“TonkaaaaP” & Chris Moorman Talk 888poker LIVE Barcelona Festival
Next week, the two-week long 888poker LIVE Barcelona Festival will get underway. The series will offer over $1 million in guarantees and run through June 4 at the Casino Barcelona.
Among the highlights on the schedule are the €220 buy-in 888poker LIVE Barcelona Opening Event, which features four starting flights and a €100K guarantee; and a €2,200 High Roller. Click here for a look at the full schedule.
“Barcelona is an incredibly vibrant city which has so much to offer and for people to do."
David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall will provide commentary for the Main Event live stream, and plenty of 888poker Ambassadors will be in attendance including Martin Jacobson, Sofia Lövgren, Natalie Hof, and Vivian Saliba.
Likewise, Twitch streamer Parker “TonkaaaaP” Talbot will be there both playing and providing commentary.
“Incredible city, incredible history, amazing food, sun, beaches, all the places to party, and really good tournaments like the 888poker LIVE,” Tonka told PokerNews when asked about Barcelona. “The tapas are amazing. I'm not a big beach guy but I do enjoy sitting by the beach having some sangria and enjoying the tapas.”
Fellow 888poker Ambassador Chris Moorman echoed those sentiments: “Barcelona is an incredibly vibrant city which has so much to offer and for people to do. The weather tends to be great whenever I’ve been and the people are really friendly. I think it’s one of the best locations to hold a poker tournament.”
The Main Event
The €1,100 buy-in €500K GTD 888poker LIVE Barcelona Festival Main Event offers three starting flights and will see late registration and re-entries remain open through Day 2 of the tournament.
Players start with 30,000 stacks and play 45-minute levels. Day 1A will take place at 18:00 on Thursday, May 31, and then Day 1B will get underway at the same time on Friday, June 1. The third and final flight is scheduled for Saturday, June 2 at 15:00.
On Sunday, June 3 at 14:00, the survivors from each flight will return for Day 2 action and play down to the final table, which is when levels jump to 60 minutes. The final table will then play out at 14:00 on Monday, June 4. Whoever wins the Main Event will also claim an 888poker LIVE package to the next 888poker LIVE festival in London in November.
“Not sure how much I'll be playing due to commentary but if I do get a chance to play, of course the €1,100 Main Event is what I’m most excited about,” Tonka said. “It's gonna be a great value MTT.”
I’m most looking forward to the Main Event as it should be a big field with a ton of value," Moorman added. "These are my favorite types of poker tournaments to play – where you don’t risk much money but can still get a big payday.
When asked how many players he thought the €500K GTD Main Event would get, Tonka said: “Damn, didn't even know there was that big of a guarantee. I'm gonna guesstimate 682.”
If Tonka’s guess proves true, it’d be a nice increase from last year’s 888poker LIVE Barcelona Festival Main Event, which attracted 609 runners. That helped surpass the €500K GTD by creating a €584,640 ($649,737) prize pool. Italy’s Luigi Shehadeh won that event for €110,000 ($122,248).
Growth of 888LIVE
“Picking sweet locations and running fun events with super high-value Main Events are reasons why 888poker LIVE events continue to grow,” Tonka replied when asked about the rise of 888LIVE events. “I’m hoping to see it grow even bigger and get some higher buy-ins in the future.”
“Picking sweet locations and running fun events with super high-value Main Events are reasons why 888poker LIVE events continue to grow.”
Moorman added his two cents: “In my opinion, I think the players at 888LIVE events have a good time playing in them no matter if they are successful or not. At other events, I often find that the overall vibe is uptight and serious whereas in 888LIVE events the players are more relaxed and are generally having more fun as a result.”
Another reason 888LIVE events have proved so popular is that they’re early adopters of changes in the game.
“I've been a longtime advocate for the shot clock and think it should be the standard in most poker tournaments,” said Tonka.
Moorman is also a fan of the action clock as it stops people tanking in a lot of pointless situations.
“It’s important that it’s implemented well as there are times when you need extra time in order to make the correct decision in a big hand or a weird spot that you don’t often come across,” he said. “But as long as there are enough time bank chips in play and they are replenished at various stages of the tournament then I think it is good for the game.”
As for the advent of big blind antes, Tonka said: “I think I prefer button ante but prefer both to individual ante style.”
Moorman is a fan simply because it keeps the game moving.
“It makes sense as previously there has always been issues with collecting the antes from each individual player in live poker with it resulting in a much slower pace of play at the table and everyone seeing fewer hands per hour as a result. Live poker can often be a slow game so this tends to help a lot.”
“In my opinion, I think the players at 888LIVE events have a good time playing in them no matter if they are successful or not."
After the 888poker LIVE Barcelona Festival, Tonka will be heading to the 2018 World Series of Poker.
“I'm bringing the girlfriend down,” he revealed. “We're staying at a friend’s house and planning on playing a decent chunk of MTTs over the one month that I'm there, including the Main Event and the Crazy 8s event of course.”
There he will meet Moorman, who is planning to play a full schedule.
“My plans this summer for the WSOP are to play a lot and make some rowdy British final table rails occur. A shoe bomb drink or two might also be on the agenda.”
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Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.