XL Winter Series Goes Big for 888poker XL Winter Series Goes Big for 888poker

Going into XL Winter 2024 on 888poker the operator had $2.081 million guaranteed across the series. Running from Jan 14 – Jan 30, and with the final week playing out alongside the 888poker LIVE Madrid festival, there were 35 featured games, as well as numerous side events, to whet the appetite of online poker fans.

Like most online series on 888poker, XL Winter featured a range of buy-ins that likely appealed to a wide swath of its core players. With Mini, Regular, and High Roller versions of many events, as well as generous satellites into the bigger games, parts of the eventual $2,177,906 in total prizes were available to bankrolls of all sizes.

Not all the games hit the guarantee for the series, despite the overall win. The biggest game of them all, however, was the $1 million guaranteed Mystery Bounty Main Event as it was one of the games on the plus side of the leger. With 1,219 entries, the big game just pushed over the pre-game promise with prizes of $1,033,712.

While that game made up nearly half the guarantees, there were other standout performers as well. A $320 PKO game on Jan 25 was the best of the bunch with 44% extra in the prize pool above the $20k guarantee and four other games had prize pools more than 20% above their guarantees.

2024 XL Winter Series Summary

Events: Dates: Buy-In Range: Total Guaranteed: Total Prizes Awarded:
35 Jan 14 – Jan 30 $11 – $888 $2,081,000 $2,177,906

Six-Figure Prize Pools and More

In a recent sit-down with Amit Berkovich, the VP Head of Poker at 888 & William Hill expressed a lot of positivity about the online poker world going forward. After acknowledging that there is a lot of gossip about poker becoming less relevant and “that the younger generation play less and that the industry is in decline” he went on to point out that “poker is here to stay” in general and at 888.

“However, at 888poker it seems very clear to us that poker is here to stay. The game is still hugely popular amongst players from all walks of life. Yes, poker is evolving and changing. People expect different experiences, a more hybrid experience of online and offline poker, more variants and entertainment. The most successful operators will be the ones that react quickly to industry changes and trends.”

Big Games and Bigger Prizes

The Mystery Bounty Main Event was unquestionably the big game in the series with the only seven-figure prize pool. That was always guaranteed, of course, but four other games capped at least six digits in their final numbers.

The unsung hero of the six-figure games was almost certainly the Mystery Bounty Mini Main Event. It had $100k guaranteed going into the $25 game and a whopping 5,278 entries stepped up to try their hand. That put $121,394 into the kitty, more than 21% better than promised, and it was the only six-figure prize pool that beat its guarantee.

That 21% put the Mini Main into the top five best performers in terms of increase over guarantee, but it was the only prize pool of over five digits to hit that list. In addition to the $320 PKO mentioned above that tops this list, another $320 game, the Mystery Bounty High Roller on Jan 16 got 38% more than its $20k guarantee for second place.

Overall, 10 games saw an increase to their guarantee that was better than 10%, and 20 of the 35 games played for more than they initially promised.

Two-Time Champs and National Dominance

Among the individual stories to come from XL Winter were a trio of double-winners and a fierce three-way tie for the top in the country standings for most wins. “dkfdyulr”, “ddaubar”, and “POTITOOOOOOO” all bagged two titles in the series while it was the UK, Brazil, and Ukraine sitting atop the standings for most country wins.

  • Brazil, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom each winning five.
  • Romanian players were close behind with four.
  • Lithuania and Finland were both on the board with three apiece.
  • Montenegro, Malta, and Kazakhstan all had two.
  • The following countries each claimed a single title — Denmark, Canada, Sweden, and Ireland.

Another big story was about Irish player “Cosmin1812”. They not only took down the 1st place money in the Main Event, worth more than $82k, but they also pocketed the $100,000 top bounty in the game, as well as one of the $25k tags among others for a grand total of $218,885.62. All the details about XL Winter 2024 can be found in the 888poker Magazine.

Berkovich’s optimism about online poker was well-founded with a big start to the online poker season in 2024. With one game capping 5,000 entries, and the $1 million Main Event breaking its guarantee, it would appear poker really is here to stay.