888poker’s build up to WSOP 2021 has begun in earnest, under the banner of its Road to Las Vegas promotion. The operator is giving away packages worth $13,000 targeted at this year’s in-person World Series.
Every Sunday, 888 is running a $1050 Road to Las Vegas qualifier with the $13,000 packages as prizes. There are phase satellites running every day with buy-ins of $109, $11, or as little as 1c. The 1c satellites have 10 tickets to the $11 phase, or to put it another way, $110 of prizes, which is likely to be a massive overlay and represents huge value.
The $13,000 winning packages include:
- A $10,000 tournament buy-in.
- $1500 for accommodation.
- $1500 for travel and other expenses.
- An 888pokerLIVE kit.
For many years, 888 was an official sponsor of the World Series. Its own press release states that “Since 2014, we have been sending players to Vegas.”
The mantle of official sponsor has now been taken over by GGPoker but 888 is understandably keen to maintain a connection it can to the iconic series by offering generous, if unofficial, packages to the event which remains far and away the most iconic of all poker tournaments.
As an unofficial campaign, 888’s promotion does not explicitly mention either the WSOP or the Main Event by name. But it does make reference to the Rio Hotel and Casino, and the $10,000 just happens to match the entry fee for the aforementioned tournament. The implication is clear that the package is intended for that purpose.
It is a slightly strange state of affairs, resulting in a promotion that can only refer obliquely to the tournament that is the target of the offer. Indeed, 888 does not even name WSOP anywhere on its promotional material. However, this kind of package is by no means unusual, and 888 is only one of several operators to be offering unofficial WSOP 2021 feeder events.
There is a stipulation in the terms and conditions that travel must be booked through the company Main Event Travel (MET), who will contact winners around ten days after they have qualified.
MET has worked with 888 for a number of years and is also partnered with GGPoker to organize travel arrangements for winners of their official WSOP satellites. Money for travel and expenses will be paid directly into winners’ 888poker accounts.
There is a similar condition in the T&Cs that package winners must wear the 888poker patch whilst playing in the target event.
888poker still maintains close links with WSOP. It has provided the software for WSOP’s online poker client since 2013 and in January of this year signed an extension of its partnership with Caesars Interactive Entertainment until 2026. They will no doubt be busy throughout those five years.
888/WSOP currently runs the only shared liquidity network in US online poker, covering New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware. The operator looks set to add Pennsylvania to that triumvirate in the near future and has stated that WSOP will also go live in Michigan this year.
As 888 continues to roll out its state-of-the-art Poker 8 software across the WSOP USA network, it is clear that the two companies will be working in tandem for the foreseeable future.
The Road to Las Vegas promotion is running on 888poker until October 17.