888poker has begun 2023 in grand fashion, both live and online. The first LIVE event took place in Madrid, Spain, and the organizer had high hopes for it. These expectations were realized and beyond, since the event as a whole was a tremendous success.
Several side events led up to the €300,000-guaranteed Main Event, the culmination of the series, which began on January 13 in the capital of Spain. The very hefty original guarantee was shattered when 514 players entered the tournament, resulting in a prize pool of almost €415,000.
Thanks to 888poker’s live-streaming of the Main Event final table on Twitch, any spectators who were unable to participate could still follow the action as it unfolded. The competition finished on January 23, with Spaniard Adrian Garcia claiming victory and €92,000 in prize money.
Team888 Players Are Sizzling
The action for the Madrid Main Event began on January 20 with Day 1A, followed by three additional preliminary flights. From a total of 514 entries, 216 players advanced to Day 2. The event ultimately awarded 53 participants, with the minimum payout amounting to €1,600 — over double the buy-in of €888.
Naturally, a large number of Team888 players participated in the event, and many of them performed well. Ian Simpson finished first on Day 1B, accumulating the most chips, while Lucia Navarro, the newest member of the squad, accumulated a top-ten stack on Day 1C.
At the end of Day 2, the number of 888poker representatives in the field had decreased to four, with just 39 players left in contention for the championship.
In addition to Navarro, her colleague ambassador Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani and two 888poker streamers, Josh Manley and Ricardo Mateus, used their chips well. Mateus and Navarro continued on their journey to the final table to clinch the championship.
Wrapping Up in Style
The activity at the last table was fierce. The nine surviving players had their sights set on the trophy and the large first-place reward, but only one of them would realize this ambition. As 888poker ambassadors, Navarro and Mateus had added incentive, but it was not their time to win.
Lucia began the day with a smaller stack, but she outlasted five other competitors. She was eliminated in fourth place for a healthy payout of €27,000, leaving Mateus as the only survivor from Team888.
Ricardo did his best, but Lady Luck was not on his side as Adrian Garcia, the eventual winner, called his all-in at the most crucial time. Garcia’s straight on the river sent Mateus out of the tournament, although €37,000 richer.
With this elimination, the Spaniard amassed a gigantic stack, giving him a 4-to-1 chip advantage against Oleg Bystrenin in the heads-up match. Bystrenin narrowed the margin somewhat, but never enough to damage Garcia’s prospects.
Eventually, all of the chips were placed in the center of the table, and Garcia, who had begun the hand as the small favorite, emerged as the tournament champion. The Spaniard was awarded €97,000 for his outstanding performance, while Bystrenin was awarded €60,000 for his second-place result.
The first 888poker LIVE tournament of 2023 is now officially in the books, and by all accounts it was a success. This was only the beginning, as the operator has already scheduled a few additional trips for the first half of the year, promising even more spectacular tournament activity and enormous guarantees.