Live Strategies and Ambitions -- An Interview with 888's Amit Berkovich Live Strategies and Ambitions -- An Interview with 888's Amit Berkovich

The year 2023 marked significant milestones for the 888poker LIVE tour, featuring successful stops in Barcelona, Spain, and concluding the year in Coventry, UK, with Main Event guarantees getting crushed. Buoyed by this success, 888poker has ambitious plans for 2024.

Not only did they reinstate their beloved stops across Europe, but they also expanded their live schedule by introducing the UK Poker League (UKPL), a new poker league venture made possible through their collaboration with Grosvenor Casinos.

The UKPL will feature stops in half a dozen Grosvenor Casinos across the UK, including prominent cities such as London, Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, and Coventry.


Each UKPL stop follows a consistent structure, offering a variety of tournaments, including a Main Event priced at £560. Players not only compete for prize money but also accumulate points for top finishes, with the top ten players eligible for year-end prizes. Points earned in the UKPL contribute to the National Poker League sponsored by Grosvenor Casinos, offering additional prize opportunities.

Furthermore, a mere day before unveiling its 2024 live schedule, 888poker announced a partnership with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), the fastest-growing sports league in MMA. This partnership aims to broaden the reach of online poker through collaborations beyond the gaming industry.

To gain deeper insights into these developments, we spoke to Amit Berkovich, VP Head of Poker and MD ROW at 888 William Hill. Our discussion covers the decision-making process behind selecting specific locations, the factors contributing to the growth of live events, and the unique experiences 888poker provides for participants. We also explore the impact of partnering with sports leagues like PFL on enhancing 888poker’s brand image and its resonance with the poker community’s interests.

Can you share insights into the recent partnerships with UKPL and how they align with 888’s strategy?

The UK is a key market for us at 888 and we are privileged to work with the renowned Grosvenor Casinos, a brick-and-mortar casino household name in the UK. Grosvenor’s geographical reach and fantastic on-the-ground experiences, together with our award-winning online entertainment platform, enable us to bring to our players the very best of online and offline poker right to their doorstep.

The announcement of five stops for 888poker LIVE 2024 along with partnerships with UKPL indicates continued growth. Can you elaborate on the decision-making process behind selecting these specific locations, and what factors contribute to expanding the reach of LIVE events?

888poker LIVE

Ever since Covid restrictions were lifted, we’ve seen a sort-of second boom specifically around live events produced by our 888poker LIVE brand. Other brands have also been doing well in this space so this change is being felt across the industry. It’s always been important to us to meet our players, not just in the digital realm, but face-to-face too.

When we look at where we want to create these live experiences, we select locations which are, a) relevant to our demographic; and b) also iconic cities that offer fun experiences beyond poker.

In terms of expanding the reach of our live events, from our perspective we aim to do as many as our players would like us to! When we see our players voting with their feet and giving us good feedback on our tournaments, for us it’s a sign to produce more events, which is a win-win for us because we’re all having fun.

For players attending 888poker LIVE events for the first time, what unique experiences or offerings are in place to make their participation memorable and enjoyable?

Firstly, we offer tournaments at a variety of buy-ins. We make sure to have some at the mid-high level, but also the more affordable buy-ins so that there’s something for everyone. Additionally, we try to bring some of the popular features in online poker to the offline experience.

For example, Mystery Bounty tournaments, which we were amongst the first in the industry to launch online, will now feature in our live event tournaments as well. We also create lots of interesting content around these events, and players also get to enjoy exclusive promotions and the opportunity to meet 888poker ambassadors and streamers in person.

How does partnering with a sports league like PFL contribute to enhancing the brand image of 888poker, and how do you believe it resonates with the interests of the poker community?

We are always looking to partner with like-minded brands. For us, that means brands that are committed to providing high-quality entertainment. The MMA world has a fun and exciting energy and this collaboration also offers fantastic content-creation potential. All this adds up to more value for our players.

The poker and PFL audiences have a similar demographic — people searching for excitement, thrills and the buzz of competition. From past experiences partnering with such brands, these kinds of projects usually work well for everyone — us, the partner brand, and most importantly, our players.