€2,000 Cash Game Festival Freeroll!

September 23, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Our Team32Red qualifiers have had a great time at the Cash Game Festival Bratislava, which reaches its climax today.

You could be doing the same at the next stop! We have a €1,500 VIP package for Tallinn (21-25 November) awaiting the winner of tonight’s €2K Cash Game Festival Freeroll (7pm UK).

It’s free to enter, and we’ve also thrown in €500 in cash prizes. You can boost your chances with €3 rebuys (3K chips) and a €3 add-on for a whopping 9K chips.

Meanwhile, to get a taste of what it’s like at these exciting festivals, you can watch the exploits of fellow 32Red poker fans at the TV table.

And don’t forget we have an ongoing Cash Game Festival Leaderboard! Play at our Cash tables, collect Redbacks, make the top 40 and qualify for one of the fortnightly 8 and 32-player Freerolls. Each has a package and €500 in cash. Have fun, and we’ll see you in Estonia.

REGISTER HERE

Cash Game Festival: New Leaderboard, Next Venue…

September 10, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News

A new Cash Game Festival Leaderboard started over the weekend, and now you have a new event to win a €1,500 VIP package for in the shape of Tallinn (21-25 November), the Cash Game Festival’s home.

Now firmly established as one of the international poker scene’s most buzzing series, this is the perfect target for online players who simply prefer cash games to tournaments and have thus far not had any natural events to aim for that are tailored exclusively for them.

Cash Game Festivals continue to break records at venues around the globe for the number of cash tables running simultaneously. The norm nowadays is non-stop action, with a variety of games and buy-in levels, from start to finish.

Winning one of the two €1,500 VIP packages via our ongoing Cash Game Festival Leaderboard (we also give away €1,000 in cash prizes) gives you hotel, money for travel/expenses, €500 in stake money and a VIP Hospitality package. This means that, as part of Team32Red, you get the full poker holiday experience on and off the tables.

And because we embarked on a partnership with Cash Game Festival to reward our loyal cash game fans, qualifying is a simple matter of having the usual fun at our cash tables. Automatically collect Redbacks (and, of course, enjoying our 30% Instant Rakeback deal while you play) and secure a top 40 spot on the Leaderboard. This earns you a place in one of our 8 or 32-player Freerolls, each with a package and €500 in cash.

Have fun, good luck, and we’ll see you in Estonia!

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Cash Game Festival – What’s the big deal?

August 29, 2018 by  
Filed under Featured, News

Cash Game Festival

The best cash games in town!

32Red is proud to be partners with the exciting Cash Game Festival and, given the success story that has seen these cash game events become so popular, here’s a brief explanation of what the buzz is all about.

Whereas you expect to see poker tournaments in casinos around the globe, a festival that focuses exclusively on Cash Games might at first seem less likely but, as soon as you think about it for a moment or two, the idea is perfectly natural! 32Red Poker has countless cash games running, after all, so why wouldn’t there be demand for those players who favour cash over tournaments to be able to enjoy playing cash games in a festival of their own?

And that’s where Cash Game Festival – the brainchild of Martin ‘Franke’ von Zweigbergk – comes in, having identified this gaping hole in the international poker scene and subsequently devising and honing a player-friendly set-up that not only provides plenty of action across multiple formats and stakes, but also an exciting and even feverish atmosphere to go along with it.

This is why we run an ongoing fortnightly Cash Game Festival Leaderboard – based, simply, on racking up Redbacks (poker loyalty points) while you play cash and qualifying for one of two Freerolls, each with a €1,500 VIP package and €500 in prizes!

The idea is to build up a Team32Red presence at these events, with a package giving qualifiers Accommodation, Travel/Expenses, a VIP Hospitality Package and a cool €500 in stake money. Additionally, our players get to play on the Live TV Table, while the venue-related VIP Hospitality Package is tailored to give qualifiers an all-round holiday experience in popular destinations such as London, Bratislava, Tallinn…

So there you have it – if you like to play cash games, now you have the chance to experience the thrills and spills of a Cash Game Festival holiday courtesy of 32Red. Have fun, good luck, and we’ll see you at the next Festival – Bratislava (19-23 September)!

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Team32Red Report (MPNPT Tallinn)

November 2, 2017 by  
Filed under 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!

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Route 32: Flip Flop to Tallinn

July 28, 2017 by  
Filed under News

It’s a feather in the cap of any poker venue to be so successful that players want to return, yet Tallinn, Estonia’s picturesque, characterful capital, has gone even further by being selected to play host to the MPN Poker Tour for a third time!

Team32Red is now very well represented at MPNPT festivals around the globe, thanks to 32Red offering an assortment of qualifying bankroll-friendly routes to these excellent events.

Our latest promotion, which runs throughout August, is so bankroll-friendly, in fact, that it’s totally free to take part. Route 32: Flip Flop to Tallinn has over €3000 in MPNPT tickets to win, including a €1,500 MPNPT package for the €150,000 event for the winner and a €550 Main Event seat for the runner-up.

The package includes the €550 buy-in for the €150,000 Main Event, entry to the €110 Side Event, four nights (for two, including breakfast) at the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel, €300 towards travel/expenses and an invite to the ever-popular Players Welcome Party!

And the whole promo is based around Flip tournaments, where everyone is automatically all-in every hand, so no actual playing is even necessary until the Final (1 September). The top 8 survivors in the nightly (10pm UK) Flips win starting chips for The Final (a standard NLH tournament), and to register for each Flip qualifier you need only make the corresponding number of raked hands for that day (e.g. 5 raked hands for Route 5, 15 for Route 15 and so on).

That’s it – just hit the cash tables as usual, rack up a few raked hands each day to register, and build your starting stack by accumulating chips as the month progresses. Good luck, and have fun!

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MPNPT Tallinn 2016

August 30, 2016 by  
Filed under News

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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!

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Team 32Red does Vienna

February 5, 2016 by  
Filed under News

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The MPN Poker Tour has proved to be a tremendous success, with the festivals giving players the opportunity to enjoy the thrills and spills of live poker in a varied selection of venues around the globe. The excitement of poker is one thing, but it’s quite another to be able to experience the different cultures and history that cities such as Tallinn and Tbilisi (places that most of us might not so readily choose to visit) have to offer. Throw in the craic of Dublin and the grandeur of Vienna, and it’s easy to see why record numbers of 32Red players found themselves in the Austrian capital after winning seats or packages through our extensive qualifying process.

Held at the Montesino Casino, 21-24 January 2016, the festival attracted an impressively large field. A total of 431 players took part in the €550 buy-in Main Event and, with 52 re-entries, this made for a tasty prize fund of €241,500. This more than comfortably surpassed the guarantee and produced a first prize of €54,000 for the eventual winner, with a further 52 places being paid.

Team 32Red

Over 30 of the field came from the now visibly noticeable Team 32Red. Poker is indeed an ‘everyman’ (and woman!) game, and this couldn’t be reflected any better than in our group of players. Coming from across the globe, our qualifiers made the most of their time in Vienna, both on and off the tables.

Oh Vienna!

32Red’s Jakob Anyszka (a Vienna native) was able to put his local knowledge to good use… How we perform at the tables has a lot to do with what we get up to when not playing, and our players certainly had an edge over the opposition when it came to making the most of what the city has to offer – as the photos show!

 

‘Live’ Poker

Some of the more experienced 32Red players – such as Vladimir Pastushenko (aka DNIPRO2010), Phill Huxley (Rixdorf), Adrian Nica (Lawliet1) and Angus Dunnington (AngusD) – have considerable ‘live’ poker experience, including the MPN Poker Tour. For others, Vienna was the first time they had found themselves actually sitting at a table with their opponents rather than playing in the quite different online environment. It’s interesting how most players who have hitherto not played live (or not, at least, at such a big festival) can feel more than just a little apprehensive but, in a surprisingly short time, not only get used to it but feel quite at home.

One point made by Simon Millard (Bada_Bing72) – for whom this was his second time at such an event – was that it had taken him a while at the tables for his game to loosen up to the same level as it is online, while others mentioned how there being fewer hands per hour took some getting used to. These same players, it has to be said, performed well, which serves to confirm that, generally, the transition from online to live tends to prove a natural one.

Live poker nowadays wouldn’t be the same without its growing contingent of online players (whether serious or recreational), and it’s good to see 32Red so well represented in the live festival arena. Having established a genuine, impressive presence at international festivals – particularly bearing in mind that we have such a varied group of players who also appreciate such events – we can look forward to similarly positive experiences being shared in the future. With this in mind we will endeavour to continue providing opportunities to qualify for prestigious events through our player/bankroll friendly satellites and other tournaments – the knowledge that a couple of our players were even able to enjoy their trip to Vienna after having hit a royal flush in our Flush Royale tournament, for example, is what makes it all worthwhile!

 

Results

It’s not at all a clichéd approach to say that it’s not the winning but the taking part that counts, so while it would be great to announce that a Team 32Red member took home the first prize of €54,000, this was not to be – an Austrian by the name of Jannis Brauer emerged victorious. However, we did have a number of players cashing in the Main Event, with Canadian Ronald Alino – continuing his tour of Europe that sees him essentially following the MPN tour with each successive satellite qualification – finishing 28th for €1,410 and Peter Raynor (38th), Nadeem Nazir (49th) and the wily Phill Huxley (52) each collecting €1,150 for their efforts.

Others, of course, came close and ran well, and a special mention goes to Martyna Makarove who adapted well to the new surroundings of live poker to cash in the 185-player Austrian Cup!

Exits & Memorable Hands

Nobody likes either to hear or have to tell a so-called ‘bad beat’ story so here is a selection of hands with which some of our players exited tournament play in Vienna – the point being to illustrate the thin line that can mean the difference, for example, between a veritable hat full of chips and a potential big win, or none at all.

Diane Duncan (POKERLADY25) went all-in with AJs but ran into pocket tens after an impressive international poker debut. Pocket tens, meanwhile, is the very hand that Dionne Cowley (RangerMcFriendly) took a stand with, losing to KJ. We all accept the luck factor in poker but, for Dionne, her poor fortune manifested itself in falling ill during her stay. This clearly didn’t help concerned husband Richard, either, so here’s hoping they’ll be back with a vengeance at future tour events.

Short-stacked Simon (Bada_Bing72) Millard put his faith (on 16BB) with K9o, was called by A9 and AT, and that was that. He later remembered that this was the very same hand with which he’d been eliminated on his tour debut…

Satellite ‘killer’ Dara O’Kearney (HopAlongHnsn) shoved with AJs versus QQ, then noticed he’d actually put his remaining chips on the line with J4s! Funny old world.

Finally, even funnier – although not necessarily in the ‘hahaha’ sense for Ivan Damyanov… He went all-in pre-flop with kings, ran into aces and duly walked away, not realising that he still had 2,000 in chips still on the table. Two hours later a sole chip remained.

 

Next Stop

We hope to see Team 32Red similarly represented at the next stop of the MPN tour, which will be in Sofia, 21-24 April. Once again it will be possible to win both €1,500 packages and €500 seats in our satellites and special tournaments, so check out the Poker Lobby and start your quest…

Good luck, and see you in Sofia!

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AngusD’s experience at MPNPT Tallinn…

February 14, 2015 by  
Filed under News

Like many people, poker is a passion. I love to play poker and, of course, I find myself thinking about poker. Anyone who has read my articles knows I particularly like to think about how we think about poker – the psychological aspect of the game fascinates me. While there’s more psychology in online poker than people might consider, the ‘live’ format presents us with a different set of questions and situations because we can both see and hear our opponents (and, don’t forget, we’re also exposed).

Not surprisingly I always look forward to poker festivals which, fortunately, also tend to take place in some interesting parts of the world. Tallinn was no exception, the pleasant-on-the-eye Estonian capital being the perfect setting, and the Olympic Casino Olümpia, part of the luxury hotel, Radisson Blu Olümpia, where our players were staying, the perfect venue.

After an enjoyable evening with my fellow 32Red Poker players and indefatigable 32Red Poker Manager, Nick Diaz, the evening before the Main Event, I sat down at my table the following afternoon and had a look at my opponents, who all hailed from Estonia and a couple of other former Soviet countries, with the exception of a Scandinavian and an empty chair. As it happened this chair proved decisive, because while it remained empty I couldn’t have been happier. However, the late arrival of a talkative, dominating Swede, seated to my left, seriously cramped my style. The dynamic of the table changed completely due to a combination of his endeavours to steer it his way and the table’s apparent willingness to let him, despite what seemed to be almost cliched behaviour on his part. His big river bluffs were believed and his big river bets with the nuts were called, and he gleefully engineered a mountain of chips.

I sat there trying not to get too frustrated. A couple of attempts to get involved with my potential benefactor/nemesis backfired. In one particular hand with the Swede and one other I had Ac, 6c and the flop brought Ad, 6s, 7c… There was no point my being aggressive as previously the table bully had backed off completely at the sniff of trouble, so I let him build the pot as the Turn delivered the very welcome 2c, and the third player stayed in. My two pair and a nut flush draw, conveniently out of position, was looking very promising whether or not I hit the flush. I wasn’t thinking about the other player too much; I simply put him on a decent hand – AK, for example, which he should have been raising with, but perhaps he was concentrating his efforts on trapping the Swede rather than scaring him off. The River was the 8d, and I again checked. The bet inevitably came – not all-in this time – and was met a call from the third player. I smelled a rat and called with my two pair. I was right about the other player – he had effectively misplayed AK. Alas the Swede had been sitting there with 9d, 5d and had filled his gutshot on the river. He got lucky but, to be fair, he had also made his own luck for much of the day and had been reading players well.

But in a poker story reminiscent of Icarus (who flew too close to the sun, remember), after building up loads of chips and putting himself well in contention, our ‘hero’ saw his stack(s) dwindle as poor river bluffs contrived to secure a fairly rapid demise, thus demonstrating that a failure to adjust can have serious consequences. Having said that, copious amounts of alcohol won’t have helped him, either, and therein lies another lesson.

I was eventually eliminated just before the end of Day 1 when, finding Aces for the first time, I managed to get all-in against a big stack, but his pair of fives found a third playmate on the Flop.

And that, as they say, was that.

I went out of a side event with another good hand, this time my Q-high straight running into a K-high straight. C’est la vie.

A nice festival, in a nice place, with a good bunch of 32Red Poker players.

Good luck at the tables!

Angus Dunnington (AngusD at the tables)
32Red Poker Ambassador

MPNPT Tallinn 2015

February 12, 2015 by  
Filed under News

Once known as Big Red Castle, it’s not surprising to learn that Tallinn, Estonia’s picturesque capital, is a favourite among tourists looking for a bit of history that’s easy on the eye. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the city was a European Capital of Culture in 2011. Sounds a great place to visit, and thus a perfect venue for the third leg of the MPN Poker Tour, which took place January 15-18, 2015 at the Olympic Casino Olümpia.

Medieval Old Town in Tallinn

Winning a package via 32Red Poker is a perfect way to experience a live poker festival, and our players had the added bonus that the casino, a very well respected poker venue, is part of the luxurious Radisson Blu Olümpia hotel, where they stayed.

Day 1

The Main Event was a €500 + €50 No Limit Hold’em tournament with a €40,000 guaranteed prize fund. The combination of a decent structure (25,000 starting chips, 60-minute levels), late registration and unlimited re-entries during the first six levels made for some interesting poker and some awkward decisions.

Having collected their free chips to use at the tables, drinks vouchers and a free sports bet given away by the casino upon joining, Angus Dunnington (Scotland), Simon Taylor, Bruce Shannon (England), LeoLeou (Northern Ireland) and Vladimir Pastushenko (Ukraine) took their seats in the tournament room. Note that, ultimately, 122 players actually entered and, with 26 re-entries, this made for an effective total of 148 entries, thus generating a prize pool of over €70,000 for the top 12 places, with over €20,000 for the winner… well worth playing for.

Vladimir Pastushenko

Vladimir Pastushenko

There was also the added incentive of making an impression in the MPN Poker Tour Player of the Year, which offers as a fantastic first prize free entry to all of the MPNPT Main Events in 2016 (plus a unique trophy).

Angus got off to a decent start but the late arrival of a talkative, dominating Swede to his left seriously cramped his style. He eventually made his exit just before the end of the play for the day when, finding aces for the very first time in the tournament, he got it all in but ran up against a bigger stack’s 555. Meanwhile, the structure might have been welcomed by some, but LeoLeou coped with what he perceived to be the tedium by turning to his iPad for entertainment. This might not necessarily be recommended strategy, but whatever works, and he managed to find a path through the jungle to end Day 1 with 17,900 chips, a little behind Simon’s 23,600 but out of touch with chips leader Revo Rink, who was already racing off into the distance with a stack of 215,000!

Angus Dunnington

Angus Dunnington

Day 2

In terms of the Main Event, fortune didn’t shine on our players today. As the blinds increase the significance and implications of taking a hit – or even failing to keep your head sufficiently above water to afford much-needed breathing space and flexibility – can grow conspicuously problematic, even with the tournament’s player-friendly structure.

Simon Taylor

Simon Taylor

With good opportunities difficult to come by, any ‘decent’ looking hand assumes far greater importance than would normally be the case, while premium holdings are like gold dust. Simon Taylor found himself with KK but, unfortunately, ran into a pair of ace. Coincidences tend to be more memorable when associated with good or bad fortune and, for Simon, it was the latter, as he’d exited the event in the same manner as his fellow 32Red Poker player, good friend and roommate in Tallinn, Bruce Shannon…

Bruce Shannon

Bruce Shannon, aka BigShann

Meanwhile, LeoLeou was still battling away or, in his words: ‘Hand dead at new table. Going to get blinded out’ – which was a more practical assessment of his chances than a show of pessimism, as anyone who has spent time with the likeable player will confirm. Later he was ‘still hanging on’ with around 50K in chips when the average was 95K and, eventually, after 3-betting a big stack with 88 and shoving a 10, 10, 2 flop, he had come up against A, 10 and the 32Red Poker assault on the Main Event had finally come to an end.

The players met up in the Old Town, which is well worth a visit, the plan being to recharge the poker batteries and try their luck in Event 4 on Day 3. Ukraine’s Vladimir Pastushenko had other ideas. He had already made up for exiting the Main Event by taking 2nd place in the 24-player €135 + €15 NLH tournament, and today he made another final table in the €110 + €10 NLH, finishing in 6th place – all the more impressive considering there 105 players this time around.

Day 3

Our players, suitably refreshed, sat down for the €135 + €15 NLH ‘Big Night Out’ event. This was a sort of quasi freezeout with re-starts available during the early levels which, unlike the 60-minute blind levels in the Main Event, were this time only 20 minutes.

At one table, Angus Dunnington, Bruce Shannon and Vladimir Pastushenko were all next to each other. Bruce got off to a flying start, re-raising a player on the steal more than once, making a nice (check-) call on the river with a not very attractive but ‘strong’ enough hand and, even taking into account a bit of inevitable bad luck, deservedly built a hefty looking stack. Unfortunately a series of big pots highlighted how quickly the proverbial wheels can come off the poker train as it hurtles along, and his disappointment will have been heightened by the fact he lost out to players whose understanding of the game doesn’t approach his. That, of course, is one of the occupational hazards of poker, but it always feels particularly cruel nonetheless.

MPNPT Tallinn (Estonia)

MPNPT Tallinn (Estonia)

Angus felt he didn’t seem to get going, yet Bruce’s exit ironically coincided with his recovery. After barely waking up for much of the tournament he was suddenly able to take advantage of his hitherto dormant table image. All good things come to an end, as they say and, as he was starting to finally move up gears, his Q-high straight came up against a K-high straight.

The 32Red Poker presence did continue, though, with LeoLeou finishing in 5th place in the 59-player tournament.

LeoLeou

The last poker fix came in the form of the €50 + €5 Pot Limit Omaha which, with only 39 entries, paid out just five spots. While most of the players were relaxing and thinking of their flight home and the next quest, the indefatigable Simon Taylor took 5th place.

 

Tallinn is a nice place for a poker festival and our players enjoyed their time both exploring what the city has to offer (Can-Can dancers at the casino proved to be a popular, albeit unexpected form of entertainment, but it’s the picturesque capital itself that lives up to its expectations) and the poker itself (although the frustrating nature of poker means some enjoyed it more than others).

As for the festival, the numbers proved quite encouraging in the context of the MPN Poker Tour, with the 148 Main Event entries here – after 109 in Malta and 89 in London, translating to official first prizes of €20,387 in Tallinn, €15,330 in Malta and €9,465 in London – showing how the tour is going from strength to strength.

TTayseer555 Wins €1,500 Tallinn Package

October 15, 2014 by  
Filed under News

When the MPN Poker Tour rolls into Tallinn, the scenic Estonian capital, 15-18 January 2015, 32Red player TTayseer555 will be on his way to the €40,000 Guaranteed Main Event after winning his way to glory this week. Read more

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