Promo image for 888poker's XL Winter Series -- has snowflakes and ice against a blue background with the name of the tournament series written in an icy looking font. Promo image for 888poker's XL Winter Series -- has snowflakes and ice against a blue background with the name of the tournament series written in an icy looking font.

The first big series from 888poker for 2022 dealt its final hand yesterday. The 2022 edition of the XL Winter Series followed a recent trend in the industry by handily beating the advertised guarantees. In the end, more than $2 million was awarded across a 44-game series that was almost 20% above the original guarantee.

After somewhat mixed reviews from the XL Autumn series last year, 2022 got off to a great start for 888poker as the first big tournament series of the year exceeded expectations by a significant amount. Capped off by the Main Event that was almost 10% bigger than advertised, the series ended up collecting $2,006,950 and awarding $2,043,810.

While there were five games that didn’t break their guarantee across the series, 39 of the tournaments went past the promised prize pool, some by a significant amount. Event #12, a $33 buy-in PKO event beat its guarantee by over 80%. The Main Event exceeded its half-million guarantee by just over 9%, but that translated to an extra $46k in prizes and a final prize pool of $546k, the highest dollar amount of the series.

Beyond the $250 Main Event, two other games collected almost $20k more than they guaranteed, while another four games collected at least $15k extra. A total of 13 games out of the 44-game series had at least $10k extra in the prize pool by the time all was said and done.

XL Winter Series Summary

  • Total Games 44
  • Above Gtd 39
  • Below Gtd 5
  • Total Gtd $1,680,000
  • Total Awarded $2,043,810
  • Overall % Over Gtd 19.46%
  • Total Buy-ins $3,079
  • Average Buy-in $69.98
  • Median Buy-in $55
  • Total Rake $170,929
  • Money Added by the Operator $6,306
  • Total Unique Players 28,536
  • Total Re-Entries 7400
  • Total Entries 35,936
  • Average Unique Players 648.55
  • Average Entries 816.73

Huge Turnout for First Series of 2022

The turnout for 888poker’s first series of 2022 was huge. Nearly 36,000 entries were recorded across the 15-day series with more than 28.5k unique entries.

That translated to an average of just under 650 unique players per game, and just over 815 entries. The series only missed the guarantee on five games, and none of those were significant deficits. In fact, only two of the guarantee misses were big enough that they weren’t covered by the rake collected.

That meant 888poker had to chip in $6,306 over and above the fees collected on those two games. However, across the whole series, the operator pocketed more than $170k in fees, so overall it was a big win for all involved.

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Big Prize Pool Wins

With 39 tournaments breaching guarantee, there was a lot to choose from in terms of big wins. The biggest win by percent of the prize pool came in Event #12, when the $33 buy-in went more than 80% above the guarantee. That meant there was an extra $8,030 in prizes above the $10k guarantee.

In raw dollar value, the Main Event was the biggest win, collecting $46,610 more than it promised, but there were a lot of interesting games in between those maximums. Fully, 13 games had more than $10k extra in prizes during this series.

Among the best of them was the $88 Event #4. A total of 613 entries meant there was $49,040 in prizes for the $30k guaranteed game for a bump of 63.47%.

Another standout game was the $109 Event #10, which guaranteed $30,000. It saw 472 total entries to put up a prize pool of more than $47k.

The final game of the series, the $33 Mini Main Event with $50k guaranteed, also stood above the crowd. It amassed the fourth biggest prize pool, at $62,700, with one of the smallest buy-ins. The Mini Main Event was also one of only three games to get more than 2,000 entries.

In the end, the XL Winter Series can only be seen as a big success for 888poker. With nearly 20% extra in prizes above the guarantees, it was a good start to 2022 for the operator.