From May 11-22, the 888Live Festival Barcelona will feature more than a dozen events including a €220 buy-in, €100,000 Opening Event; an €1,100 buy-in, €500,000 guaranteed Main Event; and a €2,200 buy-in High Roller. It’s slated to be the biggest and best 888Live festival to date, and the lineup reflects that.
Right now, ten well-known pros are confirmed to attend the festival. While the odds are long, it is possible they could all end up at the final table. If that were to happen, it’s safe to say it’d be the toughest table ever in an 888poker event, and maybe even in poker history.
Here’s a look at who will be in action at the Gran Casino de Barcelona.
Sitting just outside the top ten on poker’s all-time money list with more than $15.6 million in lifetime earnings, Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi is one of the most famous poker players in the world. At the beginning of April, Mizrachi finished runner-up in the World Poker Tour Tournament of Champions for $218,000, which came a year after he finished third in the same event for $140,450.
Mizrachi’s biggest cash came in 2010 when he finished fifth in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $2,332,992. Other highlights on his long poker résumé include winning the 2005 WPT LAPC for $1,859,909, winning the WSOP $50,000 Poker Players Championship twice (2010 and 2012 for $1,559,046 and $1,451,527 respectively)
He has also added a WSOP Europe bracelet to his name as well as winning the 2006 WPT Borgata Winter Open for $1,173,373.
When it comes to breakout players, few players made a bigger splash last year than Will Kassouf, who talked his way to a 17th-place finish in the 2016 WSOP Main Event. He followed that up in December by winning a High Roller event in Prague for $555,619.
Earlier this year, Kassouf made headlines when he faced off against Stacy Matuson, the woman he infamously subjected to his speech play on an episode of the WSOP on ESPN. The best-of-three match took place at the 888Live King’s Festival in Rozvadov, and Matuson got her revenge by winning 2-0.
Not to be deterred, Kassouf, who has nearly $1.3 million in lifetime earnings, went on to finish 23rd in the King’s 888Live Main Event for $3,911.
Second on Finland’s all-time money list, with nearly $6.8 million in lifetime earnings, Patrik Antonius is a legend of the game. He’s one of online poker’s biggest names, has played for million-dollar pots, and has appeared on numerous poker television shows.
Antonius doesn’t play poker as much these days; in fact, the last time he cashed a tournament was back in August 2015. Before that was February 2014. Will he manage to notch his first cash in nearly two years as the 888Live Festival Barcelona? If he does, he’ll add to a list of accomplishments that include finishing runner-up in the 2012 Aussie Millions $250,000 Challenge for $1,235,369.
He also came second in the 2005 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Main Event for $1,046,470, and third in the 2013 Aussie Millions Main Event for $633,419.
Hostess extraordinaire Kara Scott, who just celebrated her one year anniversary as an 888poker Ambassador, broke onto the poker scene in 2008 when she won her first title for £26,000 and hosted her first poker gig on the award-winning show, “Poker Night Live.” Since then, she has amassed $661,920 in live tournament earnings including a career-best $413,612 for finishing second in the 2009 Irish Poker Open.
Scott, who will be both hosting and playing the 888Live Festival Barcelona, has cashed in two previous 888Live Main Events finishing third and 13th in the last two London stops.
Only time will tell if she can notch her first-ever cash in Spain.
Bruno “Foster” Politano
There are few players Brazilians are prouder of than 888poker Ambassador Bruno “Foster” Politano, who rose to fame in 2014 when he finished eighth in the WSOP Main Event for $947,172.
While he missed out on the bracelet, he managed to get his piece of gold jewellery last year when he won Event #8: R$2,300 Pot-Limit Omaha at the WSOP International Circuit stop in Sao Paulo for $36,514 and a ring.
One year ago, Politano earned his first and only cash at a live 888 event when he finished fourth in the 888poker Festival Balneário Camboriú Main Event for $38,618.
Few players have come on as strong in recent years as 888poker Ambassador Dominik Nitsche. The three-time WSOP bracelet winner and LAPT champ has amassed more than $6.5 million in tournament earnings dating back to 2009, and he’s added to that with plenty of online scores. That includes making a three-handed deal in last September’s Super XL Series Main Event for $206,400.
Nitsche has also become a force on the high roller circuit. In the June 2016, he finished second in the $50,000 ARIA Super High Roller 9 for $629,808, and followed that up by winning the 2016 UKIPT5 Dublin €2,000 High Roller for $176,177. Two days later he finished runner-up in the EPT12 Dublin €10,000 High Roller for $156,916.
In May, Nitsche will be a participant in the third annual $300,000 Super High Roller Bowl.
Currently ninth on Brazil’s all-time money list with $872,915 in live tournament earnings, 888poker Ambassador Bruno Kawauti burst onto the poker scene when he made a deep run in the 2013 WSOP Main Event. He ultimately finished in 15th place for $451,398. It was an impressive performance considering he finished 110th in the same event for $52,718.
More recently, Kawauti finished runner-up in the 2016 Brazilian Series of Poker Main Event for $92,483.
Another Brazilian who’ll be in attendance is Nicolau Villa-Lobos, who sits sixth on that country’s all-time poker money list with $1,228,807 in live tournament earnings. His biggest cash of $608,248 came in 2013 when he finished runner-up to Daniel Negreanu in the WSOP Europe €25,000 High Roller.
That came nine months after he won the UKIPT3 Edinburgh Main Event for $162,319, his only other six-figure score. In 2012, Villa-Lobos also made two deep runs finishing 77th in the WSOP Main Event for $88,070 and second in the BSOP Rio de Janeiro Main Event for $43,306.
Fresh off her 30th-place finish in the 888Live Easter Edition in London, Sofia Lövgren has her sights set on back-to-back 888poker Main Event cashes. We wouldn’t doubt her either as she’s on a bit of a roll as of late. Not only did she have the aforementioned cash, ten days prior she finished 44th in a big Macau championship event for $12,996.
Meanwhile, Lövgren earned a career-high $75,109 last summer after finishing 12th in the 2016 WSOP Millionaire Maker.
Like fellow 888poker Ambassadors Kara Scott, Hof is both a well-known poker TV presenter and an accomplished player. Her biggest score came in Season 9 of the European Poker Tour Berlin Main Event when she finished in 39th place for $23,595.
She also finished runner-up in Season 3 of the Eureka Poker Tour Rozvadov Mini Event for $15,765, placed 135th in the EPT6 Barcelona Main Event for $13,90, and won the EPT10 Vienna Women’s Event for $7,343.
Get Out and About in Barcelona
For those attending the 888Live Barcelona, we hope you’re occupied making final tables. However, for those who find themselves on the rail, don’t forget there are three great goings-on taking place in Barcelona at the same time.
On Sunday, May 14, the FC Barcelona will host Las Palmas at nearby Camp Nou. It’s the second-to-last match of the season for both teams, and Barcelona’s last home game. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see superstar players like Gerard Piqué, Lionel Messi, and Neymar in action.
Also happening is the F1 racing’s Santander 2017 Spanish Grand Prix (or Gran Premio de España), which will be held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain from May 12-24, as well as the Barcelona International Motor Show, also known as Automobile Barcelona, from May 11-21.
For more information on all those events, click here.