888poker Launches Spring Fever Promo
The big event in the poker world this week is the soft launch of PokerStars in New Jersey, leading up to its full launch next Monday. 888poker, one of PokerStars’ primary competitors in the Garden State, has kicked off a promotion, presumably to try to either a) draw people away from PokerStars, b) take advantage of the possible increased interest in New Jersey online poker, or c) both. The timing may or may not be coincidental, as 888poker’s “Spring Fever” started Wednesday, the same day the PokerStars soft launch begin. It stretches long after the Stars soft launch ends, though, into the second half of June.
Spring Fever follows the current trend of online poker promotions in that it is geared towards recreational players while paying out a great bulk of its gaudy prize total via freerolls. 888 its advertising over $300,000 in cash and prizes for the promotion.
At the outset of Spring Fever, all players will receive two tickets to the $1,000 Spring Fever Daily Freerolls and one ticket to the $3,000 Spring Fever Weekly Freeroll. Additional tickets can be earned by completely daily and weekly challenges.
The daily challenge requires players to either earn one status point in poker, play in poker tournaments with total buy-ins of $5 or more, or place $10 or more in casino bets. Once one of these requirements is completed, players will receive a Daily Freeroll ticket and a random “surprise.” The surprises, with their corresponding probabilities, are as follows:
For MVP Players
$1,000 Spring Fever Freeroll Ticket – 49.5 percent
$10 Casino Freeplay – 25 percent
$10 Tournament Ticket – 11 percent
$10 Cash Bonus – 5 percent
$30 Casino Freeplay – 5 percent
$100 Casino Freeplay – 2 percent
$30 Tournament Ticket – 1 percent
$30 Cash Bonus – 1 percent
$100 Cash Bonus – 0.5 percent
$1,000 Cash Bonus – 0.1 percent
For Non-MVP Players
$1,000 Spring Fever Freeroll Ticket – 67.147 percent
$5 Casino Freeplay – 15 percent
$1 Tournament Ticket – 10 percent
$5 Cash Bonus – 5 percent
$10 Tournament Ticket – 2 percent
$30 Tournament Ticket – 0.5 percent
$30 Cash Bonus – 0.2 percent
$55 Tournament Ticket – 0.1 percent
$50 Cash Bonus – 0.05 percent
$100 Tournament Ticket – 0.002 percent
$1,000 Cash Bonus – 0.001 percent
The $1,000 Spring Fever Daily Freerolls, for which players can gain entry using their initial tournament tickets or tickets earned from completing a daily challenge, will be held twice per day at 7:05pm and 9:05pm starting today and going all the way through June 19th. Each has a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000 and will be very fast: blinds go up every three minutes and players only start with 1,500 chips. There is no set first place prize; the prize pool will be distributed based on how many players enter, accordance with a table on 888’s website.
The $3,000 Spring Fever Weekly Freeroll will be held every Sunday through June 19th at 5:35pm. Players can only enter with a ticket, either acquired at the outset of the Spring Fever promotion or for completing the weekly challenge. That weekly challenge, you may ask? Just compete in three of the daily freerolls per week (week starts Monday at midnight). So essentially the daily challenges lead to the weekly challenges.
The guaranteed prize pool is $3,000, but instead of being distributed in cash like the daily tournaments, it will be paid out in prizes. Here’s how the prizes will be doled out in each weekly freeroll:
1st place – Sony Playstation 4 ($666 value…really? Hope it includes multiple games and controllers)
2nd place – GoPro Camera ($655 value)
3rd place – Beats by Dre Headphones ($300 value)
4th through 23rd place – 888poker Baseball Cap ($18 value)
24th through 58th place – 888poker T-shirt ($14 value)
59th place through 117th place – 888poker Playing Cards ($9 value)
As mentioned, this promotion clearly caters to the casual player, as tickets for the tournaments are extremely easy to earn. All anyone has to do to receive the daily freeroll tickets is play for a few minutes. And then, much of the time, players will earn additional tickets via the daily prizes. If they don’t win one, they are winning cash or cash equivalents. And then, of course, the weekly freeroll ticket just requires three daily freerolls, so that’s simple, too.
This promotion will overlap with 888poker’s new loyalty program, which is scheduled to launch Monday, March 28th. The 888poker Club will eliminate rakeback, rewarding players for achieving specific challenges. As players complete the challenges, they will advance levels and receive Gold Tokens which can be redeemed for prizes. It is an attempt to encourage variety of play and help recreational players, while discouraging high volume grinding just for the sake of rewards.
As a representative said on Two Plus Two, “The new 888poker Club will reward players based on different criteria to that of our current rake-based program. The vast majority of our players will benefit much more from the new program, which will be much easier to understand and will give significant weight to long term loyalty with 888poker.”
888poker will still honor any cashback, rewards, or other benefits players have already earned, even if those benefits are not scheduled to end until sometime after March 28th.