888poker XL Winter Day 1: Ireland's "arucia" Wins Opening Event ($9,039)

XL Winter Series at 888poker

888poker introduced a new festival this month aptly named the XL Winter Series with over $1 million in guarantees across 34 action-packed events on Dec. 10-20.

The festival kicked on Thursday with a bang with the $50,000 Opening Event running under the watchful eye of the PokerNews Live Reporting Team along with two other amazing events.

Win a FREE $250 XL Winter Main Event PKO Seat!

Satellites to the XL Winter Series now running on 888poker

888poker XL Winter #1 - $50,000 Opening Event

Buy-inDatePlayersPrize pool
$109Dec. 10511$51,100

The first event of the 888poker Winter Series is now in the books after a total of 511 entry slips were sold to take part in the XL Winter Series #1: $50,000 Opening Event. The tournament ran for just under nine hours and when the dust had settled it was Ireland's "arucia" taking home the crown.

"arucia" pocketed $9,039 in a final table journey that saw "arucia" grind it out, sitting in the passenger seat as the red-hot "barrybarry15" took out most of the field. The Ireland native picked nothing but optimal spots and ran pure when needed en route to victory.

The action was heads-up after two notable players hit the rail in Johannes "TrollKonst8" Korsar and Nicolas "PKaiser" Fierro.

The heads-up battle between "barrybarry15" and "arucia" lasted just a few moments before the duo agreed to a deal. The chips then hit the middle of the table until a champion was crowned with "arucia" reigning supreme, in the first XL Winter Series Event.

Opening Event Final Table Results

2barrybarry15United Kingdom$8,049*    
3Johannes "TrollKonst8" KorsarSweden$5,366    
4Nicolas "PKaiser" FierroChile$4,088    

*denotes deal of the final two players

Action of the Day

The $109 buy-in event began with a bang with the field growing to over 200 players by the second level of play. One of the players near the bottom was Canada's "Ripleyy1" who had just a quarter of their starting stack.

The Canadian spun that short stack into a final table appearance but this didn't last long as they finished the tournament in ninth when their ace-queen proved to be no good against a set of sevens held by "barrybarry15".

Soon after it was "Dendaa" dropping from the field when they shoved a pair of treys, only to collide with a pair of jacks in which "barrybarry15" was the owner. Both players hit a set but "barrybarry15" scooped the pot, sending "Dendaa" out the door.

TrollKonst8 took over as executioner, dropping "Repsej51" from the opening event. "Repsej51" moved all-in with ace-queen suited but "TrollKonst8" woke up with a pair of ladies. The board came down dry and "TrollKonst8" scooped the pot, eliminating "Repsej51".

"barrybarry15" then retook the throne, sending yet another player to the payout desk. "G00RG3" pushed their remaining stack from the button with a pair of fours and "barrybarry15" called with ace-seven. A seven-high flop was more than enough to take down the pot, knocking out "G00RG3".

A short-stacked "Unkownplay3r" moved their stack into the middle with ace-jack, running into the pocket kings of "arucia". A blank board landed and "Unkownplay3r" was eliminated, sending what was the first of many pots crucial pots to "arucia" at the final table.

The final table began with Fierro on top but it was a rank that he could not hang onto. The poker pro whittled down to short stack, moving their stack into the middle with queen-jack, and was called by the pocket sevens of "barrybarry15". A seven-high flop left Fierro completely drawing dead to hit the showers in fourth place.

Korsar saw his stack swing from shortest to largest in a matter of hands and then back again. Ultimately he was eliminated in third place when his suited king-jack couldn't get there against the ace-four of "barrybarry15".

Heads-up play started relatively even but "arucia" quickly took a considerable lead. The players discussed a deal and decided to ICM chop, moving their chips into the middle during the next two hands with "arucia" taking down the final one. "barrybarry15" called the rest of their chips into the middle with ace-four, running into the ace-seven of "arucia" who ended finding three. "barrybarry15" was eliminated in second for a respectable $8,049.

Head to our Live Reporting Hub to read more about this event.

888poker XL Winter #2 - $15,000 Mini Opening Event

Buy-inDatePlayersPrize pool
$16.50Dec. 101,245$18,675

The XL Winter #2 - $15,000 Mini Opening Event attracted 1,245 entries to generate an $18,575 prize pool. The lion's share of this money, $3,362, went to Romania's "costi.irim25", who was crowned the winner after nearly eight hours of play. Sweden's "fistpump99" lost the final heads-up and banked the runner-up prize of $2,428.

Jason "JayMow30" Maurer was also on the podium taking home $1,811 for his third-place performance.

3Jason "JayMow30" MaurerCanada$1,811
914grandUnited Kingdom$233

888poker XL Winter #3 - $15,000 Late Opening Event

Buy-inDatePlayersPrize pool
$55Dec. 10309$15,450

United Kingdom's "sumpfin" outlasted a field of 309 entries including 58 reentries to win the $55 buy-in XL Winter #2 - $15,000 Late Opening Event for $3,160 after more than 6 1/2 hours of play. The prize pool grew to $15,450 to sneak past the $15,000 guarantee slapped on the event.

"sumpfin" shipped the event after defeating "Ilfris" (second - $2,318) in heads-up play. Meanwhile, Vangel "machkonti" Apostolov just missed out on a podium finish and instead claimed the fourth-place prize of $1,313.

1sumpfinUnited Kingdom$3,160
3KamooooonUnited Kingdom$1,746
4Vangel "machkonti" ApostolovUnknown$1,313
5El__LocoUnited Kingdom$896

Full 888 XL Winter Schedule

DateTime (GMT)EventBuy-inGTD
Dec. 106 p.m.XL Winter #1 - $50,000 Opening Event$109$50,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #2 - $15,000 Mini Opening Event$16.50$15,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #3 - $15,000 Late Opening Event$55$15,000
Dec. 116 p.m.XL Winter #4 - $30,000 PKO$55$30,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #5 - $15,000 Mini PKO$22$15,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #6 - $10,000 Late PKO$33$10,000
Dec. 126 p.m.XL Winter #7 - $30,000 8-Max$109$30,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #8 - $10,000 Mini 8-Max$12$10,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #9 - $15,000 Late 8-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 136 p.m.XL Winter #10 - $50,000 Tune Up$55$50,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #11 - $30,000 Mini Tune Up$16.5$30,000
 6:30 p.m.XL Winter #12 - $10,000 Micro Tune Up$5.5$10,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #13 - $20,000 Late Tune Up$55$20,000
Dec. 146 p.m.XL Winter #14 - $20,000 R&A Event$33$20,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #15 - $10,000 Mini R&A$5.50$10,000
 7 p.m.XL Winter #16 - $10,000 Late R&A$12$10,000
Dec. 156 p.m.XL Winter #17 - $50,000 High Roller$320$50,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #18 - $25,000 Mini High Roller$55$25,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #19 - $20,000 Late High Roller$109$20,000
Dec. 166 p.m.XL Winter #20 - $30,000 PKO$109$30,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #21 - $15,000 Mini PKO$16.50$15,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #22 - $10,000 Late PKO$33$15,000
Dec. 176 p.m.XL Winter #23 - $40,000 PKO 8-Max$160$40,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #24 - $15,000 Mini PKO 8-Max$22$15,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #25 - $15,000 Late PKO 8-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 185 p.m.XL Winter #26 - $25,000 PKO DeepStack$55$25,000
 5 p.m.XL Winter #27 - $15,000 Mini DeepStack$16.50$15,000
 7 p.m.XL Winter #28 - $10,000 Late DeepStack$33$10,000
Dec. 196 p.m.XL Winter #29 - $25,000 PKO 6-Max$109$25,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #30 - $15,000 Mini PKO 6-Max$16.50$15,000
 8 p.m.XL Winter #31- $15,000 Late PKO 6-Max$55$15,000
Dec. 205 p.m.XL Winter #32- $500,000 Main Event PKO$250$500,000
 5:30 p.m.XL Winter #33- $50,000 Mini Main Event PKO$33$50,000
 6 p.m.XL Winter #34- $15,000 Late Main Event PKO$5.5$15,000

See How Much You Can Earn with Early Bird Rakeback

Freeroll Your Way Into The XL Winter Series Main Event

One cent satellites aside, you can play your way into the XL Winter Series for free thanks to the XL Winter Main Event Freerolls. These run every day and are open to 888poker players who have recently made a deposit into their accounts.

There are plenty of other opportunities to secure freebies from 888poker, too. The site is hitting random tables with gift drops throughout the XL Winter Series that grant special prizes and XL tournament tickets.

Claim Your $888 Welcome Bonus Today

Head to 888poker between Dec. 10-20 if you want to get your teeth into the XL Winter Series events. If you don’t have an account simply download 888poker through our links and you will be awarded an $88 bonus (£20 in the UK) without making a deposit. Once you are ready to make your first deposit, it will be matched in the form of a bonus up to $888, or more than twice as much advertised on the site.

  • "arucia" kicked off the 888poker XL Winter Series with a win in Event #1: $50,000 GTD Opening Event.

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