The World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event is a bucket list tournament for some and an annual pilgrimage for others. For the select group of Team Pros that 888poker surprised with 2023 WSOP Main Event entries, it was a chance to play the biggest game in the world and share that experience with fans and players who could not be part of it.
For the first-timers in the field, it is a first look at what is almost certainly the biggest game of their lives in nearly every conceivable way. The veterans look forward to the start of the Main with eager anticipation of an event that moves beyond “tournament” and more into the realm of spectacle. For many players, it may well be the shot of a lifetime, while for others, it is not even their biggest buy-in of the week.
The 888poker team ran the gamut from first-timers to seasoned veterans of the Main Event, and the resulting video essays create a fascinating look at the Main Event, not just from the perspective of the poker at the tables, but also behind the scenes as players prepare for what would become the biggest live poker tournament in history.
- Running August 20 – October 2, 2023
- $25,000,000 GTD in the Main Event
- Buy-ins starting as low as $100
- $2,000,000 in extra value with Continental Freerolls
Made to Play the WSOP Main Event
The five-part series begins with the five selected team members — Cauê Moura, Vivian Saliba, Aaron Barone, Lucia Navarro, and Alexandre Mantovani — preparing for the 2023 Main Event. In the case of Moura, it was his first-ever shot at the Big Show, and his excitement was palpable.
For the others, it was more of a “day at the office feel” but with an extra special kick. The series picks up Saliba on her way to the airport in Vienna to make the trip, and it follows all the players in their pre-game preparations, including a stopover in New York for Navarro on her way.
The Trip Eights surprised its team pros with the Main Event seats this year, and Moura especially was very excited to play his first Main Event. While he didn’t manage to pocket cash from this one, his excitement through the series at his top-25% run is a testament to the game’s power, entirely apart from the big prizes to be won.
Barone’s run through the Main was a bit bumpier. He bagged a decent stack after Day 1 and had a day off before his Day 2 run. Relaxing in his own way, he decided to have dinner with some friends before playing some evening poker, but the dinner tacos had other ideas.
As he says in the series, “I am on my way to get some supposedly delicious tacos … so I’ll let you know what happens later.”
What happened later was probably predictable — “I was not feeling well,” was his droll description, though he did go further, saying he had to “hunch down and just sit there for a second and uh not throw up everywhere.”
Fortunately, his bout with potentially taco-related food poisoning was short-lived, and he was able to make it back for Day 2 of the Main in pretty decent shape.
Your Window into the Main Event Experience
There is also a fair bit of poker in the series, with one highlight being newcomer Moura card-dead for the first four hours of play. That may not sound like a highlight and likely did not feel like one to Moura at the moment, but when he came back after dinner and started his run with trip eights, it seemed like destiny that he would have a great time with a deep run.
The video series as a whole takes a unique look at, as the name suggests, “What it’s like…” to play the WSOP Main Event. Viewers will get the perspective of first-time players who never expected to play it, seasoned live pros who have done it all before, and dedicated online grinders transitioning to a live game.
The series follows the experience from long before the cards go in the air and covers action both on and off the tables for a much more complete look at the Main Event than is typical.