XL Winter Hits New Heights with $252K Awarded in 2 Days!

888poker’s first major online series of 2022 kicked off on Sunday, January 27 and will run through January 31. The XL Winter Series features 44 events with more than $1.5 million in guarantees. Buy-ins range from $16.50 up to $320, though players can win their way in via satellites and freerolls.

The series will culminate with a $250 buy-in, $500,000 GTD Main Event on Sunday, January 30 The live-streamed final table will feature commentary from David Tuchman and Nick Wealthall on Monday, January 31.

PokerNews will also offer live updates from both days of the tournament.

2021 vs 2022 and Early Series Numbers
Last year’s XL Winter Series Main Event was in a PKO format. This year, it returns to a standard No-Limit Hold’em tournament. The reigning XL Winter Series Main Event Champion is Russia’s “Kazi070486“, who claimed a $60,862 top prize last year. Through the first two days, a half dozen events played out catering to a combined 6,596 entrants and already awarding $252,645 in prize money. What’s more, all tournaments have easily exceeded their advertised guarantees thus far. As for the winners, Germany has minted a pair of winners while Brazil, Ukraine, Turkmenistan, and the United Kingdom each have a champion.

Ildar0365 Wins Opening Event for Turkmenistan
The 2022 XL Winter Series kicked off with the $55 buy-in Event #1: $100,000 Opening Event, which attracted 1,828 players who rebought 483 times. The 2,311-entry field resulted in a $115,550 prize pool that was paid out to the top 320 finishers.

Among those to make relatively deep runs were the following players –
・“Likat” (33rd place – $311.98)
・“kiskutya23” (20th place – $427.53)
・“SpielerKind” (13th place – $751.07)
・final table bubble boy “Bobotsss” (10th place – $982.17)

Once down to the final table of nine players, action was paused overnight. The remaining players then returned on Monday to play down to a winner. The live stream action was complete with commentary from Tuchman and Wealthall.

“zotto18” began with the chip lead but eventually fell in fifth place for $4,252. Another big stack at the start of the day, Russia’s “tihonoff1”, managed to make it to third place for $7,915.

That left Michael “IHaveAsthma” Wasserman playing out of Mexico to battle heads-up against Turkmenistan’s “Ildar0365”. The former held a more than two-to-one chip lead and a deal was briefly discussed. But the duo was unable to come to terms and played on.

“Ildar0365” managed to double into the chip lead with ace-queen against ace-jack. Then the final hand went down in Level 54 (700,000/1,400,000/175,000).

It began when Wasserman jammed his last 13.3 big blinds holding the A♥3♣, and “Ildar0365” woke up with the J♥J♦.

The board ran out a clean 5♣8♥8♦7♥7♣ and Wasserman hit the rail in second place for $10,931.

“Ildar0365” claimed the title and $15,068 top prize for Turkmenistan.

XL Winter Event #1 Final Table Results
1st – “Ildar0365” (Turkmenistan) … $15,068
2nd – Michael “IHaveAsthma” Wasserman (Mexico) … $10,931
3rd – “tihonoff1” (Russia) … $7,915
4th – “gillatron1” (United Kingdom) … $5,778
5th – “zotto18” (Romania) … $4,252
6th – “shippp_it” (Canada) … $3,120
7th – “Pete_444” (Canada) … $2,311
8th – “andrey59” (Brazil) … $1,722
9th – “Lucky1lJack” (Canada) … $1,294

Sunday also saw two other events crown winners. In the $16.50 buy-in Event #2: $20,000 Mini Opening Event, 1,161 players rebought 298 times to create a 1,459-entry field.

Brazil’s “Pavanatto23” took that one down by defeating Canada’s “sickthsence” in heads-up play, good for a $3,198.21 payday.

Meanwhile, the $33 buy-in Event #3: $15,000 Late Opening Event saw Germany’s “geniuspoker” prevail over a 667-entry field (515 unique + 152 re-entries) to claim a $3,462.23 top prize.

Justin LappyPoker Lapka Takes 3rd in Event #4
On Monday, three more tournaments played out highlighted by the $88 buy-in Event #4: $30,000 PKO 6-Max. It crushed its guarantee as 447 players rebought 166 times to create a $49,040 prize pool. The cash was split between the regular and bounty pools.

The top 54 finishers made the money including the following players –
“kevlar1991” (35th place for $147.12 + $237.50 in bounties)
・“gunning_4you” (15th place for $232.94 + $553.75 in bounties)
“888pruha” (10th place for $343.28 + $220 in bounties)
・“KelevraJesus” (8th place for $539.44 + $767.82 in bounties)
Justin “LappyPoker” Lapka (3rd place for $2,697.20 + $1,078.75 in bounties)

Ukraine’s “barabanrapan” and Argentina’s “billycadu14” each secured $4,266.48 in prize money for making it to heads-up play. But awaiting the winner was a $4,172.95 PKO bounty.

After 9 hours and 21 minutes of play, the Ukrainian came out on top for a total payday of $8,439.43.

XL Winter Event #4 Final Table Results
1st – “barabanrapan” (Ukraine) … $8,439.43
2nd – “billycadu14” (Argentina) … $4,592.42
3rd – Justin “LappyPoker” Lapka (Mexico) … $3,775.95
4th – “Fishmir” (Ukraine) … $1,863.52
5th – “sasucu49” (Romania) … $2,289.76
6th – “Hover” (Belarus) … $1,274.21

In other Monday news, Germany’s “GrbmBDPzzY” topped a 762-entry field to win the $44 buy-in Event #5: $20,000 Mini PKO 6-Max. He walked away with $5,215.34 ($2,514.78 in prize money plus a $2,700.56 PKO bounty)

While in the $22 buy-in Event #6: $10,000 Late PKO 6-Max, a tournament that drew 784 runners, it was the UK’s “alboz83”coming out on top to the tune of $2,338.66.

What’s Coming Up?
There are plenty of great events coming up in 888poker’s XL Winter Series including the following tournaments –

・$160 buy-in Event #13: $40,000 PKO 8-Max at 6 p.m. GMT on Thursday, January 20
・$109 buy-in Event #22: $200,000 Tune Up at the same time on Sunday (that one will also be live reported by PokerNews) January 23
・$320 buy-in Event #28: $50,000 PKO at 6 p.m. GMT on Tuesday, January 25
・$215 buy-in Event #34: $40,000 PKO 6-Max at 6 p.m. GMT on Thursday, January 27.

Tune into the XL Winter Live Streams
888poker will entertain fans by airing several final tables on 888pokerTV. We’ll also give you the opportunity to win your way into the XL Winter Series with ticket giveaways and other prizes awarded during the live stream.

Here’s a look at the 888poker XL Winter Series tournaments that will get the live stream treatment:

XL Winter Series Winners So Far