888poker Ups Guaranteed Prize Pools for Largest Tournaments

The Whale 888 poker tournaments guarantees

Several 888poker tournaments, including The Whale, are seeing an increase in their guaranteed prize pools. (Image: 888poker.com)

The news surrounding 888 Holdings this week has all been about the company’s attempted acquisition of rival bwin.poker, a takeover that the suitor ultimately failed to complete.

But any disappointment back at corporate headquarters won’t be felt by players at 888poker, as the site has announced plans to increase the guarantees in a number of different tournaments going forward.

The new tournament guarantees weren’t all introduced as a part of one bold move, but have been noticed by players over the past week or so in a number of different events. The most dramatic moves have come on Sundays, where all of 888’s major tourneys have seen significant increases over the past two weeks.

Sunday Majors and Others See Major Increases

The Whale, which is 888’s largest regular guaranteed tournament, now has a $200,000 guarantee, up from $150,000 just a couple weeks ago. The Mega Deep has seen its guarantee increase twice in as many weeks, moving from $100,000 to $120,000, and now to $150,000 for the coming weekend.

Also nearly doubling in value was the Sunday Crocodile. The tournament has generally offered a $40,000 guarantee, which was increased to $50,000 last weekend, and will increase another 50 percent to $75,000 on Sunday.

Those Sunday tournaments aren’t the only ones that have seen their prize pools skyrocket recently. The Tuesday Volcano has seen its guarantee double from $50,000 to $100,000, while other tournaments throughout the week have seen increases as well.

It isn’t terribly surprising to see 888 continue to push its tournament guarantees upward. The site is now the second-largest online poker room in the world, averaging about 2,100 cash game players over the past week. That number trails only PokerStars, which boasts about eight times as much traffic.

The increased tournament sizes come at a time when many of 888’s competitors are running their own major event series. The most obvious of these is PokerStars’ World Championship of Online Poker, which is the largest Internet poker festival of the year.

In addition, the Full Tilt Classic is being held from September 11 through September 20. Meanwhile, MPN is hosting the Universal Championship of Poker, a series that began on September 6 and will continue through the 13th.

888 Fails to Acquire bwin.party

While all of this is interesting to players with accounts at 888, the company as a whole has had bigger fish to fry lately. 888 Holdings had been hoping to acquire bwin.party digital entertainment, at one point having their bid accepted by their rival.

However, another bidder, GVC Holdings, made an even larger bid for bwin, eventually reaching an agreement to purchase the online gambling corporation late last week. On Wednesday, bwin.party officially announced that there would be no more discussions with 888, confirming that GVC’s bid would be the final word on the subject.

While the major acquisition 888 was hoping for didn’t come to pass, there were some recent smaller victories for th online operator. The company announced that it had acquired licenses to operate in Denmark and Romania.
888poker is already live in Romania, as well as 888casino and 888sport.

It is less clear when or if 888poker will begin operating in Denmark, as poker was not noted by Danish authorities as a part of the 888 licensing announcement (though that does not necessarily mean it won’t be a part of the offerings there).

“Launching in two regulated markets concurrently is another testimony of our ability to leverage our regulated technology and know-how in delivering our market-leading products,” said 888 Holdings COO Itai Frieberger.

Ed Scimia
Written by
Ed Scimia
Ed Scimia is a freelance writer and author from Bethel, Connecticut. He is the author of Catching Fish: Your Practical Guide To Beating $1/$2 No-Limit Texas Hold'em Games, which once spent a few hours at #1 on the Amazon Kindle bestseller list for poker books. Ed also serves as the Chess Expert for About.com. In the winter, Ed enjoys curling, which really is an Olympic sport.

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