Big Wins at 888poker LIVE Madrid Main Event
888poker LIVE kicked off an exciting year of events with their first fest, the 888poker LIVE Madrid Festival, attended by world-famous celebrities in the world of gaming, with names like Martin Jacobson, Chris Moorman, Dominik Nitsche, Vivian Saliba, Kara Scott, Sofia Lovgern, Ana Marquez, Daria Feshchenko. In addition to a star-studded roster, the fest offered a massive potential jackpot to a certain lucky — or simply skilled — player, with a Main Event total prize pool of €800,000 ($866,468 USD). Some won big and some came away empty-handed.
Marco Biavaschi: His Biggest Win Yet
At the close of the 12 day festival, which ran from January 23 to February 3, 2020, the biggest winner of the fest was Italy’s Marco Biavaschi.
Biavaschi entered the poker game, hosted at the Casino Gran Via Madrid, through the satellite for €150 (about $162) and cashed out with an eye-popping €150,000 — close to $162,500!
Prior to playing in 888poker LIVE, Biavaschi had only won 5 poker games, with total poker earnings of a mere €13,000 (about $14,000 USD). Without question, then, in just a single game, this win is Biavaschi’s biggest win yet.
Coming in second to Marco Biavaschi was his opponent, Daniyar Aubakirov, from Kazakhstan.
A Late-Night Face-Off
After a strong start, Aubakirov soon lost steam to the more practical, less assertive player Biavaschi — a “slow and steady” gameplay that ultimately took Biavaschi all the way to the top.
And slow and steady it was: by the time Biavaschi clinched the win, the day had been raging on for a total of 15 hours! Because of a long day of competition, the final table didn’t begin its play until after midnight.
Biavaschi and Aubakirov went head-to-head for about an hour, even after the late-night game had been unfolding for five hours. Pretty impressive to keep up a good play, even at 5 a.m.!
Biavaschi’s winning move for the game was going all-in for Q-10, while Aubakirov called Biavaschi’s bet with K-2. The move revealed Q-10-8 — a brief moment where Aubakirov could go for a straight — but a new play brought 2, and then 5 — meaning a win for Biavaschi.
Because of his win, Biavaschi will now be included on the 888poker LIVE tour, joining to play in March in Bucharest and culminating with a trip to play in the 888poker Las Vegas events: part of the winning package offered for the Madrid event by the 888poker LIVE team.
It wasn’t all a loss for Aubakirov, though — he still managed to cash out of the 888poker LIVE event with €105,000 (about $113,700). For the seasoned player, this was his second-biggest win yet — his first biggest being when he won the main title at WPT Amsterdam in 2017.
In an exciting twist, none of the famous poker players present at 888poker LIVE were participating in this game, though some recognized a couple regular poker players from Spain.
Some Stiff Competition
Aubakirov and Biavaschi’s other competitors at 888poker LIVE’s first big fest of 2020 were — in descending order of their winnings — David Delgado, Pablo Paez, Miguel Tejero, Marco D’Amico, Gilad Yam-Hod, Ran Shahar, and Ruben De Pedro.
After Marco Biavaschi and Daniyar Aubakirov’s six-figure wins, these other savvy players scored between €11,000 (De Pedro) and €70,000 (Delgado) — that’s $11,910 and $75,815 USD! Not bad!
The players came from all over the world, though there was a high concentration of players from Spain, Italy, and Israel. The only one of the top 9 winners who was not from one of these countries was Daniyar Aubakirov of Kazakhstan.
Squeezing Out the Competition
The final players who participated in the high-stakes poker game of the 888poker LIVE Main Event were able to play because they had already spent the day winning at several of the other tables and had stared down some fierce competition.
The day was full of surprises, as some players lost out early and couldn’t continue to participate, like Alvaro Puchol, who started the last day of the event with the second-most chips of anyone in the competition. In the end, Puchol scored 45th place in the competition — something no one would have guessed had they seen his performance the day before!
Puchol wasn’t the only skilled player to not make it to the top 9. Among the other surprise losses for the day were strong competitor Lin Ruida, as well as Alessandro Borsa, Meir Avigal, Manuel Lopez, Federico Anselmi, and Aaron Rivero Daly.
888poker LIVE Madrid Main Event: A Success
This year’s 888poker LIVE event marked an exciting update for the world of poker tournaments, not just for the lucky winners! According to some reports, the 888poker LIVE tournament is the first-ever major company-hosted poker tournament in mainland Europe.
In total, 1,067 players entered to participate over the course of the nearly-two-week-long poker tournament. Competitors paid €888 (about $960) to join — a pretty good bet if you end up getting lucky!
What is 888poker LIVE?
888poker LIVE is an exciting international tour sponsored by 888poker, a popular online poker room.
The Madrid event marked 888poker’s first time hosting a championship in the swanky Spanish city — but it’s likely not to be the last!
This year’s tour kicked off with 888poker LIVE Madrid, which will be just the first in a series of high-stakes international poker championships. After this whirlwind in Madrid and a popular event in London, the tour will head next to Bucharest, and then the world capital of gambling, Las Vegas.
888poker LIVE’s Next Events
The 888poker LIVE event in Bucharest will take place from March 23-29th at the 5-Star Intercontinental Hotel. The main event, which will be open to anyone who can pay to play, will begin on March 25, with a buy-in of, of course, €888 (about $960).
The total prize pool for Bucharest is less than in Madrid — €300,000 (about $325,335) — but, like in Madrid, the final winner of the Main Event will be taken on the rest of the tour with the 888poker LIVE team and get to participate in the series’s final, exciting poker event in Las Vegas.