As 2022 draws to a close, the 20th-anniversary celebrations of 888poker are also coming to an end. The operator burst onto the online poker scene in 2002 and capped its last two decades of service to the community with a year-long celebration designed to say 'thank you’ to all the players who have helped make it a great place to play online poker.
Longevity is not guaranteed in the online poker world, and that truth applies to operators as much as players. Only a few sites have stood the test of time, with consistent service to the poker community over decades.
While 888poker was far from the first platform to serve real money online poker, it has been one of the industry leaders in playability, liquidity, and technology since 2002, and 2022 capped two successful decades for the operator.
The conclusion of its second decade in operation saw some pretty big moves from 888poker, including some massive celebratory series, a triumphant return to the live felt after two years of COVID disruptions, and expansion into new North American markets.
The operator also beefed up its player-facing presence with new ambassadors, including teacher-turned-poker-pro Ian “Simpioni” Simpson and boxing sensation Chris Eubank Jr.
The biggest news through the year was the massive thank you the operator extended to players with various high-guarantee series, bonuses, and promotions. Among the biggest news in 2022 was the introduction of the Mystery Bounty format.
888poker was the first operator to introduce the wildly popular format online in 2022, and the games were met with massive support from the player pool.
The Massive Return to Live Poker
888poker was hardly the only operator affected by the unprecedented near-two-year shutdown of the live poker industry in 2020, but it was certainly among the heavily impacted operators. When the shutdowns resulting from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, live poker was among the first to go, given its social nature and close quarters.
Finally, in early 2022, light dawned on the horizon, and live poker tournaments were on the schedule once more. Among the first big festivals to hit the ground in early 2022 was the 888poker LIVE Festival in London. That series ran two highly successful events in January and February 2022, heralding an almost normal year on the live poker circuit.
That set off huge live series in Barcelona, London, Bucharest, and Madrid, with all stops featuring tremendous prizes and big announcements. Among the big news that came out at live events throughout the year were the announcements of ambassadorial additions, including Chris Eubank Jr. in London at the start of the year and Ian Simpson in Barcelona.
New Additions to the Ambassador Team
2022 saw 888poker expand its team of ambassadors as well, both on the poker and on the cultural sides of the fence. On the cultural side, the operator added singers, athletes, and influencers to the team, while over on the poker side, some big names added their online and live experiences to the group.
New Cultural Ambassadors in 2022
- Boxing sensation Chris Eubank Jr.
- YouTuber extraordinaire Jack “JaackMaate” Dean
- Brazilian Influencer Cauê Moura
New Poker Ambassadors in 2022
- Ian “Simpioni” Simpson
- Lucia Navarro
- Alexandre “Cavalito” Mantovani
New Formats and New Markets
There was so much going on at 888poker over 2022 that it is hard to list all the changes the operator went through over the past 12 months. Besides expanding its team, the room introduced new formats to its online game selection and expanded into Canada.
New Canadian Frontiers in Ontario
Perhaps the most important expansion news of the year was the launch of 888poker Ontario in the newest North American market. The Canadian province is the largest in the country, representing about 40% of Canada’s national population. It was a massive new market that many operators flocked to, with 888poker coming out of the gate hot, being the only operator to go live with casino gaming, poker, and sports betting on the very first day the newly regulated market opened.
Mystery Bounties Online
888poker was an industry leader in 2022, introducing Mystery Bounties online late in the year. After finding tremendous success this year in the live poker arena, the format, which puts a few truly massive bounties into the pool for players to win at random, was perhaps even a bigger success online.
Introduced initially at the higher buy-ins, the popularity of the games soon saw the operator expand the format to include nearly all players. By the end of 2022, players on 888poker could play the Mystery format for as little as $2.20, opening the newest poker craze to nearly every player.
The 20th-anniversary celebrations at 888poker are drawing to a close now as January 1 approaches, but do not expect the operator to sit back and bask in its success. The room has already announced its live schedule for next year, and as if all that was not enough, it will head into the new year in a much more sustainable way after making the switch away from single-use plastics in 2022.
The year 2022 was an impressive one for 888poker — and we cannot wait to see what big things 2023 has in store for it.