The inaugural Festival Series event in Bratislava was an awesome achievement with one week packed with poker tournaments, blackjack and roulette tournaments, competitive sports betting and buzzing action in the Banco Casino 24/7.
Here’s a short recap of our first Festival Event in case you missed anything:
€300k Main Event with 621 runners
Let’s take a look at the headline event first, the €550 Poker Main Event. In cooperation with the Banco Casino, we set up a guarantee of €300,000. It was a rather bold guarantee for our first ever event in a still covid-ridden environment. But we were successful and (narrowly) made the guarantee with 621 runners over 4 starting flights.
71 places where paid and the final table turned out to be an almost All-Austrian affair. The first three runners hailed from Austria, and they struck a deal which awarded almost €60k to the winner. 1st place finisher and our first Festival champion was Martin Mauthner. Nicknamed “The Austrian Sammy Farha” he’s been part of the poker scene for decades and used to work as dealer at events of the European Poker Tour. Now he’s a recreational player and just struck the biggest score of his career.
Those are the final table results:
Prize Pool: €304,245
After the main event was over, we took some minutes to talk to our first Festival champion:
Roulette & Blackjack Fun
The Festival Series is not only about poker, but also about all other casino games. In Bratislava we had a blackjack and a roulette tournament.
Especially the roulette tournament was an entertaining endeavour. A total of 34 runners competed for a total prize pool of over €7,000. The event was set in the later evening hours, included free beers, and loads of fun. Poker Pro and Twitch Streamer Tommi Heimonen eventually won the event and took down €2.5k.
Sports Betting Triple Triumph for Festival Founder
We’re especially proud that we successfully added three sports betting tournaments to the Festival Series – something that has never been done before.
With three prize categories - Freeroll, Lowroller (€35) and Highroller (€250) – we had events for all players. The aim in each was to out-bet your opponents in several sports events that were running on the same day.
The final result of all events was a tremendous triple triumph for the founder of the Festival, Martin “Franke” von Zweigbergk. He finished first in all three events. We’ve got an explanation for that: » How Franke won all three events.
Plenty of Poker Sides Events
While The Festival Series featured all casino events, the main focus of course were poker tournaments. We had plenty of side events running each day, and we’re proud that we had multiple rather unusual variants in our portfolio – among others Drawmaha (or Sviten Special), Open-Face-Chinese, Heads-Up and multiple PLO-events.
PokerListings as the main media partner of The Festival Series head-lighted the biggest side event, the €220 PokerListings Deepstack event which attracted 194 runners and played out over €36k prize money. It was won none other than the British poker doyen JJ Hazan who also showed up multiple times as commentator in our live stream.
Pool, Wine Tasting and Cabaret
Not only did we organize a week-long poker & casino event, but we also made sure our players could enjoy some things outside of poker as well.
During the first days of The Festival we had a pool tournament at a local billiard club, organized a dinner and wine tasting for all package holders and went to a local cabaret club.
Onwards and Upwards
With the first Festival Series event in the books, we’re already busy planning the next one. It’s still a bit too early to announce the exact location and time for our next stop, but it will be within the next months somewhere in Europe. While we are very happy with the overall experience everyone had at The Festival, we know there are a few things to tweak and iron out. We will give our best to ensure that the next Festival will be even better than the one we had in Bratislava and we’re looking forward to seeing all our players again very soon.
Our terrific tournament director Gerard Serra summarized his thoughts about The Festival in a short interview: