The 2016 World Series of Poker, which is once again sponsored by us at 888poker, is more than halfway over with nearly 50 of the 69 events completed. What's more, the 47th instalment is on pace to surpass last year as the largest in terms of participation.
Among those helping to make it a special affair are our 888poker Ambassadors Sofia Lövgren, Bruno Politano, Dominik Nitsche, Chris Moorman, Thomas Cannuli and our sponsored player Jeff Gross. So, how has Team888 fared during the 2016 WSOP? Well, they've yet to win a gold bracelet, but that doesn't mean there haven't been some close calls.
Team888 Making Noise at the 2016 WSOP
For instance, Lövgren kicked off her summer with a 534th-place finish in the Colossus II – the second-largest live poker event in history – and followed it up a week later with a deep run in Event #14: $1,500 Millionaire Maker, a tournament that attracted 7,190 players. Lövgren barely missed the final table in that event finishing 12th for $75,109 - her largest live score to date.
Meanwhile, Thomas Cannuli, who finished sixth in last year's Main Event for more than $1.4 million, has notched six cashes for $30,713 with his best cash being $10,717 for a 26th-place finish in Event #10: $1,500 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em.
Speaking of players who've made the WSOP Main Event final table, Brazilian Bruno Politano, who finished eighth in 2014 for $947,077, arrived at the WSOP a couple of weeks back and has already managed two cashes. The first was $4,545 for a 146th-place finish in Event #21: $3,000 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em, and the other $7,139 for placing 48th in Event #33: $1,500 Summer Solstice.
"I arrived here in Vegas 12 days ago, and I've made five cashes," Politano said during a tournament break. "It's good for me. I'm doing well, but not big cashes. Still, it's good."
Out of curiosity, we asked if sporting an 888poker patch put a target on his back.
"It's different," Politano explained. "When you have a patch from a site, not everybody for sure, but sometimes players will look at you and will have a vision about you, that you're a professional, and they'll target you."
When asked about the Main Event, including how he liked his chances and whether or not he'll do a last longer with his friends, Politano was hopeful.
"I'm trying to get a bracelet, and I think, in the end, I'm going to get it in the Main Event," he said with a laugh. "No last longer, though, because with those if your friend busts, you win. I don't like that. But we have something. Whoever makes the best position has to pay at the steakhouse for all our friends' dinner here in Vegas."
Only time will tell if Politano cashes in on the steak dinner as the 2016 WSOP Main Event is set to begin on Saturday, June 9.
Nitsche, Gross & Moorman Cashing All Around Town
Heading into the summer, Dominik Nitsche was 888poker's most accomplished pro when it came to WSOP events – he has three bracelets on his poker résumé – but thus far 2016 has proved a lacklustre affair, at least at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. Nitsche has three cashes totalling just $7,875, with his best being $5,702 for a 244th-place finish in the Millionaire Maker. However, that doesn't mean Nitsche hasn't been killing it in Vegas.
On the contrary, he has both five and six-figure scores to his credit this summer; they just didn't come at the WSOP. Back on June 2, Nitsche finished runner-up to Fedor Holz in the $50,000 Super High Roller 9 at ARIA, which awarded him $629,808, and exactly one week later he took sixth in the $25,000 ARIA High Roller 32 for $46,800.
While Nitsche has been splitting his time between properties, Jeff Gross has been grinding solely at the 2016 WSOP. Right now he has managed four cashes for $23,530, with his deepest run being 23rd in Event #17: $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em for $10,259.
Finally, the newest addition to Team888, Chris Moorman, made a run at his first-ever gold bracelet when he navigated a field of 1,840 to finish 13th in the Summer Solstice, good for $19,943. In addition, he took home $1,491 for finishing 1,277th in the Colossus II and $3,151 for taking 77th in Event #46: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em Bounty.
"It's going really good," Moorman said when asked about his first summer representing 888poker. "I'd like it if I could have a little more luck to build up some stacks, but it's a really good company to represent, and I'm excited about the future."
As for playing with a patch, we wanted to know if Moorman felt his opponents played any differently against him.
"I feel like sometimes I have a target anyway, so I've experienced it in the past," he said. "I don't think people play too differently. Some players try to work out who you are, they don't know too much, and I think amateurs play a lot differently when they play against a professional. Sometimes they're scared and don't want to get involved, while at other times they can be overzealous, want to show you a bluff, and make big mistakes."
As for the tournament he's most looking forward to, that would be the WSOP Main Event, though Moorman admits, historically, it's been a bad one for him.
"The Main Event has kind of been a bad tournament for me in the past," Moorman explained. "I've played 10 times now, and I've only cashed once. That one time I did cash I kind of messed it up and went crazy with ace-queen for way too many chips. I really want to go deep in that and have a good sweat. I just want to make it through to Day 2 as I've busted Day 1 so many times. That seems impossible, but it just keeps happening [laughs]."
Team888 Goes for Gold!
While Team 888 has yet to strike gold, they still have plenty of opportunities as events such as the $888 Crazy Eights, Tag Team Event, Online Event and the aforementioned, $10,000 Main Event are on tap between now and July 18.