888poker, the world's second largest real-money online poker room, inked a two-year deal with Svenska Pokerförbunde, otherwise known as the Swedish Poker Federation, to host the online portion of the Swedish Poker Championships known as Poker-SM.
The Swedish Poker Association was founded in 2004 as a nonprofit association with all revenue, including membership dues and corporate sponsorships, earmarked for promoting poker's status in Sweden.
Each year the association hosts both an online and live poker festival available exclusively to Swedish residents only. Rational Group, the owner of PokerStars and Full Tilt, hosted both the online poker series and satellites to the live portion for the past few years.
Mauritz Altikardes, CEO of Poker Event, the Poker-SM coordinator, shared his excitement about joining forces with 888poker for the next two years.
"I'm very excited that 888poker is becoming our partner for the coming two years," Altikardes stated. "I believe that this is exactly what the Swedish Poker Federation needs, a committed partner that wants to support the online community and grow with it."
This year's Poker-SM online portion on 888poker will feature 12 events taking place from May 24-30, headlined by the two-day $160 PSMO Main Event on May 29-30. The PSMO Main Event will give Swedish players plenty of action with a deep-stacked structure with 20,000 starting chips and 30-minute blind levels. The winner will not only claim the lion's share of the prize pool, but will also be awarded with a ticket to this year's PSMO live event in Malta valued at €750.
Also included in the dozen-event schedule are two satellite tournaments on May 24 and May 27 where players will compete for at least two guaranteed seats into the PSMO Main Event for a low $5.50 and $12 buy-ins, respectfully.
While in the past many poker variants were featured in the online portion of Poker-SM, this year will be slightly different. Most events will feature the most popular no-limit hold'em poker variant. Also included are three events in other poker variants including pot-limit Omaha, pot-limit Omaha hi-low, and a combo event featuring no-limit hold'em and pot-limit Omaha.
Buy-ins for all the events are reasonably priced to attract as many Swedish players as possible with non-satellite side events starting at a cost of just $25. Additionally, the schedule kicks off with a freeroll on May 24 where the winner will walk away with a ticket to the 2016 PSMO live event in Malta.
You can check out the full schedule of events on the Svenska Pokerförbunde website.
888poker Engaging Local Markets
Throughout the year, 888poker has shown its commitment to growing poker in local markets. The latest partnership with the Swedish Poker Federation is no different, with the online poker room stating in a press release that, "The collaboration will help support and strengthen the brand in Sweden, marking a significant milestone in 888poker’s activity in the Swedish poker industry."
The partnership follows three other big strategic collaborations involving 888poker earlier in the year.
First 888poker showed its commitment to the British poker community by inking a 12-month deal with Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City in March whereby branding is prominently displayed in one of London's largest poker rooms.
In the same week in March, 888poker committed itself to the huge Russian and Eastern European poker communities by announcing a strategic partnership with the Russian Poker Tour whereby the site will host many online satelites to qualify hundreds of players for different RPT events in the region.
Just last week, 888poker immersed itself in the German poker marketplace inking a year-long deal with Europe's largest poker room, King's Casino Czech Republic, to sponsor the German Championship of Poker and the Deutsche Poker Tour.
In addition to these partnerships, 888Live hosts many events around the world offering huge guaranteed prize pools for low buy-ins. Aspers Casino will be hosting a 888Live Local Series starting on April 28 followed by 888Live Costa Brava poker festival on May 18-22, where both 888Live and 888Live Local events will shower players with huge prizes.
This isn't to say that 888poker is only focused locally. The deals with Aspers, the RPT, and King's Casino also will engage many players around the world as it isn't only local players that participate. Additionally, in February, 888poker once again announced it will return as the general partner for the biggest poker festival in the world, the World Series of Poker.