There are just 58 entries logged on the Day 1b board so far, but don’t be fooled – it was more or less the same here yesterday at this ungodly time, before the numbers swelled to 134 by the end of Level 12. Among the players who won the battle against their hangovers and made it here roughly on time are circuit stalwart Johan Goslings and last night’s Hendon Mob Warm Up runner up Simon Wilson. Also just spotted in the tournament area, although not yet seated at a table: the reigning Festival in Bratislava champion and all-round legend, Martin Mauthner (pictured above).
Meanwhile we apologise that for the next few hours at least we’ll be recycling yesterday’s photos, or attempting our own on an iPhone – our photographer Mairo is among the busload of people who’ve headed off to the pool tournament somewhere across town. We’ll be bringing you a lot of photos of people playing pool in the fullness of time.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a wrap! The first week-long event in The Festival Series went off with a bang – aside from the Main Event, the schedule took in 21 events covering poker variants from the Pokerlistings Deepstack to Sviten Special and Open Face Chinese Pineapple, as well as brand new events including tournament-format roulette, blackjack, and Sports betting in collaboration with The Gambling Cabin. We were also treated to some high stakes cash action on the live stream, as well as several of the tournament final tables.
The event took place September 20-26 at Banco Casino, located in the plush Crowne Plaza hotel on the edge of Bratislava’s Old Town. The €550 Main Event drew 621 entries across four starting flights and was eventually won by former EPT dealer Martin Mauthner, an unlit cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth throughout, in a thoroughly entertaining final. He took home €47,600 after a three-handed deal when Mauthner was the short stack.
In side events, the Pokerlistings Deepstack was won by the UK’s JJ Hazan, while the Acroud Charity Tournament was won by Norwegian scene stalwart Ylva Thorsrud and Twitch streamer Tommi “Gargamies” Heimonen took down the roulette championship. Although it looked a bit like a fix at the time, the blackjack event was won by The Festival’s own Andreas Hoglund, and all three sportsbetting events were won by The Festival head honcho Franke von Zweigbergk, who still won’t stop talking about it. Full results for all events may be found here.
We’ve had an absolute blast here in Bratislava, and we can’t offer enough thanks to all the dealers, valets, floor staff and organisers at The Festival and Banco Casino for making this happen. We can’t reveal details yet about the next stop, but we can tell you that there’ll be an exciting announcement very soon. As we wander off into the night, we most strongly urge you to join us for the next one. Until then… 🍻🍻🍻
Our live stream is about to go live for the last time this week – we believe it’s going to be €2/€2 4-card PLO/5-card PLO round-of-each. Players include Acroud Charity Tournament winner Ylva Thorsrud, who’s anxiously asking around if it’s true that players will be getting free drinks at the feature table, and our own Mauritz Altikardes. Commentary will be provided by Deepstack champion JJ Hazan (who’s also on the alternates list) and Jason Glatzer. There’s a 20 minute delay, so click here in about half an hour to watch all the action.
“These aren’t my staff,” the floor told me as I wandered in to see what was going on in the staff tournament, “These are fucking animals.” A player came by the reg desk to rebuy. “How many bullets?” Franke asked him. “Seven,” came the reply. I believe it’s a €10 buy-in with €500 added to the prize pool, but mostly it’s chaos. Good luck everyone!
The Kings Of Tallin supersat is just about to go on break, and it looks like with top-ups they’re going to be awarding two Main Event seats, not just the one guaranteed. Also you can tell that Franke’s still in this – witness the current view from the media desk.
Much of our chat in the bar last night with Main Event champion Martin Mauthner was unprintable, but our own Mauritz Altikardes spoke to him about his victory in the inaugural Festival Series Main Event.
Gooooood morning and welcome back to Banco Casino Bratislava, where a number of players smaller than yesterday’s crowd, but honestly larger than I thought considering the state of everyone at around 3am, has returned to play out the remaining side events.
Downstairs in the casino, Sweden’s Rico Ivars and Hungary’s Andras Halasi, accompanied by a bit of a rail, are playing out the final match of the €300 + €30 NLH Heads Up event; upstairs in the main tournament area, the €100 + €10 Shortdeck event has got 23 runners and rising. IN around an hour’s time, we’ve also got the Kings Of Tallinn package supersat, as well as the long-awaited staff tournament when your floor staff, dealers, and your faithful bloggers finally get a chance to show em all how it’s done. We’ll also have a livestream running from 7pm from one of the cash games – pretty sure it’s €5/€5 PLO tonight. Pull up a strong coffee, cuddle up under your duvet, and enjoy the action from the comfort of your laptop – or better yet, get your sorry asses down here if you’re still in Bratislava.
Wow – from (almost) zero to hero! Former EPT poker dealer turned recreational player Martin Mauthner battled his way from a short stack coming into the final table to ending up the last man standing, an unlit cigarette hanging rakishly out of the corner of his mouth all the while. The sling on his raising arm apparently not holding him back any, he bested a field of 621 entries to take the inaugural Festival Series Main Event trophy and the biggest chunk of the €294,975 total prize pool.
A deal was done three-handed when Mauthner was the shortest of the three, meaning that Mauthner walked away with a little less than the official top prize of €59,000 – but we don’t think he’s too upset about that.
Mauthner to us in the bar last night that he was only here because he lives an hour away and his old friend, tournament direct Gerard Serra, had badgered him to come. Regardless, Mauthner looked like he was having the time of his life throughout the tournament, and he’s walked away with by far the biggest tournament win of his career, plus the incalculable honour of being the first ever winner of a Festival Series Main Event.
The final table was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but the 31 players who returned for Day 3 busted so fast at the start of the day, a decision was made to play down to a winner today.
This festival is far from over, though. JJ Hazan is currently in the bar celebrating his win in the Pokerlistings Deepstack event earlier this evening, and elsewhere we understand that one mystery individual won all three of the sportsbetting freeroll, lowroll, and highroll contests – who could it be?! More on that tomorrow.
In light of the unexpectedly early conclusion of the Main Event, several events have been added to tomorrow’s schedule, including a €100 + €10 Shortdeck NLH event, a satellite for a Kings Of Tallinn package, and some sort of “surprise tournament”, which is honestly worrying us a little but Franke seems very excited about it.
We’ll be back tomorrow with a full interview from our glorious champion Martin Mauthner, plus some updates from the various other shenanigans around Banco Casino. Until then – you know where we’ll be. 🍻
And we have a winner. Martin Mauthner wins the first Festival in Bratislava against Adi Rajkovic.
Let’s take a look at the final hand.
Mauthner limped with K 3 and Rajkovic checked with J 10 in the Big Blind.
Flop: K 9 5 after a check Mauthner bet 500k and Rajkovic called.
Turn: K – same action: check / bet 1m / call.
River: 10 – Rajkovic had rivered a pair and checked again. Mauther moved all-in with his trips. For Rajkovic it was 2.8m chips more. He decided his chances to win are good enough an he called the all-in.
Of course Rajkovic’s pair had no chance against Mauthners trips and just like that heads-up was over.
Martin Mauthner was quite lucky with his cards so far and now he received J J on the button. He raised to 950k and Rajkovic found A Q in the big blind. It was an easy all-in for Rajkovic and Mauthner called quickly.
A flip should decide the title. The board ran down K K 5 2 10 – no help for Rajkovic.
With that Mauthner was up to 14m and Adi Rajkovic down to 5m chips. The tides had turned against Rajkovic and Mauthner was in a commanding lead for the first time.
Martin Mauthner looked down at A A and raised to a smallish 750k; Adi Rajkovic flatted with J 10 to see a 4-3-2 rainbow flop, which he checked. Mauthner now just whacked the lot in, eliciting the fold from Rajkovic, and is now up to 7.3 million against Rajkovic’s 11 million.
On a turn of 8 7 3 J with 1.25m in the middle Mauthner shoved all-in for 3m with 10 7 . Rajkovic was holding 9 8 and had him dominated. But after some thinking he decided to let his hand go. If he had called there would have been a 70% chance of Mautner to lose his stack and the heads-up.
The final three players have made a deal with leaving €13,000 left to play for to the winner as follows:
Adi Rajkovic – €45,130
David Vedral – €38,270
Martin Mauthner – €34,600
The final three took a short break before they will play for the remaining cash and the coveted Main Event trophy. Blind levels have also been reduced from 45 minutes to 25 minutes after the deal was made, and suspect this won’t take long now.
Adi Rajkovic had eaten into Henry Mania’s lead after min-raising with 6 7 under the gun and getting just a flat call from Mania holding 6 6 in the big blind.
The flop came down 10 8 10 and Mania, though he was no longer dominating, bet 400k. Rajkovic flat-called with his gutshot and flush draw. Mania bet out another 400k on the 2 turn and again Rajkovic called, and they saw the river: the A . Mania checked this time but Rajkovic, now in possession of a flush, bet. Mania folded, but dropped to 6.4 million.
Next hand, Mania made it to the turn of a 6 9 4 7 board before opting to just jam with 5 7 . Unfortunately for him, Rajkovic had A 3 for the nut flush (the K river changed nothing), and Rajkovic was up to 10 million.
Suddenly crippled to just 1.3 million, Mania whacked it in from the button with K 8 but got a quick call from David Vedral holding A 10 in the big blind. The 6 7 Q Q 10 board couldn’t help him, and just like that, Mania was gone.
Henry Mania raised under the gun with pocket aces, but everyone folded.
Next hand, it folded around to Fotios Konstantinos in the small blind, who decided to have a go with 4 5 . Mania woke up with J J and made the call, and Konstantinos was soon picking up fifth place money – €14,000.
It folded around to Fotios Konstantinos in the small blind, who whacked it in with A 6 , Henry Mania, who’s been living up to his name since we got back from dinner (our commentators baselessly speculated that “He’s been doing lines off of some hooker’s bum”), called him with J 10 and promptly spiked on the Q 2 J Q 4 board to double up to 3.8 million. Konstantinos = down to 2 million.
Not sure what our players had for dinner, but it’s been all go since they got back to Banco Caisno. First hand back, chip leader David Vedral opened with K Q under the gun, but Martin Mauthner pushed with pocket eights, and Vedral gave it up.
Next hand, Henry Mania open-shoved with A 6 on the button, stealing David Vedral’s big blind in the process. He shoved again the following hand with 9T offsuit, forcing a fold from Martin Mauthner holding pocket three.
All Galleries from The Festival in Bratislava 2021