there were two other people in the hand. The flop came Kc Ks 8c. Everyone checked. Turn Ac. First player to act checked, I checked and the other player in the hand shoved all in with Kh 4h. The player who initially checked for some reason used up all the time he was allowed to take – which was over two minutes – and then folded. For those two long minutes I had to continue to play six other tables while carefully avoiding an accidental misclick and folding a royal flush draw. I then called in the hope of the Qc. River Qc. I wasn’t sure if I had won the bonus because no one on the table seemed to notice and/or didn’t care. All I know is that I am going to play in the next MPNPT event thanks to 32Red.
I’ve been to three MPNPT events in the past and it gets better each time. I would say it is a good experience for any poker player. I look forward to playing in the next event and hope to be fortunate enough to win more packages in the MPNPT satellites.”
So after missing a visit to Tallinn when it first played host to the MPNPT last year, Ronald will now get a chance to see Estonia’s pretty capital in August thanks to a hand in a €3 buy-in tournament. Easy game, poker…
Remember that at 32Red Poker there are numerous qualifying routes to MPN festivals, with satellites starting as low as 25 cents! Go to Tournaments > Satellites in the Poker Lobby to see the schedule, and keep tuning in to 32Red Poker to look out for special satellites, too, where you can win €500 MPN seats as well as the €1,500 package.
Have fun, and good luck!
If you’re looking for a summer holiday destination, may we suggest Tallinn, Estonia? It’s one of those places that’s easy on the eye regardless of the season, but particularly picturesque during summer. This is probably one of the factors that led to the Estonian capital being selected by the MPN Poker Tour as a venue worthy of a return, and this alone is sure to attract many players. Another reason is the success of the first time Tallinn played host to the MPNPT last year, when the poker itself was exciting and a good time was had by all, as they say. Read more
Even those who’ve never played a hand of poker have heard of a royal flush and are aware of how special it is. It’s so special at 32Red Poker, in fact, that when you hit a royal flush in our popular nightly €500 guaranteed Flush Royale tournament you’re rewarded with a €1,500 package to a MPN Poker Tour event.
This is what happened to Andrew Talbot (alias: Drew0480) in the latest edition of Flush Royale. Andrew, from Suffolk in the UK, has been a 32Red player for nearly 13 years, and he’ll be wearing Team 32Red colours in the Estonian capital of Tallinn in August for the €150,000 guaranteed poker festival. The €1,500 package includes the €550 buy-in for the Main Event, €100 buy-in for the €15,000 side event, four nights for two at the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel and €250 towards travel/expenses – a great return considering that the buy-in for the Flush Royale tournament is a mere €3!
If you’re wondering how the royal flush came about, Andrew was dealt Ah Jh and after raising pre-flop found himself calling a short-stacked opponent’s all-in (with 10s 9d). The flop came 5c 10h Kh and ‘all’ that was keeping Andrew from a big money poker trip to the beautiful Tallinn this summer was, appropriately, the Qh – a card that has graced countless songs, books and films over the years. The Turn brought the meaningless 2s and it was all down to the river which, luckily for the recent winner of a €4,000 guaranteed Turbo Deep Stack Rebuy tournament, was indeed the necessary Qh, and the royal flush was complete. Easy game, poker.
Andrew’s thoughts: “…wonderful hand and a great poker site to play on. This is my fourth and – believe it or not – the smallest payout! One on this poker site and three in the casino which, I hasten to add, I have attended after winning the first Royal Flush and a massive payout of $166,000 in 2005. If the dealer had qualified in that hand my payout would have been huge as I was betting 65 ante and 130 payout line. Just happy to have got it again!”
Remember that there are various ways to qualify for the MPN Poker Tour. As well as the excitement of Flush Royale we have a ridiculously bankroll-friendly satellite structure in which it’s possible to start your quest for as little as 25 cents! To see the full schedule go to Tournaments > Satellites in the Poker Lobby.
A key strategy in satellite tournaments is to keep focused on the fact that the requirements to qualify for one of the prizes on offer are quite different from standard tourneys, where the prize distribution can be quite top heavy. If for example, there are 10 €200 satellite tickets up for grabs, then 10th prize is worth just as much as 1st despite the possibly considerable difference in final chip counts. The trick is to not be too desperate to top the field but instead to maintain a workable stack and remain in contention.
Have fun, and good luck!
There’s more than a touch of irony that one of the great benefits of modern online poker – a technological advancement that allows us to play not just at home but at any time, anywhere – is the facility to qualify for ‘live’ poker festivals around the globe. Poker fans who have never set foot in a ‘bricks & mortar’ casino, nor ever expected to, can now win their way to international, big money events – and for less than the price of a coffee!
Culture, Cafes & Poker
As it happens, Sofia is the perfect place to sit in the sun having a coffee, taking in the view of the nearby mountains that encircle this 7,000-year-old city. And with such a player/bankroll-friendly satellite structure at 32Red Poker a host of players won their way to Bulgaria’s ancient capital for the latest €150,000 leg of the MPN Poker Tour.
There’s a buzz associated with these tournaments that’s well worth making the effort to experience, and if you’re sitting at the table when the cards are being dealt having won the €550 buy-in or even a €1,500 package it’s all the more enjoyable. Not surprisingly, our numerous qualifiers who become part of Team 32Red continue to make the most of qualifying opportunities, and we want all our poker enthusiasts to get involved and join the tour – even our nightly €3 buy-in €500 Flush Royale tournament, for example, has a special prize of a €1,500 MPNPT package for a royal flush!
Home success in Main Event
The MPN Tour has been an enormous success and Sofia was yet another instalment that saw the size of the field generate more prize money than the guarantee which, this time, was €125,000. In fact, over the opening Day 1a & 1b there were 263 entries and an additional 39 re-entries, boosting the total prize pool to €146,470, with a juicy €35,000 for the eventual winner.
With bagpipes (called ‘gaida’) being a national instrument, a public holiday dedicated to St George and a popular Irish pub, Sofia’s perhaps surprising links to UK and Irish players could have led to this particular visiting contingent taking home a chunk of the booty but, as it turned out, the Main Event proved to be a home success. Bulgarians took the top prizes, with Stefan Genchev emerging as the eventual winner.
However, there were a couple of notable results for (Bulgarian!) Team 32Red players, with Edmondi Mkhitaryan winning a tidy €2,700 for finishing in 9th place, and Stanislav Ivanov earning €2,200 for an impressive 16th.
‘Ever growing, never old’
That’s the memorable motto for Sofia which, incidentally, is the Greek word for ‘wisdom’ – we could do worse than apply these words to how we approach poker. Big money festivals are indeed exciting, not least because every player will at some point be within a big hand or a stroke of luck of making a concerted stand for glory. The flip side, of course, is that we are also a big hand or a cruel, ill-timed moment of poor fortune from a painful exit. This, as all poker players eventually realise, is simply part of the game that we need to accept and from which we have to move on without letting the experience taint our future experiences…
No doubt those players who won a €1,500 package to Sofia will have enjoyed their stay at the Radisson Blu Grand Hotel that was both very well situated and, conveniently, adjoining the host casino. Catering for so many players and dealing with the logistics of organizing such a big event is bound to present a problem or two, and the fact that smoking was allowed understandably didn’t go down well with the vast majority of players from countries where times have changed considerably since ‘smoke-filled rooms’ was the stereotypic norm. But, as the old adage goes, you can’t please everyone, all of the time and, overall, Sofia provided players with an interesting taste of both poker and culture.
Team 32Red qualifier Knut Berntsen’s experience was typical – he had a couple of suggested improvements but also had this to say: “On the positive side, I loved the atmosphere in Sofia, with a good mix of online qualifiers and locals in a friendly environment. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, which is always nice to see in an event like this! Moreover, one important reason I started to play satellites for the MPNPT is that the tour offers stops at locations where you normally won’t find bigger poker tournaments. Please continue to do so in the future, as it is a great opportunity to travel to new places and get to play some poker as well…”
‘Bouncebackability’ is a word first championed by a UK television sports show to describe the ability to take bad results and disappointment in one’s stride and bounce back to success. Our Poker Ambassador, Angus Dunnington subsequently adopted it in his psychology oriented poker musings and, fortunately, our Team 32Red players demonstrated this capacity to dust themselves off and climb back on the proverbial horse in Sofia.
Phillip Huxley (England) – “Bad beats on me in the Main Event. Bad beats given out in the Bulgaria Cup!”, 32Red’s indefatigable Poker Manager Nick Diaz (Gibraltar), Vyacheslav Blazhko (Ukraine) and Asif Warris finished 11th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd respectively in the €135 buy-in Bulgaria Poker Cup.
On the last day of the festival Nick did the poker equivalent of striking while the iron is hot. With a dozen or so players left in the €100 buy-in Sunday Showdown, Oliver Fabian was hoping his small stack would see him into the prizes when Angus Dunnington took a stand with AQ but was knocked out by a pair of sevens in a typical make or break hand. Some adventure later, and Oliver’s ‘chip and a chair’ story earned him 4th place, while Nick won the trophy! Modest to a fault, here is Nick’s version of his success: “I’m a lucky fish… had good cards at the beginning so that played out well for me. I made some sneaky moves early on which played out well, too, and had four times the starting stack by the first break. Then I went card dead so shifted down gears, and picked up the pace towards the final table. In the very last hand I had KQ and my opponent 3x raised with 44 – I shoved and a king appeared on the flop…”
And there we have it. Another interesting poker tour stop for 32Red Poker players, who proved once again that there’s more to poker than winning. Here are some words of wisdom from Team 32Red qualifier Andre Silva (whose qualifying quest began with a €3 satellite!) that put the game – and these trips – perfectly into perspective: “Got eliminated with AA against 32 – never slow-play Aces…”
Next stop on the MPNPT – Tallinn
Be a part of the next leg of the tour by qualifying for the Tallinn event (11-14 August). Win a fantastic €1,500 package that includes the €550 buy-in to the €125K Main Event, €100 buy-in to €15K Side Event, four nights (for two) at the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel and €250 towards travel and expenses. Satellites start at only 25 cents!
Hitting a royal flush is the ultimate ‘achievement’ for poker players, being the game’s equivalent of golf’s hole-in-one. Our Flush Royale tournament, which has a €500 guaranteed prize pool and runs every night at 8pm (UK time), makes the prospect of getting a royal flush even more exciting by rewarding the lucky recipient with a €1,500 MPN Poker Tour package – a fantastic return for the modest €3 buy-in!
A number of 32Red Poker players have found themselves winging their way to various destinations around the globe – experiencing the thrill of MPNPT live events – after seeing their hole cards combine with the board to produce a magical royal.
The latest is André Silva, from Fernao Ferro, Portugal. Andre, 23, had this to say: “I’m speechless… this must be only the second time I’ve made a royal in four years of poker!” A typical reaction to such good fortune, you might think, but especially so given that he had recently won a package in the MPNPT Sunday Package Final!
Remember that it could be you, so put a note in your poker diary to play the nightly Flush Royale tournament.