88poker's XL Inferno Champion of Champions Recap

88poker's XL Inferno Champion of Champions Recap

On Wednesday, the XL Inferno Championships, which was comprised of 197 events over 14 days, came to an end with the prestigious “Champion of Champions.” The tournament was restricted to those who won titles during the series, and 110 of them ended up participating.

Those who finished 6th through 40th received a $55 888poker ticket, and some of the players who banked a ticket were Robin “Inho” Ylitalo (40th), “PulledPorker” (32nd), “Xandee1991” (25th), “Mindcruhers” (16th), and “PuntSonPunt” (6th). Meanwhile, Brazilians “F1oba” and “jxangai” each received a $600 ticket for finishing in fifth and fourth place respectively.

That ensured the final three were headed to the 2017 World Series of Poker, but the only question was what events would they be playing.

For Sweden’s Anton “anteen” Bertilsson who won Event #36 $50,000 High Roller for $116,974, the answer was Event #60 $888 Crazy Eights as was awarded a side event package after finishing in third place. Likewise, runner-up “zinkAA,” who hails from Ukraine and won Event #91 $30,000 Sunday Lightning, received a buy-in to the same tournament but also a $1,050 Main Event qualifier seat.

As for the Champion of Champions, after six hours and 21 minutes, the title went to Argentina’s Cristian “progree69” Sampaoli, who you might recall topped a field of 543 players to win the XL Inferno Event #178 $30.000 Saturday Challenge for $5,720. Sampaoli actually got off to a quick start in the XL Inferno when he placed 24th for $538.50 in the first event. He went on to notch seven total cashes including sixth in Event #46 $20,000 Monsoon for $1,638 and fourth in Event #57 $20,000 Crocodile for $3,687.75.

Four days later, he actually final tabled the Crocodile again, finishing eighth for $895.50. In the live realm, the Argentinean has just four cashes totaling $15,235.

The first two came in his home country back in 2014 and 2015, with the better of the two being $8,493 for placing 11th in the 2015 Circuito Argentino de Poker Grand Final Main Event in Rosario. In 2016, he attended the WSOP International Circuit in Punta del Este, Uruguay and cashed twice including a runner-up finish in Event #2 $400 No-Limit Hold’em Turbo for $3,450.

Not only did Sampaoli earn the bragging rights that come with being deemed the 888poker XL Inferno Champion of Champions, he was awarded a seat into the 2017 WSOP Main Event, which could potentially lead to millions of dollars.

Final Table Results

  • 1 Cristian “progree69” Sampaoli (Argentina) WSOP ME Package
  • 2 “zinkAA” (Ukraine) Crazy 8 Package & $1,050 ME Qualifier ticket
  • 3 Anton “anteen” Bertilsson (Sweden) Crazy 8 WSOP Side Event Package
  • 4 “jxangai” (Brazil) $600 ticket
  • 5 Fábio “F1oba” Maritan (Brazil) $600 ticket
  • 6 “PuntSonPunt” (N/A) $55 ticket
  • 7 “mikazika986” (Moldova) $55 ticket
  • 8 “pvss10” (Brazil) $55 ticket
  • 9 “1LevelAbove” (Sweden) $55 ticket

The XL Inferno finished strong when the Main Event surpassed its advertised $1.5 million guarantee by creating a $1.755 million prize pool, the largest prize pool ever on 888poker. All told, 121,000 players participated in 197 events spread over two weeks. During that time, we put up $7.5 million in guarantees, but thanks to such a strong turnout, $11,207,274.44 in prize pools were actually up for grabs during the series.

For those looking ahead to 888poker’s next big poker series, mark your calendar for September, which is when the sky will be the limit with the XL Eclipse Championship. Then, in January 2018, there will be no time to chill as we’ll be hosting our XL Blizzard Championship.

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