Team32Red Report (MPNPT Tallinn)

November 2, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

It’s good to be back

This was the third visit of the MPN Poker Tour to Tallinn, and the reason for that certainly isn’t mere convenience. It’s a testament to Tallinn as both a tourist destination and a poker venue that, not only did the members of Team32Red have a great time in Estonia’s capital, but a number of them had a great time for a second or even third year.

And herein lies the point of why we at 32Red strive to give our players maximum opportunities to qualify for these festivals – it’s so much more than poker…

Old, New and Newer

The more you delve into Estonia as something other than just a place to fly to (or sail – the Finnish poker invasion, for instance, came by sea) to only play poker, the more impressive it becomes. As well as trivia nuggets that we might expect, such as the fact that Estonia has the highest collection of written folk songs in the world (around 133,000, in fact), we might be surprised to learn that the country is also the birthplace of Skype, or that Estonia was the first country in the world to adopt online voting (in 2005!).

This mix of traditional and modern is indicative of a happy medium that, as well as forming a successful foundation for society, is mirrored in the ideal way to approach poker. The most successful players tend nowadays to have a practical, realistic approach to the game – with such big fields there are certain pragmatic characteristics that are imperative to achieve a level of continued success. This is also borne out when we see the names of those who cashed in the various tournaments that made up the four-day poker extravaganza.

The Results

Let’s get the facts and figures out of the way before moving on to what made Tallinn special…

With the total number of runners 534, and boosted by the flexibility of the action-focused re-entry (up to and including the beginning of Day 2!), the €150,000 guaranteed prize pool was eventually dwarfed by the actual amount generated by a frenzied field eager to make the most of the festival, finally settling at a massive €258,990. In fact, so great was the enthusiasm to play poker (the main Side Event, which spanned two days, also attracted a relatively large field) that at one point the cash machines in the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel – a fantastic venue – ran out of cash.

It’s standard for Day 1b, which falls on a Friday, to attract a lot more players than Day 1a. Locals tend to prefer to wait until the working week is over, while most overseas players arrive at a time that makes Day 1b a more practical option. So, it was no surprise to see the number 416 keep the more than capable organizing team on their toes when Friday arrived. But what did go against expectancy – with so many more players likely to produce a handful of runaway leaders – was that Maksims Aleksandrovs’ impressive stack of almost a quarter of a million chips (the players started with 25,000) was still way behind the Day 1a leader, Terje Torstensen, who managed to see his total rise to 357,200!

Up there with a more than healthy 137,300 was Julie Whitworth, who couldn’t be a better advert for what 32Red Poker is all about. More about Julie will follow…

The Winner

The eventual winner was Keimo Suominen of Finland. The top prize had been set at an attractively round sum of €50,000, but the wily Finn, after a marathon tournament, understandably did a deal with fellow finalist, Davis Modans, of Latvia, taking the slightly higher sum of €45,200, the title and the trophy by winning their heads-up encounter.

The Crowd Favourite

Gediminas Kareckas was an impressive 53rd for a tidy €1,245 and Mykhailo Lohvinenko finished 42nd for €1,320. However, the ‘story’ of the week, and topping the Team32Red performances, was the aforementioned Julie Whitworth, finishing what can be described – even in the context of unpredictability that is tournament poker – as un unlucky 13th for €2,590. We have to keep things in perspective and remind ourselves that this is a welcome cash, but as a player succeeds in surviving deeper and deeper into a tournament to the point that the final table – and with it the prospect of a very big win – is literally within touching range, then Julie deserves some commiserations of sorts alongside our congratulations. This is her fifth(!) Main Event cash on the MPN Poker Tour, but one made all the more special when we consider the circumstances that led her to Tallinn. The previous installment had been at Manchester, literally down the road from where Julie lives. But, ironically, she was to miss her much awaited ‘home’ event due to being hospitalized just as the festival was about to start. 32Red proposed ‘rolling over’ her package to Tallinn, which promised to be a trip to remember and, with more irony, she barely got to enjoy any of the non-poker fun and frolics and camaraderie that make these events – especially as a Team32Red member! – so memorable because she was too busy playing like a demon at the tables.

Thanks to a number of good and brave decisions and the usual helping of what Fate has waiting in the wings, she more than just survived Day 1 and, come Day 2, it was more of the same.
Julie turned up for the Final Day with over a million chips, sitting more than comfortably in fourth place and – even in this uncertain poker world – heading for the Final Table… Unfortunately, Fate did indeed have other ideas and, a comeback from cruelly timed reverses notwithstanding, she went out in 13th, her sizable and vocal crowd of supporters on the rail sharing her lack of fortune. But when the dust and adrenaline have settled, this will no doubt be a great memory for Julie, who did 32Red proud…

Meanwhile, Diego Domingo Catalan and Angus Dunnington (who had been going for his 3rd consecutive Main Event cash) battled it out to the last two tables of the 2-day, 237-runner Estonia Cup. This event proved to be a victim of its own success when Day 1 went on for so long that the survivors didn’t have to wait too long for breakfast…

Team32Red favourites, Phill Huxley and partner Fabienne Freymadl, showed that an actual connection can help when sharing a stack by coming 4th in the hotly contested (and very difficult to adjust to) Doubles tournament, and Joel Holmberg cut a path through the jungle that was the Bounty tournament to take 7th.

We’ll come back to a bit more poker later, but here’s what else happened in Tallinn

When in Tallinn, do as the Romans did…

Before playing in an international poker tournament we should spend an evening relaxing in a spa, with a few drinks and snacks, having a sauna or a massage and generally indulging ourselves with whatever level of pampering that’s on offer. This is the norm, isn’t it? Well, no, it isn’t, but a number of Team32Red players accepted the invitation to enjoy such delights on the first night of the festival, and a good time was had by all. The next time you roll up to a bog-standard poker night at your local casino, imagine arriving at the table the day after being a guest at a luxurious spa…

Poker Players’ Need for Speed

So, you’re at a poker festival and the nerves are starting to kick in – the adrenaline is building to a climactic high because you’re sitting there, hands on the wheel, wiping the visor on your helmet, sounds are magnified, deafening, from your breathing to your engine and those around you… and a couple of seconds later you approach the first sharp corner at breakneck speed and the race is on! Yes – you’re a guest at another special event for Team32Red players on the MPN Poker Tour: it’s time for an afternoon of go-karting.

A 30+ strong team attended what was a very exciting, exhilarating day, albeit one that saw a few crashes and collisions, with 32Red Poker Manager, Nick Diaz, becoming the ultimate champion after winning the Grand Final in masterly style.

Terviseks! Cheers!

After a spa experience and the adrenaline rush of go-kart racing came yet another special event to which our players were invited – beer tasting (obviously). A perfect way to wind down following the emotional, nerve-wracking rollercoaster that is tournament poker, the night provided not only the sampling of a variety of beers, but the introduction of a couple of iPhone games afforded the players’ competitive spirit an outing with a difference. Phill Huxley, for example, showed that his skills certainly aren’t limited to the poker felt by winning the Tap War event…

Memorable Team32Red Poker (and non-poker) Moments

There’s so much more to poker than the hands themselves, of course, but it’s also very often true that the outcome of a hand can determine someone’s fate. Just one card, right at the death of a hand, might at the same time sound the death knell of your tournament.

And sometimes Fate can deal out the cards in the most cruel order possible… When holding 66 and seeing the Flop bring 672, Artur Yarovoy must have been doing the usual ‘control’ tricks to curb any sign of enthusiasm. Finding himself up against KK, the only card he didn’t want to see appear was a King which – surprise, surprise – appeared on the river.

Much of the time when these tournaments get underway, players aren’t too involved and instead take time to settle in – sorting out their chips, their phones and multi-media devices, chair, drink… for the first orbit or so it’s often a case of getting ready for the possibly long journey ahead. For MPNPT regular, Deccy Rice, on the other hand, the event began quite differently. Having already added to his package the night before by winning an extra seat in a satellite, he found himself, on the very first hand, looking down at his hole cards to see AA. When this happens right at the beginning, with the blinds – and therefore a typical pot – being so tiny relative to stack size, nothing exciting happens but, bizarrely, Deccy doubled up. Alas, this certainly isn’t a guarantee that things will continue to go so well, and he didn’t survive Day 1a. Undeterred, he won another seat in another satellite(!), but sometimes it’s just not meant to be…

Daniel Leal might be an excellent poker player, but this is what happened when he visited another kind of gaming table. The Olympic casino, to get players in to the spirit of all things gaming (not that poker players tend to need any help…), gives everyone, on joining, a free €5 chip that they can wager on whatever game they like. Daniel strolled over to the nearest roulette table and didn’t bother breaking his freebie into smaller denomination chips, opting instead to simply bet it on a single number. Of course, being Team32Red to the core, he put it on 32 (red) and, of course, Fate having a sense of humour, the ball eventually decided to settle on number … 32.

A great time was had…

Here are a few comments from our players in Tallinn. Some are veritable veterans of the Tour, others were making their first (and hopefully not last) trip to a live festival. But they all have one thing in common – a very enjoyable Team32Red experience.

Uriy Ivanov (who won his place via a Route 32: Flip Flop to Tallinn promo): “I really liked the 32Red approach, the VIP events, and the goodwill of the 32Red team”

Phill Huxley: “I won a package in one of the 32Red promotions… 4th place in the Doubles with my girlfriend (I busted us!). First place in the Tap War competition! The social activities were top notch”

Richard Ward: “Had a fantastic time in Tallinn… always great hosts and we get really well looked after”

Stanislav Ivanov: “This time I had liked everything even more than last time! Very good organization”

Dmytry Nesin: “I won a package in a satellite at 32Red a few days before the start of the tournament. The tournament format is perfect!”

Photo Gallery

 

Next stop: Morocco!

We’d hope that this report is enough to whet the appetite of any poker fan and inspire you to make it your quest to win a place at the first MPN Poker Tour stop of 2018: Morocco. The out-of-this-world Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort will again play host (11-14 January), and at 32Red there are – as always – numerous routes to both a €1,500 package and a €550 Main Event seat.

The package includes entry into the 6,000 MAD Main Event, entry into the 1,100 MAD Side Event, accommodation (including breakfast) for four nights at the Mazagan Beach Resort for you and a guest, €250 towards travel and expenses and a Players Welcome Party invite.

Whether it’s through our monthly Chasing Redbacks and Route 32 promotions, hitting a royal flush in the nightly €3 buy-in Flush Royale tournament or simply via the bankroll-friendly satellite process, we hope to see you for poker by the sea!

Find out more

MPNPT: Back in the UK!

August 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Good things come to those who wait, as they say, and after a break of three years the MPN Poker Tour finally touched down once again on UK soil when Manchester’s Grosvenor Casino played host (20-23 July).

Having visited various parts of the globe, from Vienna to Morocco, the festival tour retained a distinctly European feel, with the already cosmopolitan flavour of the city being added to by the sound of (amongst others) Scandinavian voices.

Mad for it in Manchester

‘Mad for it’ is a typically Mancunian phrase which typifies the vibe that came out of a city that brought the musical world the likes of the Happy Mondays, Stone Roses and Oasis. But there’s so much more to this Northern powerhouse that helped forge the industrial revolution. For example, it’s the only place in the world where you can obtain a degree in Mummy Studies, the University of Manchester having facilities specifically aimed at the study of ancient Egyptian mummies…

Manchester also has the dubious distinction of being nicknamed ‘The Rainy City’ which, taking into account the UK’s reputation for rain, is already a little unfortunate, but especially so when, in fact, it is actually one of the drier cities in the country.

Alas, poker is an indoor pursuit, so in some ways the weather didn’t really matter, as a total of 288 entries in this war of attrition and patience (or, for some, multiple rebuying) took advantage of the excellent facilities of one of the UK’s biggest poker venues.

 

The Poker (Day 1A)

Day 1a was expected to see fewer players than Friday’s Day 1b, and Angus Dunnington survived the long-haul journey (12 levels) that saw 17 of the 74 entries make it to Day 2, turning his initial stack of 25,000 chips to 111,000. His friend and fellow Team32Red player, Phill Huxley, playing at the same table, was eliminated in a tricky hand, returning with another ‘bullet’ but not finding the poker gods on his side.

Angus spent the last few levels at a table – after being moved there – with a dynamic quite different to what he’d grown used to for several hours, with the mix of short and big stacks giving the game a greater sense of urgency. Sure enough, a massive pot with the typical scenario of a big hand – KK – versus a big draw seeing the latter catch a tournament-saving flush on the river proved to be crucial for two of the big stacks. This exciting episode encapsulated just how thin the line is between success and failure, as the tournament-saving river card in fact proved to be the stroke of luck that saw experienced Finnish player, Jari Hurri, ending Day 1a as the chip leader with 190,600 chips rather than – had fate been less generous – on his way out.

 

The Party

Meanwhile, Phill’s partner, Fabienne Freymadl (also part of the 32Red Live Streaming team) was impressing fellow revelers and spectators at the MPNPT Party in the casino. This has become a must-go event in itself, with a different theme at each festival.

This time, Fabienne and other brave souls who were capable of activities more immediately physically demanding than poker were trying to outdo each other at a game called ‘Batak Pro’… As you can see from the photos, this is a grown-up version of the children’s game that sees cute little animals being hit on the head with a rubber mallet as they briefly pop up. Batak Pro takes that up a few notches. Anyway, a good time was had by all as the free drinks flowed, snacks were eaten and fun was had both participating in and watching this test of reaction speed and physical endurance. Of course, with numerous prizes on offer, including a £150 side event ticket and 5 drink vouchers for the winner, and a £110 side event ticket and drink vouchers for the runner-up, that competitive edge poker players would be lost without added an entertaining slice of excitement to the mix…

 

The Poker (Day 1B)

Vegetarianism might nowadays be a worldwide choice of millions but, as it happens, appears to have officially originated – at least as an actual ‘movement’ – in Manchester. The Reverend William Cowherd (truth is indeed stranger than fiction) was waxing lyrical about the vegetarian diet down the road from where the Grosvenor now stands over two centuries ago, his followers going on to form the Vegetarian Society.

The atmosphere during Day 1b, however, was incredibly bloodthirsty, with take-no-prisoner knockouts and subsequent re-entries guaranteeing that, compared with Day 1a, many more chips would be in circulation. Some players contributed to the chip pool more than others, with David Lappin, for example, having several bites of the proverbial poker cherry. His fellow Irishman and good friend, Dara O’ Kearney – armed with a supply of Main Event seats – would even decide, after failing to survive Day 1b, to take advantage of the option afforded those players with both the inclination and the means to re-enter at the beginning of Day 2…

As it turned out David was able to exploit his extra lives and reached Day 2 with a stack of 75,000 chips. He was joined by other 32Red qualifiers, Matti Sahinoja (Finland; 102,000) and Mark Dyson (England; 37,600) among the 43 who would join the previous day’s 17 for a step up in gear on Day 2.

As was suggested above, the fact that there were many more chips flying around meant that the biggest stacks on Day 1b were much higher – the overall chip leader was Yiannis Liperis with a massive 328,600!

 

Day 2

The 60 players gunning for a cash (35 prizes) increased to 63 on Saturday when three more re-entries tried their luck, one of these being the aforementioned Dara. In fact, at one point, he, Angus and Matti were at the same table, sharing the unenviable experience of having to put up with Liperis and his mountain of chips, which was mercilessly being put to good use.

Not surprisingly, this proved to be a tough day, and the sole Team32Red player to cash was Angus Dunnington, whose feelings were mixed. He had been eager to make amends for the Vienna leg, where he had also cashed but after losing an enormous pot with KK v QQ at the critical, juicy stage of the tournament. Day 2 this time was his most frustrating, but a cash is a cash, and his patience ‘honed’ after years as a professional chess player saw him get the most out of what had become a very short stack.

 

Congratulations to Tim Chung on taking top honours and the 1st prize of £29,900 – a performance all the more impressive when we factor in how short-stacked he was at the beginning of the Final Table action, and how quickly he saw off the opposition.

 

The Players

You could be forgiven for thinking that poker festivals are characterised chiefly by such obvious things as cash, chips, bad beat stories and so on because conversations and thoughts will invariably feature these clichés. Indeed, that is often the case, but our aim when coming up with the various avenues through which players can be part of Team32Red and attend international poker competitions extends to more than the turn of a card. Here are examples of 32Red players who illustrate that there’s more to being a poker player than chip counts:

Luck – or, more significantly, bad luck – is something that poker players become used to and philosophical about but, for 32Red and MPNPT regular, Julie Whitworth (aka Ladydriver), fate dealt a particularly cruel blow before Manchester. For Julie, a popular Team32Red member who encapsulates what poker should be about, this was to be her ‘home’ event. Having cashed in Malta she was looking for a repeat success here but, unfortunately, was taken ill.

But that doesn’t mean she didn’t play a role, supporting her fellow players from her hospital bed. Here’s what she had to say: “As part of Team32Red, I was unfortunately taken into hospital the night before I was due to meet up with everyone… I was taken aback on Sunday afternoon by a visit from Nick Diaz, Angus Dunnington, Phill Huxley, Fabienne Freymadl and Sean Ainsworth, delivering some beautiful flowers and a card signed by lots of my fellow MPNPT companions. I may not have been there in body but my spirit was with the team. Thanks to all for the good wishes, and I will be with you in Tallinn!”

Get well soon Julie!

 

Phill Huxley is a great example of how to get the most out of 32Red Poker. In his own words, he ‘loves promos’ and makes sure not to waste any opportunities. He qualified for Manchester by winning a Route 32 promotion. These revolve around collecting starting chips for a Final proper in nightly ‘Flip’ qualifiers, which put everyone all-in every hand until the winners emerge, require just a few raked hands to register, and are completely free. He made a point of fulfilling the easy daily entry requirements, took his chances in the Final (knocking out his friend, Angus Dunnington, in 4th place in the process; note that the runner-up wins a €550 Main Event seat…) and bagged a €1,500 package.

 
Add to the mix Phill is an excellent player, and it’s a recipe for success. He didn’t make Day 2 in Manchester (but cashed in the Manchester Poker Cup), but poker is the ultimate ‘long’ game, and he’ll be a danger, as always, in Tallinn

Another 32Red qualifier whose journey to Manchester is the perfect incentive for all players is Andrew Talbot. He is one of a number of people who have the good fortune to win a fantastic €1,500 package by hitting a royal flush in our daily Flush Royale tournament. Having never taken part in a poker tournament before, he was expecting to find the situation and environment potentially difficult but, in fact, found himself feeling quite calm. This is a common and pleasant surprise for many in this context, and Andrew’s positive experience should serve to help ‘new’ players decide to make the most of our promotions and qualify for poker festivals.

Finally, Gerard Molloy sums it up perfectly: “My feedback is very positive regarding the MPNPT. I won my package (my first MPNPT event) online at 32Red. I didn’t win at the tables but the experience was amazing… I would very much like to qualify and take part in future events, so hope to see you again soon…”

Memorable hands

A memorable hand doesn’t have to be a devastating bad beat on the river or someone flopping four aces, and even when we are involved in a ‘big’ hand it might not be the one we find the most significant.

Phill Huxley, for instance, found the hand which saw him eliminated from the Main Event as ‘pretty funny’ and, importantly, this highlights the pragmatic, must-have-a-sense-of-humour attitude that is common amongst players. Phill had AK and found himself all-in and up against two opponents. AK is the kind of holding that should give you a fighting chance, but in this particular case Phill’s opponents had as their hole cards a pair of Kings and a pair of Aces! Phill: ‘I couldn’t have got it in much worse…’

Matti Sahinoja of Finland qualified for Manchester via a satellite at 32Red, having already played in MPN Poker Tour events in Vienna and Sofia, as well as the Irish Open (again through 32Red). He managed to go deep into the Main Event, at one point having quite a big stack. But navigating a safe route through the jungle that is tournament poker is never straightforward, and he ultimately fell short of the money.

As far as ‘memorable hands’ is concerned, what stuck in Matti’s mind most is when he faced an all-in bet while holding middle pair. This is always a difficult spot to find yourself in, not least in a big money festival, overseas, with your tournament life effectively on the line. The decision-making process can be hampered by the prospect of calling and finding that your second pair is, in fact, the second-best hand. He called, and had indeed made the correct decision, which is one of those poker experiences that never ceases to feel very satisfying…

Dara O’Kearney suffered a typical curse that the poker gods tend to dish out to those in possession of big pocket pairs. He three-bet Kings over an under-the-gun raise and was called. The Flop brought 10 8 7, both players ended up all-in and his opponent had – you guessed it! – J 9 (off-suit).

The Ginvitation

‘Made-up’ words can often be better than existing ones. Another is Gincident. Both feature the word ‘gin’, around which a special event was held for those players who fancied doing something different on the Sunday evening to round off the Manchester festival in style.

A dozen or so players took up the invitation for a barge cruise down the Manchester Ship Canal, where they were treated to as many Gin & Tonics and imaginative, tasty cocktails as they wanted, as well as endless platters of food, a fascinating, entertaining history of gin and a unique view of the city (such as Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United) from the traditional barge as it chugged along the canal…

 

Next Stop: Tallinn

If the MPNPT had a Walk of Fame, then Estonia’s picturesque capital, Tallinn, would take pride of place, being the most visited venue of the Tour thus far. If you haven’t yet enjoyed the poker festival experience this would be a great time to start, and at 32Red we have numerous, player-friendly ways for you to book your place at the €150,000 event (19-22 October), with €1,500 packages and €550 seats to win. Check out how to qualify, have fun, and we hope to see you there!

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MPNPT Malta’17: Team32Red Report

Malta Report Cover Image

Good things come in small packages, and Malta seems to more than fit that particular bill. A naturally attractive place with a lot to offer in its tiny area of just 121 square miles, this popular island that sits in the Mediterranean Sea between Europe and North Africa proved once again to be the perfect venue for an international poker festival.

That was then, this is now…

The MPN Poker Tour last visited Malta in 2014. Along with Tallinn, Estonia, to where the tour will return later this year (19-22 October), it’s a testament to this mini paradise that it was chosen to again host the burgeoning tour. A conspicuously good development that you’ll see below is that in the intervening three years since first touching down on the sun-soaked island, the MPNPT has emerged as a major tour, with the key numbers this time dwarfing the first Mediterranean edition.

 

The Party

Malta used to be called Melita – meaning the island of honey – by the ancient Greeks and Romans. This is fitting, perhaps, given both the varied cuisine on offer and the limitless choice of beverages with which to wash down said cuisine. No doubt this was a factor at the now must-attend MPNPT Welcome Party, which took place on Thursday at Hugo’s Terrace. Indeed, it was free drinks all night, but Malta will also be remembered as the first time a great new attraction featured at the Tour…

 

Pocket Poker

Pocket Poker already sounds like a perfectly catchy name for a new poker game and, if the reaction of both players and spectators (yes – spectators) at the party is anything to go by, watch this space… Microgaming’s Ryan Pretorius, a talented developer, traveled all the way from South Africa with his new creation, which is a spectator-friendly Heads-Up game. Each player has their own device and the game is transmitted on a TV screen so that everyone can see the action as it unfolds. A 36-player knockout tournament was organised and it was a great success, with the crowd cheering on the players! When the proverbial dust had settled and drifted out to sea (just outside the venue) two Team32Red players had taken the two prizes up for grabs: Dmytriy Nesin (Ukraine) pocketed (see what we did there?) free entry to the €300+30 MPNPT NLH Freezeout Event, and Artur Yarovoy earned free entry to the €100+10 Play2Care tournament.

The Play2Care event, incidentally, was MPNPT Malta’s official charity partner (helping people with neurological disease), players being able to increase their stack by 10% by paying an extra €10, which was then matched by Microgaming.

 

The Numbers

As was mentioned earlier, the MPNPT has ballooned in size during the last three years, and it’s almost expected nowadays to see total entries in the €500 + €50 NLH Main Event combine to ‘break’ the advertised guaranteed prize pool. Malta 2017 was no exception, with the excellent venue, Casino Malta (located in the Intercontinental Hotel complex), managing with the numbers.

Day 1a saw 99 starters and, eventually, 28 survivors through to Day 2, Alan Carr topping the field with 185,600 chips. 99 might indeed seem like a healthy size, but Day 1b attracted 265 starters. UK youngster, Jonathan Bowers, with a mighty 278,500-strong stack, had amassed the most chips of the day’s 75 survivors.

Add four extra registrations, and 107 players fought it out on Day 2 for a seat at the final table which, when players regrouped to decide who would win top honours, saw Alessandro Siena of Italy, an online MTT specialist, with a mountainous stack of 2,854,000 chips. Perhaps not surprisingly, he used his numerical advantage to the full and succeeded in securing the MPNPT Malta trophy and, of course, the €35,000 winner’s purse. The fact the 20-year-old lives in Malta also gave it a bit of a home win feel.

Let’s take a moment here to reflect on how far the MPNPT has come. We’ve just seen that the 1st prize this year was a massive €35,000, which equates to about 2/3 of the TOTAL prize money at Malta 2014! This year the €150,000 guarantee was smashed thanks to the 368 total entries, which bumped up the total prize money to a whopping €178,480!

 

Team32Red… onward & upward!

With the MPNPT looking so healthy as the world tour continues, we’re well aware, and very proud, that our players have made such a great contribution to the success story. We have an unrivaled satellite structure for these events in terms of bankroll-friendly qualification opportunities, the point being to present our players with maximum chances to bag both €1,500 packages and €550 Seats for peanuts (the satellite quest for Malta started at a mere €1!).

This is evidenced by the fact that Team32Red is ever-present at MPNPT events, always conspicuous by being excellent ambassadors both during the tournaments and away from the tables. As always, some players fared better than others but, importantly, a good time was had by all…

 

Team32Red Results

Julie Whitworth had an eventful time in Malta. A multiple qualifier, this time she hadn’t done so but went along anyway, which shows what a great time our players have at these festivals. After a bit of people-watching and finding herself suffering from sunburn, she decided to go for it, and entered the Main Event… a great decision, because by the end of the weekend she was on her way home with the €1,450 she’d earned for finishing in 25th! This was Julie’s fourth cash in seven MPNPT tournaments, including twice in a Main Event!

Meanwhile, other notable performances were Johannes Hubalek (who played in the Vienna leg in January) in 29th and Dara O’Kearney’s 33rd. Dmytriy Nesin, apparently not satisfied with his Pocket Poker victory, won the €135+15 MPNPT Casino Malta Poker Cup, which also saw Volodymyr Pastuschenko finish in 6th place, and Daniel Leal (who had won a €1,500 package in a freeroll at 32Red) came 9th.

Memorable Hands

This part of the report should paint both an interesting and instructional picture for those players who are interested in how tournament poker can produce all sorts of situations, regardless of what the event is. Whether it’s a big money festival or a new players’ freeroll, the poker gods don’t discriminate…

Here are a few of our players’ experiences at the tables:

Knut Berntsen: “Lost KK v QQ in a side event when my opponent flopped quads for the ultimate pain”

Simon Taylor: (a veteran of Tallinn – twice – Dublin, Sofia and Vienna): “I made a bad fold early, then lost all my chips with QsJs vs AsAh on a 8s7s6s flop”

David Lappin: “KK into AA to bust in the very first hand of the €300 side event”

Mario Sanchez: (played in Tallinn, Morocco and Vienna), without even making a single reference to specific cards – sums up what we all go through on a regular basis (often without properly noticing how or why!): “… lost 80% of my stack in the first three levels…”

Finally, look what happened to Simon Millard (played in Ireland, Estonia, Bulgaria and Austria – twice) in a cash game: “Lost a €180 pot all-in with JJ v 72 when he hit 222…”

But it’s not all bad… Here’s how Dara O’Kearney (he’s played everywhere!) got the most out of a pair of aces: “I min- raise AA under-the-gun, playing 28BB, to 8,000. The Button (Daniel Jacobsen, who ended up coming second) throws in 9,000, saying nothing (he didn’t see my raise). Both blinds defend. Flop of 522 is checked around (I’d sometimes bet but was hoping the aggro Button would stab). Turn is an ace and I check again as there is very little that can call me. No bad River cards, so I might as well try to induce a bluff or let someone hit the River. River is a jack and the Small Blind bets 17,000. I raise to 45,000 and he ‘cry’ calls”

Final Table Replay

 

Away from the tables…

While some of you may or may not find it interesting to know that both Bryan Adams and Britney Spears are of Maltese descent, or that Popeye Village Malta is a successful tourist attraction nearly four decades on from when the musical film Popeye was made there in 1980, our players were probably more impressed that Valletta was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, or by the sea and the sun and the locals.

Volodymyr Pastuschenko sums it up nicely: “Malta is so magnificent. Valletta may be the most beautiful city I have ever been to.”

Others, meanwhile, soaked up the culture – the two Simons (Millard and Taylor) might have waxed lyrical that Calypso Cave is said to be the very cave that Homer wrote about in The Odyssey, but instead this stuck in their memories (Simon Millard): “Went to Valetta. That was nice, and visited the pub Oliver Reed had his last drinks in before he died…”

 

Finally, a good old ‘shout-out’ to the following, without whom etc… MPNPT’s globetrotting Clodagh Hansen and the indefatigable Mark Spur, Jess Botha, who did a superb job as organizer, and Dana Immanuel, Jen Mason and Rod Stirzaker, the magnificent bloggers.

The next stop on the MPNPT is Manchester, 20-23 July, for which you can qualify via all manner of player-friendly routes at 32Red – even hitting a royal flush in our fun-filled, €3 rebuy, €500 Guaranteed Flush Royale (nightly, 7pm UK time) tournament gets you an instant €1,500 package!

In the meantime, have fun at the tables!

Next up, MPNPT Manchester!

MPNPT Vienna: Team32Red Report

February 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Featured, News

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The Venue

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…

 

The Party

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

 

(Irish) Sausages

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…

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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!

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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!’

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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!

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Check out our upcoming live poker events

Au Revoir Mazagan!

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MPNPT Morocco, 10-13 November 2016
Team 32Red Trip Report

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…’

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The Event

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).

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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…

 

The Poker

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.

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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…

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The numbers

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.

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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).

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David Lappin won the High Roller event to the tune of 67,000 Dirhams, Dara O’Kearney finishing 3rdPaulius 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.

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Memorable hands

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.

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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!”

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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.

Portrait Pics

 

Landscape Pics

 

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!

Find out more

MPNPT Tallinn 2016

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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

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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

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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.

Bubble trouble…

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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…)

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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!

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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!

Find out more

The Magnificent Team 32Red

November 3, 2015 by  
Filed under News

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The Magnificent Seven, the classic western movie that saw seven guns for hire save a town from bandits, is small fry compared with Team 32Red Poker’s quest to hit the Vienna leg of the MPN Poker Tour, January 21-24…

Three more 32Red players have joined the growing ranks recently. Ivan Damyanov (alias: AiZul-Go-Home) came 1st over the weekend in the Sunday Package Final, which now has two €1,500 packages on offer. The second star prize went to another 32Red player, namely Sean Gomez (alias: –HI–). A week earlier, Julie Whitworth (alias: Ladydriver) won a package in the same tournament…

We’re very proud of our players and that 32Red Poker will be so well represented in Vienna (we’ve never had as many qualifiers for a live event before) and, with this in mind, we’re introducing a new Thursday package satellite to give you an extra bite of the cherry. As well as these guaranteed packages, we add a €500 seat every Tuesday. Remember that the qualifying process is particularly bankroll-friendly, with first level satellites starting as low as 25c!

Here’s a list of the package/seat winners who thus far make up the mighty Team 32Red:

PACKAGE WINNERS

First Name Last Name Alias
Vladimir Pastushenko DNIPRO2010
Matti Sahinoja guizilla94
Phill Huxley Rixdorf
Adrian Nica Lawliet1
Dara O’Kearney HopAlongHnsn
Andrew Bell andybell1977
Frank Taal minnekus
Paul Aitken MaoTseTung
Michael Rettie UrABawBag2
Julie Whitworth Ladydriver
Ivan Damyanov AiZul-Go-Home
Sean Gomez –HI–

 

SEAT WINNERS

First Name Last Name Alias
Angus Dunnington AngusD
Adrian Nica Lawliet
Dara O’Kearney HopAlongHnsn
Richard Cowley any4napkins
Juliano Sabino de Figueiredo Hinode
Simon Millard Bada_Bing72
Simon Taylor TTayseer555

 

Click here for more information, and hopefully you’ll join us in Vienna!

Have fun, and good luck.