This month, the 888poker LIVE festival comes to London. Between November 22, 2018 and December 3, 2018, 888poker will bring its live poker event to Aspers Casino in the city’s capital, allowing hardcore poker players and casual poker fans alike to mingle, make new friends and meet the professionals in a vibrant and buzzing atmosphere.
Well-known names are expected to attend this hotly anticipated event. 888poker ambassadors will be present at this 888poker LIVE London Festival, giving players and audiences an opportunity to rub shoulders with famous folks, including celebrities who are just as excited about playing poker as common folk. There will also be talented poker pros and big names in attendance, including the likes of WSOP (World Series of Poker) winners such as Scott Blumstein, who won WSOP 2017 to take home $8.15 million, Martin Jacobson who won the WSOP 2014 main event and took home $10 million (the fifth biggest prize in poker history), and John Cynn who won WSOP 2018 earlier this year to take home $8.8 million.
If it’s not enough to get up close and personal with these major poker names, there is the possibility of becoming the next major poker winner yourself. 888poker LIVE London Festival will also host the main event with a prize fund of $500,000. The organiser, 888poker, is even offering a luxury London package worth $2,200 which lets you experience London in style and includes a seat at that exciting main event.
Though, even if you don’t manage to win that luxury package, you’ll still get to enjoy one of London’s most popular tourist attractions. London is known for its culture, its incredible entertainment, high energy festivals and must-visit locations such as the Aspers casino and that’s why it brings in millions of tourists each and every year. The popularity of the city and all that it offers means that this is sure to be an epic event – it’s also why historically, London has been a hub for poker and casino game tournaments.
What Are London’s Most High Profile Poker Events?
While the 888poker LIVE London Festival 2018 is perhaps the most high profile live poker event to hit the city as of yet, it is far from the first London-based event to have made a splash. After all, the city was also home to the 888poker organised event in both 2017 and 2016, indicating that it’s the place to be to make a successful tournament happen.
Others include the World Series of Poker Europe which became the very first expansion of the WSOP brand when it launched in 2007 and the first event under the brand to take place outside of Las Vegas, NV. Taking place between September 6 and September 17, 2007 and consisting of three events, the very first WSOPE was won by an online poker prodigy,
Annette Obrestad, who became the youngest person ever to win a WSOP bracelet. The event was so successful that it helped to establish the future of the WSOPE, with events having since taken place in Paris, France and Cannes, France.
Other annual events to take place in the country’s capital include the WPT (World Poker Tour) London Poker Classic High Roller event which currently has a buy-in of £15,000. There’s also the EPT London High Roller event as part of the EPT London Poker Festival which, this year, had more than 700 participants all hoping to take home a prize of more than £100,000.
The appeal of London for poker events stems in large part from how famous the city is and how easy it is to get to. There are flights to the city’s five airports from Baltimore all the way to Beijing, meaning poker fans of all nationalities have an easy way to get to the venue. But more than that, the lively casino venues that call London home also make it the ideal location for a major bash.
How London Helped to Shape the Interest in Casino
Another reason why London is often the destination to visit for high stakes poker events and tournaments is that it has such a long history of poker, table games and gambling in general. In particular, the Tudor houses of monarchs would often play games, often wagering stakes to do so. For example, many notable women throughout history, including Catherine of Aragon, would play chess; it was considered an important social skill to have.
Meanwhile, tables, the game which is now known as backgammon, was enjoyed by King Henry VIII himself. It is reported that Henry forbade anyone with an income of less than £6,000 from playing a game for money, in a clear indication that gambling on any game was popular with the upper classes, and that he preferred his games to be high stakes.
Card games are also described as extremely popular in Tudor society, according to records. There were games like primero, in which players would aim to put together groups of cards, and the game of Pope Joan, which was played by Henry VII, Catherine of Aragon and even Anne Boleyn.
While poker is not believed to have been invented until the 19th century, some three hundred years after Henry VII sat on the throne, gambling and playing cards evidently have had a place in British – and more specifically, London – society for quite some time. This helped to set the precedent, letting people know that if you want to play high stakes poker games, then you’re best off going to London. And, while Tudors may not have exactly had casinos in their 21st-century format back in their time, they did have opulently decorated rooms – and they would still have made an effort to liven up the atmosphere.
These principles are all present in today’s live poker events. It’s not hard to see why London is such a popular poker destination.
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