888poker has announced the full details of its upcoming XL Spring Series. It kicks off on May 30 and consists of 25 events over 8 days.
This latest installment of 888’s long-running XL brand sees just over $1,000,000 in guarantees, almost half of which is accounted for by the Main Event with its prize pool of $500,000. After trying out a Progressive KO event in the XL Winter Series, the Main Event here has returned to a standard format.
Other series highlights include the $55 Opening Event, the $320 High Roller, and the $33 Mini Main Event— each with a $50,000 guaranteed prize pool. Also of note is Event #14—the $160 PKO 8-Max which has $40,000 promised.
As with other recent editions of the series, 888 has put the emphasis on affordable buy-ins, with the vast majority of events having entry fees of under $100, and over half being $33 or less. Even the Main Event itself, once pitched around the $1000 mark, is now only $250 to enter.
For those with the smallest bankrolls, there are three tournaments for only $5—culminating with the Micro Main Event, which has a whopping $15,000 guaranteed.
Plenty of Ways to Qualify
Daily Satellites to the Main Event are already running, with buy-ins of $3.30 and $22. On top of this, there also sub-satellites for a nominal fee of 1c. There are freeroll tournaments every day as well—with tickets to the Main Event as prizes.
The freerolls run every day from May 14 right through to the end of the series. And 888 is also running a gift drop promotion with prizes—including XL Series tickets—landing randomly at tables throughout the series.
The XL Series has been steadily decreasing in size since its inception in 2018 and the 2021 edition looks unlikely to buck that trend. The inaugural series saw 34 events and just shy of $3 million in prizes.
In other words, the 2021 edition has around three quarters of the tournaments but only a third of the over prize money. Nevertheless, $1 million in 8 days is still a respectable figure, and the $500,000 set aside for the Main Event is sure to generate a lot of interest.
Indeed, though its entry fee is a quarter of what it once was, the guarantee has only been halved, meaning 888 expects twice as many runners for the event than it used to.
And whilst the total prize pool for the series is the lowest it has been, there are fewer events—meaning that the average per tournament is actually up on its previous incarnation held in December 2020.
A Bumper Spring for Online Poker
We have had to wait nearly six months since then for the first XL series of 2021 but 888poker has had a very busy year elsewhere, rolling out its Poker 8 software globally, and working with WSOP in the US as it prepares to launch poker rooms in both Pennsylvania and Michigan.
888 has avoided competing directly with the huge series run by PokerStars and GGPoker in early spring, though it did put on the WPTDeepStacks London Online in April. However, it decided to hold its premier XL Series until May. Similarly, Unibet is hosting its flagship series this month, as is iPoker with its new May Series.
The XL Spring Series runs from May 30 to June 6.